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Polytechnic Courses - A Resource Guide

Singapore has 5 polytechnics that offer unique learning experiences. All of them feature hands-on and practical educational methods that make learning more fun and enjoyable. Depending on which polytechnic you opt for, you can choose from up to 44 full-time diploma courses. All these courses are designed to give you theoretical knowledge as well as practical training in various industries. The classes are taken in an engaging and interactive environment where your leadership and problem-solving skills are developed as you interact with your peers. While polytechnics are also known for their fun approach to education and have a whole variety of co-curricular activities, academics should take primary importance. After all, you are looking to build a career in the future and a solid academic foundation can help you get there. Let’s take a look at some of the popular full-time diploma polytechnic courses in Singapore and what they have to offer.

Business Management

Looking forward to making a career in Business Management? Then this course is probably what can help you make it in the field of business. Some of the polytechnics in Singapore offer a double specialisation (in Event Management, International Business, Supply Chain Management, and more) when you sign up for this course. It can also help you develop your skills in fields like Design Thinking and Business Analytics. In your first year, you will have thorough exposure to core modules that include Business Statistics, Financial Management, Macroeconomics, Principles of Marketing, and more.

The second year will see you go through subjects like Digital Marketing and others that you choose based on your dual specialisation. In the third year, your core modules will involve Business Community and Risk Management, Social Customer Relationship Management, and Business Law among others. The course also features modules on effective oral and written communication, which can help you effectively and efficiently communicate in a professional business environment.

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Mass Communication

Mass Communication is a good course for every aspiring journalist. With a detailed and well-planned curriculum, this course will help build your fundamentals in various media platforms such as print, digital, and broadcasting. Want to learn how to communicate more effectively with your audience? This diploma can help you sharpen your communication skills so that you make more of an impact with your viewers or readers. The duration of this course will take you through modules relating to Public Relations and Media, News Writing, Media Law and Ethics, Feature Writing, and many more.

Some polytechnics let you choose between two different specialisations namely, Journalism and PR and Marketing Communication. Journalism focuses on Photojournalism, Impact Journalism, and Media Journalism. PR and Marketing Communication offers modules on Crisis Communication, Media Practicum, and Campaigns and Advertisement Design. It also has an industry orientation programme that helps you get a feel of what the industry is like. The general modules include Marketing, Life Skills, Problem Solving and Critical Thinking, among others.

Biomedical Science

Passionate about treating and preventing diseases? Looking forward to a career in diagnostics and research? If so, then this course is something you should take a look at. It has everything you need to know about the human body, how it functions, how people contract diseases, and how diseases can be diagnosed and treated. With the local sector for biomedical sciences in Singapore growing every day, there is a great demand for experts in this field. Singapore is in line to become a major hub for clinical and biomedical sciences, and a polytechnic education in this field can help you make a fruitful career out of it. This course expounds to you the way living cells in the body work, the structure of the human body, functions of enzymes and proteins, and the various types of viruses and bacteria. You will also be taught how diseases spread, how they have to be diagnosed, and how you can stop the spreading by using the right medical practices.

One of the best features of the course is that it collaborates with hospitals and other medical institutions to give you practical training in this field. Most polytechnics require you to do an internship where you can apply your theoretical knowledge to real-life situations using world-class lab equipment and diagnostic tests. Some of the core modules include Clinical Chemistry, Human Anatomy and Physiology, Molecular Genetics, Biological Data Analysis, Medical Microbiology, and others.

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Psychology Studies

As more and more people today open up about the stress and other mental health issues they face in different walks of life, there is a growing need for professionals who can help counsel them. A diploma in Psychology Studies can give you the knowledge and credentials you need to understand what goes on in people’s minds, and how they communicate and express what they feel.

This course teaches you all the essentials that lie at the core of psychology, allowing you to apply them in practical real-world situations such as dealing with special needs people, social services, and more in the industry. Research is a key aspect of this field. As a student, you will learn how to collect and analyse quantitative and qualitative data, and how to interpret your findings. It will also develop your skills in critical thinking to apply the necessary measures in your professional career. At its core, the course usually offers modules in Counselling Psychology, Social Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Experimental Design and Statistics, and Community Psychology among others.

Banking & Finance

This is yet another popular course in Singapore that gives you a specialisation in the field of business and financial studies. By giving you extensive knowledge and training in core areas such as Fintech, Fund Administration, and Wealth Management, it boosts your prospects of building a successful career in this field. You will get to learn from some of the most experienced professionals in this field, including senior banking officials. You can also choose to specialise in any of the three modules mentioned above. Financial technology or Fintech, as it is more commonly known, is taking the financial world by storm, changing the way things are done. There are plenty of career opportunities in this industry and a specialisation can be advantageous to you.

The course involves industry-based workshops, projects in related subjects, and visits to innovation labs, further enhancing your knowledge on the topic. You will also get to intern with some of the premier institutions such as GIC, HSBC, Monetary Authority of Singapore, State Street, and DBS among others. The core modules generally includes Principles of Marketing, Macroeconomics, Banking Law and Ethics, Personal Banking, Corporate Finance, Fund Administration and Accounting, Risk management, and Business Analytics along with an opportunity for an internship.

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Product and Industrial Design

Product design is a much sought after career since designers play a crucial role in designing every product we use today. From small electronic components to large vehicles such as trucks and aircraft, their efficiency depends on how well they are designed. The product design course helps you think “outside the box” and transform your innovative ideas into physical prototypes. You will learn how to make scale models (prototypes) using traditional techniques as well as modern technology like 3-D printing. Share your ideas, collaborate with peers, and experiment with various models as you get exposed to what the industry feels like. Internships with leading organisations will help polish and sharpen your creative thinking and design capabilities.

