Updated: NUS Module Reviews
[as of 6 June 2019] Here's what I think about modules I've taken at NUS. \\
The original post was written on my wordpress, but since I've decided to migrate to wix I've brought with me content that were thought to be useful. This is for those looking to take modules at NUS FASS.
MPE is coming soon, & I found it really useful to have access to #modulereviews before planning my timetable so I thought I'd do one for all the modules I've taken the past 2 years. The last time I did this was at the end of Semester 1 in year 1 (that was 2 years ago) & I didn't know what to look out for back then, so I hope this post helps you with your module choices. Make sure to check out the graduation requirements first.
I went into NUS not knowing what I was going to major in, but I took more NM and TS modules because I was more interested in these majors then. The following module reviews are arranged according to the academic year & semester I took them, which may be important 'cause some modules are only available in particular semesters. A few things to note when you're choosing modules: (1) who is teaching the module, (2) workload/grading assessment, & (3) content.
(1) is most important because the lecturer/tutor's teaching really dictates how much you can learn from the module. If your lecturer is reading off the slides, you might as well google what you need by yourself. (2) is important not just for you, but your classmates. If you don't want to dedicate time for group projects, then don't take modules that require you to work in groups for your benefit and the benefit of your potential group mates. It really sucks to have freeloaders in the group when you're working on a project. (3) Content matters a lot to me because I hate 'learning' the same things over and over again, which happens a lot when you take NM modules - I think the department wants us to practice PR/research when we graduate but I personally don't like both. So if you're like me and looking to learn something new every semester, then pay attention to the module content. I find it more enjoyable learning about something I am interested in.
Make sure to do your homework before bidding for modules. Use this link to arrange your modules for the semester to make sure there are no clashes in your timetable. Do note I went for an exchange in 2016/2017 Sem 2, and then took a leave of absence in semester 1 of the 2017/2018 & 2018/2019 academic years, so these modules may have changed a whole lot since my time. I've written reviews for 35 modules (I overloaded in two semesters), use the 'ctrl' + 'f' function to find the modules you're looking for:
#EN1101E, #EN2203, #GEK1000, #GEK1108, #GEM1003, #GEM1536, #GEM2027, #LAG1201, #MA1312, #NM1101E, #NM2101, #NM2103, #NM2104, #NM2203, #NM2219, #NM2220, #NM3205, #NM3210, #NM3211, #NM3217, #NM3219, #NM3224, #NM3236, #NM4102, #NM4204, #NM4230, #NM4238, #NM4239, #NM4881C, #NM4881D, #NM4881E, #PC1327, #SC1101E, #SE1101E, #SSA2202 #TS1101E, #TS2234, #TS2240
1. NM4238: Software Studies (2018/2019, Sem 2)
Final grade: A
Lecturer/Tutor: Dr. Lonce Wyse
Grading assessment: Class participation (25%), Presentations/Discussions (20%), Mid-term essay + final essay (55%)
3 hours seminar every week. Heavy readings, but I found some of them to be pretty interesting. We had to post a weekly reading diary and critical responses to the readings - this was a little bit of a chore towards the end of the semester simply because the readings got too much. Discussions were in the form of a panel, which meant Dr. Lonce would select several students to lead a class discussion in that week, about the readings/main topic. I got picked twice only; I think this depended on the class size on rotation. We never had lecture notes, which bothered me because I could never really clarify if I understood certain concepts properly. I did like that we had free realm over what we wanted to write for our essays. For the mid-terms, I wrote an essay about Time and Mutable Temporality: A Closer Look at Algorithms and Algorithmic Culture in Films; for my finals I wrote an essay based on Spike Jonze's Her to study the notion of a Singularity in the AI context. Did well for both essays. I think it's best to email Dr. Lonce with your intended topic and some fundamental readings prior to writing the essay; but not necessary to consult. I finished each essay within 3-4 days (and submitted my final one late oops).
If you needed help with summarising the readings or just wanted to get it done here's a link to my blog, where you may find most of my weekly blog posts (I ended up just skipping some weeks because the readings that week didn't interest me haha) and I've put up my mid-term and final essays - I really did enjoy writing those. I highly recommend writing about something you care about because 3k/4k words can be a chore to churn out.
2. NM4239: Digital Propaganda and Public Opinion (2018/2019, Sem 2)
Final grade: A-
Lecturer/Tutor: Dr. Neyazi, Taberez Ahmed
Grading assessment: Class participation (20%), Take-home Mid-terms (20%), Individual essays (30%), Group Project (30%)
3 hours seminar every week. This was a 8am class and I was never on time besides the one day we had our group presentation. Content was dry; I had expected there to be more in-depth study of propaganda and public opinion, but the class tended to focus more on case studies across various media platforms (primarily Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp). This was not really a seminar-style class just because we had a huge class size. Bulk of the classes began as a lecture and ended with a group discussion. Half the duration of the class was also dedicated to learning about R and using R to analyse Twitter data - expect a lot of coding and some difficulties.
Individual assignments were super manageable if you followed the instructions brief closely - I did well for all of them. We were required to use R for the group project, which was ok mostly because my groupmates were amazing to work with. We got lucky; groups were generated randomly.
3. NM4881D: Media, Rhetoric and the Public Sphere (2018/2019, Sem 2)
Final grade: A
Lecturer/Tutor: Dr. Annisa Ridzkynoor Beta
Grading assessment: Class participation (20%), Lead Discussion (20%), Response Paper (10%), Reflective learning journal (15%), Final essay (35%)
2.5 hours seminar every week. Thoroughly enjoyed this module - issues discussed in class were interesting and important to talk about. Dr. Annisa provided a clear structure and direction for the module while ensuring we had room to think about these issues beyond what was taught in class. We spent the first half of the module studying notions of 'public spheres' and whether or not there were such spaces in Singapore; second half of the module focused more on diverse topics that intersect with the public sphere (i.e. issues of religion, of gender, of race, of youth). Very very interesting things, and very worth studying/thinking about I feel.
