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Politics, Law, and Economics (PLE) Major

The first of its kind in Singapore, the new Politics, Law and Economics major will be offered by the SMU School of Social Sciences starting from 2016. This innovative major aims to prepare future leaders and thinkers with a deep understanding of global political and economic transformations and the legal frameworks and contexts within which such changes take place. Students will hone strategic and analytical thinking skills and seek innovative solutions to real world problems.

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the major, graduates would be well-equipped with the knowledge and skills to handle multifaceted jobs in their chosen fields of public service, non-government organisations or industry. Possible jobs include careers in journalism, diplomatic service, foreign affairs, public service, consulting and research, amongst others.

The Bachelor of Social Science’s Politics, Law and Economics major consists of 36 course units, a 10-week internship programme, an 80-hour community service commitment, and a series of 7 Finishing Touch workshops. All areas of the requirements are pursued simultaneously throughout the four years.

Last updated on 15 Jan 2019 .

Note: Course listing may change from time to time

* The details for each course are available in the Course Catalogue.

REQUIREMENTS FOR POLITICS, LAW AND ECONOMICS (PLE)

The Foundation courses provide students with a basic background in mathematical thinking, economic reasoning, and writing skills. Students who have obtained good grades in equivalent subjects taken previously may be exempted from these courses.

  1. Calculus
  2. Introductory Economics
  3. Programme in Writing and Reasoning

The University Core is the heart of all SMU undergraduate programmes. Students are expected to acquire an understanding of general business dynamics, gain sensitivity to ethical issues, develop effective leadership strategies, and attain proficiency in their communication skills.

  1. Business, Government and Society
  2. Ethics and Social Responsibility
  3. Leadership and Teambuilding
  4. Management Communication
  1. Intermediate Mathematics for Economics
  2. Intermediate Microeconomics
  3. Intermediate Macroeconomics
  4. Legal Theory and Philosophy
  5. Business Law
  1. Company Law
  2. Political Theory
  3. Introduction to Political and Policy Studies
  4. Research Methods in Sociology and Political Science
  5. Strategic Thinking

Politics, Law and Economics major is designed to prepare future leaders and thinkers with a deep understanding of global political and economic transformations and the legal frameworks and contexts within which such changes take place. Comprising courses in the fields of politics, law and economics that will hone strategic and analytical thinking skills, students will be empowered to seek innovative solutions to real world problems.

Students must choose one of the following themes and read four courses from the chosen theme. Not all courses will be offered every term. Enrolled students should refer to the course offering when planning their courses.

Choice and Behaviour

The following is a sample of courses that are offered in this theme:

  1. Advanced Microeconomics
  2. The Economics of Politics
  3. Psychology of Group Processes and Decision making
  4. Legal Theory and Philosophy
  5. Probability Theory and Applications
  1. Psychology of Reasoning and Thinking
  2. Economic Analysis of Law
  3. Policy Design and Analysis
  4. Law and Regulation

 

 

Global Studies

The following is a sample of courses that are offered in this theme:

  1. The Politics of Water in Asia
  2. Foundations of ASEAN Law and Policy
  3. International Economics B
  4. Developmental Economics
  1. WTO: Law and Policy
  2. Introduction to Chinese History, Culture, Economics, Politics and the Law
  3. World Politics

 

 

Public Policy and Governance

The following is a sample of courses that are offered in this theme:

  1. Law and Policy of Ethnic Relations in Singapore
  2. Health Economics
  3. Public International Law
  4. Constitutional & Administrative Law (1.5 course unit)
  5. Public Sector Economics
  6. Urban Economics and Policy
  7. Sustainable Cities
  1. Monetary Economics
  2. The Economics of Politics
  3. Introduction to Public Policy
  4. Public Policy Taskforce
  5. Public Sector Management
  6. Policy Design and Analysis

 

 

Distribution and Justice

The following is a sample of courses that are offered in this theme:

  1. Stratification and Inequality
  2. Gender Politics: Exclusion and Empowerment
  3. Politics of Food Security
  4. Development, Underdevelopment and Poverty
  1. Economic Growth
  2. Macroeconomics of Income Distribution
  3. International and Comparative Criminal Justice
  4. Jurisprudence: Modern and Critical Theories of Law

 

 

Senior Thesis (2 course units)

Eligible students may choose to do a senior thesis in place of two major elective courses.

