NUS BBA

BBA Admissions & Scholarships

General Admissions

Programme Focused Questions

    • For more about the BBA2017 new curriculum, feel free to refer to our brochure or visit our website at http://bba.nus.edu/bba2017 .
       
      For curriculum details for students who matriculated before AY17/18, please refer to the following websites: 
    • The three new specialisations under the new curriculum aside, approximately 55% of BBA students specialise in Finance, 25% in Marketing, 10% in Human Capital Management and the remaining 10% in Operations and Supply Chain Management. Students are allowed to read a double specialisation, which comprises 2 of the 4 options.
    • NUS Business School is a top-tier university. By and large, universities in this league generally keep their scope of specialisation to the mainstream 4: Finance, Logistics, Marketing and HR as we do. Also:
      • Hospitality is still not considered a mainstream specialisation and the sustainability of such a major is not certain 
      • The nature of the hospitality and tourism specialisation is highly similar to the marketing specialisation with high focus on soft skills. Many of our students specialising in marketing have proven well-equipped and have gone on to pursue careers in this sector.
    • Specialisations are fundamentally the same as majors and minors, except the former constitutes reading modules within the Business School and the latter, modules from other NUS faculties. 
      A second major comprises 48 modular credits from a cross-disciplinary field within NUS that a student can undertake. A minor comprises 24. In both cases, the student will still only be conferred a single degree, but with an added second major or minor reflected in the academic transcript. There is an extensive list of 2nd majors and minor programmes available to BBA and BBA (ACC) students. 
      More details can be found here and here.
      Some majors and minors are more popular than others, so a quota is imposed, and an additional application process and minimum CAP score is required to gain entry into these programmes. Also, certain specialized courses like Medicine, Law and Engineering do not offer a major or minor programme.
    • Based on past statistics, close to 90% of our students qualify for the Honours Programme. With the new curriculum, all students are automatically enrolled into the direct honours programme with the possibility to withdraw should they wish to complete just the basic Bachelor degree.
    • The ‘grade-free’ scheme was proposed with the aim of providing a supportive and enabling environment for new NUS undergraduates to make a successful transition into the academic and social culture of university life. It serves to alleviate anxiety among students and transform the mind-set of placing an excessive focus on maximising grades to engage in exploratory, self-directed and independent learning.
    • More details on the application of the Grade-free Scheme for BBA and BBA (ACC) students can be found here.
    • NUS has implemented a reformed General Education (GE) curriculum since Academic Year 2015/16. These refer to modules outside of the core/compulsory requirements for a student’s primary major. This segment of modules comprised 5 main pillars: Thinking and expression, Asking questions, Quantitative reasoning, Human cultures, and Singapore studies.
    • Polytechnic diploma holder Advanced Placement Credits (APCs) - Single-Degree programmes
      Before AY2015/2016, incoming students with a Polytechnic diploma typically receive 20MCs of automatic exemptions - 8MCs (equivalent to 2 modules) from their University-Level Requirements, and 12 MCs for their Unrestricted Elective Modules (UEM). The former will now be reworked into the new GE curriculum and hence all 20MCs will be directed to UEM exemptions. 
      *As such, post-polytechnic students pursuing the 3-year BBA programme will typically only require 12MCs (equivalent to 3 modules) of exemptions due to the length of their candidature and therefore its requirements. 3-year BBA (ACC) programme students do not take UEMs, hence the above will not apply. Students pursuing the 4-year BBA/BBA (ACC) Honours programme are eligible for 20MCs of UEM exemptions.
      Double and concurrent degree programmes
      Students enrolled in the double degree programmes will have to read an additional 8MCs for their ULRs, as there will no longer be exemption for these under the new GE curriculum.

