Social Sciences

Sociology

Administration

Division 
Division of Social Sciences

Department/Programme 
Department of Sociology

Programmes


Undergraduate

Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours) in Sociology

Minor in Sociology (with effect from AY2007-08)


Graduate

Master of Social Sciences by research
Ph.D. by research


What is it about

The Department of Sociology offers an undergraduate programme leading to the award of B.A. or B.Soc.Sci.(Hons.) and two graduate programmes by research (M.Soc.Sci. and Ph.D. degress). Graduates of the Department are trained to analyze and critique the social dimension applicable to various aspects of individual and group behaviour in different social settings and contexts.

The Department offers a comprehensive curriculum comprising a rich diversity of modules focusing on exciting contemporary issues, ranging from popular culture, media and communications, race and ethnic relations, gender and sexuality, health, religion, law and deviance. These modules help students develop a good understanding of sociology and learn how it can be used to analyse and explain a broad spectrum of social phenomena. Students also acquire critical thinking, analytical and basic research skills through fieldwork, internships, and participation in research projects supervised by professors.

All sociology students in the undergraduate programme take modules in theory, research methods (including computer applications in the social sciences), and several substantive areas (stratification, social psychology, family, religion, politics, gender, education, population and organizations). Students are usually evaluated on the basis of written assignments or project work as well as performance in the end-of-semester examination.


Unique Programmes

Our Department is one of the largest in the FASS, with over 30 faculty members. Our research and teaching interests are also ranging broad. From its earliest beginnings, the Department has combined the disciplines of Sociology and anthropology. Students can thus benefit from learning a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches within both disciplines. 

While many of our faculty specialize on Singapore society, a number of others are engaged in research on other Southeast Asian countries, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Burma, Thailand and Vietnam. Teaching and research about the political sociology and anthropology of the Southeast Asian region as a whole, as well as Singapore itself, is thus one of our major strengths.

Our undergraduate courses cover a wide range of topics designed not only to give students a solid grounding in sociological and anthropological ways of thinking, but to provoke them to apply these to all kinds of social problems and taken-for-granted aspects of everyday life, including the world of work, gender and the body, the changing family, popular culture, health and illness, urbanization crime and deviance, the role of the emotions in social life, science and technology in society, human rights, globalization, and the analysis of visual media. Our goal is to enrich the way you see the world, and your understanding of your own social life and experience!


Career Prospects

The undergraduate programme in sociology trains students to develop useful conceptual frameworks for analyzing and understanding social behaviour and organization. It also provides basic training in social research. Sociology graduates are therefore suitable for a wide range of occupations, in administration, human resource management, media and public relations, community service, information and research, general management, marketing, uniformed services among others. Many sociology alumni have distinguished themselves in high prestige careers, such as survey researchers, market analysts, public relations specialists, journalists, broadcasters, administrators, and human resource practitioners.

Social Work

Administration

Division 
Division of Social Sciences

Department/Programme 
Department of Social Work

Programmes


Undergraduate

Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours) in Social Work

Minor in Human Services (with effect from AY2007-08)


Graduate

Graduate Diploma in Social Work 
Master of Social Sciences (Social Work) by coursework 
Master of Social Sciences by research
Ph.D. by research


What is it about

The main objective of the undergraduate General and Honours degree programme offered by the Department of Social Work is to equip its graduates for entry into the social work profession at the direct-service level. The Department's emphasis is on the development of generic clinical expertise.

However, many new graduates are also employed to pioneer professional social work in new settings where employers look to them to plan and implement innovative programmes. This requires knowledge and skills such as social policy analysis and organizational planning, non-profit agency management, social entrepreneurship, inter-organizational relationship building, resource mobilization and community networking. Module contents reflecting such knowledge and skills are incorporated into the curriculum.

Students are exposed to social service visits, skills laboratory training, fieldwork placements and module projects, among other applied learning methods. Field practice is a compulsory component in Social Work education and skills training. As preparation for entry into field practice, students are encouraged to undertake voluntary work in a social service agency.

Besides the undergraduate degree, Social Work graduate education at NUS is also available, both by coursework and by research.

The Masters and PhD degrees offer graduate students, depending on the course they are enrolled in, a range of modules for advanced direct and indirect social work practice that includes clinical social work intervention with specific client groups, policy analysis and social planning, agency management and programme development, social work research and prgramme evaluation. In addition, the Graduate Diploma in Social Work, also enables non-social work degree graduates to pursue professional social work education.

The course provides understanding of the use of theoretical frameworks as the basis for social intervention, through exposing students to a wide range of social science theory; a structure for students to learn through classroom work, interpersonal skills training and 48 supervised field practice; opportunities for students to be analytical in dealing with social issues; an environment suitable for the development of beginning expertise in working with people, in organizational planning, in human resource management and in research. The practice skills component means that social work makes rather special demands on students. However the student who is sensitive to society's problems, and is committed enough to want to do something about them will find the programme very rewarding. Those who graduate with an Honours in Social Work would have been trained in advanced social work practice and management skills to equip them for supervisory and administrative positions in human service and other organizations.


