NUS offers a variety of comprehensive and challenging graduate programmes, some of which are primarily research-based, while others are coursework-based. The Graduate Diploma provides focused professional training in a specific niche. The Master's degree is intended to develop mastery of a field and prepares students for the practice of a profession or as a precursor to doctoral training. The Doctoral degree is designed to prepare students for creative activity and original research, often in preparation for the pursuit of an academic career. In order to accommodate students with full-time employment, some programmes allow students to enroll on a part-time basis, with modules conducted in the evenings, and in some instances, on Saturdays.
Graduate students are admitted to either a coursework or research programme and are distinguished by the programme in which they are enrolled. The Graduate Diploma and various Master's degree programmes are offered under the coursework structure. The PhD and Master's degrees in certain disciplines are strictly research-based programmes.