Frequently Asked Questions

Communications and New Media

  • 1. What are the advantages of the CNM programme at NUS?

    New media is an area of academic enquiry that studies things like Internet studies, online communities and the impact of new technologies in the social, cultural, political and economic landscape of a country and the world. It also includes interactive media like Web design, gaming and virtual reality, among other subjects. In short "new media" includes any form of media that are NOT traditional mass media, such as converged media (the interrelation between telecommunications, computers and electronic media), wireless media, portable devices, wearable computers, etc. New Media also pays particular attention to the interaction between individuals, their minds and bodies, and new media devices, from social and cultural perspectives.

    On the other hand, mass communication usually deals with traditional mass media such as print and broadcast journalism. In addition, mass communication (or communications) programmes usually offer modules in advertising, public relations, and even film studies. While some mass communication programmes may offer some modules in new media issues, the focus of their curriculum tends to be on the traditional mass media.

    Most importantly, as a CNM student, you will be part of a comprehensive faculty of arts and social sciences which is in turn part of a comprehensive university. This means that you can leverage the extensive range of subjects available including psychology, sociology, political science, history etc to mould  yourself into a media professional with exposure to a wide body of knowledge, rather than just  a media professional who understands the media, e.g. a journalist who covers political developments, a PR communicator who has an appreciation for health communication issues, a game designer who infuses game designs with historical milestones and fascinating geographical facts etc.

  • 2. What are the career prospects of graduates from the CNM programme?

    Graduates from the CNM Programme will be very attractive because they will have a very solid understanding of the new media industry locally, regionally and globally.

    Students who specialise in interactive media will be able to work in corporate communications, government agencies dealing with media development, media and design firms, research institutes specialising in interactive media content, public relations firms and a wide range of commercial, industrial and professional environments. In addition, graduates in interactive media would be able to venture into their own businesses. They can also choose to lead creative industry initiatives in Singapore and globally.

    The communication management area will prepare students to work in traditional media as well as in new media, IT companies or other ICT-related companies. Graduates will be able to work in corporations, government agencies, public relations firms and not-for-profit organisations, all of whom need effective and strategic management of communications to be successful. They will also have web design and publishing skills, which are in high demand in today's multi-media environment.

    Other sectors that will be interested in CNM graduates are tourism, banking and multinational corporations. In government agencies, graduates can work in policy analysis or facilitate communication between government officials and the private sector.

    Our graduates are currently working in Singapore Airlines, Channel News Asia, The Gallup Organisation, UOB Bank, EAT! Magazine, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts, Media Development Authority, Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, etc.

  • 3. About the CNM Programme

    • What kind of degree do graduates of the CNM programme receive?

      Students in FASS taking this course will graduate with a B.A. CNM also offers an honours degree and master's and Ph.D. degrees.
    • Is this programme a course by itself?

      Yes, this is a course by itself. However, we encourage our students to take courses from other faculties as part of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences emphasis on multidisciplinary learning.
    • What is CNM all about and how does this course relate to new media?

      On the communications side, our students learn about the economic structure and the regulation of the media industry as well as the impact media can have on society and culture. As communication managers, they learn, through practice learning, how to create an online presence for an organisation, how to write for the news media and how to create, conduct and evaluate a communications campaign.

      On the new media side, our students are exposed to theories which help them understand the impactnew media are having on society socially, culturally, economically and politically. Students will learn theanswers to these and many other questions: How is the rampant use of computers affecting educationof young people, how can Asian countries take advantage of new media to advance their economicdevelopment, how has the introduction of the internet affected traditionally authoritarian states, howdo new and invasive technologies affect our right to privacy as individual etc. Such issues and problemsare discussed from various theoretical perspectives such as sociology, cultural and visual studies, socialpsychology, law, policy and political economy. Important developments in gaming, human-computerinteraction and interactivity are critically addressed as well.

      Apart from studying the impact of new media, students also engage in content creation through practice learning. For example, they learn how to design multimedia products such as websites, games and virtual environments.

  • 4. Course requirements

    • Is a good command of English essential for the course?

      A good command of English is definitely an asset as the course materials are mostly academic texts and students are often assessed based on essays and reports and news/media writing
    • What are the entry requirements for this course?

      There are no formal pre-requisites or qualifying tests for entry into the CNM Programme. The Programme welcomes students with a keen interest in the subject and who love (or hate) interacting with new media (games, wireless devices, etc) and want to test their emotions and attitudes to technology through academic rigor and interdisciplinary learning. Students interested in learning effective ways to communicate and who want to be visually creative are also welcome.

  • 5. Do I have to be technically inclined to major in CNM (or interactive media)?

    Students need not have any technical inclination/background to successfully tackle the interactive media component of our programme because the primary objective of CNM is to equip students with conceptual knowledge of Interactive Media.

    We welcome technically inclined students who are interested in studying more cultural, aesthetic and social aspects of interactive media. Likewise, humanities and social sciences inclined students will have an opportunity to make their own creative works. In advanced and honours-level modules we provide students with full opportunities to explore either theoretical approaches, creative projects, or both.

    In short, CNM welcomes creative thinkers who are ready to challenge themselves. An example of a question that could be explored in one of our courses would be: Why do Singapore students play more Japanese-made games than their American counter-parts, and what is the difference between both types of games in terms of cultural or aesthetic interaction?

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Dean's Office, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences National University of Singapore

  • Add: The Shaw Foundation Building, Block AS7, Level 5
  • 5 Arts Link, Singapore 117570
  • Level 5 (Undergraduate) & Level 6 (Graduate)
  • Fax: +65 6777 0751
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