Tan Chin Hong

Graduate Coordinator, Psychology

Asst Prof Tan Chin Hong
[email protected]


Integrative Research Spanning Multi-domains

Psychology offers full-time and part-time M.A. and Ph.D. by research programme. Students in the programme will be situated in an opportune position to explore and choose from a wide array of research areas that the school endeavors in. From infant to elderly populations, from qualitative to neurobiological techniques, we offer extensive research prospects in social, developmental, clinical, cultural and bio-psychological fields. Students will work alongside experts in their respective fields; where their academic journey will be well-supported by dedicated faculty members and research staff.

Psychology features specializations in many  topics and boasts integrative research spanning across multiple research domains. For instance, research projects have been conducted by utilizing methods in neuropsychology to investigate consumer behavior and implementing mobile applications for data collection in the elderly population – juxtaposing techniques across different branches of Psychology to investigate unexplored new territories. We offer state of the art amenities such as eye-tracking and neuroimaging facilities, as well as a range of laboratories to meet different research needs (e.g., child-friendly laboratory). To extend the applicability of our research to the community, the program works closely with national stakeholders in Singapore, including governmental bodies such as the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social and Family Development, public hospitals and schools.

Our faculty members are held in high regard in the global research community and have active collaboration with international partners – research institutes and universities from around the world, including University of Cambridge, the University of Trento, New York University, Columbia University, RIKEN Brain Science Institute and many more. Students are strongly encouraged to engage in discourse with the international community during conferences and graduate exchange programs. Such international exposure allow students to learn from some of the brightest minds, foster global networks, and gain insight into the latest developments in the students’ specialized field of research.

To prepare students for a career in academia, we provide holistic training in research and other essential skills including teaching, grant-preparation and mentoring. We offer exciting opportunities to give students a head-start in a career in Psychology research in their respective fields of specialization.  ​

The M.A. and Ph.D. programme in Psychology are MOE-subsidised and are offered on full-time and part-time basis. 

  • A Bachelor degree in Psychology or related field from a highly ranked university, with Honours (Distinction) or Second upper Honours  and the ability to pursue research in the candidate's proposed field of advanced study.
  • If your degree is not in psychology, you will have to submit the GRE in Psychology test scores. This applies to NTU, NUS or SMU graduates too.
  • An excellent GRE score is expected for every application, especially in the quantitative section (minimum 319 for the verbal and quantitative sections, 3.5 for the analytical section). Under exceptional circumstances, an applicant may request for waiving the GRE score as part of the requirement. However, the applicant must provide a strong justification in his or her application, to be evaluated by the committee on a case-by-case basis. GRE is not required from NTU, NUS or SMU graduates.

  • A good language proficiency score: IELTS score at least 7.0 (on all subtests); TOEFL score at least 105 – Internet Based Test Score or 580 – Paper Based Test Score. IELTS is preferred. The IELTS/TOEFL score must have been attained within 2 years prior to application.

  • Applicants who fulfilled either of the following criteria are exempted from the IELTS or TOEFL submission:

    - Native language is English
    - Bachelor's or Master's Degree (must be at least 3 years of study) where English is the medium of instruction*

    * A letter from the respective universities is required with the following details:

                  - Duration of Studies   
                  - Programme
                  - Medium of Instruction

    Applicants whose Bachelor's degree is from NTU, NUS, SMU or SUSS need not submit the letter.
  • It is strongly recommended for applicants to contact one of the faculty members whom they wish to work with. Applicants can discuss their proposal with the faculty member and ask for suggestions and feedback prior to applying.


  • The University recognizes the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition, TOEFL ITP Plus, IELTS Indicator, IELTS for UKVI and GRE Take Home Test online tests strictly administered by ETS. The test score reports must be dated no later than 31 December 2023. Other test such as GMAT, GATE and other English proficiency tests are not acceptable.
  • The GRE General Test at home option offered by ETS is acceptable. 

