Study and find schools in Singapore

Singapore, officially referred to as the Republic of Singapore, is a city-state in Southeast Asia situated off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, some 85 miles north of the equator.  An archipelago, Singapore is comprised of 63 islands, together accounting for roughly 247 square miles of geographic area. It is separated from Malaysia to the north by the Straits of Johor and from Indonesia’s Riau Islands to the south by the Singapore Strait.  The country is a parliamentary republic with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government, and since 1959, when it was granted internal self-government by the British, it has been ruled by the People’s Action Party (PAP).  Singapore is highly urbanized, despite the fact that over half of the country is covered in dense greenery, and its capital and largest city is Singapore.
As of the last census taken in 2011, Singapore had an estimated population of 5.1 million, of whom 63 percent, or roughly 3.25 million people are citizens.  The remaining 37 percent of the population are either permanent residents or foreign workers.  Of the Singapore citizens, 23 percent were born somewhere other than Singapore.  From an ethnic standpoint, people of Chinese ancestry represent the largest ethnic group in the country at just over 74 percent.  They are followed in order of prevalence by Malaysians (13.5%) and Indians (9%), with the remainder, or just over 3 percent being Eurasian or from other groups.
There are four official languages in Singapore:  English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil.  English is most commonly used in the affairs of the government, as well as in commerce, media, education and the courts.  Public bodies conduct all their business in English and any non-English documents must first be translated into English before being submitted.  Most Singaporeans are bilingual, fluent in English and one of the other official languages.  The various official languages, in terms of literacy, are: English (80%), Mandarin Chinese (65%), Malay (17%) and Tamil (4%).  There are many religious faiths practiced in the country, the largest of which is Buddhism, practiced by 33 percent of the population.  Religious minorities include Christians (18%), Muslims (15%), Taoists (11%) and Hindus (5%), with 17 percent being non-religious.
Education in Singapore
Education in Singapore is overseen and regulated by the Ministry of Education and is free and compulsory through primary school.  English is the language of instruction at all state-run schools and all subjects and exams are administered in English, save for the “Mother Tongue” language paper, which in Singapore refers to the student’s second language.  The education system is divided between four distinct levels:  primary education, secondary education, pre-university education and tertiary or higher education.
Primary education in Singapore begins at age 6 and spans 6 years.  It is broken down into a four-year foundation course and a two-year orientation program, the latter of which prepares students for secondary school.  There are four main subjects that make up the Singaporean curriculum:  English, Mother Tongue, Mathematics and Science.
Secondary school in Singapore spans four to five years depending on a student’s ability.  At this level students can continue with their academic studies, in a track known as “Normal Secondary School,” or opt instead for the Technical track, in which they receive education and training in certain trades and career fields, usually with the goal of entering the workforce upon graduation.  Those graduating from the academic program are free to enroll in Pre-university education, a 2-3 year program held at junior colleges that helps prepare students for university admission.
There are a number of universities in Singapore, including two major national universities, both of which are ranked among the top 100 universities in the world.  There students can pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in any number of academic and professional fields, particularly in the areas of mathematics and science where, according to student assessment data, Singaporean students consistently rank in the top 5 globally.

