Diploma in Community Development (N11)

Why CDT?

  • A unique diploma that combines Psychology, Social Work, Management & Social Innovation to prepare you for fulfilling careers in the growing care economy
  • Be equipped with industry-relevant skills such as research, facilitation and project management
  • Make a real impact in the community by co-creating innovative solutions for social causes with industry partners like Ministry of Social & Family Development, Metropolitan YMCA and Deloitte

About CDT

Passionate about engaging communities for a worthy cause? Curious about human psychology and how to apply it to impact behavioural changes? Learn how to make a positive impact in the community through our Diploma in Community Development (CDT)!

Through CDT, you will have the opportunity to interact with people from all walks of life, understand their needs and motivations, and be equipped to achieve better outcomes for these communities.

You will also learn fundamental principles of human behaviour, design thinking and social innovation. Through collaboration, you will get to curate innovative solutions that will address community issues and needs. Some examples include projects with the elderly and engaging with persons with disabilities for engagement workshops.

CDT Trainer
CDT Trainers

The broad-based curriculum will expose you to various aspects of psychology, social work, social enterprise and management to enable you to be an effective practitioner in the social service sector. You will get internship opportunities at agencies and social enterprises such as the Ministry of Family & Social Development, Metropolitan YMCA, Singapore National Co-operative Federation, Trybe and Institute of Mental Health. 

Metropolitan YMCASNCFTrybe

Keen to find out more about CDT? Watch this video to find out!

Overview of Your CDT Journey

Inspiring Portfolio

CDT Social Hackathon

Organised by CDT students, the Social Hackathon attracted more than 80 secondary school participants who raised interesting proposals to address social issues. Mr Edward Chia – Managing Director of PlaceM, Director of Feed the World and Member of Parliament – graced the event as its Guest of Honour and inspired the students with his passion for building sustainable enterprises that have genuine social impact. 

CDT Social Hackathon
CDT Social Hackathon
CDT Social Hackathon

Further Studies

Graduates may pursue further studies in institutions of higher learning, both locally and overseas. As CDT is a broad-based diploma, graduates have a wide array of study choices, including those in the social sciences, humanities and business.

The following universities grant advanced standing to CDT graduates:


  • Nanyang Technological University
  • National University of Singapore


    • Edith Cowan University
      • Bachelor of Counselling
      • Bachelor of Youth Work
      • Bachelor of Social Science
    • Griffith University 
      • Bachelor of Human Services 
      • Bachelor of Child, Youth and Family Practices  
    • University of Queensland
      • Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours)
    • University of Western Australia 
      • Bachelor of Psychology 
      • Bachelor of Business
      • Bachelor of Commerce 
    Headshot of Tan Yan Zi

    Tan Yan Zi
    Psychology Studies* graduate, Class of 2022 

    Yan Zi is pursuing a Bachelor of Politics, Law and Economics at SMU.

    *Renamed the Diploma in Community Development

    Headshot of Toh Pei Ling

    Toh Pei Ling
    Business & Social Enterprise* graduate, Class of 2022 

    Pei Ling is pursuing a Bachelor of Social Work at SUSS.

    *Renamed the Diploma in Community Development.


    The community development and social services sectors are growing and expanding their talent pool. The Environmental, Social and Governance, or ESG, sector – which focuses on measuring the sustainability and ethical impact of businesses – is also gaining attention. You can look forward to pursuing careers in job roles such as:

    • Community Development Executive
    • Events Management Executive
    • CSR Executive
    • Marketing/Communications Executive
    • Social Entrepreneur
    • Social Work Associate
    • Social Work Assistant
    • Programme Coordinator/Executive
    • Volunteer Executive
    • Youth Worker
    Headshot of Jasmine Leong

    Jasmine Leong
    Business & Social Enterprise* graduate, Class of 2016

    Jasmine graduated from NUS with a degree in social work. A social worker at South Central Community Family Services Centre, Jasmine works with families and individuals on asset building and poverty transformation. 

    *Renamed the Diploma in Community Development

    Headshot of Sandy Ang

    Sandy Ang 
    Psychology Studies* graduate, Class of 2011

    Sandy is an educational psychologist at the Society for the Physically Disabled.

    *Renamed the Diploma in Community Development

    Entry Requirements


    To be eligible for consideration, candidates must have the following GCE ‘O’ Level examination (or equivalent) results.

