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Psychology/Political Science/Sociology (PPS) Major

The Bachelor in Social Science programme delivers a broad-based undergraduate education centered on the disciplines of Psychology, Sociology and Political Science (PPS). Combining these disciplines gives the student a holistic, multi-disciplinary and integrated approach to the study of phenomena in the social sciences and develops the tools and frameworks applicable to careers in the human services fields, education, management and other analytical and social-intensive professions.

A new curriculum has been implemented for new incoming students with effect from Academic Year 2019/20. Students are expected to complete a total of 36 course units.

Last updated on 31 Jan 2019 .

UNIVERSITY CORE - CAPABILITIES

Choose two from:

  1. Business, Government and Society
  2. Spreadsheet Modelling and Analytics
  3. Design Thinking
  4. Entrepreneurship and Value Creation
  5. Leadership and Team Building
  6. Management Communication

Choose one from:

  1. Critical Thinking
  2. Computational Thinking
  3. Innovation and Creative Thinking
  4. Decision Making
  5. Managing in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous Context

Exemptions may be given for the courses on the basis of good pre-university grades for GCE A-level, Polytechnic Diploma, or other recognised qualifications.

  1. Calculus

Exemptions may be given for the courses on the basis of good pre-university grades for GCE A-level, Polytechnic Diploma, or other recognised qualifications.

  1. Programme in Writing and Reasoning

To be awarded 1 CU for their internship programme, students would need to complete the following requirements:

  1. Pre-internship e-learning workshops
  2. Reflective Practice Unit and reflection journals
  3. Minimum 10-week internship
  4. Tri-partite Learning Agreement
  5. Performance report, in consultation with internship supervisor
  6. Internship report

UNIVERSITY CORE - COMMUNITIES

This course introduces students to the study of economic relations as social relations. While market behaviour is often governed by rationality and predictable models, economic life is also profoundly social, and is intertwined with all forms of social relations and embedded in the power dynamics of any given society.

Choose one from:

  1. Artificial Intelligence and Society
  2. Digital Media in Society
  3. Science, Environment and Empire
  4. Technology and World Change

Choose one from:

  1. Arts and Humanities, such as:
    • Asian Histories
    • Film in Southeast Asia
    • Singapore Literature
  2. Societal and Civilisational Cultures, such as:
    • Cultures of Innovation
    • Family Business Cultures
    • Urban Cultures
  3. Foreign Languages

To be awarded 1 CU for their Community Service programme, students would need to complete the following requirements:

  1. Pre-internship e-learning workshops
  2. Reflective Practice Unit and reflection journals
  3. 80 hours of Community Service
  4. Post-service report

UNIVERSITY CORE - CIVILISATIONS

Ethical and socially responsible conduct is treated with increasing importance and prominence by the corporate world, governments, the public, and other stakeholders globally.

Big Questions will introduce students to the challenging ethical, theoretical, and operational debates that attend to these themes. Students in any given year will be able to choose from a menu of four sub-themes, each using a different disciplinary lens and focusing on different aspects of the theme, while also sharing a canon of readings and attending public lectures dedicated to the year's theme for a shared intellectual experience.

Global traction and understanding underpins success in careers in today's globally connected environment. To have global exposure from the vantage of a university education is invaluable for international networking and global vision; it also open doors to bigger opportunities. Therefore, SMU has made it mandatory for all students to complete a Global Exposure experience prior to their graduation. Students may fulfil the Global Exposure requirement by participating in any of the following SMU-organised overseas activities:

  1. International Exchange Programme
  2. Summer Exchange Programme
  3. Short-Term Study Programme
  4. Community Service
  5. Study Mission
  1. Co-Curricular Activities
  2. Internship
  3. Global Innovation Immersion Programme
  4. SMU-X Overseas
  5. Cultural or Technological Immersion Programme

MAJOR REQUIREMENTS

Students intending to pursue a major in Political Science are required to complete the following courses:

  1. Introduction to Politics and Policy Studies
  2. Introduction to Psychology
  3. Understanding Societies
  4. Introductory Statistics
  5. South-East Asia Past and Present
  6. Social Science Practicum

The Social Science Practicum (SSP) is a compulsory module for all BSocSc students. The purpose of the SSP is to get final-year students to apply the theories and research methods they have learned to real world problems and to seek solutions that are informed by a multidisciplinary social science perspective. Every SSP module will deal with some specific real world problem(s), such as those created by an aging population or by rising inequality. There will be a substantial project component where students from different social science disciplines will work together to find practical solutions to these problems. Working in small groups to find solutions to real world problems will create opportunities for students to apply the theories and research tools that they have learned and to develop an integrative understanding of the social sciences.

