I am interested in postgraduate education. May I find out the admissions criteria?
The School of Social Sciences offers graduate education by research in four subject areas, namely Economics, Sociology, Public Policy & Global Affairs, and Psychology. All subjects are offered on Full-Time and Part-Time basis. Masters is offered only by Sociology and Psychology.
Public Policy & Global Affairs
M.A. & Ph.D.
M.A. & Ph.D.
Please visit our website by clicking here for the respective subjects’ admission criteria.
I would like to apply for a scholarship. How should I go about doing so?
NTU offers several scholarships.
You should indicate your preference for the Scholarship for which you meet the criteria in the online application for admission.
What are the chances of applicants successfully being enrolled into School of Social Sciences with a scholarship?
Admission to the School of Social Sciences is highly competitive. The application process is rigorous and candidates are reviewed holistically. Outstanding candidates receive the scholarship based on their academic performance and quality of the research proposal.
I would like to take up graduate studies as a part-time student. How much are the tuition fees?
The tuition fee for a part-time or full-time student is the same, however, it differs according to nationality. Please click here for more information.
Please also note that tuition fees are revised annually.
I am interested in multidisciplinary research – does the School of Social Sciences allow this?
The School of Social Sciences comes under the auspices of the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (CoHASS), which also houses the School of Humanities, School of Art, Design and Media and the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information. There are many subjects offered in CoHASS and the research is rich and diverse. Candidates interested in multidisciplinary research should interact with the Graduate Coordinator from the subject/School to find out where their interest may be best served.
Co-supervision is permitted across disciplines as such candidates should contact the relevant faculty members to ascertain their willingness to supervise their research prior to applying for admission.
What’s next after accepting the offer?
Please read through the offer letter carefully as well as the award (scholarship) letter (if applicable) for the necessary administrative matters you need to attend to. Students are required to mainly (1) complete a medical screening* which is applicable to International Students only, and (2) make an appointment for matriculation. All instructions are found in the offer letter.
The School will arrange for an Orientation for all its new students for which attendance is compulsory.
*Medical has to be done in Singapore. As it takes 5 days for the report to be ready, students should plan to arrive in Singapore earlier. Matriculation cannot be completed without the medical report.
What are the requirements for a M.A. or Ph.D.?
For the M.A. or Ph.D. by research, apart from the coursework requirements and thesis submission, students generally have to complete other requirements as charted below. Please refer to the relevant subject’s website for any other specific requirements.
When will I receive my first stipend?
The first stipend is generally paid within 6 weeks from the start of your candidature.
What is the maximum time that I can take to submit my thesis?
The maximum candidature for M.A. and Ph.D. students is tabled below.
Prior to AY2020/21
Cohort 2020 and onwards
Important: Do bear in mind that the Ph.D. scholarship (NPGS/RSS) covers four years of tuition fees and stipend and M.A. for two. The scholarship expires at the end of this period. You may have to self-finance your studies, if you are extending your thesis submission beyond the scholarship period.
I do not think I can submit my thesis by the end of my maximum candidature. – What should I do?
An extension of candidature request can be submitted for consideration and it is subject to approval.
I would like to convert my status from full-time student to part-time due to family commitments, how should I go about this?
You may apply for conversion of candidature after consulting with your supervisor.
Please note that if you are on scholarship, it may be terminated and repayment to the university may be required.
As there will be implications to the requirements that you will have to fulfil, you are encouraged to speak to the Graduate Education Team.
How do I update my address with University?
You can update your personal particulars or bank details via the Student Intranet.
What courses am I supposed to take?
M.A. students are required to complete 3 courses and Ph.D. to 6.
Every subject (Economics, Psychology, Public Policy & Global Affairs, and Sociology) has its own coursework requirements. Students should check the respective website or speak to their supervisor on this matter.
When does course registration take place?
Each academic year begins in July or August and ends in May of the following year and comprises of two semesters for which the course registration periods are as follows:
Course Registration Periods
1. July - For current students only
January - For current and new students
Instructions on Course Registration and Schedule can be found at the Student Intranet.