Accountancy Specific

Double Degree

    • The double degree programmes (DDP) available for BBA/BBA (ACC) with the following:
      • Law 
      • Economics
      • Engineering
      • Communications and New Media
      • Computer Science
      • Information Systems
      • Ad-hoc Double Degree (with other faculties not mentioned above, with the exception of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Music.)
    • There are two rounds of application available:
      A. Done alongside the main application into the University - look for the segment on DDP within the online application to select and rank the course options
      B. Mid-stream admission after the 1st year of study for those who wish to enroll in a single degree first and enter the programme later. 
      Note: For the Ad-hoc double degree option, admission will only be after the 1st year of study.
      Other details regarding DDP:
      • Students in a DDP will be expected to complete the honours programme in their home faculty
      • Double honours is a possible option only if they qualify academically
      • Takes an average of 5 years to complete, or shorter if they choose to overload
      • All must complete approximately 200MCs (~50 modules) to be conferred a Double Degree
      • Maintain an overall CAP of 4.0 for their home faculty modules, and 3.5 for the second degree modules to remain in the programme. 
      • Students unable to adhere to the minimum requirement over 2 consecutive semesters will require to exit the programme and complete a single degree in their home faculty. Modules already completed in the second degree can be converted to fulfill the requirements of a minor (24MCs) or second major (48MCs), subject to prevailing quotas for the major and minor intakes.
    • The full course load of an NUS double degree programme is approximately 200MCs, as opposed to 160 credits for a single degree. Assuming a 5-module per semester work load, this works up to 5 years (10 semesters). Any two disciplines also need to have a less than 30% content overlap to be recognised as a legitimate double degree combination in NUS, hence the heavier course load vis-à-vis other institutions.
    • The NUS Business School currently offers the following Concurrent Masters programmes: 
      BBA + Master of Science (Management) + CEMS Master in International Management
      Students can choose to apply for the BBA + Master of Science (Management) upon entry into NUS or apply mid-way. However they will only be able to apply for the CEMS Master in International Management (MIM) upon completion of their BBA Honours and Master of Science (Management). The Master of Science (Management) is an independent programme also open to non-BBA prospects. Unlike the MBA, no prior work experience is required to be eligible to admission, only a bachelor degree.
      Detailed queries on this programme pertaining to application process and curriculum can be directed to Mr Saul Sio or Mr Daniel Pang from the CEMS management team. 
      BBA/BBA (ACC) + Master in Public Policy 
      Students are allowed to apply for this when they submit their applications for entry into the Business School, or apply during the course of their Bachelor programme. The selection process typically involves an interview with the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy after admission into the BBA or BBA (ACC) programme. Do note that intake numbers for this programme is very small, and admissions highly selective.
    • Due to the academic rigor of these programmes, an estimated 10% or less pursues this route.

Internship placement and career prospects

    • Internships are excellent platforms to gain work experience and explore career options before graduation. These typically take place over the summer vacation months of May to July, but there are options for winter internships during the December holiday as well. Some students also take Leave Of Absence for an entire semester to pursue 6-month long internship, which will entail a delayed graduation. 
      The Business School’s dedicated Career Services Office also plays an instrumental part in preparing, sourcing and matching our students to suitable internship placements. Students are also free to independently source for their own internship opportunities.
    • Students are not required to do an internship, but are strongly encouraged to and most, if not all do so. BBA (ACC) students must complete at least 8-week internship that is accounting or finance-related.  There are no limits to the number of internships that can be done.
    • Since the 2015 admission cohort, credit-bearing internship modules have been introduced and formalised as part of the curriculum, allowing students to fulfill modular credits through their internships based on the following criteria:
      • 4 MC internship module – minimum 8 weeks and during summer vacation only
      • 8 MC internship module – minimum 16 weeks and during semester time only
      Students can register for these modules only after 1.5 years of studies (60 MC of modules) and tuition fees are payable. The internship modules have assessment components but are graded pass-fail only. More information available here.
    • At a glance, career paths of Business graduates can range from:
      • Banking and finance (Investment banking, Corporate banking, Trading & Securities, Private Wealth Management, Financial Institutions, FOREX etc.)
      • Marketing (Brand management, marketing communications, advertising and PR, social media marketing, digital marketing etc.)
      • Logistics and supply chain (PSA, freight forwarding, logistics planning)
      • Management (Human Resource Management, Human Resource consulting, Executive search/Recruitment)
      • Others: Consulting, Manufacturing, Customer Services
      A more detailed list of companies that BBA students joined upon graduation is available in the BBA brochure.
       
