Interdisciplinary Learning

Our interdisciplinary pillar will consist of:

  • New interdisciplinary collaborative core courses mandatory in undergraduate programmes;
  • Postgraduate Transferable Skills Series;
  • New interdisciplinary programmes;
  • Enhanced interdisciplinary research.

New Interdisciplinary Collaborative Core (ICC) Requirement

NTU will introduce a new interdisciplinary collaborative core (ICC) requirement in the undergraduate curriculum from the AY2021 intake.  

7 new core courses introduced in the ICC are curated to focus on either key transferable skills or global challenges. These courses are developed by faculty of diverse disciplinary backgrounds and integrated for issues to be understood from various perspectives.

Scheduled over the first two years of study, there will be deliberate mixing of students from different disciplines and team-based projects or assignments in these ICC courses to immerse students early in interdisciplinarity learning.

The ICC courses will adopt the flipped classroom and collaborative learning, where the main content of each course will be provided to students before classes for self-study, so that they can engage in interdisciplinary group-based learning activities in the classroom to reinforce the concepts.

What are the 7 ICC Core Courses?

7 ICC Core Courses

Postgraduate Transferable Skills Series (TSS)

NTU will roll out the Transferable Skills Series (TSS) to all postgraduate research students for their further professional development and personal growth in line with the future-ready graduates vision.

This is in the form of workshops or webinars based on four identified themes of career preparation, communication, competencies and wellbeing. Graduate students are free to opt in for these weekly complimentary TSS offerings.

The Graduate College has initiated the communication skills training programmes which include the compulsory co-curricula of three-minute thesis presentation and the compulsory communication courses implemented through NTU Language and Communication Centre and the National Institute of Education (NIE).

Postgraduate Career Coaching

In postgraduate career development, the Graduate College will organise strengths-based coaching for career success and graduate leadership programmes for postgraduate students. Graduate students can discover their strengths and cultivate self-leadership and be prepared for the workforce.

In partnership with NTU Career Attachment Office, postgraduate students will be offered specially curated career preparation skillsets and job recommendations through data analytics.

New Interdisciplinary Major Programmes

NTU has a wide range of undergraduate degree programmes, with diverse and flexible options available to do a single major, double majors, double degrees, second major and minor. We also have well-established premier scholars programmes (Renaissance Engineering Programme, University Scholars Programme, CN Yang Scholar Programme, NTU-NIE Teaching Scholars Programme) which are interdisciplinary in nature. The range of undergraduate programmes will be further enriched with the introduction of the following new interdisciplinary major programmes in AY2021:

  • Double Degree in Bachelor of Accountancy and Bachelor of Science in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence
  • Bachelor of Science programme in Economics and Data Science
  • Double Major Bachelor of Arts programmes:
    • Linguistics & Multilingual Studies and Philosophy
    • Linguistics & Multilingual Studies and English
    • History and Linguistics & Multilingual Studies
    • Chinese and Linguistics & Multilingual Studies
    • English and Philosophy
    • Philosophy and History
    • Philosophy and Chinese
    • English and History
    • Chinese and English
    • History and Chinese

Enhanced Interdisciplinary Research

Undergraduate Education will be further interwoven with research to leverage upon the synergy between them, such as more student internship placements in university-based corporate laboratories, and undergraduate research projects such as Final Year Projects or Undergraduate Research Experience on Campus (URECA) in pan-university research labs, centres and institutes. These projects will be interdisciplinary in nature to reflect real-world problems that need to be solved, and students will work in interdisciplinary teams.

For postgraduate education, the Interdisciplinary Graduate Programme (IGP) offers PhD students with opportunities to pursue multi- and inter- disciplinary PhD research programmes in line with NTU2025 strategic research directions. In keeping with global trends and needs, the university will be introducing new PhD programmes in Neuroscience and Artificial Intelligence-X (AI-X) under IGP in AY2020 and AY2021 respectively. In addition, IGP will be partnering with Nanyang Institute of Science and Technology for Humanities (NISTH) in providing more educational programmes on the interface of STEM and non-STEM opportunities for our graduate students.

Building on our success of joint / dual PhD programmes with overseas universities, NTU will initiate the development of joint supervision programmes with both local and overseas universities. The joint supervision programmes provide NTU faculty and graduate students with diversified research resources and enriched synergistic research outcomes. With the aim of integrating learning, research and innovation, NTU plans to intensify its efforts on developing joint PhDs with corporations and institutions – locally and overseas, such as the Alibaba-Interdisciplinary Graduate Programme.