Candidates may start applying online from 1 October for consideration to the following August intake. The application deadline is on 15th November for the Nanyang Research Scholarship (RSS) (same portal for self-financing students), and the Nanyang President's Graduate Scholarship (NPGS)​. All applications received after 15 November will be processed for the next intake instead.  

Applications for the January intake will begin on 01 June and end on 15 July prior to the admission period. The application portal closes on 15 July for the Nanyang Research Scholarship (same portal for self-financing students).

Candidates who would like to be considered for Scholarship should meet the stipulated deadlines. Candidates applying for the Nanyang President's Graduate Scholarship (NPGS), need not submit an additional application for the Nanyang Research Scholarship (RSS). However, RSS candidates will not be considered for the NPGS unless application has been made directly for the NPGS.

All graduate research applicants will have to pay an application fee of S$50.00. Only the first choice of the application will be processed. Candidates who wish to be considered to more than one subject area will have to make separate applications. 

Incomplete applications will not be processed by the School. Please ensure that your referee is aware of your application and is prepared to make the referee report submission as soon as he/she receives the automated official email from NTU. Applications will only be considered upon the receipt of the referee reports.

Applicants have to ensure the accuracy of all data before submission is made as no amendments are permitted once the application is submitted. 

Admission depends on the quality of the application as a whole, including the academic record, relevant experience, and research proposal​​. The research proposal is the essence of the application. Applicants need to design their proposal with clarity and sound judgement on the scope of the research in the subject area that they want to undertake. Please use this template to input your research details. 

Decisions on admission to the University are made on academic merit, the availability of an appropriate supervisor and/or availability of scholarship. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed to ascertain their holistic suitability for graduate studies. The School considers every application carefully before making recommendations for admission. Successful candidates will receive the offer from the University’s Office of Admissions. Candidates shortlisted for admission will be notified of the outcome anytime between March to May for the August intake and November to December for the January intake (if applicable).

​The Research Programmes in the School of Social Sciences are MOE-subsidised​.

For more information, please visit the Research Programmes Admission Guide page.

Enquiries can be sent to [email protected]

For M.A., students must complete and pass the following:

  • ​Three core courses: HP7001 Advanced Research Design and Data Analysis, HP7002 Research Seminar and one elective (9 Academic Units)
  • Other Degree Requirements
  • Thesis

The coursework requirement is to be completed within the first year. M.A. students should maintain a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.00. Other degree requirements include: ERI701 Epigeum Research Integrity (online course), Scholarly Communications and Impact (online course), and attend research seminars. Students on NTU scholarship might have additional requirements to fulfil. Refer to the latest e-guide for more instructions. 

Graduate Assistantship Programme (GAP)

Students receiving scholarship from the Ministry of Education (MOE) – RSS / NPGS / Grants – are required to fulfil the Graduate Assistantship Programme (GAP). GAP is a set of hours divided into Teaching / Research / Development duties determined by the type of scholarship and nationality of the student. The GAP is a form of in-service obligation effected for Cohort 2014 and onwards has to be completed 6 months before the submission of the thesis


For Ph.D., students must complete and pass the following: 

  • Two core courses: HP7001 Advanced Research Design and Data Analysis, and HP7002 Research Seminar (6 Academic Units)
  • Four electives (12 Academic Units)
  • Other Degree Requirements   
  • PhD Qualifying Examination and Conversion
  • Thesis
  • Oral Examination

Typically, Ph.D. students must complete the coursework requirement within the first three semesters. The timeline should be discussed with the Supervisor and/or Graduate Coordinator). They should maintain a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.50. Other degree requirements include: ERI701 Epigeum Research Integrity (online course), HWG703 Graduate English course(unless exempted), HWG702 University Teaching for Teaching Assistants, Scholarly Communications and Impact (online course), Communications Courses, 3 Minute Thesis Symposium and attend research seminars. Students on scholarship might have additional requirements to fulfil. Students are encouraged to work closely with their supervisor and the graduate co-ordinator to ensure timely completion of all the requirements. 