We were required to summarise each week's readings (while they can be hard to dissect, they were very interesting in my opinion) and upload them on a shared class OneNote. Quite manageable and made sure you could participate valuably in class. Assignments in the module were entirely individual, which I loved, and you could decide what topics you wanted to respond to. The final essay was a little bit trickier since it became reminiscent of a research paper, but still manageable - I wrote on the sexual harassment scandal in NUS by conducting a cross-platform content analysis of news articles/social media posts. Highly recommend taking this module especially with Dr. Annisa - my personal consultation with her for the lead discussion and the essay was incredibly fruitful and she really encourages you to think about issues that I feel are important for our society.
4. EN2203: Introduction to Film Studies (2018/2019, Sem 2)
Final grade: B+
Lecturer: Dr. Valerie Wee Su-lin
Tutor: Ms. Sonia Taj Marican
Grading assessment: Tutorial participation (20%), Tutorial facilitation & report (20%), Mid-semester test (30%), Final essay (30%)
2 hours lecture, 2 hours film screening & 1 hour tutorial every week. Lectures were useful and not a mere regurgitation of lecture notes (like in some other modules lel). Dr. Wee provides examples wherever relevant to clarify concepts, so it would be good to show up at lectures. Unfortunately the tutorial classes were too big to be able to engage in any meaningful discussions.
We were asked to watch a scene of Baby Driver (Wright, 2017) and answer two questions about the scene. They often required us to study specific cinematic techniques and draw conclusions from those analyses. The tutorial facilitation was a group project where you worked with 2-3 other students to lead a discussion in class about the. week's topic - mine was on post-modernism. I thoroughly enjoyed the group project; we did well. You could write on anything for the final essay - I recommend consulting Dr Wee/Ms Sonia prior to writing; I did this at the last minute and didn't do as well as I had hoped.
5. NM4102: Advanced Communications & New Media Research (2017/2018, Sem 2)
Final grade: B+
Lecturer/Tutor: Dr. Jung Eun Hwa
Grading assessment: Class participation (10%), In-class exercise (10%), Discussion Questions (15%), Reading Critique Presentation (10%), Mid-terms (25%) & Group Project (30%)
3 hours seminar every week. This is a core module for Honour students, so you can't avoid it. While this was supposedly an "advanced research" module, it was really just a reiteration of what we learnt in both NM2103 and NM2104. More emphasis was placed on quantitative research, which was annoying because the module is supposed to teach us both qualitative and quantitative research. Seminars were usually 1.5 hours lecture and 1 hour in-class exercise/presentation/discussions. The in-class exercises were usually about the content taught during the lecture of the same seminar session. There were also group presentations for the assigned readings (all research papers) where we had to summarise and critique these readings. We also had to submit a summary/critique/discussion questions for the weekly readings individually. There's no need to read all the readings assigned per week though.
The mid-term exams comprised MCQs, short answer questions and one or two long answer questions. They were pretty straightforward, so you'd do well if you had studied and answered with key words. We had free realm to choose our topic for the group project and it was honestly nice to work with friends again for the last time before they graduated. For the group project, we had to submit a research proposal, a revised methodology, a final report and a final presentation in week 11/12. Our group ended up conducting a qualitative research despite the lack of guidance and we did pretty decent grade-wise.
Dr. Jung is a professor who is very rigid so it was definitely beneficial to read assignment briefs properly and fulfil the criterion to the tee. I'd recommend starting early - the timeline she gave us was a little bit too packed towards the later part of the semester so having to manage the workload with your other modules would be challenging.
6. NM4204: Ethical Issues in Emergent Technologies (2017/2018, Sem 2)
Final grade: A-
Lecturer/Tutor: Dr. Gui Kai Chong
Grading assessment: Class participation (25%), Group presentation on a topic/case study (20%),Individual Research Essay (35%), Individual Reflection Essay (20%)
3 hours seminar every week. The first hour is usually a lecture, a short break, and then an open discussion of the readings assigned that week. I enjoyed the module I took under Dr. Gui previously so I was quite thrilled to have him teach ethics. As with all modules taught by Dr. Gui, class participation helps your grade so don't be afraid to speak in class and share your thoughts on the IVLE forum (although I didn't put up a single forum post this time). Since ethics is a very subjective topic, I think it would make for a more interesting and meaningful discussion in class if everyone offers his/her opinions. Note: it is not necessary to have had previously taken NM3236 (Ethics in Communication Management) to do well in this module - Dr. Gui provides a very good summary of the various ethical theories. You'd have to read the readings to get a better understanding of how to apply theories to real-life dilemmas (five sets each week but they're relatively short as compared to readings you'll come across in other modules). Content learnt in this class is very relatable and interesting, especially useful for people of our generation consuming technology in our everyday life.
