In keeping with the aspirations of our very bright MCM students, most of them secure a degree after graduating with our diploma either immediately or having worked for a few years. They can choose between a local and foreign qualification, doing it either full- or part-time. Some foreign universities are also represented in Singapore and offer both part-time and full-time programmes, with exemption as well.
Admissions for undergraduate study at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) / National University of Singapore (NUS) come under Category B; for the Singapore Management University (SMU) it comes under Category 2. Please go to the respective university’s websites for information relating to the opening and closing of the application exercises for each new academic year.
1. NTU - Offers niche programmes that MCM feeds well into
These are the degrees MCM graduates can read at NTU:
Accountancy, Art, Design & Media, Business, Chinese,
Communication Studies, English Sociology, Arts (Education) (NIE) and Science (Education) (NIE).
For degrees in Economics or Psychology, you will preferably need to have taken Additional Maths at ‘O’ level.
Up to one year’s exemption (bringing us on par with junior college students) can be granted for applicants to Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information.
Our graduates typically do very well there, winning scholarships and taking up plum roles like Chief Editor of their campus newspaper.
2. NUS – Top–rated and most established local uni.
These are the degrees MCM graduates can read at NUS:
Architecture, Arts & Social Sciences, Business Administration, Business Administration (Accountancy),
Business Administration (all specialisations) and Communications & New Media, Industrial Design,
Music, Nursing, Project & Facilities Management and Real Estate.
Law is open to those who graduate with a Certificate of Merit, a minimum A2 in ‘O’ Level English
and stellar ‘O’ level results. One recent MCM graduate, Kenneth Chan, secured a place to read Law in NUS.
Up to 10% of places can be given for discretionary admissions based on superb CCA achievements.
The formula for computing your score is based on 80% of your diploma results and the remainder on your GCE ‘O’ Level results.
3. SMU – “Sexiest” uni programme, with a downtown location, business graduates commanding premium salaries, an American slant in education and the opportunity to read a double degree.
The fees may be highest, but one in nine freshmen wins a scholarship, according to the SMU website.
Min C6 in Additional Maths at ‘O’ level for all degrees, strong (>1300 –old and 1,900- new format) SAT scores are an edge. All shortlisted applicants are interviewed.
Good poly results can earn you exemption of up to 5 courses. The only of the six undergraduate degrees offered that MCM grads are likely to find more challenging is the Bachelor of Science (Information Systems Management).
Accountancy, Business Management, Law, Science (Economics) and Social Science are open.
4. UNISIM- Singapore’s only approved private university.
Largely catering to working adults, SIM awards its own degrees, and popular ones among our graduates are those offered in the School of Arts and Social Sciences, and the School of Business.
Through their Global Education arm, SIM also administers programmes with overseas partners.
MCM graduates complete the RMIT University's BA Communications degree offered there after one and a half years of part-time study, thanks to advanced standing.
Although more and more places are being opened for MCM graduates in the local universities, many of our alumni have chosen to enroll in more than two dozen institutions in the above countries to pursue their studies. The additional cost is usually balanced out by their graduating a lot faster than their junior college peers as they are exempted from various periods of study (or modules), and good minimum wages for part-time and vacation work.
You will need to carefully study the specific university's handbook/catalogue/prospectus/website before enrolling. It would be wise to discuss your commitment and concerns with staff or friends who have studied for a degree in the same country, if not the university you have your sights on.
Recognition of Qualifications
There is no official ‘recognition’ from the Public Service Commission (PSC) of Singapore for certain universities unless you are doing a professional degree such as engineering/medicine/law. As long as the universities are accredited in their home country and listed in some publication like the Commonwealth Universities Handbook, the qualifications are accepted in Singapore. The PSC recognises any overseas accredited programme.
Credibility and reputation are rather subjective, but you can check the following evaluative sources or even with your prospective employer, for the ranking:
Australia – The Good Universities Guide to Australian Universities
Choosing a University
Factors to consider include:
a) The quality and fit of the programme
The most important consideration is the degree programme. What are the courses offered and what is your preference:
- artistic in orientation, content-based, practical or technical in nature;
- the modules offered and the possible focus in a particular Mass Communication field
e.g. journalism, public relations, broadcast.