Language Courses in Singapore

The island republic of Singapore had been a British colony before it gained independence in the year 1965. As a result, English is considered one of the four national and official languages of Singapore. A majority of people in the islands that constitute Singapore speak fluent English. English is a common everyday  language here. However, the country also has three other official languages- namely Chinese, Malay and Tamil. This aptly shows the cultural diversity that Singapore has on offer for foreigners. Singapore is a conglomeration of unique and divergent cultures that are strewn together by the deep bonds of tradition and history. So for international students to become a part of this cultural admixture, a thorough knowledge of some of the languages is helpful.
To begin with it is essential to know English in Singapore, as over 33 percent of the total population can use the language sufficiently well. Although English might be the obvious choice to start one’s language immersion course in Singapore, one can never ignore Chinese! Statistically, nearly 50 percent of Singapore’s population knows the Chinese language. Infact, Chinese is used more commonly than English for daily transactions. So language schools offering Chinese studies in Singapore successfully cater to thousands of students every year. For a deeper understanding of the Singaporean way of life, a holistic knowledge of both Chinese and English is necessary for foreigners, especially the students.
Learning Malay and Tamil might also be helpful if one has to truly appreciate a culture that has a lot to offer for the keen observer! But since Malay and Tamil is used by 12 and three percent of the population respectively, finding Malay and Tamil studies might be tougher than finding English courses.
The government of Singapore had been spearheading initiatives to propagate language immersion courses in the country. Infact, the ministry of education, or MOE has its own holistic language courses for foreign pupils. Students interested to immigrate to Singapore might directly write or email to the ministry of education to enroll in these classes. Since they are sponsored and managed by the government, they are definitely authentic and value for money. During the time of enrolment into these Chinese language classes or English studies, one has to submit few personal details. For instance, the ministry of education might ask you for proof of education, proof of the detailed address in your country of origin, tentative addresses in Singapore and valid references to support your claims. These are basic immigration norms prior to shifting your base to Singapore. Add to this the necessity of learning Chinese or English, and most of your immigration formalities would be complete.
Learning the local language is of utmost importance if you desire to become a part of the changed cultural scenario. Also for everyday survival, learning Chinese is essential for international students. Since English is already a global language, most immigrants might not feel the urge to learn English from the scratch. But it is always helpful to brush up one’s English skills. But a detailed and thorough learning of Chinese through the myriad language and immersion courses in Singapore can help an immigrant in the long run.

Masters Degrees, Graduate Studies and Professional Programs in Singapore

Have you recently made the decision to enhance your education by pursuing some type of graduate study or professional training in your chosen field of interest?  Did you know that there are now a number of programs that allow students to pursue a portion of their graduate education via a study abroad program?  Study abroad graduate programs, such as those offered in the exotic country of Singapore, afford students the unique opportunity to pursue educational programs that are of particular interest to them, without having to take a bevy of general education courses.  Currently, there are many such programs available in Singapore, giving students an once-in-a-lifetime chance to combine an enlightening educational experience with a fun and interesting adventure in Southeast Asia.

Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is an independent city-state and island country in Southeast Asia.  The country lies off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, approximately 85 miles (137 km) north of the equator.  Singapore’s territory encompasses the main Singapore Island, known as Pulau Ujong in Malay, as well as over 60 significantly smaller islets.  Singapore is separated from Peninsular Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to the north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the Singapore Strait to the south. The country is highly urbanized, and little of the original vegetation remains. This is mainly because the country's territory has been consistently expanded through land reclamation.

Singapore is one of the world's major commercial hubs, boasting the fourth-largest financial center and one of the five busiest ports on the globe. The nation’s globalized and diversified economy depends heavily on trade, especially in the manufacturing sector, which just last year represented nearly 30 percent of Singapore's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In terms of purchasing power parity, Singapore has the third-highest per capita income in the world.  It also places highly in international rankings with regard to education, healthcare, government transparency, and economic competitiveness.

The government of Singapore is organized as unitary multiparty parliamentary republic with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government.  Of the just over five million people who live in Singapore, approximately two million, or 40 percent, are foreign-born.  While Singapore is indeed very diverse, ethnic Asians predominate in the country: 75 percent of the population is Chinese, with significant minorities of Malays, Indians, and Eurasians. There are four official languages in the country, including English, Malay, Chinese, and Tamil, and the country promotes multiculturalism through a range of official policies.

Master’s Degrees and Graduate Programs in Singapore
The higher education system in Singapore is overseen by the national Ministry of Education and implemented at the local level by faculty and administrators.  Like in most developed countries, Singapore has many different types of educational institutions, including junior colleges, universities, polytechnics, international schools, and institutes of technology.  Except for the junior colleges, which are all publicly funded, the institutions of higher learning in Singapore are both public and private.
Junior Colleges

There are approximately eighteen junior colleges scattered throughout Singapore, each designed to provide students with a more affordable alternative to university education.  Students in junior college can pursue either an academic track, earning credits that can later be transferred to a university of their choice; or a professional track, leading to certification in one of many different trades or career fields. Generally, junior colleges offer two-year study programs, with some of the more popular courses of study being humanities, arts, music and language.