Ph.D. students will have to submit and defend their thesis proposal as part of the Qualifying Exam (also known as the Confirmation Exercise). The Qualifying Exam should be completed within 18 months from the start of candidature. The final completed thesis will be examined by a panel of internal and external examiners, after which, an oral examination will be held. Refer to the latest e-guide for more instructions. 

Graduate Assistantship Programme (GAP)

Students receiving scholarship from the Ministry of Education (MOE) – RSS / NPGS / Grants – are required to fulfil the Graduate Assistantship Programme (GAP). GAP is a set of hours divided into Teaching / Research / Development duties determined by the type of scholarship and nationality of the student. The GAP is a form of in-service obligation effected for Cohort 2014 and onwards has to be completed 6 months before the submission of the thesis

Psychology Courses
The following courses are offered by Psychology. Not all courses are offered in an academic year.

HP7001 Advanced Research Design and Data Analysis (core)

The course is designed to acquaint researchers with the principles of experimental design, basic experimental designs used in social science research including between-subjects, within-subjects/repeated-measures, mixed (split-plot) and nested designs. The core statistical tool to be disc​ussed is General Linear Models with emphasis on model comparison approach to analyze data collected from various experimental designs.​

HP7002 Research Seminar (offered only to Psychology graduate students) (core)
This is a one-year course. The purpose of this course is to expose students to the most up-to-date research in various fields of the behavioral sciences. Through exposure to established scholars’ research and readings on research methodology, students will acquire broad knowledge in various fields of behavioral sciences and the foundation knowledge on research methodology needed for their own research. Students are expected to actively participate in research seminars and integrate the knowledge that they have gained in the research seminars into their own research. In addition, students will receive some professional training in the form of two faculty presentations per semester on research methods, and a workshop on writing psychology.

HP7203 Special Topics in Social Psychology 

It is known that the study of technology can bring about a better understanding of human behavior, and that the study of human behavior will result in better technologies. This course aims to help student better understand the role that technology plays in our everyday social interactions, and have a deeper understanding of the phenomena and impact brought by technology. This course will cover a number of topics such as social interactions in massive multiplayer online games, cultural differences in on-line communities, psychology of virtual humans, intelligent agents with social skills, and impact of social networking technology on inter-personal relationships and well-being.

HP7205 Special Topics in Developmental Psychology
This course provides graduate students with an advanced introduction to empirical findings, methods, and theoretical perspectives on the development of self-regulation. Topics include the development of executive function, theory of mind, and emotion regulation. General developmental trajectories as well as individual differences will be covered. Both biological and environmental impacts, including genetic disposition, parental practices, socio-economic status, and culture, on the development of self-regulation will be discussed. Additionally, developmental disorders related to self-regulation will be introduced. 

HP7208 Special Topics in Cognitive Psychology
This course provides graduate students with an advanced introduction to empirical findings, methods, and theoretical perspectives, in the field of cognitive psychology. The course focuses heavily on discussion of the major findings and the theoretical positions that drive current research in cognitive psychology. Research findings will be discussed in the context of both modern theories and the theoretical positions from which they originate. In any given year in which the course is offered, the topic(s) chosen for discussion may include, but not necessarily be limited to, one or more of the following: (i) attention and memory, (ii) reasoning and problem solving, (iii) judgment and decision making, (iv) intelligence and learning, (v) perception.

HP7209 Special Topics in Sensation/Perception 
This course provides graduate students with an advanced introduction to empirical findings, methods, and theoretical perspectives, in the field of sensation and perception. Multisensory integration is an important area in psychology and behavioral neuroscience. The course focuses heavily on discussion of the major findings and theories of research on vision, audition, and visual-auditory integration. It will focus on the brain mechanisms for the individual sensory systems and integrating the sensory systems, and its application in multimedia processing. The course is pitched on an advanced level so that students can broaden their knowledge of vision, audition, and multimedia perception for future research.