Workload is pretty manageable. The group presentation basically involved creating a slide document (that will be used for grading) and presenting our case study to the class. I worked with friends, so it made the whole process more fun. We chose to perform an ethical analysis of Google as a technology conglomerate but on hindsight, I'd suggest selecting a more narrow case study for analysis. We faced difficulties in organising our analysis since Google dabbles into all sorts of technologies and we had a strict 20-minutes time limit. The two essays were due in week 13, so that would give you ample time to work on that. I'd recommend starting on those earlier - I ended up submitting both essays late despite an extension Dr. Gui gave to the class because I had poor time management. The 2000-words essay was easier to write since it was really a personal reflection of the topics learnt in class from an ethical perspective. The 3000-words research essay was more challenging since that involved more research and an in-depth ethical analysis of the chosen topic. I chose to discuss live streaming and its ethical issues with reference to two recent case studies. Dr. Gui loves looking at work with specific case studies so I'd recommend taking that approach when writing the paper. I enjoyed that we had freedom to choose whatever topic we wanted to explore. I highly recommend taking this module, because I feel like this is one of the rare modules NUS offers where you'd learn skills (i.e. critical thinking/ethical thinking) that are useful for personal development beyond the classroom.
7. NM4230: Communication for Social Change (2017/2018, Sem 2)
Final grade: A+
Lecturer/Tutor: Ms. Satveer Kaur
Grading assessment: Class participation (20%), Leading Discussion (15%), Group Project (35%), Individual Reflexive Paper (15%), Peer Evaluation (5%), Final Evaluation (5%)
3 hours seminar every week. The first 1.5 hours would usually be a lecture, then a short break, followed by the leading discussion presentation. I took this module despite warnings from my friends who had taken the module previously simply because I found the content taught to be interesting and relevant. The workload for this module is incredibly heavy because of the group project - there were quite a bit of deliverables and we had to work with real-life participants. The project required us to identify a group of marginalised community in our society and create a campaign with them This made me a little bit uncomfortable because we were meeting real people and in some sense, using them to complete our project. My group initiated a campaign for underprivileged youth in Singapore; this is a link to our final website. It was very meaningful though; I'm still in touch with my participant one year on.
Individual assignments were more manageable. Despite the heavy workload, I highly recommend taking this module; it alerts you to your privileges and to the inequality around us, and forces you to grapple with the discomfort that you'll face in acknowledging your privileges and dealing with the inequality.
8. NM4881C: Critical Theory and Cultural Studies (2017/2018, Sem 2)
Final grade: B+
Lecturer/Tutor: Dr. Raka Shome
Grading assessment: Class participation (10%), Individual paper (20%), Group Paper (30%) & Finals (40%)
3 hours seminar every week. This is by far the most challenging module I've taken in my entire 4 years of NUS life but one of the more fulfilling ones. Dr. Shome is an incredible teacher who encourages you to think beyond what we learn in class. The module sounds intimidating, but the issues you get to read about and discuss in class are in my opinion very important - surveillance, feminism, gender etc. It would be great to contribute to the class discussions; you get to hear diverse viewpoints from people with different backgrounds.
9. NM4881E: Photography, Visual Rhetoric and Public Culture (2017/2018, Sem 2)
Final grade: B+
Lecturer/Tutor: Dr. Patrick Wade
Grading assessment: Class participation (20%), Interpretation Paper (25%), Group Presentation (15%) & Final research paper (40%)
3 hours seminar every week. We learnt a lot about visual theorists through the readings
10. NM2219: Principles of Communication Management (2016/2017, Sem 1)
Final grade: B+
Lecturer/Tutor: Dr. Chae Jiyoung
Grading assessment: Class participation (10%), Mid-terms (25%), Group Project (30%) & Finals (35%)
2 hours lecture, 1 hour tutorial every week. I took this as a last resort to fulfil my graduation requirements, although my friends who had taken the module in previous semesters under another lecturer convinced me it was a good module. Good introduction module to PR, but if you've already done a lot of PR modules like I did, then this would be a mere repetition. The group project involved creating a PR campaign to solve an actual PR problem. Not a lot of extra time needed for the project, because tutorials are set aside for group discussions. Reports and presentations were due in Week 13, so there is plenty of time to work on the project. Midterms and finals were manageable as long as you attended lectures and read the textbook. MUST read the textbook. Must memorise key terms because Dr Chae's papers are usually fully memory work. Do attend all lectures because they really help with your understanding, and Dr Chae loves to take attendance at lectures.
11. NM3211: News Reporting and Editing (2016/2017, Sem 1)
Final grade: B
Seminar Lecturer: Mdm Bertha Henson
Grading assessment: Class Participation (30%), Scrapbook work (20%), Short Essay (20%), Long Essay (30%)
4 hours weekly seminar. By far one of the more stressful, challenging, intensive module I've ever taken in my 3 years at NUS, but I've learnt so much I wouldn't trade this for another module. We were lucky to have been taught by Madam. She may seem intimidating at first (I always have insomnia the night before her 8am class on Monday haha), but she provided really useful feedback and she's really cool?! I liked that we were doing actual reporting in the module. We got to go out of class, find stories, interview people, which is all very exciting!! And I know a lot of us interview friends when we're required to (I did it for NM2220 haha), but this module forces you to go beyond that and talk to new people and find your own stories. We got to interview Mr Woon Tai Ho (founder of Channel NewsAsia), Mr P N Balji (former chief editor of TODAY), and Mr Carl Skadian (Deputy Editor at TODAY). And we spent an evening at Toa Payoh looking for stories. Heidi and I even wrote something that was published on The Middle Ground, and it took us two full days to write the whole thing.
There is a prerequisite for this module, so you must have taken NM2220 before you can do this. Even though the workload is heavier than other modules, the learning experience is truly invaluable. I became more interested in news, and my command of the English language improved. The only qualm I have about the module is that I have absolutely no idea how I did throughout the semester, except whether I passed or failed each assignment.
