Important Information for Students

General Education Requirements

For students admitted from AY2015/16* (except students from Law, Medicine, Dentistry): Students will be required to read one General Education Module (GEM) from each of the five pillars (total: 20 Modular Credits/MCs) to satisfy the University Level Requirements for General Education. The five pillars are:

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

Note: Each GEM is worth 4 Modular Credits (MCs) unless indicated otherwise.

* Students admitted in AY2015/16 and who are enrolled in the University Scholars Programme (USP) or University Town College Programme (UTCP) (taking the full USP/UTCP) are not required to read the General Education Modules from the above five pillars, as they will fulfil their University Level Requirements as part of their USP or UTCP respectively.

Students admitted from AY2016/17 onwards and who are enrolled in USP or UTCP (taking the full USP/UTCP) are required to read a module from the Quantitative Reasoning pillar in partial fulfilment of the University Level Requirements for General Education. These students are not required to read the General Education Modules from the remaining pillars, as they will fulfill their remaining University Level Requirements as part of their USP or UTCP respectively.

Students can only count GEMs (GEH/GEQ/GER/GES/GET coded) to either the General Education requirements or the Major/Second Major/Minor requirements, but not both (i.e., no double counting is allowed). Modules read from overseas/partner universities while students are on Student Exchange Programmes/Summer Programmes/Winter Programmes/Study Abroad Programmes cannot be used to fulfil the GE requirement.

Diploma holders admitted from AY2015/16 are not allowed to use their Advanced Placement Credits (APCs) to replace a GEM. All students admitted from AY2015/16 are required to read five GEMs.

Students are strongly advised to read the FAQ for more information on General Education Requirements.

Five Pillars

i. Human Cultures

These GEMs cultivate an understanding of how human societies have developed and how ideas, beliefs and innovations have shaped human societies.

Learning outcomes: An appreciation of how human knowledge informs and enriches our understanding of civilisations, cultures and the natural/physical world.

ii. Asking Questions

This pillar aims to provide students with an opportunity to be immersed in a significant topic so as to develop broader insights and perspectives. The focus is on engaging in a rigorous dialogue so as to learn to pose good questions about the issue that is discussed.

Learning outcomes: An ability to ask insightful questions and to engage holistically and actively with the selected topic. Students will learn to identify thoughtful questions and develop critiques and reflections. (Please see points below for more information.)

  • Students admitted in AY2015/16 and beyond, and who are residents of RVRC are allowed to read GEQ1917 Understanding and Critiquing Sustainability as fulfilment of the "Asking Questions" pillar.
  • Students admitted in AY2015/16 (except those from the Ridge View Residential College (RVRC)) will be required to read one module each from the four pillars (Human Cultures (GEH), Quantitative Reasoning (GER), Singapore Studies (GES), and Thinking and Expression (GET)), plus an additional module from either the GEH, GES, or GET pillar to fulfil the GE requirements.
  • The "Asking Questions" pillar will be launched with effect from Semester 2, AY2016/17. All students admitted in AY2016/17 and beyond (except those from RVRC, and those taking the full USP/UTCP) will be required to read a module from the "Asking Questions" pillar to fulfil the GE requirements.

iii. Quantitative Reasoning (more information on this pillar can be found at this link)

This GEM teaches different models of reasoning, how to organise data and information, analyse, make inferences and construct and/or refute arguments that contribute to our knowledge about the disciplines and the world.

Learning outcomes: The acquisition of skills to make sense of, model, generate, synthesise, evaluate and make inferences from available data and knowledge.

iv. Singapore Studies

These GEMs aim to address the issues and challenges confronting Singapore, including Singapore history, culture, geography, economy and politics.  Students will develop an insight into the Singapore context and/or how Singapore relates to the region and/or the world.

Learning outcomes: Development of a societal and regional/global awareness, civic mindedness and citizenship, cultural/intercultural understanding and collaboration, with Singapore as a point of departure.

v. Thinking and Expression

These GEMs aim to develop critical thinking and argumentation skills, and students will learn how to formulate, articulate and evaluate ideas and arguments.

Learning outcomes: An inculcation of critical thinking and effective communication skills.

Registering for GEMs

Students are advised to not register for those GEMs they are not eligible to read (for example, a module coded with the following prefixes: GEM/GEK/SS). Reading these GEMs will result in the modules NOT being counted towards fulfilling their GE requirement.

Some GEMs are included in the list of modules of a particular Minor/Major programme. In such situations, GEMs taken to fulfil the Minor/Major requirement cannot be double-counted toward fulfilling the GE requirement. Students will still have to ensure that they take at least one GEM from each of the five pillars, in addition to any GEMs they may have taken for their Minor/Major programme.

Students should also ensure that they have not exceeded the limit of Level 1000 modules. (Note: The limit on the number of level-1000 modules to be counted towards fulfilment of graduation requirements is 60 MCs for both 120MC- and 160MC-programmes for students admitted from AY2007/08 onwards. Nevertheless, Faculties could set more stringent requirements.)

When registering/bidding for GEMs, it is the responsibility of students to check the class and exam timetable and ensure that there are no timetable clashes.

To register for GEMs, log into the Centralised Online Undergraduates Registration System (CORS).