HP7217 Applied Functional Neuroscience
The purpose of the seminar is to introduce students to the fast growing field of neuropsychology where neuroimaging is applied as an advanced technique to study brain functions. This is an interdisciplinary domain that has its roots in psychology, neuroscience and biomedical engineering, and has important bearings in advancing psychology as an interdisciplinary science. The course attempts to provide an introduction to major neuroimaging techniques in neuropsychology in studying brain function, as well as, how these techniques can be combined complementarily to answer some of the more perplexing questions in cognitive neuroscience. We will focus on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) as a measurement technique that observe brain functions as it occurs and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) as a manipulation technique that change how the brain functions. With these foundations, students will be exposed to readings on how these techniques are applied to various areas of neuropsychology to advance our knowledge of the intrinsic properties of brain function, higher cognition in subcortical structures, the normal aging process of the brain, as well as, pathological aging in dementia.

HP7218 Language in Perception & Thought
This course provides graduate students with an advanced introduction to empirical findings, methods, and theoretical perspectives from the field of psycholinguistics, as they pertain to the relationship between language, perception and thought. In the first half of the semester, the Whorfian Hypothesis will be introduced. Topics will include grammatical gender, categorical perception, spatial and numerical cognition. Perspectives from the domain of cross-modal perception and synaesthesia will be introduced to provide neurological bases for language-perception interactions. In the second half of the course, students will conduct a mini-study on interactions between language and vision, language and audition, or language and number, the results of which they will present at the end of the semester. An in-depth focus on the development of speech perception will be used as a test case for discussions about the direction of influence between language and cognition/perception. Interactions between mind and language in extreme scenarios will also be addressed.

HP7223 Applied Conservation Psychology
This course covers social science applications to the modern ecological crisis. Students will learn how to apply what is known about our psychological relationship with the natural world and the underlying psychology behind our ecological impact to sustainability issues. Students will examine how to apply psychological methods to understanding behavior towards the environment. Students will review studies in psychology looking at how people respond to natural stimuli, various ways that people interact with natural environments, why people behave unsustainably, and what kinds of approaches can help foster improved sustainable behavior. Students will develop a project, apply psychological approaches to research, and  consider mitigation of environmental problems. The course provides useful background for a wide variety of careers working on social problems, environmental management, and research on human psychology.

HP7227 Primate Psychology
Non-human primates share similar traits with human beings and provide a useful comparison for understanding behavior. In this course, we review primate research related to psychological phenomena. We discuss the foundations of behavior by studying behavioral ecology, social behavior, and cognitive capacities in primates. We then explore primate studies in aggression, conflict resolution, parenting, sexuality, emotion, personality, communication, and social cognition. Overall, the course offers an introduction into behavioral primatology and provides an assessment of how social minds evolve and function.

HP7228 Cognitive Neuroplasticity in Ageing & Dementia
The process of ageing is associated with cognitive decline and vast changes in the neurophysiology of the brain. These neural changes such as the accumulation of abnormal proteins, cerebral atrophy, and multi-domain cognitive decline are amplified in pathological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Cognitive neuroscience research in this area has proposed several factors purported to influence the trajectory of cognitive and neural decline such as exercise, cognitive training, socioeconomic status, among others. Students interested in understanding factors that influence cognitive and neurological changes i.e. cognitive neuroplasticity in the context of ageing and dementia will benefit from taking this course. Through this course, students will learn to appreciate the complexity of cognitive neuroplasticity in ageing individuals. 

