Division of Social Sciences
Department of Political Science
Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours) in Political Science
Minor in Political Science (with effect from AY2007-08)
Master of Social Sciences by research
Ph.D. by research
What is it about
The Department offers modules in comparative politics, international relations, political theory, and public administration. The Department is particularly strong in the study of Asian politics. Students follow general introductory modules in political science, research methodology, and Singapore politics. Those interested in contemporary international relations can then opt for modules on international politics, regionalism and international organizations, the international political economy, and the foreign policies of regions as well as countries like China, Japan, and India. Those who wish to specialize in comparative politics might choose to read modules on the politics of both maritime and mainland Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia, Europe, and the United States. Some of these modules focus on topics like ethnic and racial politics, women in politics, and political parties. Students who want to specialize in political theory may choose modules on classical, modern, and postmodern political thought, through which they will encounter the great thinkers in both the ‘Western’ as well as ‘Eastern’ traditions. Students contemplating a career in public administration might opt for modules on organizational theory in public administration, public personnel administration, and comparative public administration of industrial states. Students can also choose from a growing number of advanced modules of a more interdisciplinary character that deal, for example, with topics like art, popular culture, international communications, and political humour.
The Department offers graduate degrees - M.Soc.Sci. and Ph.D. - mainly by research. The graduate programme is particularly strong in the areas of East and Southeast Asia. The Department is expanding the graduate programme and welcomes qualified international graduate students to apply.
The Department aims to produce knowledgeable, broad-minded, and sophisticated students who can examine both national and international political issues objectively, critically, and from different perspectives. Our students play a vital and integral role in the life of the Department, actively volunteering to take up responsibilities in Department committees, projects, events, and a successful peer mentorship programme.
As part of its efforts to provide sound career guidance, the Department launched its first student internship programme in May 1993. This joint effort with the Public Service Division provides an opportunity for students to perform challenging and interesting professional duties in the Singapore Civil Service. This enables them to acquire practical knowledge and worthwhile experience of government administration, and to consider the possibility of a future career in the Singapore Civil Service. In May 2004, the Department expanded the programme to include non-governmental organizations and the private sector. The expanded internship programme is aimed at demonstrating how undergraduate training in Political Science (and, in particular, finely honed research skills) can open up a range of career options not limited to the governmental sector.
Graduates from the Department of Political Science have good career opportunities both in the public and private sectors. Several government ministries (especially Defence; Education; Foreign Affairs; and Information, Communications and the Arts) and the local mass media (especially Mediacorp and The Straits Times) have traditionally been very interested in recruiting graduates from the Department. Political Science graduates can also be found in banks, public relations firms, and multinational corporations. Since the discipline offers wide-ranging knowledge on regional and international events and developments, a degree holder in Political Science is much sought after.