    Subject'O' Level Grade
    English Language1-6
    Mathematics (Elementary/Additional)1-6
    Any three other subjects1-6

    You must also have sat for one subject listed in the 1st group of relevant subjects and another different subject listed in the 2nd group of relevant subjects for the ELR2B2-A Aggregate Type listed here ( 33KB). Both subjects will be used for ELR2B2-A aggregate computation.

    For students with other qualifications, please refer to the NP website for the entry requirements and admissions exercise period.

    What You Will Learn

    Academic Writing & Presentation (4 Credit Units)

    This module focuses on critical thinking, academic writing as well as presentation and listening skills. The module aims to equip students with the skills for academic writing and presentation. Finding and evaluating academic sources, reading, note-taking, essay planning and writing, and presentation skills will be developed in this module.

    Career & Professional Preparation 1 (1 Credit Units)

    This module gives students a foundational introduction to their three-year diploma course curriculum and how it prepares them for industry. It will help them to embark on their course with the end in mind, through guided reflection of their personal characteristics and producing an overall game plan for their future education and career goals. The module aims to deepen students’ commitment to the sector that the course prepares them for.

    Community Development & Social Services (4 Credit Units)

    This module introduces students to the wide array of community development efforts, social services and resources that promote wellness, with special attention to the local context. Students will explore the variety of services catering to different population groups in the community (including children, youth, elderly, family, and people with disabilities and special needs) and appreciate the importance of inclusivity.

    Fundamentals of Sociology (3 Credit Units)

    This module stresses the influence of societal forces on behaviours and lives of individuals. The aim is to provide students with an understanding of the social context of behaviours.

    Introduction to Psychology (3 Credit Units)

    This module introduces psychology as a science of behaviour and mental processes. Students are given a broad overview of the different fields in psychology and will learn to actively apply psychological insights to their lives.

    IT Applications (3 Credit Units)

    This module develops the e-competencies by equipping the students with the essential computing concepts and necessary skills to use computer applications for information research, organisation, collaboration and presentation.

    Development across the Lifespan: Embracing Diversity & Inclusivity (4 Credit Units)

    This module studies the physical, cognitive, emotional and social aspects of human development from infancy through childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age. The aim is to provide students with knowledge of progressive psychological changes that occur in human beings as they age and the multidisciplinary approaches in the assessment and intervention for disabilities which can occur in the human lifespan. The module encourages students to embrace differences, diversity and inclusivity through deconstructing their notion of disability.

    Introduction to Research Methods & Statistics (4 Credit Units)

    This module introduces students to basic statistics and methods used in social and psychological research. Students will learn descriptive and inferential statistics, probability theory, the formulation of research problems and the construction of empirically testable hypotheses, sampling, data collection techniques, and research writing skills.

    Managing Social Service Organisations (4 Credit Units)

    This module enables students to acquire an introductory understanding of management principles and applications. They will learn how managers plan, lead, organise and control activities and resources in organisations. Students will work closely with local social service organisations to understand the different strategies used to meet community needs. The module also introduces concepts and principles of accounting and financial decision-making by social service organisations.

    Professional Communication 1 (3 Credit Units)

    This module prepares students to communicate effectively in business settings. Students will learn both oral and written communication skills that demonstrate concepts of business communication principles, interpersonal skills and intercultural skills. Topics such as proposal and report writing, elevator pitch and professional presentation will be covered.

    Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship (4 Credit Units)

    This module introduces the social and environmental issues faced by the local community. The module also examines the different community needs and analyses the different types of innovative social solutions that have been designed to meet those needs. Students will work closely with local social enterprises, non-profit organisations, and voluntary welfare organisations, to understand the different strategies used to meet community needs.

    Health & Wellness^ (1 Credit Unit)

    Group Dynamics & Facilitation (3 Credit Units)

    This module equips students with theories, research findings and skills aimed at managing group dynamics/conflicts and improving group effectiveness. Through field-based learning, students will be able to build the skills required to apply knowledge in practical situations such as managing psychoeducation group sessions.

    Professional Communication 2 (2 Credit Units)

    This module prepares students to write effective cover letters and resumes. Preparation and enhancement of portfolio to meet professional standards as well as development of presentation skills, and improvement of job-seeking techniques will also be covered in the module.

    Programme Development & Impact Evaluation (4 Credit Units)

    This module provides students with the basic knowledge and skills in the design, management, implementation and evaluation of programmes in the context of social services. Through field-based learning, students will be able to apply psychological/social service concepts to guide the process of programme development.