12. NM3224: Cultural Industries (2016/2017, Sem 1)
Final grade: B+
Lecturer/Tutor: Mr Gui Kai Chong
Grading assessment: Class Participation (25%), Essay (30%), Finals (45%)
2 hours lecture, 1 hour tutorial every week. There were readings every week - about 2 sets of readings per week, but they were fun to read and very manageable. Tutorials were set aside to discuss these readings. I feel tutorials weren't long enough to discuss each topic in-depth, but they were enough for a broad overview. Lectures were loaded with content, but Mr Gui provides examples in the lectures and those will not be in the slides, so you must attend lectures. I found this to be a thought-provoking module - I became very aware of the cultural industries around us, and their effects on our lives.
The essay was fun to write, but a lot of time was needed to formulate the topic and conduct research on existing literature. I wrote about blogging as a cultural Intermediary in the digital age and its impact on the fashion media industry. Start thinking about the topic you want to write about earlier in the semester and consult Mr Gui before writing. He gave me really useful feedback. The final exam was the most challenging component in the module, in my opinion. We had to write 3 essays within 2 hours (15 marks each). Even though I finished the paper, I wasn't proud of my last essay. Do respond to forum posts every week - I left it to the very last minute and it was very painful.
13. NM3210: Cybercrime and Society (2016/2017, Sem 1)
Final grade: A-
Lecturer: Mrs Sofia Morales
Tutor: Ms Farah Binti Gulam Hussain Bawa
Grading assessment: Class Participation (20%), Group Project (20%), Project Presentation (10%), Finals (50%)
2 hours lecture, 1 hour tutorial every week. Very relevant to us, since most of us are online. (If you're reading this you're probably an avid user of social media.) We learnt about the cybercrimes that are prevalent in Singapore, and what we can do to alleviate these problems. Some topics include surveillance, intellectual property rights, child pornography, and cyberstalking. There were some jargons used in class but nothing very intimidating. Tutorials were dedicated to discussing the issues raised in lectures, and we had to write a short response to a question posed at the end of every tutorial class.
I enjoyed the group project. We worked in groups of 4 to write a 25 pages report about a cybercrime in a specific country. My group and I wrote about Copyright Infringement in China, and it led us to discover a lot of things we had not known about China. We also had to present our findings in lecture. MUST talk about Interpol's role in tackling cybercrimes to do well. The final exams were basically a regurgitation of the content, so make sure to go through all the lectures. No need to complete the readings. There were 12 MCQs, 24 short answer questions and 2 half page questions.
14. NM3217: Design in Strategic Communications (2016/2017, Sem 1)
Final Grade: A
Lecturer: Mr Aaron Ng Yi Kai
Tutor: Mr Tan Kai En
Grading assessment: Class Participation (10%), Organisational Research Assignment (20%), In Lab Newsletter exercise (5%), In Lab Flier Project (10%), Website (15%), Brochure (25%), Quiz (15%)
2 hours lecture, 2 hours tutorial every week. Thoroughly enjoyed the module because we actually got to learn to use Adobe softwares, and also because I really love designing. I went in with some knowledge of inDesign, but don't worry if you haven't had experiences because there is a step-by-step guide available. Based on the assignments I got back, this is an easy-to-score module with the additional benefit of learning to use new softwares. Lectures were okay, but Mr Ng reads off the slides so you can study on your own for the final quiz. Do attend the Week 12 lecture for a brief overview.
Tutorials were most useful because that was when we got to use the software. Kai was really helpful!! He taught us how to use certain tools in the softwares, and he provided us with feedback so we'd know how to improve. The softwares are available in the CNM lab, so you don't have to purchase them on your own laptop. We learnt how to use InDesign and Photoshop for the newsletter, flier and brochure assignments, and Dreamweaver for the website assignment. I got my inspirations from Pinterest and Google. Be prepared to put aside time outside of class to finish the designs, and to print the final brochure. Saras & I printed our brochures at a printing shop in Sunshine Plaza for $7.50 - A3 paper, CMYK ink and double sided. I forgot the name of the shop, but it is located opposite Victor's Kitchen. They even helped us fold our brochures, so that was great. I'd recommend this module to anybody 'cause these are skills you will need in life. And saying that you're not good at designing is irrelevant because this module is the perfect platform for you to learn with guidance from the experts.
15. PC1327: Science of Music (2016/2017, Sem 1)
Final grade: B+
Lecturer: Dr. Bernard Tan Tiong Gie
Tutor: Ms. Lydia Lam Poh Fong
Grading assessment: Essay (20%), MIDI Composition (20%), Class Participation (10%), Midterms Test (25%), Finals (25%)
4 hours weekly lecture, 1 hour tutorial every 2 weeks. Attendance at lecture really isn't necessary because everything you need to know is in the lecture slides. Dr Tan is very knowledgeable at the subject, so attending lectures will help if you have no music background. The module has a good mix of music and physics. I have not done physics or any physics-related module since sec 4 (about 5 years ago), but I found this module easy to understand. I do have music background (grade 5 piano) and it helped when I was doing the exams and the MIDI composition, but not to worry if you don't because Dr Tan is very thorough and exams were more calculations-based.
We had to write a short essay review of a concert we went to - I chose a Disney orchestra performance. Show up for every tutorial class, not just for the grades. Ms. Lydia goes through the questions in detail so it helped me understand the concepts. Bell-curve for the module is very steep though, so you need to have access to past-year papers to do well for the exams. Even though Dr Tan says he will increase the difficulty of the papers every semester, the exam papers are pretty much the same, so practising the papers beforehand will be helpful. (I have some, so if you need them please contact me.) The MIDI composition was the trickiest part of the module, in my opinion, 'cause you were left to figure out the software on your own. I used Aria Maestosa, which is a free MIDI software for Macbooks.
16. GEM1536: Darwin and Evolution (2015/2016, Sem 2)
Final grade: B- (I S/U-ed this!)