The universities in Singapore provide undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate degrees as well as a large number of research programs.  In Singapore, there are two full-fledged public universities, the largest being the National University of Singapore; and two private universities, including Singapore Management University, the top business school in the nation. These universities offer courses in areas such as the sciences, engineering, law, arts, humanities, social sciences, medicine, technology and education.
Unlike some of the polytechnics in the United States, the five polytechnics in Singapore do not offer the same type of degree programs as the universities.  These higher education institutes focus solely on practical training, offering diploma, certificate and degree programs in a variety of trades and fields.
International Schools
Singapore is home to a large number of foreign-born students.  As such, the country plays host to a number of international schools. These schools, which employ faculty from around the world, generally do not give admissions to native Singapore students, but rather save those enrollment spots for students hailing from other countries.  Here students can pursue both academic and professional programs, with the majority of instruction offered in English. 
Institutes of Technical Education (ITEs):

The ITEs in Singapore offer the latest in technological education by combining classroom instruction with practical hands-on experience.  Although designed for college-aged students and working adults, the ITEs also offer trainee classes to secondary students seeking to jumpstart their university education.  
Why Study Abroad in Singapore
Although Singapore may not be the first country that comes to mind when you think about study abroad programs, you might be pleasantly surprised by all that the country has to offer.  Singapore has several top-notch universities that consistently place high in international rankings.   Culturally, the country is extremely diverse, home to people from every corner of the globe.  This diversity makes it much easier for students to adjust to their new surroundings.  Best of all, when students get a break from their classroom studies, Singapore offers a number of fun and interesting sites and attractions to visit, many of which are in walking distance from the universities.  Some of the more popular destinations on the island include:
Singapore Discovery Center
The Singapore Discovery Center is the perfect destination for learning about the country’s past, present and future.  The center features an art gallery, science museum and outdoor play area for the kids, making it the perfect locale for a fun and relaxing getaway.  Hundreds of exhibits are on display here, including many interactive shows that make learning about Singapore even more entertaining.  Located on Upper Jurong Road, the Singapore Discovery Center is only a ten minute walk from Joo Koon MRT Station.

Red Dot Design Museum

One trip to Singapore’s Red Dot Design Museum will almost certainly cause you to view everyday objects in a different light.  With demonstrations that take the mystery out of innovations that make our life easier, including some fairly unusual gizmos and gadgets, it is easy to spend two hours plus at this entertaining venue.  Although the museum is rather small in size, the wide spectrum of design is large and varied; featuring everything from advertising posters and packaging to computers and household appliances.  The concept for the museum goes back to 1955, when the first awards were given out for product design. Given that Singapore is major manufacturing mecca and a hub for industrial creativity, it only made sense to host a permanent exhibition here.  The scarlet-painted museum, which stands out like a bright red tomato, is located just to the west of Singapore’s Chinatown.

Mount Faber
If natural beauty and scenery is your thing, you simply must check out Mount Faber, an attraction that offers one of the best panoramic views of Singapore.  Mount Faber is a hill-top park situated on the outskirts of the city, a region that makes for a great half-day study break and the perfect chance to relax and unwind amid the local flora.  Energetic visitors can easily walk to the 105-meter peak, while others may elect to take the cable car to the summit, either from the Sentosa or Harbor Front MRT station.  At the peak you will find a wide selection of dining options, ranging from dimly-lit romantic restaurants – perfect for that sunset date – to more group-friendly food outlets. With over 10 kilometers of winding paths, the park at Mount Faber is the ideal place to take in some fresh air and stroll amongst the lush greenery.