      The Business Degree prepares you for a career in any sector and scope with the exception of professional and highly niche fields like:
      • Medicine
      • Dentistry
      • Law
      • Pharmacy 
      • Scientific research
      • Engineering
      • Music/fine arts
      • Accountancy
    • The ACCA is an international qualification, so this will not be necessary if the student only wishes to practice in Singapore. For the ACCA qualification, the BBA (ACC) programme grants exemptions only for the foundation modules.
  • The double degree programme does not promise higher starting salaries, but gives students more career options, i.e. a student who has completed a double degree in business and law can pursue career paths in both the business functions (finance, marketing, logistics, HR), and in law (litigation, conveyancing etc).

Overseas Experience

    • All undergraduate students are welcomed to apply for overseas programmes from their first year of study onwards. That said, each programme has its own application criteria and focus.Student Exchange Programmes (SEP)
      • Focus on gaining invaluable international experience
      • Typically last for a semester, modules are credit (not grade) transferable
      • Applications are considered based on CAP score, minimum 3.0 (70%), and CCA involvements (30%)
      • Actual university placement also depends on other variables, from number of places in each partner university, to the profile of applicants for any one round of application.
      • Double degree programme students may select Partner Universities from the university-wide partners and faculty partners of his/her home faculty. *This does not apply for summer programmes.
      http://bba.nus.edu/student-experience/exchange-programmes/about-us 
      NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC)
      • Focus on grooming entrepreneurial, resourceful, independent self-starters
      • 1 year programme, consisting typically of an internship with a start-up and classes in the partner university in that city
      • Students will read up to 10 modules, only 3 are grade-transferrable, the rest only credit-transferrable 
      • No explicit cut-off, application outcomes are dependent on the demand and supply of places 
      • On NUS Overseas College (NOC), a separate application process applies. Interviews required.
      • This programme will likely cause a delay in graduation.
      http://bba.nus.edu/academic-programmes/bba-special-programmes/nus-overseas-colleges-noc 
      Summer Programmes
      • Focus on gaining invaluable international experience
      • Typically lasts 4 to 6 weeks and taken during the University summer vacation period
      • No explicit cut-off stated, application outcomes are dependent on the demand for and supply of places
      • No limit to the number of summer programmes a student can take, only as time and resources permit. 
      • Modules completed are not grade-transferrable, only credit transferable
      • Summer programme fees will typically apply, as these are hosted by the overseas partner university
      http://bba.nus.edu/student-experience/exchange-programmes/summer-programmes
    • Yes, as time and resources permit, and subject to meeting NUS residency requirements for graduation. This requirement states that at least 50% of total (and major) modules must be completed at NUS.
      • SEP allows students to read modules they would otherwise complete here in NUS in the partner university, in a process called module mapping. Hence should a sufficient number of relevant modules be done, no delay is necessary. Modules read on exchange are credit-transferrable, but not grade-transferrable, in that students are only required to pass and the grades of modules done on exchange will not count towards the CAP score.

      Student Life and Others

      • NUS prides itself for its highly dynamic and vibrant student life. Depending on how much a student wants to take on during his/her university years, it is advisable for him/her to manage wisely. Much of university student life is self-steered and managed. Hence, take on as many opportunities as interested, however also be conscious of what one can cope with.
         