Lecturer: Dr. John Van Whye
Grading assessment: Mid-terms (50%) & Finals (50%)
4 hours weekly lectures. The grading assessment can be intimidating 'cause you're basically screwed if you screwed up any one of the components. Both exams are MCQs. I got 38/50 for my midterms (it was open book) and I ended up with a B- in the end. The finals were closed book. But I had sooooo much fun with the module I even went to the library to read up about Darwin and his theory. Prof John Van Whye is really funny and he really knows Darwin, so he is the best person to teach the module. The best part about this module: no tutorial, so all you have to do is attend every lecture and pay attention. Don't miss any lecture because all the information you need to understand the concepts are taught in the lecture and there is no webcast. If you're keen to take this module, you have to go in with an open mind. There will be a lot of myth-debunking which may challenge what you believe in. Go in with an open mind and a positive attitude, and you will enjoy yourself!
17. NM2101: Theories of Communications and New Media (2015/2016, Sem 2)
Final grade: B+
Lecturer: Dr. Zhang Weiyu
Tutor: Ms. Pham Thi Ngoc Bich
Grading assessment: Class participation (15%), Mid-terms (35%), Short Essay Assignment (10%), & Final Exams (40%)
2 hours lecture, 1 hour tutorial every week. Theory-based module. Whether I'd recommend this or not really doesn't matter because this is a core module. I think the only thing that matters is when you decide to take this. I'd recommend taking this a bit earlier (I took it in Y2S2, which is really quite late), because the theories learnt would really help you when writing research papers (i.e. NM2104/NM2103). The lectures were all web-casted, so I only turned up for 1 lecture and watched the rest online. Make sure to diligently watch them. I'd try to watch them before going to tutorial classes so that I go in ready to participate. Mid-terms & finals have MCQs and short answer questions, so they were pretty manageable. Just make sure to read the textbooks/readings and watch the webcast.
18. NM3205: Digital Culture and Art (2015/2016, Sem 2)
Final grade: B+
Lecturer: Dr. Denisa Kera
Teaching assistant: Marketa Dolejsova
Grading assessment: Curatorial proposal (40%), Tutorial assignment & peer assessment of presenter for 7 weeks (20%), Class presentation & tutorial presentation (40%)
2 hours weekly lecture. This is nothing like the description provided on IVLE, so don't expect the class to be about anything you think you know about digital culture and/or art. I went into class knowing absolutely nothing and came out of it knowing a little bit more about things like Arduino and open source hardware issues. I found it hard at times to understand what was taught because of the jargons and the lecturers' thick accents, but Google was my best friend so I'd recommend taking the module if you wanna try something very different from the other NM modules. The best part about this was that it only took up 2 hours of my time every week (i.e. 2 hours lecture + mini tutorial). Don't be afraid if you come out of class feeling absolutely confused and overwhelmed, because everyone felt the same way.
An easy-to-score module. You have to make sure to post on the forum every week, and write a 2.5k word curatorial proposal (this is individual work!) to conceptualise an exhibition about a topic. I had a lot of fun doing this even though it was pretty tedious, and I got 80/100, which is a decent grade since I only started writing the week before the deadline. After recess week, the tutorial presentations will start, so each person in your assigned group will have to prepare a presentation for your group about a specific topic. Don't be an asshole and not show up for your group mate's presentation. I'm pretty sure a lot of effort was put into preparing them, and I made sure to attend every week even though other people didn't think to do the same.
19. NM3219: Writing for Communication Management (2015/2016, Sem 2)
Final grade: A
Lecturer/Tutor: Ms Francesca Nathan
Grading assessment: Class participation (20%), Press release assignment (10%), Social Media writing assignment (15%), Final individual assignment (20%), & Group project (35%)
2 hours lecture, 2 hours tutorial every week. Having taken NM2220 and NM2203 earlier, I thought this was slightly repetitive in terms of the content we cover in class. But the workload is a lot lighter for a level 3000 module. The individual assignments were all spaced out, so I had enough time to finish them. The group project was also manageable, and Ms Fran puts up mini deadlines for you to keep track of your progress as a group, so you can plan ahead. My group ended up completing the work within a week right before the deadline. Don't be like us and manage your time better. Lectures were always loaded with content, and Ms Fran loves getting students involved, so be prepared to have to discuss with friends and share your answers in class. But try not to have classes immediately after this one 'cause this lecture never ends early.
The tutorials were not as helpful as I had hoped for it to be. As compared to NM2220 tutorials, we did a lot less writing in this class and a lot more discussions. When we did writing exercises, they were more like grammar corrections instead of actual writing, which isn't completely useless, but I would've preferred to spend the time writing actual headlines for articles or press releases.
Workload is manageable, and the group work forces you to think of ways as a Public Relations person to manage a real-life crisis/problem. Projects/assignments based on actual events in Singapore.
20. SC1101E: Making sense of society (2015/2016, Sem 2)
Final grade: B
Lecturer/Tutor: Dr. Saroja Devi D/O Neyson Doraira
Grading assessment: Individual essay (15%), Tutorial Participation (15%), Mid-terms (20%), & Finals (50%)
2 hours weekly lecture, 2 hours tutorial every 2 weeks. I did not enjoy this as much as I thought I would. Actually I pretty much hated it because we were always blaming society for status quo but never ourselves, and we were always finding faults and problems but never solutions, so that left me feeling very disoriented. But I found certain topics more interesting than others - social class, gender and sex, and religion.