Do consult your Supervisor, Graduate Co-ordinator or the Graduate Education Team should you require any clarification for matters pertaining to course registration.
After you have registered for the courses, do attend the classes first even though you are placed on the waiting list till approval from the Office of Academic Services is received. Approval comes through at the end of each of the course registration period.
How many courses can I register for in one semester?
Academic workload in NTU is measured by Academic Units (AU). One AU is equivalent to 13 teaching hours.
M.A. students at SSS must complete 9 AUs and Ph.D. 18 AUs. Coursework should be completed before the Confirmation of Candidature or Qualifying Examination.
Generally the maximum number of courses that can be registered per term is 9 AUs (3 courses) for M.A. students and 15 AUs (5 courses) for Ph.D. students.
How long should I take to complete the courses?
For M.A. students (full-time and part-time) the three courses should be completed within 12 months from the start of your candidature.
For Ph.D. full-time students the six courses should be completed within 18 months from the start of your candidature (with the exception of Economics students who have to complete their coursework within 12 months).
For part-time Ph.D. students the six courses should be completed within 24 months from the start of your candidature.
I have registered for some modules. However, I have been placed on the waiting list. What should I do?
Once the Office of Academic Services approves all course registration (occurs at the end of each course registration period), you will be placed on the confirmed class list. You may proceed to attend the classes first even though you are on the waiting list.
May I audit a course?
Students may audit courses subject to the approval of the instructor. Audited courses are not reflected in the transcript. Approval from the course instructor can be obtained via email. In your email, do include a brief description of yourself and an explanation as to why you would like to audit the class
How can I find out the exam schedule for the courses?
The graduate courses offered by the School of Social Sciences are all 100% continuous assessment (CA) based as such there is no final sit down examination.
May I take additional courses?
Students are allowed to register for additional courses up to a maximum of two. Do discuss with your Supervisor first. Additional courses will be reflected in your transcript and will have an impact on your CGPA.
What are HWG702, HWG703? Are they compulsory?
HWG702 University Teaching For Teaching Assistants module is administered by the Teaching, Learning and Pedagogy Department. All full-time Ph.D. students are required to complete this course unless exempted. The Graduate Education Office will communicate with the students on this matter.
HWG703 Graduate English is applicable to full-time Ph.D. students unless exempted.
Request for exemptions are to be sent to the Graduate Education Office at [email protected] for consideration.
What is the Communications/Writing Programme? Is it compulsory?
Communications/Writing Programme is part of the University’s initiative to enhance the transferable skills of its Ph.D. students. These courses are mandatory for Cohort 2019 and onwards. Students must complete a total of 39 hours before they graduate.
The courses offered by CoHASS are:
- HWG706 Academic Publishing (19.5 hours)
- HWG705 The Craft of Academic Writing (19.5 hours)
- A9107 Speaking Academia (19.5 hours)
These courses may be taken by current students as well.
How do I apply for course exemption?
You may request for exemptions up to a maximum of 1 course (3AUs) for M.A. and 3 courses (9AUs) for Ph.D. Course exemptions are granted on the basis that you have taken similar courses and obtained a good grade. If your request for exemption of course is approved, you are not required to make up for the credits.
If I would like to withdraw from a course, how should I go about doing so?
Students may withdraw from a course online if it is still within the course registration period.
Should a student wish to withdraw after the course registration period is over, he/she will have to inform the Graduate Education Office on the withdrawal request. A ‘W’ grade will be reflected in the transcript.
When is the release of results?
Results will be released in January for the August semester (previous year) and June for Jan semester. Students will be notified via email by the Office of Academic Services when the results are released.
How do I appeal for review of results?
Should you wish to review your results, please submit your request online via the Student Intranet.
What is the difference between the confirmation exercise and qualifying examination?
All students will have their candidature confirmed if they make satisfactory progress.
M.A. students go through the Confirmation of Candidature Exercise at the 12-month milestone. At this point, they should have completed the coursework requirements and obtained a minimum CGPA of 3.00 (unless otherwise stated in their scholarship award letter).
