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NTU Sociology: Frequently Asked Questions



 
 What is sociology?
 
Sociology is the study of social relations, how they are formed and what their consequences are. Sociologists observe how people relate to one another, why they behave in similar or different ways, and how individual actions are linked to collective actions. We look at how cultures develop, how organizations function or don’t, how states and public policies shape ordinary people’s lives, and how culture, politics, and economics come together.
 
It is the broadest of all social science disciplines, as all spheres of social life – cultural, economic, and political – are open to sociological inquiry. Students learn to analyse social conditions that impact human lives, and confront difficult issues such as migration, poverty and inequalities, the climate crisis, ethnic relations, the changing face of religiosity, shifts in family forms, aging, mental health, welfare regimes and social policies, and science and technological disruptions.
 
The curriculum in the four-year direct honours NTU Sociology programme emphasises critical thinking, theoretical reasoning, empirical research, and communication skills. Students develop the ability to think through complex issues, investigate them empirically, and go beyond conventional wisdom – abilities essential to organisations and vocations today.
 
 
Who should become a Sociology major?
 
Consider a Sociology major if you are especially interested in exploring different ways to look at and talk about social, political, and economic issues, and in reconsidering things that are taken for granted. The ethos of this discipline is that rigorous research and empirical knowledge of the world can contribute to solving its problems.
 
No prior experience with sociological training is needed before you enter. Our students come in with diverse experiences and training, some from the sciences, some from the arts, some from business or other specialized areas.
 
We welcome applicants with:
 
Strong reading, critical thinking, and writing skills 
 An active interest in current affairs, both within Singapore and internationally
Strong ‘A’ level or Polytechnic results
O-level Elementary Mathematics (required) – this is necessary for the compulsory Social Statistics
component of our programme
 
Students of any nationality are welcome.

 
What can I do with a Sociology degree?
 
Our graduates go onto a wide range of sectors and many different types of jobs:
  • Civil service and public administration
  • Management (including human resources and corporate communications)
  • Education and training
  • Media (including public relations, advertising and journalism)
  • Business and marketing
  • Financial and insurance sector
  • Creative industries (including the arts, arts management, heritage, design)
  • Non-profit and social service sector

 

At NTU Sociology, we focus on training students in core skills and competencies that are important in every workplace. These include pitching novel perspectives and ideas, knowing how to take initiative, and adapting to fast-changing conditions. We train our students to think dynamically, to not only look for answers in the usual places but to also know how to ask new questions. We provide opportunities to craft questions and arguments—both in writing and speech—and to work collaboratively in teams. We also provide research training in both qualitative and quantitative methods.
In today’s workplace, most people will have many different jobs in their careers. The ability to acquire new skills is crucial. We believe the culture at NTU fosters this, helping students to evaluate things critically, and cultivate an openness to challenging themselves in areas they find unfamiliar or even uncomfortable.
An NTU Honours degree in Sociology also enables you to pursue graduate-level studies in the social sciences or other relevant fields such as business, law, and government. Entry requirements for such programmes are established by the respective universities.
 
NTU offers career development support through the Career & Attachment Office (CAO), which provides services such as career coaching. We encourage our students to use the university’s resources to prepare for transitioning from their educational to their career journeys.
 
 
What can I expect of the curriculum?
 
Note: Full details of courses and requirements are available in the SSS Undergraduate Prospectus or on www.sss.ntu.edu.sg.
 
Students will take compulsory core courses and choose from a range of elective courses. In the final year, many also complete a Graduation Project (see below).
 
The core courses provide foundational training in how sociologists frame questions about the social world. Students learn about the methodologies sociologists use in empirical research and receive training in both qualitative and quantitative methods. These courses teach skills in critical thinking and communicating complex ideas. They also expose students to a range of interesting social, political, and economic phenomena in Singapore and elsewhere.
The elective courses deal with specific substantive topics in greater depth. Some examples of these courses include Environmental Sustainability; Population and Society; Ethnicity and Ethnic Relations; Social Policy and Social Change; Sociology of Mental Health; Social Class and Inequality.
Faculty at NTU Sociology have active research pursuits in a wide range of areas, such as: climate change and the environment; migration and social integration; urban sustainability; social forces shaping science and technology; ageing and mental health; demographic changes and the sociology of the family; social policy and state power; gender, class, and ethnoracial inequalities; political economy of land and food; religion and religiosity; pop culture and social psychology.
Our courses are therefore taught by people who are passionate about and specialists in many areas of study.  
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Can I complete the programme in fewer than four years?
Yes, it is possible to complete the degree programme in three and a half years.
 