Lectures would always end on time, never early, and we were always behind schedule because the pace of the lecture was really slow. One or two topics were taken out because we had no time to go through them in class, which was a bit disappointing. Mid-terms were really just regurgitation of content. I actually failed the paper oops. 5 Short Answer Questions. The essay was a simple assignment to apply sociological theories to real-life examples. Must prepare before tutorial classes to engage in discussions. Quite a bit of readings to do. We had to write essays for the final exam, so it is important to come up with own examples for each topic. Deviance seemed to be a favourite subject for the exams.
21. NM2103: Quantitative Research Methods (2015/2016, Sem 1)
Final grade: B+
Lecturer/Tutor: Dr. Chae Jiyoung
Grading assessment: SPSS Quiz (5%), Midterms (15%), Group Project (30%), Research Participation (5%), Class Participation (10%), Finals (35%)
2 hours lecture, 1 hour tutorial every week. Core module for CNM students. Attend lectures because Dr Chae will take attendance, and she provides examples that will only be available during class. Tutorials were helpful to learn how to use the SPSS software. Try not to leave SPSS to one group mate, because the software will be useful if you take other research modules. Be prepared to dedicate time outside class to finish the group project. We had to present our findings in lecture. Midterms and finals were very much content-based, so must read textbook. Easy to score in this module.
22. NM2203: Social Media in Communication Management (2015/2016, Sem 1)
Final grade: B+
Lecturer: Dr Tracy Loh
Tutorial: Ms Ruth Loh
Grading assessment: Individual assignment (20%), Group Project (30%), Peer Review (5%), Class Participation (15%), Finals (30%)
2 hours lecture, 1 hour tutorial every week. Very heavy workload for a level 2000 module. There were readings every week, but I didn't read any of them. Finals were based on content covered in lectures. Lectures were very content-heavy, so Dr Loh spoke really quickly and I struggled to stay awake keep up in class. The group project required us to come up with a campaign for an organisation, but this was really time consuming. We had to conduct organisational and situational research, formulate strategies and tactics, create an editorial calendar with artworks that would accompany the social media posts. It was a lot of work, so be prepared to put aside a lot of time to do this. Then we had to pitch our campaign in tutorial. The individual assignment was more manageable. Tutorials were dedicated to applying concepts taught in lecture, so preparations were minimal.
23. NM3236: Ethics in Communication Management (2015/2016, Sem 1)
Final grade: B
Seminar lecturer: Dr Lee Seow Ting
Grading assessment: Class Participation (35%), Concept Assignment (30%), Team Projects (30%), Peer Review (5%)
3 hours weekly seminar. A lot of readings each week, so be prepared to put aside time to complete and understand them. Some readings were harder to understand than others. And you had to do the readings to participate in the seminars. The concept assignment was an open book in-class MCQ test, so doing the readings consistently will help. The team projects took up more time - we had to conduct an analysis of a moral dilemma presented in a movie assigned by the lecturer, and write a Code of Ethics for an actual client. My group met every Friday 8am-12pm at UTown, so you can imagine the amount of work involved. We chose to perform the analysis for The Queen film (2006), and we worked with the communications department at SIT to come up with the Code of Ethics. We had to present our findings in class in an 'interesting' manner, so my group performed a play inspired by the 'Inside Out' film. Each of us portrayed an emotion, and I was the Queen. A lot of work involved, but I found the experience to be very enriching. Ethics is an interesting subject to study, since everyone has different moral yardsticks and different definitions of what is 'right' and 'wrong', so the group projects were challenging in that we all carried with us varied understandings of what is ethical.
24. TS2234: Cultural Policy, the Arts and Society (2015/2016, Sem 1)
Final grade: B+
Seminar lecturer: Dr Takiguchi Ken
Grading assessment: Small group class facilitation (15%), Essay (30%), Class Participation (15%), Finals (40%)
3 hours weekly seminar. The seminars were more like lectures with minimal participation. There were the occasional discussions, so try to complete the readings before class. I honestly never finished my readings. The small group class facilitation was a group project that tended to start after recess week. Each group had an hour to conduct a lecture, facilitate a discussion and class activity. My group was tasked to do a presentation on Cultural Diplomacy & Nation Branding in week 11. Very simple research involved, I found it more challenging to come up with the class activity. We had to submit a one-page report after the presentation, so workload is very manageable. The essay required more research. Do consult with Dr Ken throughout the essay writing process for feedback. He is very nice and helped me a lot with my essay. I wrote about censorship of the Arts in Singapore. We even got to talk to Mr Alvin Tan from The Necessary Stage, and go for site visits at the National Arts Council. Super cool stuff. Finals were a combination of short answer questions and an essay. Very important to know examples from each topic to answer the question, but enough to study lecture slides in detail.
25. SE1101E/GEK1008: Southeast Asia: A Changing Region (2015/2016, Sem 1)
Final grade: A-
Lecturer: Dr Johnson Irving Chan
Tutor: Mr Tan Shao Han
Grading assessment: Class Participation (10%), Midterms (20%), Group Essay Project (30%), Finals (40%)
2 hours lecture, 1 hour tutorial every week. I enjoyed this module a lot, also probably because I took the module with See Min!! Dr Johnson is hilarious and lectures were entertaining. The lecture theatre was always full of overenthusiastic freshies. Tutorials helped me understand the relations between the topics that were covered in different lectures. Shao Han did a great job in explaining these relationships, and he is very helpful. We were allowed to select our own groupmates for the essay, so See Min and I naturally worked together. While we initially wanted to write an essay about religion, we realised we were not equipped with enough knowledge to do so, so we changed our topic about 2-3 weeks before the deadline and wrote an essay about female representation in the media. We had fun writing the essay, and ended up with an A+. I'd recommend selecting a topic you are genuinely interested in, do a lot of research to formulate a brief essay plan, then arrange for a consultation with Shao Han. Midterms were simple as long as you studied the lecture slides and read the readings. I read almost all the readings for the module and I thought they were interesting. MCQ and Short Answer Questions. Finals were slightly more challenging simply because we had to write an essay and answer a few short answer questions, but nothing too difficult. Make sure to read and understand all lecture slides.