Career Colleges and Vocational Schools in Singapore

The Ministry of Education (MOE) manages education in Singapore. Vocational and other career courses operate in the city-state under two basic heads:
  • Polytechnics
  • Institute of Technical Education

Polytechnics are institutions which were established in Singapore, to provide students practice-oriented studies at the diploma level.  Five polytechnics have been established in Singapore till date.
Polytechnics offer three year courses to students. There are a large number of courses to choose from, such as engineering, business studies, mass communication, design and info-communications, among others.  In addition, specialized courses such as marine engineering, optometry, nautical studies, nursing, early childhood education and film are also available.
Students who graduate with satisfactory grades can further pursue tertiary education at universities, also at various universities overseas, especially the ones in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Some polytechnics have tie-ups with foreign universities for specialized courses.
Institute of Technical Education

Institutes of Technical Education or ITE are government-funded post-secondary institutions, with a focus on imparting vocational technical education; they train students for jobs and careers in leading economical sectors. An institute of Technical Education provides traineeship programs and full time institutional training for students who enroll into them from secondary schools. For secondary school graduates, there are 96 full-time courses (Higher Nitec and Nitec) and over 30 traineeship courses available. These institutes also provide continuing programs for working adults.
Enrolment into the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) totally depends on the student’s GCE "O" level or GCE "N" level results.
  • For Higher National ITE Certificate (Higher Nitec), there are about 39 courses available; and students of GCE 'O' or 'N (Academic)' level who meet prerequisites can apply.
  • For National ITE Certificate (Nitec), there are around 57 courses available. GCE ‘O’ or ‘N’ level students can apply.
There are ten ITE colleges in Singapore, and they offer 2-year courses at the end of which, students receive the National ITE Certificate. ITE graduates can also continue their education at the polytechnics and universities.
ITE offers three levels of certificates:
  • Master National ITE Certificate (Master Nitec)
  • Higher National ITE Certificate (Higher Nitec)
  • National ITE Certificate (Nitec)
  • Technical Engineer Diploma (TED)
Traineeship program provided by the ITE

Traineeship programs provided by the ITE involve practical ‘on-job’ training of students, who are placed as trainees with various employers. Under ITE’s traineeship program, there over 30 courses for students to choose from. For successful completion of the program, the trainee has to pursue and complete the course within the given duration and to the satisfaction of the company that is sponsoring him or her. The company in question agrees to train and instruct the trainee and assign a qualified trainer for supervision.

List of career colleges and vocational schools in Singapore

First Media Design School

Singapore, Singapore
First Media Design School, brought to being in Malaysia, is a leading school that teaches design producing creative and commercial designers. They strive to impact good knowledge of media and creativity in the aspect of art and design, and to build its reputation worldwide. Programs offered at the institution include part-time and full time diploma/advanced diploma, BA and professional short courses. They also offer scholarship opportunities to outstanding pupils. First Media Design School also organizes shows, exhibition, award presentation and competition. Admission is open to... See full description.