The Qualifying Examination is compulsory for all Ph.D. students. Students preparing for the QE must submit a report and make a presentation before a panel. If found satisfactory, Ph.D. students will be allowed to progress on with their research and receive an increase in the stipend as reflected in their Offer Letter (May not be applicable to PI grants or other forms of scholarship).
Ph.D. full-time students are to clear their QE within 18 months. Economics students have a tradition of clearing their QE within 12 months from the start of their candidature. Part time students can take up to 24 months.
What are the requirements of QE?
Ph.D. students are required to clear the Qualifying Examination at the 18-month milestone (12 for Economics Students and 24 for PT students). They should have completed their coursework requirements and obtained a CPGA of at least 3.50 (unless otherwise stated in their scholarship award letter). They should also have completed the HWG702 University Teaching for Teaching Assistants and Research Integrity Course prior to embarking on the QE.
Please refer to the Student Handbook for more information.
I am a Ph.D. full time student. However, I have yet to complete the HWG702. May I still proceed with my QE?
Yes, you may proceed with the QE. However, students who have not completed HWG702 University Teaching for Teaching Assistants will not have their stipend increased.
I am not able to meet the recommended timeline for my QE and would like to postpone it. What should I do?
Students should approach their supervisor and consult them on their readiness for the QE. If a longer period is required for preparation the student may send the request to the GE Office at [email protected].
Please note that the stipend will stop if the student does not complete the QE by the specified deadline.
Stipends will resume once the QE has been cleared. Back payment of stipend is capped at a maximum of 6 months.
What happens if I fail my QE?
Students will be provided a second opportunity to undertake their QE within the next two months. In the event a student fails the QE a second time they may be advised to reconsider continuing their studies or to convert to the M.A. programme if feasible.
Do stipends get stopped?
Yes, if a student’s performance is not satisfactory the stipend will be stopped until such a time that the student shows progress.
As a graduate student, do I have any leave? How can I go about applying?
All full-time graduate research students may apply up to 21 working days of vacation leave in a calendar year, subject to approval. The vacation leave is to be applied via the Student Intranet. Term break is not applicable to M.A. and Ph.D. students (by research).
How do I apply for leave of absence?
You can apply for leave via the Research Student Leave System.
All applications are subject to approval. Students are reminded to keep their supervisors informed. In the event you are tutoring a class, please keep the instructors informed.
1. Graduate students can apply for leave of absence after their 21 working days of vacation leave has been consumed.
2. For male Singapore citizens going for reservist/in-camp training, they are to apply for leave via the Research Student Leave System and select ‘Reservist/In-Camp Training’ as the leave reason.
3. The leave of absence taken will be counted towards the maximum period of candidature and period of scholarship.
Students can refer to the Leave Policy available at the Research Student Leave System.
What is TAC and the purpose of forming one?
The Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC) plays an invaluable role in providing critical guidance to Ph.D. students during their candidature. The TAC is formed within 8 months from the start of their candidature in consultation with the supervisor and comprises of the Supervisor, Co-Supervisor (optional), TAC Member 1 and Member 2.
Can members within the TAC be changed?
Yes, the TAC composition can be revised. Do consult your supervisor and discuss the replacement with the respective TAC. When all parties are agreeable, please inform the Graduate Education Office via email to [email protected] with the relevant consents.
Due to a change in research topic, I would need to work with another Supervisor. How do I go about seeking a new supervisor?
Students are required to consult their supervisor on this matter and solicit for the new/replacement supervisor on their own. On relevant parties (Subject’s Graduate Coordinator and Graduate Education Office) are to be kept informed accordingly.
My peer does not seem to be coping well with his research and he seems overwhelmed by anxiety to the extent that it is affecting his daily life. Where can he get help?
The school provides pastoral care for the students. Please contact Ms Kayathri d/o Veerapandian at [email protected] as soon as possible.
All information will be kept confidential.
Do also check out the counselling services offered by the University Student Wellbeing Centre.
I have decided to withdraw from my studies. Please advise on the withdrawal procedures.