Students intending to pursue a major in Psychology are required to complete the following courses:

  1. Introduction to Politics and Policy Studies
  2. Introduction to Psychology
  3. Understanding Societies
  4. Introductory Statistics
  1. South-East Asia Past and Present
  2. Psychology Research Methods I
  3. Psychology Research Methods II
  4. Social Science Practicum

The Social Science Practicum (SSP) is a compulsory module for all BSocSc students. The purpose of the SSP is to get final-year students to apply the theories and research methods they have learned to real world problems and to seek solutions that are informed by a multidisciplinary social science perspective. Every SSP module will deal with some specific real world problem(s), such as those created by an aging population or by rising inequality. There will be a substantial project component where students from different social science disciplines will work together to find practical solutions to these problems. Working in small groups to find solutions to real world problems will create opportunities for students to apply the theories and research tools that they have learned and to develop an integrative understanding of the social sciences.

Students intending to pursue a major in Sociology are required to complete the following courses:

  1. Introduction to Politics and Policy Studies
  2. Introduction to Psychology
  3. Understanding Societies
  4. Introductory Statistics
  1. South-East Asia Past and Present
  2. Introduction to Sociological Theory
  3. Research Methods in Sociology and Political Science
  4. Social Science Practicum

The Social Science Practicum (SSP) is a compulsory module for all BSocSc students. The purpose of the SSP is to get final-year students to apply the theories and research methods they have learned to real world problems and to seek solutions that are informed by a multidisciplinary social science perspective. Every SSP module will deal with some specific real world problem(s), such as those created by an aging population or by rising inequality. There will be a substantial project component where students from different social science disciplines will work together to find practical solutions to these problems. Working in small groups to find solutions to real world problems will create opportunities for students to apply the theories and research tools that they have learned and to develop an integrative understanding of the social sciences.

[Only applicable for students pursing a major in Political Science]

Political Science addresses important relevant questions, from the protection of rights and the organisation of power within countries to international relations and terrorism. The courses provide the analytical tools to understand and interpret contemporary and historical events, while simultaneously sharing important insights on how power is structured, contested and exercised. The courses draw from all major subfields in political science – comparative politics, international relations, political theory and political economy.

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

  1. International Political Economy
  2. Introduction to Public Policy
  3. World Politics
  4. Comparing Political Systems
  5. European Union Politics
  6. Political Theory
  7. International Relations of East Asia
  8. The Politics of Water in Asia
  1. Politics of South East Asia
  2. Politics of the Two Koreas
  3. Security Studies
  4. Development, Underdevelopment and Poverty
  5. Elections and the Media
  6. Political Science Study Mission
  7. Special Topics in Political Issues
  8. Senior Thesis in Political Issue

[Only applicable for students pursing a major in Psychology]

Psychology is the scientific study of behaviour and mental processes. Behaviour encompasses everything that people do that can be observed, while mental processes refer to thoughts, feelings, motives, and other unobservable phenomena. Psychological theories and research have a number of applications in the business industry, educational settings, public policy, and more. The major sub-disciplines of psychology include social, developmental, cognitive, biological, health, industrial/organisational, abnormal, and personality psychology.

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

  1. Abnormal Psychology
  2. Cognitive Psychology
  3. Developmental Psychology
  4. Health Psychology
  5. Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  6. Subjective Well-Being
  7. Psychology of Individual Differences
  8. Social Psychology
  1. Psychology of Group Processes and Decision-Making
  2. Cultural Psychology
  3. Evolutionary Psychology
  4. Psychology of Close Relationships
  5. Psychology of Emotions
  6. Psychology of Motivation
  7. Psychology Study Mission
  8. Senior Thesis in Psychology

[Only applicable for students pursing a major in Sociology]

Sociology is a diverse discipline, which aims to explain societal trends and institutions to make sense of culture, politics, and the economy. The Sociology courses are oriented toward developing students' critical thinking pertaining to causes and conditions of changes in societies around the globe, with a particular focus on Asia. The courses also address challenges to societies derived from social inequality, crime and deviance, and the role of networks in social outcomes such as fads and fashions.

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

  1. Contemporary South Asian Societies
  2. Deconstructing Singapore Society
  3. Media and Society
  4. Gender and Family
  5. Sociology of Food
  6. Global and Transnational Sociology
  7. Population and Society
  8. Migration and Urbanisation
  1. Sociological Theories of Crime and Deviance
  2. Sociology of Economic Life
  3. Sociology of Fads and Fashion
  4. Nation-Building in Asia
  5. Sociology of Work
  6. Social Stratification and Inequality
  7. Sociology Study Mission
  8. Senior Thesis in Sociology

FREE ELECTIVES

The Free Electives component in the curriculum allows students to choose courses from their major to deepen their disciplinary domain knowledge, or courses from other majors and schools to broaden their knowledge across disciplines. Students may take any SMU course to fulfil the Free Electives component.

