Curriculum Structure

The module requirements of the undergraduate curriculum provide the structure to ensure broad-based learning combined with depth of specialisation. As mentioned, they are organised around three categories of requirements: University Level Requirements, Programme Requirements, and a set of Unrestricted Elective Modules.

(A) University Level Requirements

These requirements aim to broaden a student's intellectual horizon, to develop critical and creative thinking skills for independent learning, and to promote spoken and written articulacy.


University Level Requirements comprise General Education (GE) which aims to impart critical literacies and intelligences that enable students to thrive in today’s rapidly-changing professional landscapes and to cultivate their awareness for social issues in Singapore and beyond.

General Education

The GE Curriculum is committed to expanding student mindsets, capacities, and worldviews. It consists of modules which equip students with foundational competencies and intelligences and inspire them towards engagement. These will empower them to think critically and communicate ideas clearly, meet the challenges of a rapidly changing and increasingly interconnected world as well as build meaningful and responsible relationships with communities.

GE consists of six pillars:

  • Cultures and Connections
  • Critique and Expression
  • Data Literacy
  • Digital Literacy
  • Singapore Studies
  • Communities and Engagement (will be offered from AY2022-23)

All students (except those from the Faculties of Dentistry and Law, and the School of Medicine) are required to read and pass six GE modules, one from each pillar.


University Level Requirements comprise General Education (GE) which aims to connect disciplinary knowledge and perspectives with the skills needed for lifelong learning beyond the university.

General Education

The GE curriculum consists of modules that cut across the wide range of disciplines that a comprehensive university offers. It encourages students to explore disciplinary practices and thinking in the humanities, social sciences, sciences and engineering sciences. The GE curriculum also engages all students in discussions about the social, cultural, scientific, and historical topics that will, at the same time, lay the foundations for important life skills such as critical thinking, communication, and reasoning. In a nutshell, the NUS GE curriculum aspires to inculcate the habits or qualities of mind that define a successful graduate.

GE consists of five pillars:

  1. Human Cultures
  2. Asking Questions
  3. Quantitative Reasoning
  4. Singapore Studies
  5. Thinking and Expression

All students (except those from the Faculties of Dentistry and Law, and the School of Medicine) are required to read and pass five GE modules, one from each pillar. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the GE modules within the first two years of their candidature.    

(B) Programme Requirements

Programme Requirements comprise Faculty and Major requirements.

Faculty Requirements

These serve to introduce a student to the different disciplines in a Faculty or to certain basic areas of study that prepare a student to pursue a particular discipline.

Major Requirements

These provide specialised education in a subject and include both 'essential' and 'elective' modules. Whereas the former are concerned with the core knowledge and abilities expected of a graduate majoring in the discipline, the latter combine the flexibility of choice with further specialisation within the discipline. Major requirements may include relevant modules from other Departments.

(C) Unrestricted Elective Modules

These allow students to explore greater breadth or depth in any subject and at any level. Students may use these modules to meet the requirements for a specialisation, minor, double major, double degree, or concurrent Bachelor-Master degree.

From AY2020/2021 onward, students have another option of fulfilling up to 8 MCs of their Unrestricted Elective (UE) requirement with Design Your Own Module (DYOM). DYOM allows students to choose what they want to learn, how they wish to learn, and from whom they wish to learn.