Withdrawal request can be submitted via the ‘Withdrawal from University’ system available via the Student Intranet. Prior to submitting your request online, do inform your Supervisor and the Graduate Education Office about your decision. If you are a new student and have not secured a supervisor, do inform the Graduate Coordinator. Tuition Fee may still be payable and stipend to be paid back to the University.
Does the seminar attendance requirement apply to me?
All students, regardless of part-time or full-time study are required to fulfil the seminar requirement.
Students have to fulfil 10 seminars per academic year and submit their attendance to the AC(GE) office at the end of every semester.
What is the Graduate Assistantship Programme?
The Graduate Assistantship Programme (GAP) is a set of hours divided into Teaching, Research and Development that recipients of the MOE funded scholarships (RSS, NPGS, Tier 2 Grant) have to fulfil as a form of ‘In-Service Obligation’. These hours have to be fulfilled at least 6 months before graduation.
Students have to track the completion of the GAP and update the Graduate Education Office every semester.
Details can be found in your offer letter.
A PI would like to employ me for part-time research work. How should I apply for this?
Students are to be mindful of their own schedule in terms of the number of GAP hours they are required to fulfil, coursework requirements, qualifying examination and research for their thesis before taking up any research work with remuneration.
For Singaporean student, please complete the Part Time Work Application Form and send your request to [email protected].
For full time international student, please refer to the Part Time Employment website for information on the procedures, eligibility and terms and conditions.
Important: Any work with remuneration cannot be clocked under GAP.
How do I know what are the activities that can be clocked under the Development section for GAP?
Approval from AC(GE) will need to be obtained before fulfilling activities under the Development section and all requests are assessed on a case by case basis. Please send your request to the Graduate Education Office: [email protected].
Will the GAP hours remain the same if I convert my candidature from M.A. to Ph.D.?
GAP hours will be recomputed accordingly when a student makes changes to his/her candidature and will be informed on the balance hours to be fulfilled.
I want to attend a conference overseas. Is there any financial support I can get from the School?
Students are encouraged to participate in conferences. The School provides funding for students who present their papers at such conferences. Request for financial support should be submitted to the Graduate Education Office via email (AC-SSS-GE.ntu.edu.sg) or hardcopy with the relevant supporting documents at least 2 weeks before departure (students are encouraged to submit as early as possible).
Support is also provided to students who have successfully found a research attachment in an overseas institute. It has a similar application process as the overseas conferences.
Outcome of funding request is transmitted via email and is on reimbursement basis. Instructions on how to obtain reimbursement for expenses incurred (Airfare, Subsistence and Conference Application Fee) will be included in the email.
I have returned from my conference. How do I claim reimbursement for my expenses?
Please refer to the approval email and submit your claims via the (ICS) Student system.
The School has a designated office space for its graduate students and comes with printing, scanning and copying facilities.
There is an error message when I try to enter the Office even after I’ve keyed in my password.
Please proceed to the Coding Centre located at NS1-B1-26 in the North Academic Complex to seek assistance.
Will my participation in the local exchange programme be reflected in my transcript? Will the credits completed during exchange be transferred to NTU?
Credit transfer is done for students who attended the exchange and is reflected in their transcript.
If I have attended the exchange programme once, may I still apply to attend another one?
Preference will be given to students who have not participated in an exchange. However, repeated applications will be considered subject to vacancy and availability of funds.
I am a full time MA/PhD student on scholarship. May I apply for part time employment?
Students may apply for part-time work (capped at 16 hours/week) subject to approval by the University. Students are encouraged to seek part time employment after they have cleared their Confirmation Exercise (for MA students) Qualifying Examination (for PhD students). Students who are required to fulfil the Graduate Assistantship Programme (GAP) are to complete it as well before applying for part time employment.
I would like to work part-time but I understand as an international student there is a maximum number of hours I can work per week.
International students are allowed to work 16 hours per week.
How do I submit my application for part-time work application?
For international students who would like to apply for part-time work application under a faculty or supervisor’s grant, please send your request to [email protected].