Online degree, online courses and distance learning schools in Singapore

The widespread availability of the Internet around the world has transformed the manner in which many educational programs are delivered in many countries, including the country of Singapore, which offers distance learning programs leading to academic degrees—Bachelor and Master’s degrees—in a variety of disciplines, as well as diploma and certificate qualifications in a number of vocational and technical fields, training the country’s populace for employment opportunities that will help them compete in today’s global economic climate.
Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign city-state and island country located in Southeast Asia.  The nation is situated at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula and is 85 miles (137 km) north of the equator.  Consisting of the lozenge-shaped main island of Pulau Ujong (Singapore Island) and over 60 much smaller islets, Singapore is separated from Peninsular Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia’s Riau Islands by the Singapore Strait to its south.  The country is highly urbanized and is one of the world’s leading commercial hubs, with the fourth largest financial center and one of world’s five busiest ports.  It also boasts one of the finest education systems in the Southeast Asian region.
Types of Schools Offering Distance Education in Singapore
For students who wish to pursue an education at the post-secondary level, the country of Singapore offers three distinct types of schools, all of which offer at least some type of distance education and online courses.  These schools include Polytechnics, ITE Colleges and Universities.
The first polytechnic institution in Singapore—Singapore Polytechnic—dates back to 1954, with the most recent polytechnic—Republic Polytechnic—opening its doors in 2003.  In total, there are now five polytechnics located in the country, with the others being Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Temasek Polytechnic and Nanyang Polytechnic.
Unlike polytechnics in other countries, Singapore polytechnics do not offer degree programs.  Instead they offer 3-year diploma courses in a number of disciplines, with many of those offerings now available online.  Polytechnics in Singapore accept students based on their GCE “O” level and GCE “A” level results.
ITE Colleges
Singapore’s Institute of Technical Education (ITE) accepts students based on their GCE “O” level or GCE “N” level results.  These types of institutions, of which there are 10 scattered throughout Singapore, provide two-year programs leading to a locally-recognized “National ITE Certificate.”  A few ITE graduates continue their education at polytechnics and universities, but the vast majority uses their certificate as a springboard to entry level employment.
Universities are the third type of post-secondary institution in Singapore offering online courses and degrees.  Singapore currently has six national universities, with the two largest being National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University, each serving more than 30,000 students.  Both of these are established research universities with thousands of research staff and graduate students.  As of 2014, both universities are ranked among the Top 50 universities in the world.
In addition to the six national universities, Singapore is also home to several private colleges and universities, most of which cater to specific programs and fields, such as the Chicago Business School, which only offers courses and degrees in Business-related fields such as Business Management, Accounting, Economics and Business Administration.
Distance Learning Courses, Fields and Degrees
Polytechnics Online Course Offerings
The polytechnics in Singapore offer a vast range of online courses in a variety of fields, including:
  • Engineering
  • Business Studies
  • Accountancy
  • Tourism and Hospitality Management
  • Mass Communications
  • Digital Media
  • Biotechnology
  • And many more…
Courses are also available in certain specialized areas of study, such as marine engineering, nautical studies, nursing and optometry.  Students who successfully complete these three-year study programs are awarded a nationally-recognized diploma, which allows them to pursue basic entry-level employment in their chosen field of study.  About 40 percent of students who pursue post-secondary education in Singapore enroll in the country’s polytechnics.
ITE College Online Course Offerings
The colleges administered by Singapore’s Institute of Technical Education offer two-year programs in a variety of technical fields, including:
  • Computer Programming
  • Computer Science
  • Electronics
  • Database Management
  • Management Information Systems
  • Computer Repair
  • And many more…
For each course, the ITE colleges provide four main levels of certification:
  • Master National ITE Certificate (Master Nitec)
  • Higher National ITE Certificate (Higher Nitec)
  • National ITE Certificate (Nitec)
  • Technical Engineer Diploma (TED) (from 2007)
There are also other skills certification through part-time apprenticeship courses conducted jointly by the Institute of Technical Education and industrial companies throughout Singapore.

University Online Course Offerings

Each of the six national universities in Singapore offer courses leading to undergraduate (Bachelor) and graduate degrees (Master).  The larger research universities also offer doctoral programs in a variety of fields, as well as advanced specialized degrees in areas such as Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine and Law.  The course offerings at these institutions are much like you would expect at other large universities around the world, and are broken down into six main program areas, including:
  • Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Business, Economics and Administration
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Biological and Life Sciences (including Medical Sciences)
  • Language
  • Physical Sciences and Mathematics
Courses in each of these five categories are regularly offered online to students and require little to no physical participation, save for exams, guest lectures, etc.  As mentioned briefly above, not all of the study categories are represented at every Singapore University, as the smaller private colleges and universities tend to specialize in a particular academic or professional area, such as technology, business or teaching.