        Concerning the BBA curriculum, the teaching methodology places great focus on seminar based, small-group, interactive based teaching, particularly for upper level modules from the 2nd year onwards. However certain foundation courses that are deemed more concept-heavy and quantitative are kept to lecture-tutorial style learning. This differentiates us from local counterparts who implement 100% sectional teaching for all its courses. Sectional teaching requires more immediate application by virtue of it being high in in-class participation (so students are required to engage fully at all times and contribute constructively to discussions), but is an effective way to practically apply what is learnt in a classroom setting, thus adding more value to their learning and person development. These go a long way preparing them in being quick on their feet and well-spoken for their careers, a necessary rite of passage for a solid education in Business.
      • The Business and Accountancy programmes offered by the local Universities are typically the more popular course of choice for undergraduate prospects, following medicine and law (historically speaking). As a result, students who enrol in the courses are at the top of their class academically, which makes for an inherently competitive study environment. Students who tend towards the business course are also generally self-motivated, which also means they enjoy being involved in co-curricular activities, overseas programmes, and the range of value-added programmes available to them in the University. On the whole, the student profile is one of work-hard, play-hard.
      • There are 3 main categories of accommodations available for full time students to apply:
        1. Halls of Residence
        2. Student Residence 
        3. Residential Colleges 
        Halls are known for their vibrant CCA, rich history and culture. Residents are expected to participate actively in hall activities.  Student residences offer independent living with opportunities for cross cultural interaction with the international community of students.  As Residences offer more privacy, they tend to be quieter than Halls.  Residential colleges are learning communities where students – enrolled in an academic programme – learn from and live alongside their peers and professors. The academic component of these residential colleges comprise 5 modules used to fulfil the University-level requirements of the respective degree programmes. For the University Scholars Programme, students do 12 modules instead of 5. They will also be awarded an additional scroll upon graduation certifying that they have been a student of the scholars programme. No extension to the standard candidature is required, as these modules will be used to fulfil University-level and Unrestricted Elective Module requirements.
         