26. NM2104: Qualitative Research Methods (2014/2015, Sem 2)
Final grade: B-
Lecturer: Dr Lee Seow Ting
Tutor: Ms. Dazzie
Grading assessment: Class Participation (10%), Midterms (30%), Group Project (30%), Finals (30%)
2 hours lecture, 1 hour tutorial every week. Core module. Intensive group project, but I was very blessed to have been put in a group with very cooperative group mates and we all did our fair share of the work. Each of us did 5 interviews, and we had to transcribe them and code them. The literature review took up a fair bit of time as well, but we were lucky to have Shuen who very kindly offered to compile all our reviews. The group project took up a lot of time, but I enjoyed it 'cause we were working on a topic that was interesting. We conducted a research on one's identity as a child of interracial marriage. I screwed up the midterms, probably because I didn't do the readings so please do them even though they're really long and hard to understand. Both midterms and finals were MCQs with some short answer questions. If you've read the textbook & the readings, they should be manageable.
27. NM2220: Introduction to Media Writing (2014/2015, Sem 2)
Final grade: B+
Lecturer: Ms Tan Ee Lyn
Tutor: Ms Tan Ee Lyn
Grading assessment: News Story (10%), Multimedia News Story (15%), Social Media writing (10%), Media Release (15%), Class Participation (10%), Finals (40%)
2 hours lecture, 2 hours tutorial every week. This was a module I thoroughly enjoyed. I found the content to be useful, especially if you're intending to pursue a career in journalism. I had tutorials every Monday morning at 8am, so I was very motivated to go to class. The benefit of being in a smaller class is that you get more attention from the tutor, so Ms Tan helped me a lot with the writing exercises in class. We wrote news articles, headlines, press releases, and got immediate feedback. I've heard from friends who were taught by other tutors and let's just say they weren't very happy about it so I'd really recommend taking the module under Ms Tan. We had a Google Docs and worked on the in-class exercises on the document so we all had access to everyone's work which I found useful so I knew what was considered good and bad writing. There were writing exercises in lectures as well, which will help with the individual writing assignments. The individual assignments were spread out throughout the semester, so workload is manageable. Finals were fun!!! We had to write a news article and press release based on the information provided to us. A lot of information to look through within time constraints, but I had fun with the paper. A lot of writing involved in the module, so don't take this if you don't like writing.
28. TS2240: Voice Studies and Production (2014/2015, Sem 2)
Final grade: B+
Lecturer/Tutor: Ms Nora Samosir
Grading assessment: Weekly Journal (10%), Essay (10%), 3 recital performances + rational for selection of texts + post-performance self-critique (50%), Finals (30%)
1 hour lecture, 2 hours tutorial every week. Weekly journals were based on the lecture content and the readings - the anatomy of our vocal cords, breathing and resonance. There were readings every week, averaging about 15 pages, but nothing too difficult to understand. The tutorials were practical labs to put into practise what is taught in lectures. We did stretching exercises for the first 20 minutes of the class, then we'd usually work in groups to do the vocal exercises. I am proud to say that I can now do tongue trills and roll my 'R's. We had to prepare a poetry, prose, & dramatic monologue for the recital performance. It is an individual performance, so I could practice at my own time. I freaked out the night before my performance though, but it was a fun experience. Finals were based on lectures and readings. The 10% essay was based on the readings we had done in the semester. Must know the key vocal teachers Ms Nora refers to in class.
29. MA1312: Calculus with Applications (2014/2015, Sem 2)
Final grade: B- (I S/U-ed this!)
Lecturer: Dr Ng Wee Seng
Tutor: Mr. Chen Bo
Grading assessment: Midterms (30%), Take-home Assignments (10%), Class Participation (10%), Finals (50%)
2 hours weekly lecture, 1 hour tutorial every 2 weeks. I rarely showed up for the math lectures because they were webcasted. Make sure to do the webcasts and tutorials for practice. I never did the tutorials, which is probably why I didn't do well for the exams. Must score full marks for the take home assignments because the bell curve is very steep. Tutorials were useful if you did the worksheet before class. We could bring in cheat sheets for the exams, so that was great. Math is all about practising, so do as much work as you can consistently and you should do well.
30. SSA2202: Changing Landscapes of Singapore (2014/2015, Sem 2)
Final grade: B- (I S/U-ed this!)
Lecturer: Dr Harvey Neo & Dr Kamalini
Grading assessment: Class Participation (10%), Field Trip writeup (15%), Group project (25%), Finals (50%)
2 hours weekly lecture, 2 hours tutorial every 2 weeks. Lectures were merely regurgitation of content from the slides although there was the occasional video screening. I found some parts of the content interesting, 'cause they were relevant to me and I became more aware of the landscapes I took for granted. Need to prepare for tutorials to engage in the discussions. We had to get ourselves into groups for the project and I liked that we could work with anyone without being restricted to our tutorial classes. I did my field trip with the bestie Shobana, and we went to Little India. (We got to choose between Little India and Joo Chiat amongst the 5 of us). We didn't do well and I still don't have a clear idea of why we didn't do well. The group project was another field trip report by the 5 of us. We chose to study Geylang. While I had fun with the field trips, the report writing was horrible because we had no idea what the lecturers were looking for. Then again, we did not consult the lecturers beforehand, so doing so might help with the report. Finals were essay-based and manageable as long as you prepared examples for each topic.