Primary and Secondary Schools in Singapore

Education is a prime focus area for Singapore government and is, thus, regulated by the Ministry of Education. The ministry is directly involved in publicly funded schools and plays an advisor to the private schools. In 2000, the government has made primary education in Singapore compulsory through the Compulsory Education Act. Primary and secondary education in Singapore is free, barring a nominal charge for administrative costs.
Primary Education in Singapore:
Primary education in Singapore spans six years and is a two stage process, beginning at the age of seven. The two phases are:
  • Foundation Stage, which spans four years from Primary 1 to 4. This stage lays the foundation of formal education for students. Students are taught a core curriculum comprising English, Maths and Mother Tongue (Chinese, Malay, Tamil or a Non-Tamil Indian Language) supplemented by subjects like Music, Art & Craft, Physical Education and Social Studies. Science is introduced in year three of the primary education in Singapore.
  • Orientation Stage, which spans two years from Primary 5 to 6. After successfully completing Primary 4 level, students are grouped according to their learning ability. Primary schools in Singapore are given the flexibility to have their own internal examination system for gauging students’ abilities. Based on their performance, primary schools in Singapore give students an option to study their mother tongue at a higher, standard or foundation level, and Science & Maths at standard or foundation level. Upon completion of Primary 6, students sit for the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE)
Primary Education in Singapore – Curriculum:
The curriculum of primary education in Singapore is designed to ensure an all round development of the students. The curriculum is divided into 3 circles:
  • Inner Circle focuses on ensuring that the students acquire values and skills, aiding them to become responsible citizens and good human beings
  • Middle Circle is aimed at developing students’ analytical and communicational abilities by laying focus on their thinking, processing and communication skills
  • Outermost Circle has Humanities & Arts, Maths & Sciences and language based subjects, exposing students to a vast area of content
Primary education in Singapore encourages Co-Curricular Activities and Programs, involving the community, to achieve an all round development of the students.
Secondary Education in Singapore
The PSLE (Primary School Leaving Examination) forms the basis for a student’s progress to secondary education in Singapore. Grades in this Examination determine the allocation of seats for secondary schools in Singapore. Secondary education in Singapore can be four or five years long depending on the course being attended by a student.
 Secondary schools in Singapore offer their students three kinds of courses:
  • Normal Course is five years long and prepares students for the Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education 'Normal' (GCE 'N') Level examination in the first four years. Upon satisfactory completion, students are prepared for the GCE 'O' Level examination in the fifth year. Students in Normal Course can opt for either the Academic or Technical stream.
  • Special and Express Courses are both four years long and prepares students for the Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education 'Ordinary' (GCE 'O') Level examination.
Secondary schools in Singapore teach English, the Mother Tongue, Mathematics, Science and Humanities.  At Secondary level 3, electives are opened up to students, depending on whether they are in the Arts, Science, Commerce or Technical stream.
Co-curricular Activities (CCA) are mandatory at the secondary schools in Singapore. Students are required to participate in at least one core activity, wherein their abilities are gauged using the ‘LEAPS’ (Leadership, Enrichment, Achievement, Participation, Service) system. CCA activities are usually grouped under Uniformed (for military drill and essential skills such as team-bonding and first-aid), Performing Arts, Clubs & Societies and Sports & Games.

List of primary and secondary schools in Singapore

Damai Secondary School

Singapore, Singapore
DSS came into existence in 1994 as a co-ed government school residing in Singapore near the Bedok Reservoir. The school campus entails a multi-purpose hall, 50 classrooms, multimedia theatre, AV library, 4 Computer labs, Physics, Biology & Chemistry labs, conference room, Technology lab etc. DSS is working on a “wireless learning environment”, which allows students to communicate with teachers via laptop. DSS promotes society development through community development programs as flag days, beach & park cleaning and other volunteer work. DSS also has links with DEMS (Dongpo... See full description.

Insworld Institute

Singapore, Singapore
Insworld Institute is based in Singapore, and aims to provide high-quality British education in this area of the world. The institution is made up of a Junior College, Junior Secondary, High School, and a department of English for Academic Studies. Students follow the British curriculum, including IGCSE and A level programs, most of whom go on to continue their education in prestigious universities in the UK, Singapore, USA, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Insworld Institute puts an emphasis on developing the critical thinking skills of its students, and in order to achieve this aim... See full description.

Cities to study in Singapore

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