        http://nus.edu.sg/osa/has 

      Comparison Questions between Universities

      • Latest rankings for the Business School: http://bschool.nus.edu/about-us/school-rankings
      • Each University possess its own set of unique strengths, for the new curriculum, applicable to students applying from AY17/18 onwards, 2 key features stand out:
        A. Customisability of the degree. The ability to pursue a 2nd specialisation, 2nd Major and Minors is factored into the 160 or 120 modular credits, as compared to being add-ons which most often require students to go beyond the required module credits to graduate i.e. overload or extend their graduation. Students hence graduate skilled in multiple disciplines within a standard candidature.
        B. 100% students experiencing Global Immersion: We are the only local program now that places major emphasis in international exposure by mandating overseas experience as a graduating requirement. This signals our priority in grooming global and cross-culturally aware business leaders.
        Otherwise, when comparing between programmes from different universities, it is advisable to take the following factors into consideration:
        A. University ranking/establishment/reputation
        Pertaining to NUS (and consequently reading Business or Accountancy in NUS), its international ranking and reputation as a university is second to none in Singapore. This has an immediate impact on the perceived and absolute value of a degree conferred by NUS. As the nation’s most established University, graduates of NUS join a large pool of alumni, a lifelong network of established individuals from a wide range of vocational backgrounds. 
        B. Programme content and depth (i.e. range of academic tracks such as specialisations within the major, cross-faculty minors, majors, double degrees and concurrent degree programmes).
        NUS being a comprehensive University, offers a wide range of programmes and courses, which offers Business and Accountancy students extensive choice in the reading of elective modules. This gives undergraduates a more diversified and holistic education which provides the option of exploring other disciplines whilst pursuing a single major.
        The Business and Accountancy programmes at NUS Business School honours programme require an additional year of study, which lengthens the programme to 4 years. This is done to provide sufficient depth of knowledge and content to the academically strong students, and also stands honours graduates in better stead for post-graduate studies in recognized institutions, particularly in USA, where 4-year programmes are prized above 3-year programmes.
        C. Range of value-add programmes (Overseas programmes, Internships, Residential programmes)
        NUS offers a myriad of overseas programmes, ranging from summer school to a year-long study cum work programme (NUS Overseas College). NUS Business school is proud to send at least 400 students on a semester-long overseas exchange programme alone each year. 80% of Business and Accountancy students are able to complete at least 1 overseas programme during their course of study, the highest percentage in the entire University. SMU and NTU also offer options for study and work abroad, specific details can be obtained from the respective University reps as well.
        D. Student life vibrancy
        NUS students enjoy extensive choice with respect to campus life, accommodation and student activities. This includes the NUS University Town, which offers a student college experience exclusive to NUS (in that no other University in Asia offers). Refer to http://utown.nus.edu.sg/ for more information. These benefit all students, business and accountancy included.
        SMU and NTU’s business programmes offer unique features in their own right, which they will be able to expound upon first-hand when consulted. Examples include SMU’s central city center location, and NTU Business School’s compressed 3-year programmes. Having considered the above, a prospect can then decide which programme and University best fits his/her individual expectations and requirements for University undergraduate education. An objective comparison should be made only following first-hand consultation with representatives from all 3 Universities and programmes.
      • NUS BBA Accountancy curriculum comprises a good dose of management fundamentals for the purpose of training generalists in the accounting sector who not only have the skill set of a trained accountant but also strong business acumen. This empowers graduates to be ready to take on management roles beyond the executive audit level when the need arises. At the same time, it also bears the features of a double degree in business and accountancy, but still a single degree, which allows students to pursue another complementing field like law, engineering or communications and new media as a second degree.
      • NUS Business School’s teaching system also models after the American system, but as opposed to SMU’s 100% seminar‐style teaching, NUS Business School conducts some foundation modules (e.g. Financial Accounting) in lecture‐tutorial style. This is due to the more quantitative nature of these topics, where the lecture - tutorial format has been deemed more suitable, and students are given sufficient time in between the weekly lecture and tutorial to internalize/grasp these concepts before applying them to in‐class discussions and homework assignments. NTU adopts a similar teaching method built on the similar principles. 
         In recent years the BBA curriculum has also moved to implement sectional teaching (seminar style classes) for a few of the first year modules with the aim of providing a more interactive and thought-provoking educational experience that engages students to articulate their views with substance and confidence.
      • The School does in most part, teach in smaller classes as well. However the university has also considered that due to the nature of content for certain modules, lecture‐tutorial format may be more conducive.
      • If a one‐to‐one module comparison is done between NTU’s and NUS’ honours programme requirements, a student completes less modules in NTU, but still obtains an honours degree. Whilst this may appear more efficient, it may not be viewed as competitive in terms of depth and rigour. The NUS honours requirement stipulates an additional year of upper level courses/modules, a final year project (Field Service Project) and/or a thesis. For more details on NTU’s honours requirements and programme outline, direct referencing off their prospectuses and website provide a good first-hand perspective.
         Also, NTU students who foresee that they may not be conferred a “good” honours degree (commonly seen as 2nd upper and above) do not have the option of withdrawing from the honours programme to graduate with a bachelor with merit. NUS however, offers students that flexibility. 
         For students looking ahead to postgraduate studies, some distinguished institutions of higher learning outside of Singapore may view a 3‐year programme to be less in-depth compared to a 4‐year programme, whether or not it has honours tied to it. Hence, a 3‐year programme may be potentially limiting to the long‐term prospects of students looking to pursue a Master’s programme.
      • Abiding by NUS’ philosophy to offer students flexibility of choice, the internship is kept as an option available to students who wish to gain work experience prior to graduation. The Business School has a fully staffed and equipped Career Services Office which facilitates student placements in internship and full-time positions, and also organizes career development courses/workshops to groom and prepare students. Each business student is also assigned a career counsellor who paces them from first year till graduation. This resource is readily available to students, and most of them complete at least one internship before graduation. For students who wish to utilise their time in University differently (i.e. overseas exchange, summer programmes, CCAs, hall involvement etc.), they are free to do so according to their choosing, without having to work around a structured internship programme.
         Since the 2015 cohort, credit-bearing internships have been introduced to the curriculum. Also, it is important to note that BBA (ACC) students do have a compulsory internship requirement.
      • Pertaining to a recent blog post from late February 2017 regarding a Business School student’s negative experience on campus. 
         “The School is taking action to investigate the matter fully. We take the allegations reported by the student seriously and have met with the student to address her concerns.
         NUS Business School puts the welfare of all its students as its highest priority and is committed to providing the very best learning environment for students from all backgrounds. The School does not condone acts of prejudice and discrimination of any kind.
        Updated as of 17 March 2017