FAQs for Design Your Own Module

With effect from Academic Year 2019/2020, Design-Your-Own-Module (or DYOM in short) has been officially introduced as an option for students to broaden their education. With this initiative, students may choose to do something within, or outside of, their disciplines – within the unrestricted elective modules (UEM) space. Students can thus choose what to learn, how they wish to learn it and from whom they wish to learn (e.g., DYOM Massive Open Online Courses, or to learn in a DYOM group by choosing their own thesis advisor). With effect from Academic Year 2020/2021, eligible students may utilize up to 8 MCs for DYOM, an increase from 4 MCs.

DYOM will constitute up to 8 MCs within the UEM space, and graded on a ‘CS/CU’ (Completed Satisfactorily/Completed Unsatisfactorily) basis. The modules will not count towards the calculation of the cumulative average point (CAP). DYOM also will not be counted toward the limit stipulated on the number of Level-1000 modules.

DYOM is optional. Students may choose to do a range of 1 MC to 8 MCs DYOMs (depending on the selected options), up to a maximum of 8 MCs within the UEM space, within the established degree requirements.

DYOM follows NUS guidelines like all other modules. For example, the makeup of a 4-MC module is roughly 120 hours of work – i.e., approximately 36 hours of contact time, with the rest constituting self-study, assignment and assessments. 2 MCs is, therefore, half that. Depending on the effort for each credit-bearing MOOC, students may earn up to 8 MCs within the UEM space. 

Please refer to information below on the equivalent MC(s) that can be obtained based on the MOOC’s workload hours. Do check the MOOC’s workload hours against the table before registering for MOOCs via LumiNUS (for DYOM Option A). Please consult your thesis advisor on the MCs awarded for your DYOM Option B.

Illustrative only:

Effort Total effort MC equivalents
4-6 hours for 4-6 weeks 16-36 hours 1 MC
4-6 hours for 10-11 weeks 40-66 hours 2 MC
6-7 hours for 12-13 weeks 72-91 hours 3 MC
8-10 hours for 13-14 weeks 104-140 hours 4 MC
10-12 hours for 14-15 weeks 140-180 hours 5 MC
12-13 hours for 15-16 weeks 180-208 hours 6 MC
13-14 hours for 16-17 weeks
208-238 hours
7 MC
Up to a maximum of 8 MCs for efforts of 240 hours or more

NUS has joined edX (an established not-for-profit MOOC provider) w.e.f. Jan 2019. With this partnership, students will be able to take advantage of over 2000 massive open online courses (MOOCs) from over 110 top university and industrial partners (including NUS, in the future). Students will be able to do DYOM modules in several ways:

  1. Take and complete MOOC(s) ranging from 1-MC to 8-MC equivalent from edX – but not exceeding 8 modular credits in total, under DYOM for UE space. In order to get a “CS” grade, students will have to register for and obtain a Verified Certificate from edX under this Option A. Similarly, students may pursue AI For Industry (AI4I)® course, and earn modular credits upon completion.
  2. NUS faculty members or NUS administrative staff (e.g., from units such as the Office of Student Affairs, Residential Colleges, the Centre for Future-Ready Graduates, NUS IT, etc.) may supervise a DYOM topic ranging from 2-MC- to 8-MC equivalent (60 to 240 hours of work)  – which may or may not incorporate edX MOOCs. Students may propose a module and form a group of 10 students or more for this module. They may then get a thesis advisor (as above) to determine the course materials, assignments, and assessments (to constitute satisfactory completion of the module). Such modules have to be approved by NUS (e.g., Faculty or the Office of the Senior Deputy President and Provost (SDPPVO)).
  3. Still on DYOM Option B, students may design a DYOM module where Industry leaders and NUS faculty supervise assignments and assessments. Again, students must organize themselves in a group of 10 or more, and approval will have to be sought from faculty or the SDPPVO.
  4. Depending on the topic initiated by the DYOM group and modular credits involved, subsidies may be granted to the host department or host faculty (up to SGD500 per student in the group).
  5. Special Term fees will be waived for DYOM Options A and B.

The DYOM initiative empowers students to customise their learning experiences.  An interesting feature of DYOM is that students will be organizing themselves in a group of at least 10 to encourage students from across different schools and faculties to come together to explore educational experiences that are both stimulating and enriching.

We are recommending a group of at least 10 students to encourage collaborative learning through teamwork (i.e., group activities may be prescribed by the thesis advisors where applicable).  We hope students can achieve the learning objectives set out in their commonly selected DYOM, in a self-motivated manner, and foster community spirit during the process.  A team of 10 or more could also mean that students can leverage on the varied strengths of one another, creating economies of scale through synergy.