Students may be given exemptions for up to 3 Free Electives CUs on the basis of good pre-university grades for GCE A-level, Polytechnic Diploma, or other recognised qualifications.

ADDITIONAL GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

It is imperative that SMU students understands deeply the complexities and intricacies of living and working in Singapore, as well as considers how they may bring meaningful impact to the growth and development of Singapore. Students may fulfil the Singapore Studies graduation requirement by completing any of the following:

  1. Business, Government and Society
  2. Deconstructing Singapore's Society
  3. Rule of Law in Singapore
  4. Singapore History
  5. Singapore Literature

In addition to achieving a deeper comprehension of Singapore, SMU believes our students should acquire knowledge of Singapore's continental context, in particular the complex and dynamic societies in Southeast Asia, and nearby China and India. Students may fulfil the Asia Studies graduation requirement by completing any of the following:

  1. Asia Pacific Business
  2. Capital Markets in Asia
  3. Economic Development in Asia
  4. Film in Southeast Asia
  5. Southeast Asian Business Ecosystem
  6. Overseas study mission (Asia)
  7. SMU-X overseas (Asia)

 

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

The Social Science Core grounds students in the theories, concepts and working tools in the social sciences that are essential for competitiveness in the modern global workplace.

  1. Introduction to Political and Policy Studies
  2. Introduction to Psychology
  3. Understanding Societies
  4. Introductory Statistics

BSocSc students specialise in one of the following three disciplines: Political Science, Psychology or Sociology. The BSocSc student is required to declare a major by the end of their second year of study and take at least seven courses in their chosen major.

Political Science addresses important relevant questions, from the protection of rights and the organisation of power within countries to international relations and terrorism. The courses provide the analytical tools to understand and interpret contemporary and historical events, while simultaneously sharing important insights on how power is structured, contested and exercised. The courses draw from all major subfields in political science – comparative politics, international relations, political theory and political economy.

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

  1. Conflict and Justice in International Relations
  2. Political Science Study Mission
  3. Development, Underdevelopment and Poverty
  4. Politics of Japan and Korea
  5. Elections and the Media
  6. Security Studies
  1. European Union Politics
  2. Special Projects with International Organisations
  3. Human Rights in International Relations
  4. The Politics of Water in Asia
  5. Introduction to Public Policy

 

 

Psychology is the scientific study of behaviour and mental processes. Behaviour encompasses everything that people do that can be observed, while mental processes refer to thoughts, feelings, motives, and other unobservable phenomena. Psychological theories and research have a number of applications in the business industry, educational settings, public policy, and more. The major sub-disciplines of psychology include social, developmental, cognitive, biological, health, industrial/organisational, abnormal, and personality psychology.

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

  1. Psychology Research Methods I and II (Compulsory)
  2. Abnormal Psychology
  3. Cognitive Psychology
  4. Cultural Psychology
  5. Developmental Psychology
  6. Evolutionary Psychology
  1. Industrial and Organisational Psychology
  2. Psychology of Reasoning and Thinking
  3. Psychometrics and Psychological Testing
  4. Social Psychology
  5. Subjective Well-Being

 

 

Sociology is a diverse discipline, which aims to explain societal trends and institutions to make sense of culture, politics, and the economy. The Sociology courses are oriented toward developing students' critical thinking pertaining to causes and conditions of changes in societies around the globe, with a particular focus on Asia. The courses also address challenges to societies derived from social inequality, crime and deviance, and the role of networks in social outcomes such as fads and fashions.

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

  1. Research Methods in Sociology and Political Science (Compulsory)
  2. Gender and Family
  3. Global and Transnational Sociology
  4. Social Networks
  5. Social Problems in Asia
  6. Social Stratification and Inequality
  1. Sociological Theories of Crime and Deviance
  2. Sociology of Economic Life
  3. Sociology of Fads and Fashion
  4. Sociology of Food
  5. Sociology of Mass Media

The Social Science Major-Related Options in the BSocSc curriculum allow students to freely choose eight elective courses from the course offerings in the majors in Social Sciences, Accounting, Business, Economics, Information Systems and Law. Of the eight courses in this category, at least two must be selected from the Majors in Social Sciences.

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
  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.

 

Note: Course listing may change from time to time

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