The course includes modules that take you through Prototyping Lab, Digital Essentials, Design Fundamentals, Concept Visualisation, Collaborative Design, and Evolution of Industrial Design, to name a few. You could also get to travel with fellow students to Europe, Japan, and Taiwan on field trips. You also get the benefit of having experienced mentors to guide you through your academic journey.

Mobile Software Development

Given that many people are transitioning to the mobile platform, there is an ever-growing need for mobile software developers. Since companies and organisations are encouraging people to interact with them via mobile apps, the market is ripe with jobs for mobile app designers. If your interests and talents lie in this field, then this course could help you make a career out of them. It gives you everything you need to know how to transform an idea into a working model that can benefit millions of users. With access to some of the world’s best software and tools, guidance from leading experts in this field, and hands-on industry training, you can explore the full extent of your potential.

The modules offered by this diploma spans from Introduction to Programming, IT Security & Management, Database Systems, Web Frameworks, Android Programming, iPhone Programming, New Media Communications, to a lot more. Polytechnics also have collaborations with the industry’s leading companies to help you develop your skills and get practical exposure to real-world scenarios.

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Aerospace Engineering

Do aircraft fascinate you? Are you interested in a career as an aircraft maintenance specialist? If so, then take a look at what this course has to offer you. The curriculum places a lot of importance on the manufacture of components for aircraft and also on aerospace design. Successfully completing this course can give you the credentials you need in your quest to getting licensed as an engineer for aircraft maintenance. Want to get a private pilot licence? The Diploma Plus Programme for the fundamentals of aviation can help you prepare for this. The course also offers you a Minor in the field of Business Management which helps expand your career opportunities. Polytechnics that offer this diploma provide modern facilities and strong engineering fundamentals to give you an enhanced industry-like experience while you learn and develop your skills.

The course modules include Engineering Mechanics, Computer Programming, Avionics Systems, Thermofluid 2, Engineering Design Analysis, and Applied Mechanics among others. If you choose to minor in Business Management as well, you will also be taught Marketing Fundamentals and Fundamentals of Financial Management.

Architectural Technology

If you like structures, buildings, and other architectural designs, then this is probably the course for you. You can learn how buildings are designed and how they are transformed from drawings to architectural marvels, benefiting the public. The Diploma in Architecture will endow you with the skills and knowledge you need to become a successful architect in the future. The syllabus is designed to stimulate your creative thinking and help you create outside-the-box designs. Studio sessions and design projects that offer a hands-on experience in design encourage the architect in you to innovate and create intriguing designs. Study trips abroad and student exchange programmes help widen your knowledge and introduce you to international designs.

The modules usually include Architectural Design Studio, Environmental Science, Materials & Architectural Technology, Architectural Visual Communication, and Architectural Practice, along with internship programmes with some of the leading organisations in the country.

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Visual Effects

What if you could turn each of your imaginations into a visual representation for other people to enjoy? If you are interested in the way graphics work and want to learn more about them, look a little deeper into what a Diploma in Visual Effects can get you. This course offers you the chance to go beyond the boundaries of your creative thinking, constantly looking for new ways to give life to images and videos on a screen. Training in studios with green screens is a great way to know more about how movies are made. This course aims at giving you a strong foundation in creating 3-D content by using advanced software such as Pixologic Zbrush and Autodesk Maya. You also get to shoot projects using professional resolution (up to 6k) cameras. The course modules generally include Animation Foundation, Drawing and Perspective, Camera & Lighting, Polysculpting, Post-production, Effects Animation, Compositing, Set Extension, Visual Communication, and more.

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How Much Do These Courses Cost?

Given the extensive academic features these courses offer and combined with the other facilities you also get on campus, it’s easy to think that the tuition fees will blow a hole in your pocket. But it’s not necessarily so. Polytechnics in Singapore charge tuitions fees based on the status of your citizenship in the country. The tuition fees for full-time diploma courses remain the same across all of Singapore’s five polytechnics. The fees are as follows:

  • Singapore Citizen – S$2,800 p.a.
  • Singapore PR – S$5,600 p.a.
  • International Student – S$10,000 p.a.

If you feel that these rates are too much for you to bear, you can take a look at the financing options available to you.

Finance Options for Diploma Courses

The government of Singapore through its Ministry of Education gives you grant and loan options that can help you bear the costs of a polytechnic education. The Tuition Grant Scheme helps you with your tuition fee expenses at each of the 5 polytechnics in Singapore. All Singaporean citizens are automatically eligible for this grant, without the need for application or a bond requirement. Foreign students and Singapore permanent residents who apply for this grant, however, have to sign a bond promising to work in Singapore for at least 3 years after they graduate. The government also provides tuition fee loans and study loans to full-time diploma students based on certain terms and conditions that they have to fulfil. If you don’t qualify or if you’re unable to make use of any of these options, there is yet another option available to you – education loans.

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How Can Education Loans Help?

An education loan can be of great help when you don’t have the funds needed to pay for the course you want to pursue. It can be used to pay for your diploma tuition fees. Banks usually provide these loans within a few days, provided you give them all the necessary documents and fulfil all other necessary criteria. Like any other loan, the money you borrow has to be repaid in instalments or in accordance to your agreement with the bank. Som study loans allow you to start making repayments only after graduation or when you get employed, again, subject to terms and conditions. Minimum monthly repayments are as low as S$100. So go ahead and take a look at the options in front of you, enrol for your dream polytechnic course, and make your way towards a successful future.

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