Note: Students who choose option A (i.e., to do (and complete) a credit-bearing MOOC) do not need a thesis advisor and can do DYOM modules individually.

Students may form groups through their own social network, or consider using Yammer – a platform which we will introduce to facilitate this process of group formation.

Yammer, a web-based matching app (similar to Eventbrite/Peatix) – for teachers/thesis advisors or students to propose DYOM topics, to submit proposals to faculty/SDPPVO for approval, and to find fellow interested students to make up groups. NUS may approve smaller groups, within reason – but this is at NUS’s discretion. Yammer is also available for download so that students may use it on their mobile phones. Click here to join Design-Your-Own-Module Yammer network.

DYOM via MOOCs (i.e., option A) simply means that students enroll in MOOCs of their choice on edX (accessed via LumiNUS). Students may also do AI For Industry (AI4I)® under this option. For DYOM proposals (i.e., option B), a standard template is provided in EduRec for online application before the start of a new semester.  This template will require students/ thesis advisors to list learning outcomes, modular requirements/ details, assignments/ projects, and assessment criteria.  The proposals will then be submitted (i.e., online application via EduRec) to respective host schools/ faculties or SDPPVO (for Halls of Residence, non-teaching units) for approval. Please refer to the User Guide: EduRec Form for DYOM Group.

For students doing the option of DYOM Group, registration of DYOM is not encouraged for the first semester of their undergraduate studies in view of the many compulsory modules in the first year (e.g., General Education).  To minimise the possibility of students failing to meet graduation requirements due to DYOM, students are generally discouraged to pursue MOOCs in their last semester.

Students are expected to plan ahead for their DYOM journey (i.e., before the start of a semester), especially if they wish to customise their module(s).  Once the group and their thesis advisor agree on the modular details, assignments, projects, and assessment, the proposal form should be submitted to the respective Dean’s Office during the application period for DYOM (Group), as indicated on the DYOM index page.

Students must note that once a DYOM has been added to their record in EduRec by the host department (for Option B), any de-registration or dropping of the module could have an implication on their academic record (e.g., “W” grade, etc.).

For DYOM via MOOCs (Option A), please note that most of these online courses are self-paced courses, so they would not have implication on a student’s workload (that is, the semestral workload limit is not relevant after ModReg Round 3).

On EduRec, please note the request for credit transfer and reimbursement could be submitted in one application upon completion of MOOCs. Only credit-bearing MOOCs will be processed.

Please be informed that disbursement will be made to the Student Account in EduRec in 5 days. The credit will first be used to offset any outstanding fees in EduRec. If there is any balance in the Student Account after that, it will then be refunded to the student. All refunds will be processed in the first week of each month. Students should receive their refund in their bank account by the 2nd Friday of the month. It is important for a student to maintain a receiving bank account in EduRec, in order to receive the reimbursement.  For more details, please visit Finance’s website:


Students doing credit-bearing MOOCs (Option A) will be deemed to have attained a “CS” grade upon award of the edX /host institution’s certificate of completion. Other students must complete the assignments and assessments as stipulated in the proposal or “contract”, and fulfill the requirements as agreed (Option B), in order to be awarded a “CS” grade.

There may be sensitive topics which students may be advised to avoid (e.g., topics which promote racism or sexism). Should a group wish to invite guest speakers, e.g., from industries, NGOs, etc., the invitation should be made in consultation with the thesis advisor. There may be instances where the approving authority may suggest modifications to the topic – or the list of teachers/speakers.

Students should register for MOOCs via NUS’s Learning Management System, LumiNUS (via single-sign-on).  Please note that students may register for edX MOOCs in the same manner during the special terms as well; special term fees are not applicable.  Similarly, students may do AI For Industry (AI4I)® under this DYOM option.  For registration details on AI4I, please go to LumiNUS > Module Search.

Students in the DYOM group could approach the host faculty (for the intended topic) to request for help in finding a thesis advisor.

Should they require further assistance, the group may write to Design Your Own Module (PVOBOX31@nus.edu.sg ) for assistance.

The DYOM initiative was officially launched in the Academic Year of 2019/2020.  Only MOOCs commenced from Semester 1 AY2019/2020 onwards will be considered for DYOM credits.  Additionally, students must register to do MOOCs via LumiNUS.  The single-sign-on mechanism in place when students use LumiNUS will help to ensure the capturing of relevant student information for subsequent processing of records in systems.