Unique Programmes

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Career Prospects

In recent years, a wide range of challenging professional job opportunities has opened up for social work graduates. Organizations that employ social workers include the following:

  • Government Ministries -- Community Development, Youth and Sports; Defence; Education; Health and Home Affairs;
  • National Council of Social Service (which includes the Community Chest and the Social Service Training Institute);
  • People's Association, Community Development Councils and Constituency Secretariats; the National Youth Council;
  • National Trades Union Congress;
  • family service centres;
  • child care and development centres;
  • hospitals and health care centres;
  • prisons, drug rehabilitation centres and halfway houses; and
  • other people-helping agencies serving families, children, youth, people with disabilities and older persons. In addition, there are openings for social work graduates in areas such as social enterprises, industrial labour relations, human resource management, staff training, organizational development and consultancy, mass communication and human relations.

Psychology

Administration

Division 
Division of Social Sciences

Department/Programme 
Department of Psychology

Programmes


Undergraduate

Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours) in Psychology

Minor in Psychology (with effect from AY2007-08)


Graduate

Master of Social Sciences by research
Ph.D. by research

Master of Psychology (Clinical) Program


What is it about

The objective of the Psychology programme at the B.A. level is to provide a comprehensive basic academic grounding in psychology. The programme aims to equip students with knowledge in the key areas of psychology (such as human biological processes, developmental processes, social processes, cognitive processes, mental health and adjustment of individuals) as well as an understanding of the applications of psychology. It also develops skills for undertaking studies of behaviour, including statistical skills and the use of computers for data analyses.

Among the central topics and questions that the programme considers are 

  • Biological Psychology - What are the biological bases of our behaviours?
  • Cognitive Psychology - How do we know about the world and ourselves?
  • Abnormal Psychology - What are the nature and causes of abnormal behaviour?
  • Developmental Psychology - What happens as we grow from birth through childhood into adulthood and then into old age?
  • Social Psychology - How does interaction with others and groups influence our behaviour?
  • Empirical Methods - How can we obtain data about psychologically interesting phenomena and how should these data be analysed and reported?

The programme seeks to provide sufficient rigour and coverage so that students can either take on psychology-related vocations or pursue graduate training in psychology when they graduate. Toward this end students undertake laboratory/practical work and are encouraged to enquire through empirical study rather than simply to through reading or classroom instruction.

Master of Social Sciences and Ph.D. by research programmes are offered by the department. We have a wide scope of research areas for prospective candidates including

  • Cardiovascular psychophysiology
  • Genetic and psychosocial factors in coronary heart disease
  • Cognitive neuroscience of learning and memory
  • Selective attention
  • Visual perception
  • Biological bases of schizophrenia and depression
  • Interpersonal and group relations
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Cross-linguistic comparisons of literacy development
  • Bilingual language development in young children
  • Adolescent social development
  • Parents' stress and adaptation to paediatric illness in Singapore

These research areas tend to focus around several labs to which students may be attached in order to develop their research interests and expertise:

  • Cardiovascular Psychophysiology Lab
  • Functional Brain Imaging Lab
  • Memory & Speech Lab
  • Psycholinguistics Lab
  • Perception and Attention Lab

Prospective candidates with a good honours degree in psychology can apply for graduate training and they can undertake research work under the supervision of an assigned academic staff. Several scholarships are available for outstanding scholars for both Masters and Doctoral candidates.


Unique Programmes

Psychology is an empirical discipline and the Department places heavy emphasis on developing students' empirical skills. In 2003, the Department introduced a new type of module-the laboratory module-for the specific purpose of equipping students with the necessary know-how to conduct psychological studies in specific fields (such as cognitive psychology, social psychology, and developmental psychology). The laboratory modules are offered at the more advanced level and class size is deliberately kept small to ensure that students get the necessary attention and exposure in learning particular empirical techniques.


Career Prospects

Virtually all employment settings involve interaction with others. As such an understanding of how the mind functions and of interpersonal relationships can be an advantage. Psychology graduates from the Department are employed in a variety of settings where such psychological skills and understanding can be put to good use - often in management /leadership roles.

Those who go on to do Honours in Psychology are sought after in employment settings where their potential as future professional psychologists is of particular interest to employers. Psychologists in Singapore are employed in various settings which include MINDEF, MCYS, MOE, MOH, ITE, SPRING Singapore, a number of voluntary social service organizations, as well as in consultancy firms and research organizations.

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
  • Tel: +65 6516 6133
  • Email: fashelp@nus.edu.sg
  • Fax: +65 6777 0751
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