For part-time work application outside of NTU, International Students should apply via the Part Time Employment Application System.
For Singaporean students, please inform the Graduate Education Office on your intention to work part time to [email protected].
How do I know if my part time work application has been approved/rejected?
You will be notified by OneStop@SAC or the School administrator via email.
What should I take note of before I submit my thesis?
Students are to note that the thesis has to be checked by the AC(GE) office before it is submitted online. Time has to be planned out to accommodate this check.
- Supervisor & TAC Endorsement:
Students must receive the supervisor’s clearance to submit the thesis. For Ph.D. students the Thesis Advisory Committee’s endorsement must be obtained as well.
A student’s thesis for examination must be preceded with a Title Page, Statement of Originality, Supervisor Declaration Statement, Authorship Attribution Statement, Acknowledgements, Table of Contents and Summary; all of which must be bound with the thesis.
- Check for plagiarism:
All students are also required to do a plagiarism check on their thesis via iThenticate.
- Examination Fee:
Students admitted before AY2017-2018 are required to pay an examination fee of S$214.00 for Ph.D. and S$160.50 for M.A. For students admitted in AY2017-2018 onwards, the examination fee is included in the Tuition Fee Bill.
There is a change in the title of my research topic. The title reflected in the Thesis Submission System differs from my thesis. What should I do?
You can update the new thesis title when you submit your thesis via the Thesis Submission System. You will be prompted by the system after all the necessary documents have been uploaded. A copy of the user guide can be found when you log into the system if you encounter any problems.
I would like to avoid incurring tuition fees so when should I submit my thesis?
The date on which the supervisor endorses the thesis online for examination determines the student's liability for tuition fees. To avoid incurring tuition fees, students should abide by the deadline indicated in the renewal email/s from the Office of Admissions or the Graduate Education Office. Students who make their thesis submission after the teaching week has begun will incur tuition fees.
I have submitted my thesis what happens next?
After your submission via the Thesis Online System, OAS will do the necessary checking for the examiners to receive your thesis and proceed to its review. The entire process might take from 2 to 4 months (on a case-by-case basis). When the thesis review is finished, the outcome will be compiled and released by the Office of Academic Services. After the thesis amendment period concludes, the School will inform the student and the supervisor of the requirements for the oral examination (for Ph.D. students only).
With effect from AY2018-19, all full-time graduate students who have submitted their thesis/dissertation are required to pay the Health Service Fee to ensure continuous insurance coverage until they are conferred the degree.
You may apply for part-time work application. However, as you do not know the outcome whether it is minor or major amendments yet, you may just want to keep the job duration to two months.
For International Students, the hours should not exceed 16 hours per week.
I’ve received the outcome of the thesis examination. How do I submit the amendments?
Amendments are to be submitted in a format recommended by the University as follows:
- be addressed individually to each examiner;
- contain a list of the amendments made, as well as the student's reply to any questions raised by the individual examiner; and
- be signed and dated by the student.
I have received an email from the Office of Academic Services on the submission of final thesis. What’s next?
Congratulations! Besides submitting the final version of thesis to the library by the stipulated date as per the OAS email, you will be provided with a letter from the school that you have been recommended for award of degree.
In addition, if you were assigned a cubicle or a locker, please vacate them and return all keys (pedestal key, locker key etc.) to the Graduate Education Office by the stipulated date as well.
Remember to save all your data from your PC into your own personal device as the PC will be reformatted and data will be irrecoverable.
My employer has requested for proof of my studies, where can I obtain this?
The request for your status letter can be submitted via One Stop @ SAC. Alternatively, you can submit a copy of the letter which you would have already received from the school.
I have received a letter from school informing that I have been recommended for the award of degree. When do I surrender my Student Pass?
Student Pass will be cancelled by NTU within 7 days upon the student's conferment. Please click here for more information.
When will my degree certificates and transcripts be ready for collection?
It takes approximately two months after the Thesis Examination and Oral Examination is cleared including all amendments before the degree certificate and transcript is made available for collection.
Please click here for more information.