 
Will I receive any exemptions as a Polytechnic graduate?
 
Successful applicants with Polytechnic training may be exempted from certain courses. A review of transcripts will be done and exemptions confirmed before the start of the first semester.
 
What is the Graduation Project?
 
In order to fulfill Graduations requirements, student either undertake a Graduation Project or two additional 4000-level seminars.
The Graduation Project (GP) is a major project typically undertaken in the fourth year of study. Students may pursue the GP as a solo project or in teams. With the support of a faculty advisor, students craft research questions, design research methods, collect data, and analyse and write up a thesis.
  • Students with CGPA of 3.90 and above must complete the GP.
  • Those with CGPA between 3.75 and 3.90 may opt in to do the GP, subject to approval by the division.  
  • Students with CGPA below 3.75 will not be allowed to conduct the GP. 
 
The GP is compulsory for those seeking to obtain Honours (Highest Distinction) / First Class or Honours (Distinction) / Second Class Upper Honours.
Students who do not pursue a GP will instead take two additional 4000-level courses.
 
 
Are there any opportunities for overseas exchange?
 
We believe in supporting students in bridging international and intellectual borders.
 
The Global Education and Mobility (GEM) Explorer programme allows students to take courses in an overseas partner institution for one full semester, without paying additional tuition fees. This programme is offered at over 150 partner universities, across more than 25 countries. Students can build a global network, develop global perspectives and connect with different people in diverse cultures.
 
The GEM Discoverer Work and Study programme presents students with different work/study/research options with leading companies and partner universities in Asia, Europe, and North America. This programme gives students a deeper understanding of the unique cultures, entrepreneurial spirit, and vitality of some of the world’s most dynamic economies.
 
The GEM Discoverer Summer Studies programme allows undergraduates to travel overseas during their summer break for four to six weeks while earning academic credit. Students in this programme join a prestigious overseas university in Asia, Europe, or the Americas, and participate in programmes that are related to academic coursework, cultural immersion, or language instruction.
 
 
What opportunities are there for internships?
 
Our Professional Attachment (PA) programme is designed to encourage students to gain exposure to the working world, explore their career interests and goals, and prepare for the job market, through internships.
 
The university works with employers to facilitate placements in a wide range of industries/sectors. Students may also source for internship placements themselves.
 
Professional Attachments are typically 10 weeks long and usually undertaken at the end of Year 3. On successful completion, students are awarded Academic Units (AUs). Students are also awarded a Certificate of Accomplishment jointly signed by the Director, Career and Attachment Office (CAO) and the organisation's authorised representative.
 
We also encourage students to take other non-credit bearing internships to explore possible career options.
 
 
Can I pursue Sociology as a major alongside a second major, or a minor?
 
Students who would like to develop greater depth of study in an additional discipline may pursue a second major within the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. Upon graduation, students will receive a degree in their first major. The second major will be shown on the final transcript and students will receive an additional certificate.
 
What are the criteria for pursuing a second major?
• CGPA of 4.0 and above after Year 1
• Meet basic admissions requirements of second major
• Subject to available positions
 
Do I have to pay additional fees if I am enrolled into a second major?
No, you do not have to pay any additional fees if you complete your degree within 4 years.
 
Besides major programmes, there are also more than 40 Minor programmes that Sociology undergraduates may consider. Students interested in pursuing more exposure in another field may consider doing a Minor. For a full list of Minor programmes, see: https://www.ntu.edu.sg/Students/Undergraduate/AcademicServices/AcademicProgrammes/Pages/Minor_Programme.aspx