Study Mission

Students may choose to do either a Law Study Mission or a Political Science Study Mission in place of one major elective course.

The Politics, Law and Economics Major-Related Options provide students with the flexibility to freely choose five elective courses from the course offerings in the majors in Social Sciences, Accounting, Business, Economics, Information Systems and Law.

This is an integrative seminar that the BSocSc student is required to take before graduating. This seminar provides an opportunity for the student to integrate the knowledge, skills and learning experiences acquired in the social science programme through relating academic knowledge to important practical applications.

To broaden their intellectual perspectives beyond the social sciences, students are required to take a total of four General Education courses. The following is a sample of courses that can be taken to fulfil this requirement.

  1. Computer as an Analysis Tool (Compulsory Course under either General Education or Technology Studies)
  2. Biotechnology and Bioentrepreneurship
  3. Creative Writing
  4. Current Issues in Business, Culture and Society
  5. Dance: East and West
  6. Drama and Scriptwriting
  1. Environmental Science
  2. Intercultural Communication
  3. Introduction to Physical Science
  4. Language (e.g. French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Thai)
  5. Music: East and West/li>
  6. Principles of Coaching in Sports

The Technology Studies courses enable students to be perceptive to technological trends and to be cognizant of how technology affects business and society. The following is a sample of courses that can be taken to fulfil this requirement.

  1. Computing Technology for Finance
  2. Governing, Managing and Protecting Knowledge in Organisations
  3. Intelligent Organisations
  4. Technology and World Change
  5. The Games and Digital Media Industries

The Globalisation courses enable students to develop a stronger sense of global awareness by broadening their exposure to business, political and social practices beyond Singapore. The following is a sample of courses that can be taken to fulfil this requirement.

  1. Corporate Responsibility in the Global Era
  2. International Law and Global Politics
  3. Economics of Globalisation
  4. Social Media and Organisations
  5. Sustainability Governance and Management

The Modes of Thinking courses aim to equip all students with the intellectual skills needed to operate in a complex and challenging environment. Students are required to take one of the following courses.

  1. Managing Volatility, Uncertainty, Change and Ambiguity
  2. Analytical Skills and Creative Thinking
  3. Critical Thinking in the Real World

The Entrepreneurship courses enable students to gain familiarity with the entrepreneurial process and acquire practical skills that will help them transform into innovative leaders of tomorrow. The following is a sample of courses that can be taken to fulfil this requirement.

  1. Accounting for Entrepreneurs
  2. Design Thinking and Innovation
  3. Entrepreneurial Finance
  4. Entrepreneurship and Business Creation
  5. Enterprise Consulting

The Asian Studies courses provide students with an enhanced understanding of the role of Asia in a modern business environment and foundational knowledge of the multiplicity of countries within the Asian region. The following is a sample of courses that can be taken to fulfil this requirement.

  1. Contemporary South Asian Societies
  2. Exploring Asian Identities
  3. Political Economy of East Asia
  4. Politics of Southeast Asia
  5. Popular Culture in Asia

The Internship Programme consists of a 10-week business attachment in a public sector organization or business organization and a 80-hour attachment at a Voluntary Welfare Organization (VWO). As the details of the organization and the time spent in each organization will be reflected in the transcript, students must ensure that they have fulfilled their attachments before filing for graduation.

Course Exemption for SMU Juris Doctor Programme

PLE students who are admitted to the J.D. programme within three years of obtaining their bachelor degree may be exempted for up to 5 course units from the 25 course units of the J.D. degree, if they have completed 5 Law courses at SMU in the undergraduate degree. LGST courses and other universities’ courses taken on exchange do not qualify for exemption. The grade point obtained for the Law courses exempted will be computed into the J.D. GPA. If, in addition to the 5 exempted Law courses, a student has completed other SMU courses listed in the J.D. list of Law core courses, s/he does not have to take those courses again, but will have to replace them with J.D. Law electives, in order to bring the total course units completed in the J.D. degree to 20 course units.