Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Environmental Earth Systems Science and Public Policy and Global Affairs (ESPP)

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Students admitted to this multidisciplinary course will develop a strong background in quantitative environmental earth systems science and communication, public affairs, and international relations. The joint programme will give students the opportunity to build complementary skills in leadership, group work, and innovative problem-solving, empowering the next generation of public policy makers with the tools required to face the challenges of today’s rapidly changing world.

The combination of Environmental Earth Systems Science (Society and the Earth System specialisation) with Public Policy and Global Affairs is a natural choice from the Asian School of the Environment as the Society and Earth System specialisation already links well with the major in Public Policy and Global Affairs in the School of Social Sciences.

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Earth Systems Science and Public Policy and Global Affairs programme accepts ‘A’ Level, IB, NUSHS Diploma, Polytechnic Diploma and other equivalent international qualifications on a selective basis. All candidates with strong academic potential who satisfy minimum subject requirements as well as the general admission requirements set by NTU will be considered.

A-Level Students:

  • H1 Level Pass in Mathematics AND
  • H2 Level Pass in Physics/Chemistry/Biology/Economics/Computing
  • A good grade in General Paper/Knowledge & Inquiry/H1 Level History/English Literature/Geography

IB Diploma Students:

  • Mathematics at Standard Level AND
  • Physics/Chemistry/Biology/Economics/Computer Science at Higher Level
  • A good grade in English at Standard Level

International and Other Qualifications:

  • Mathematics at O Level/Junior High School and equivalent AND
  • Physics/Chemistry/Biology/Economics at Senior High School
  • A good grade in General Paper/English at Senior High School

NUS High School Diploma:

  • Major CAP of 2.0 in Mathematics AND
  • Major CAP of 2.0 in Physics/Chemistry/Biology
  • Good overall CAP in English Language

Polytechnic Diploma:

  • Please visit us on the web to learn which polytechnic diplomas are eligible for our programme

The full ESPP Curriculum can be found here


Possible career options:
  • Government roles – planning, policy, and management
  • Foreign and domestic policy
  • Science communications
  • Environmental consulting
  • Environmental media and journalism
  • Academic research
  • Education
  • Non-government organisations

 

Graduates from this double major programme will also have the opportunity to choose careers with employers bridging science, business and policy:

  • Reinsurance companies, who rely on a balance of earth science data and policy intuition to help assess long-term risk.
  • International governance, such as the World Bank, UNESCO and World Food Agency who seek graduates with quantitative knowledge about the science underlying fundamental changes in policy around the world.
  • Businesses or corporations that value technical knowledge, creative problem solving and leadership ability when dealing with changing environmental policy and the global move towards improved global sustainability practices.

What's this ESPP programme about?

This double degree programme is a combination of Environmental Earth Systems Science (Society and the Earth System specialisation) with Public Policy and Global Affairs. This joint programme with the School of Social Sciences offers students the opportunity to build complementary skills in leadership, group work, and innovative problem-solving. With this, our students will be equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to be the next generation of public policymakers, who are empowered to face the challenges of today’s rapidly changing world.

Students admitted to this multidisciplinary programme will develop a strong background in quantitative environmental earth systems science and communication, public affairs, and international relations.

The Asian School of the Environment (ASE) admits up to 50-60 students per year, as we offer a field course after the first year, where all students will spend 2 weeks working on environmental problems in Bali.

There are other opportunities for field courses. We also encourage students to conduct a semester of study at another university. In their final year, students can choose to do a final year research project in close collaboration with a faculty member.

 

How is this programme different from Engineering?

Instead of focusing on engineering solutions, environmental earth systems scientists view problems more holistically as a scientist and coupled with a double degree in Public Policy and Global Affairs, students will be able to work closely with the government on public policy on such matters. Students may also be working closely with the media to advocate or educate the public on this.

For instance, flooding on Orchard Road is more than an engineering problem. Environmental Earth system scientists look at the subsurface and the urban landscape to understand the root causes of problems. They can collaborate with engineers and city planners to generate solutions that work. With their knowledge of public policy and global affairs, they could play a part in policy planning within the public sector or work with the media to advocate or educate the public on the cause of flooding on Orchard Road.

 

How do I get accepted?

We admit 50-60 students or less each year into ASE, depending on the number of applicants. Admission is based on A-Levels/Poly/IB results and an in-person interview (refer to the Admissions page for details). We occasionally admit students with exceptional alternative backgrounds that are relevant to the programme.

 

I really like this programme, but I am worried about the admission process. Should I apply?

If you feel strongly that this is the right programme for you, we encourage you to apply. We have included the interview in the student selection process because we want to ensure that the students in the programme are passionate about the Earth and the environment and public policy and global affairs. If you are concerned about your academic background, we encourage you to prepare for the interview. With this, you will be able to convey to the panel your passion for the programme and other qualities that you possess that make you a strong candidate.

 

Do I need to have a science and public policy and global affairs background to get accepted?

Ideally, students who apply would have a solid background in maths, sciences, and English/General Paper. However, if you are a strong student and are interested in the programme, we encourage you to apply.

We want you to be prepared – the course will be challenging if you do not have a background in maths and sciences. Officially, some of the core courses require A level or H2 level maths or equivalent as prerequisites. Although students do enrol in these courses who do not meet these requirements, this does mean that these courses would likely be challenging for you and would require significant effort. Nevertheless, NTU offers resources for students who require help, and it will be important to line up a study group and these types of resources before you begin the courses. Hopefully, other students in the E2S2 programme could also be a good resource for you. Through our major advising programme, we will help you to structure your studies, so your maths and sciences are spread out, and you will not be too overwhelmed.

If you want to take on these challenges, you will have to be ready in the interview to convince us that you have thought through these challenges and are prepared to meet them.

 

Do I need to have a geography background to get accepted?

Apart from public policy and global affairs related courses, the programme covers similar topics to geography, but to us, the maths and sciences background is more important than a background in geography. However, your geography studies are a great way to demonstrate an interest in our type of programme, and your enthusiasm for geography may help you express why you are interested in the programme in your interview.

 

What will the interview be like?

We encourage you to look forward to your interview experience. It is a chance for you to understand our programme better and for you to highlight the qualities that make you competitive for admission. Before your interview, you will be placed in a group with other students and will have a chance to learn more about the programme, take a quick tour of our facilities, and ask any questions you’d like before your interview. For the interview, you will meet with a panel of our faculty. The purpose of the interview is for us to get to know you better, so most questions will probably centre on your interests, goals, and strengths. Before the interview, we suggest that you think about what you’d like to highlight to us in your interview, but don’t worry about preparing too much.

 

I am interested in transferring to this programme from another. Is it possible?

Yes! We welcome students from other disciplines who think they are more suited to the Environmental Earth Systems Science and Public Policy and Global Affairs programme. Depending on the courses you have already taken at university, it may be possible to finish your studies in three years. However, we suggest that you plan to take four years to complete the programme to take full advantage of opportunities in the field, study abroad, and conduct an internship or senior research project. Please note that the programme remains selective for transfer students. Our advice is to keep your grades up as much as possible in your current major programme. If you demonstrate that you can succeed at university, you will have a better chance of being admitted to our programme.

Once you are ready to transfer programmes, please visit the Change of Programme website to learn more. Please work with Academic Services and the Undergraduate Academic Officer to coordinate the timing of your application. For us, it is often best if the Change of Programme applications come during the application period for Poly and A-level students.