Check the programmes closely, read the catalogue/prospectus and go in greater depth to the teaching faculty, library resources, distinctives available. Also, bear in mind that some programmes may be repetitious of what you have done here, while others may be worlds apart, with virtually no further studies in communication areas.
Certain universities are strong in certain fields. For example, for journalism in Australia, the University of Queensland is the leader with the longest history, the most offerings and a strong reputation.
On the other hand, the University of Melbourne is one of the top in the world for its humanities programme. Former students Hannah Teoh and E-von Yeung scored First Class honours in that institution.
Note also that your results, your portfolio, CCA record and a good letter of recommendation from FMS will also determine the universities that you will be successful getting into.
b) Financial- Fees and living costs.
Despite the rising Australian dollar, it is still cheaper to study in Australia than in the UK or USA because of
i) the exchange rate – approximates based on Mar 2012 given below
(For current rates, use http://www.xe.com/ict/)
SGD1.30 to AUD1
SGD1.25 to USD1- American colleges can cost between US$16,000 to US$55,000 a year for the foreign student when you factor in Tuition fees, Lodging and Meals.
SGD2.00 to GBP 1
ii) the shorter programme, because up to 18 months advance standing is given
iii) airfare, especially if you are prone to homesickness
c) Lifestyle preference and Climate
To have a better time acclimatising, you should do a little self-analysis first.
i) Do you prefer a quiet, small town with a slower pace of life or a big town with good night life, less social interaction and possibly more crime?
ii) Will you want to live on or off campus?
iii) Can you withstand the extreme weather conditions of some countries?
iv) Can you tolerate some degree of discrimination?
v) How independent and disciplined are you?
vi) Will you need to work to support yourself or rely on financial aid, as there are varying guidelines for these depending which country you study at?
Your seniors, lecturers, relatives and friends who have studied overseas will be able to give you valuable perspectives.
Almost all the Australian Universities will give our graduates a one and half year advance standing, i.e. they may complete a three-year degree programme in one-and-a-half years. This is because those Australian universities a very familiar with the quality of our education system and especially with our courses as they visit us often. The following is a list of some of the universities our students have gone too:
1. Western Australia – Largest Aussie state, Perth has a mild climate and is closest to Singapore
Curtin University of Technology [CURTIN]
Edith Cowan University [ECU]
Murdoch University [MURDOCH]
(7-8) University of Western Australia [UWA]
2. South Australia- Wine country
(7-8) University of Adelaide [http://www.adelaide.edu.au]
3. Queensland – Brisbane, Gold Coast
4. New South Wales – Most populated Aussie state, Sydney is the hub
5. Victoria- Melbourne
Swinburne University of Technology [SWINBURNE] [index.php
6. Canberra- Australia’s capital, seat of government
United States of America
American universities will approve "transfer credit" for various subjects, provided the results for them are "C" and above. Some universities stipulate that only "B" grades and above will be transferred. You may also have to sit for tests such as SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) or ACT using the scores to gain admission. Some top colleges are recently making these scores optional.
Note that US universities, unlike Australian ones, do not give "block" exemptions; it is on a case-by-case, subject-by-subject basis. Generally, the former are quite generous in their credit allocations; however, many of the credits obtained in your diploma courses may be considered "excess" i.e. over and above what is required for the degree. See ‘Word of Caution’ below to see why this is so.
Word of Caution
The US system at the Bachelor's level has little compatibility and articulation with the British model followed in Singapore. At undergraduate level, students in the States do core requirements for a degree – subjects such as maths, sciences and English for three years before proceeding to specialise, say, in Mass Communication.
The area of specialisation depends on your performance in the core requirements. So with your diploma, you have the specialisation, but not the core subjects! You might end up having only a few credits transferred. Expect another 2 1/2 to 3 years of additional study for a basic 4-year degree course.