Types of degree in Singapore
Bachelor’s Degrees are the standard undergraduate degree offered by Singaporean universities. Globally recognised, the most common duration is three years.
Bachelor’s Degrees with Honours
Just like Australia, Singaporean universities also offer Bachelor’s Degrees with Honours, which typically last an extra year. Bachelor’s degrees are organised into broader subject groups, such as a BA (Bachelor of Arts), a BSc (Bachelor of Science), and a LLB (Bachelor of Law).
Double or Combined Degree
As we touched on above, students in Singapore choose a general degree pathway. However, most universities do give students the chance to pick two. Called double or combined degrees, it’s an incredibly popular option.
This can mean that the degree takes four years instead of the usual three, though.
Advanced and Specialist Diplomas
These are both vocational degrees which last around two years. Occasionally called polytechnic diplomas, they closely resemble what would be called an Associate’s degree in the USA and Australia.
They’re ideal for students already committed to a very specific field who need to quickly gain professional qualifications, and they place a lot of emphasis on work experience.
These degrees aren't as intensive as undergraduate degrees and lead to a less advanced qualification.
Double Majors vs Double Degrees
Some institutions in Singapore - including Singapore's flagship university, the National University of Singapore - offer students the chance to enrol in both double major programmes and double degree programmes.
Both allow students to split their academic focus between two separate disciplines (say, Business Administration and International Relations).
So what’s the difference? Whereas a double major degree will still fall within one Bachelor track (e.g. BA, BSc, LLB), a double programme degree means combining two separate subject pathways (think BA/BSc, BEng/Bsc, and so forth).
Joint Degree Programmes
You know how we said Singaporean academia has close ties to most other leaders of English-taught higher education? Well, we weren’t exaggerating: a number of Singaporean universities offer joint degree programmes with other universities.
The National University of Singapore, for instance, offers joint degrees with both Australia National University and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Concurrent undergraduate programmes allow students to register for a Master’s alongside their undergraduate application. Most common for STEM subjects, it’s an application option often called 3+1 or integrated Master’s in countries like the UK.