HP7235 The Last Dance: Psycho-Socio-Cultural Perspectives of Death, Dying and Bereavement
This course provides an interdisciplinary overview of the major psycho-socio-cultural perspectives, theories and clinical practices on death and dying from a global viewpoint with a critical focus on the Asian experience. Through interactive lectures, experiential workshops and creative group projects, students will be offered an opportunity to examine the psychological, socio-spiritual, ethical and political issues of mortality through a range of cultural lenses. Such exploration will facilitate insights, reflections and personal growth for enhancing students’ capacity in dealing with the inevitability of morality, while equipping them with the core intellectual skills and values for living a meaningful and purposeful life.

HP7237 Comparative Physiology of Social Interaction: Clinical & Technological Applications
This course provides graduate students with an advanced introduction to empirical findings, methods, and theoretical perspectives from the field of social interaction using a comparative physiology approach. The main purpose of this course is for students to acquire knowledge and skills in the field of physiology across mammalian species of the regulatory system that mediate the social interaction. A secondary aim of the course is for students to develop their critical appraisal of how early social interaction between infants and their caregiver influence typical and atypical development in humans. 

HP7257 Integrative Animal Behavior
Animal behavior is the scientific investigation of behavior. The integrative approach to behavior was derived from animal studies, and it applies various levels of causation for explaining behavior. Animal behaviorists integrate proximate mechanisms, developmental processes, and evolution into how we explain behavior. In this course, students will learn how to measure and study behavior, as well as being challenged to apply an integrative approach to understanding behavioral processes. Students will learn some foundational mechanisms of behavior and how behavior is influenced by genetics, neurology, and physiology. Furthermore, students will learn developmental processes affecting behavior. Students will also be exposed to a wide rang of behavior, including feeding and predation, sociality, communication, aggression, reproductive behavior, and territoriality. As a graduate student, he/she will gain some experience reading the primary literature in the field and developing a research project in animal behavior.

HP7301 Advanced Quantitative Methods in Psychology
This course serves as the continuation of HP 7001. In HP 7001, we examine different types of experiments designs commonly used in psychological studies and discuss statistical methods for analyzing experimental data through general linear models. This course concerns advanced statistical methods for analyzing multivariate data collected from experimental and non-experimental settings. This course is designed to prepare students to conduct independent empirical research for their required thesis. Throughout the course there will be an emphasis on both conceptual understanding and the development of practical ‘how-to’ skills. Students will learn to select and conduct appropriate advanced statistical analysis relevant to their research.

HP7302 Qualitative Methods in Psychology 
This course introduces the theoretical foundations and basic techniques of qualitative methodology for psychological research, including how to conduct interviews and focus groups, grounded theory fundamentals, content analysis, domain analysis, coding, and how to write up qualitative findings. Students will be expected to complete weekly readings and weekly skill development tasks in and out of the classroom as well as to collect data, and then analyze and present findings based on the techniques covered in the course.

HP7303 Seminar on Computational Social Science & Big Data
Big Data presents unprecedented opportunities to study human behaviour on a very large scale. It has been increasingly used in social science to reveal individual differences and group dynamics. This course will introduce students to methods and tools for using Big Data to conduct social science research. Topics include characteristics of Big Data, forecasting and nowcasting, text mining, digital field experiments, human computation, ethical frameworks, etc.

HP7888 Independent Study in Psychology
The Independent Study Module provides the student an opportunity to engage in independent psychological research related to the proposed thesis. The content and activities of each Independent Study Module is to be determined by the student and her supervisor with approval by the Head of the Division.

HP7889 Directed Reading
One important element of graduate research training is a student's familiarization with classic and contemporary literature in the student's field of specialization. This would provide a solid theoretical and conceptual basis needed for advanced empirical scientific enquiry. This familiarization not only depends on student's reading of relevant topics in breadth and in depth, but also relies on the exchange of critical thoughts between the student and a faculty member who specializes in the specific area. In this course, students are expected to read widely and in depth under the guidance of a faculty supervisor.

 • Courses and requirements are subject to review and change. 
 • Not all courses are available in one given semester. 
 • Courses will be offered on the basis of student intake, research areas and availability of faculty.