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The Bachelor in Social Science programme delivers a broad-based undergraduate education centered on the disciplines of Psychology, Sociology and Political Science. 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.

The curriculum also shares modules in common with other degree programmes at SMU, such as Foundation Courses, University Core, General Education, and Technology and Entrepreneurship. Students are expected to complete a total of 36 course units and an Internship Programme. Students must read a minimum of 3 courses and a maximum of 6.5 courses per term.

SUBJECT AREAS (AY2015/2016 onwards)

  Foundation Courses
(3 Courses)
+ University Core
(4 Courses)
+ Social Science Core
(4 Courses)
  Social Science Major
(7 Courses in one field)
+ Social Science
Major-Related Options
(8 Courses)
+ Social Science
Capstone Seminar (1)
  General Education
(4 Courses)
+ Technology Studies
(1 Course)
+ Globalisation
(1 Course)
  Modes of Thinking
(1 Course)
+ Entrepreneurship
(1 Course)
+ Asian Studies
(1 Course)
      SMU Internship



Detailed Curriculum (AY2015/16 onwards)

Starting in A.Y. 2019-2020, all incoming SMU freshmen will experience a new Core Curriculum comprising a series of courses and activities that initiate undergraduates into their transformative education. Learn more.

Foundation Courses
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
University Core
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  
Social Science Core
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


Social Science Major
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

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 7. Political Science Study Mission
2. Development, Underdevelopment and Poverty 8. Politics of Japan and Korea
3. Elections and the Media 9. Security Studies
4. European Union Politics 10. Special Projects with International Organisations
5. Human Rights in International Relations 11. The Politics of Water in Asia
6. 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) 7. Industrial and Organisational Psychology
2. Abnormal Psychology 8. Psychology of Reasoning and Thinking
3. Cognitive Psychology 9. Psychometrics and Psychological Testing
4. Cultural Psychology 10. Social Psychology
5. Developmental Psychology 11. Subjective Well-Being
6. Evolutionary Psychology  

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) 7. Sociological Theories of Crime and Deviance
2. Gender and Family 8. Sociology of Economic Life
3. Global and Transnational Sociology 9. Sociology of Fads and Fashion
4. Social Networks 10. Sociology of Food
5. Social Problems in Asia 11. Sociology of Mass Media
6. Social Stratification and Inequality  
Social Science Major Related Options
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.
Social Science Capstone Seminar
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.


General Education
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)
7. Environmental Science
2. Biotechnology and Bioentrepreneurship 8. Intercultural Communication
3. Creative Writing 9. Introduction to Physical Science
4. Current Issues in Business, Culture and Society 10. Language (e.g. French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Thai)
5. Dance: East and West 11. Music: East and West
6. Drama and Scriptwriting 12. Principles of Coaching  in Sports
Technology Studies
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
5. Technology and World Change
2. Governing, Managing and Protecting Knowledge in Organisations
6. The Games and Digital Media Industries
3. Intelligent Organisations
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 4. Social Media and Organisations
2. International Law and Global Politics
5. Sustainability Governance and Management
3. Economics of Globalisation
Modes of Thinking
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
3. Critical Thinking in the Real World
2. Analytical Skills and Creative Thinking  
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      
4. Entrepreneurship and Business Creation
2. Design Thinking and Innovation
5. Enterprise Consulting
3. Entrepreneurial Finance      
Asian Studies
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
4. Politics of Southeast Asia
2. Exploring Asian Identities      
5. Popular Culture in Asia
3. Political Economy of East Asia      


SMU Internship Programme
The Internship Programme consists of a 10-week business attachment in a public sector organization or business organization and a 80hr 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.

Last updated on 05 Oct 2018 .