    Project & Event Management (4 Credit Units)

    This module introduces students to project management concepts and tools. Project management concepts covered include project design and planning, time and cost management, risk assessment, scheduling, and progress management. Students will learn to apply these tools in a service-learning project to meet a real need identified by a community partner. Through structured reflections and facilitation, this module endeavours to enable students to connect their service experiences to their learning of project management concepts for a broader appreciation of the module, and to cultivate in them a sense of social responsibility and civic engagement.

    Research Methods for Social Sciences (4 Credit Units)

    This module builds on the foundational course for Introduction to Research Methods and Statistics. This module explores more complex research design used in the social sciences, including multiple comparisons and regression analyses. Students are also introduced to community mapping, Venn diagrams, wealth ranking, stakeholder and SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis, preference and matrix ranking, focused interviews, focus group discussions, case studies and direct observations

    Sponsorship & Volunteer Development (4 Credit Units)

    This module provides students with an overview of the fundamentals of stakeholder partnerships, sponsorship and a Volunteer Management Framework in the context of social services. Through service-learning, case studies and empirical findings, students will gain an understanding of issues related to engaging stakeholders, fund-raising and sponsorship development and the role of volunteer management framework in managing issues such as volunteers' recruitment, job-match, motivation and recognition.

    Case Management & Supervised Practicum (4 Credit Units)

    This module provides students with the basic knowledge and skills of working with an individual: engaging the individuals through basic counselling skills, conducting needs assessment, formulation of objectives, implementation of intervention, and evaluation of outcomes. Through supervised practicum, students will gain practical knowledge and skills in case management and be exposed to ethical and self-care issues.

    Community Psychology & Advocacy (4 Credit Units)

    This module introduces community analysis to identify problems and challenges, and promotes individual and community wellbeing and inclusivity through prevention and intervention efforts. Students will, through a service- learning project, develop content and tools of communication for educational and advocacy purposes, including the design and delivery of public education campaigns and promotional communication to inform, educate and persuade audiences in community settings.

    Marketing & Communication for Social Service Organisations (4 Credit Units)

    This module examines the concepts and principles of marketing and public relations communications for social service organisations. Students will have the opportunity to apply marketing concepts in creative and visual means for social goods and services through real-world applications. Students will also be exposed to writing approaches required for various communication situations, audiences, and objectives – and apply digital photography and imaging for creating publicity collaterals.

    Regulatory Framework & Governance (4 Credit Units)

    This module introduces students to the essentials of corporate governance frameworks pertinent to social service organisations in Singapore. Students will learn about various legal structures for start-ups, internal controls against fraud and unfair human resource practices, and product/service liabilities and obligations. It also introduces students to basic approaches taken by social enterprises to measure social impact.

    Technology for Community Solutioning (4 Credit Units)

    This module introduces students to the principles and concepts of technologies in social services. They will explore the role of technology in assisting the various communities and disabilities and incorporate technology into service plans and programmes, to bring about improved outcomes.

    World Issues: A Singapore Perspective^ (2 Credit Units)

    ^ Interdisciplinary Studies (IS) modules account for 10 credit units of the diploma curriculum. They include modules in communication, innovation and world issues, as well as an interdisciplinary project. By bringing students from diverse diplomas together, the interdisciplinary project fosters collaboration to explore and propose solutions for real-world problems. IS aims to develop students to be agile and self-directed learners, ready for the future workplace.

    Practicum with Integrated Project (12 Credit Units)

    This module requires students to work on a capstone project that allows them to integrate and apply what they have learnt in their three years of study while undergoing a practicum at an organisation. Students will collaborate with the organisation to either start their own social enterprises or undertake a project to benefit selected communities.

    Professional Communication 3 (2 Credit Units)

    The module equips students with the knowledge and skills in professional etiquette in a variety of workplace settings. Personal branding and the use of social media (LinkedIn) and the Internet in job-seeking will also be covered in the module. Students will also learn to curate and develop a digital portfolio that highlights their accomplishments, past works, projects and skills.

    Project ID: Connecting the Dots^ (4 Credit Units)

    6-Month Internship (20 Credit Units)

    The internship programme enables students to acquire the work experience needed for their chosen areas of interest, with professional practitioners acting as mentors. The organisations involved are selected for their capacity to allow students to learn different aspects of work in the industry concerned. The students’ learning outcomes are assessed by their respective field mentors and Ngee Ann supervisors. Students could also work closely with industry partners on internship projects that will benefit children, families and the community.

    Video Showcase