31. TS1101E/GEM1003: Introduction to Theatre and Performance (2014/2015, Sem 1)
Final grade: B+
Lecturer: Dr Robin Loon
Tutor: Ms Nora Samosir
Grading assessment: Lab Participation (10%), Mid Term Test (10%), Performance Critique (20%), Final Performance (30%), Final Paper (30%)
2 hours lecture, 2 hours tutorial every week. Thoroughly enjoyed myself even though there were times I felt uncomfortable on stage. Don't worry if you've never had theatre/acting experiences 'cause you'll learn everything in class. Every lecture is loaded with content, and they may be abit dry at times but Dr Loon tries to make the lectures interesting. Be prepared to put aside time outside of class for rehearsals, which is probably the most time consuming component in the module. But it was fun to do something different!! I did horribly for my midterms - 23/100 I think, but I still ended up with a decent grade. We had to watch a play - Salusuah, and write a 1-2 pages long critique. The assignment was pretty enjoyable. Workload was generally manageable, but preparation for tutorial classes is a must to engage in the discussions.
32. NM1101E: Communications, New Media and Society (2014/2015, Sem 1)
Final grade: B+
Lecturer: Dr Lonce Wyse
Tutor: Ms Ashwini Arvind Falnikar
Grading assessment: Individual assignment (10%), 2 Group assignments (20% - 10% each), Class participation (10%), Midterms (20%), Finals (40%)
2 hours lecture, 1 hour tutorial every week. If not for the fact that I had to take this to fulfil the CNM major/minor criteria, I would never want to take this. But if you're interested in CNM, please don't consider this module as any indication of what the major offers, 'cause this module is nothing like what I study later in the semester. There were 3 parts to the content - Communications, Design and Public Relations. We had 3 assignments based on these 3 parts - 1 individual and 2 group works, and the overarching theme for the module was 'citizen science'. I hated that we were pre-allocated groups and it did not help that there were freeloaders. Did relatively decent for all the assignments. I honestly have near zero recollection of what we learnt. I did not read the readings at all, but I'm sure I would've done better if I had read them. Midterms and finals were all Multiple Choice Questions, and those were pretty easy. Tutorials were boring, with minimal meaningful discussions - we were just required to share what we had prepared for the class.
33. EN1101E/GEK1000: An Introduction to Literary Studies (2014/2015, Sem 1)
Final grade: B+
Lecturer: Dr Barnard Turner
Tutor: Ms Sharenee P.
Grading assessment: Midterm Test (20%), Essay Assignment (25%), Class Participation (15%), Finals (40%)
2 hours lecture, 1 hour tutorial every week. Spent the first few weeks discussing poetry, which was easy to follow since I had done literature at 'A' levels. If you haven't done it before, fret not a lot of guidance were provided in class. Our midterm test was based on poetry, and we were allowed to bring in a cheat sheet - I'd recommend listing the technical terms/poetic devices so that you can focus entirely on the poetry analysis in the exam.
The set texts in my semester were: A Raisin in the Sun, Northanger Abbey, Volpone and Breakfast at Tiffany's. I thoroughly enjoyed Breakfast at Tiffany's, Northanger Abbey and A Raisin in the Sun, but I only read them once or twice. I did not finish Volpone (I don't think I even made it through the first 5 pages) because I found the play mundane. I wrote my essay assignment based on Northanger Abbey, and I honestly had lots of fun writing it although I only finished it 10 minutes before the deadline. Tutorials were useful. My tutor was very helpful in facilitating discussions. We had to answer 3 out of 4 sections in the paper - I left out volpone, and it was a manageable paper. We only had 40 minutes for each section, so time management is important. I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys reading! If you don't, you're only torturing yourself because you have to finish 4 books within the semester.
34. LAG1201: German 1 (2014/2015, Sem 1)
Final grade: B- (I S/U-ed this!)
Lecturer: Frau Silvia Neitzke-Neumann
Tutor: Frau Ursula Hwang
Grading assessment: 100% CA (Semester test, vocabulary tests, oral test, class participation)
4 hours lecture, 1 hour tutorial every week. Besides the fact that the lecturer happened to be my neighbour and it was a tad bit awkward, I enjoyed learning the language. Very heavy workload - you need to put aside time to memorise vocabulary and grammar. Lectures were held twice a week, and you had to complete the activity book prior to the lectures because Frau Neumann expects you to participate in class. Tutorials were enjoyable. There were 11 of us in class, and we had to speak Deutsch in class which was really fun. Oral test was relatively simple - reading a passage, answering questions from the tutor, and having a conversation with a classmate. If not for the fact that we had limited UEs and that I really wanted to do TS modules, I would've continued learning the language.
35. GEM2027: Introduction to Public Speaking (2014/2015, Sem 1)
Final grade: B+
Lecturer: Ms Elizabeth Veronica Cardoza
Tutor: Ms Francesca Nathan
Grading Assessment: Informative speech (15%), Persuasive speech (20%), Responders-Critique (15%), Quiz and Group Project (50%)
2 hours lecture, 2 hours tutorial every week. I thought this was one of the more useful modules offered in FASS. You can improve your public speaking skills and receive feedback from your tutor. This is a very important practical skill in life okay!!! Lectures were okay; Ms Cardoza was always enthusiastic but everything you needed to know were on the slides. Ms Fran provided me with very useful feedback - I tended to fidget a lot when I was nervous, and we worked together to rectify my problems. I had to put aside some time to conduct research and submit a script prior to the day of my tutorial, and dedicate some time to practise my speech before class. The final group project was time consuming, because we had to create a video related to public speaking, which was the toughest part of the module in my opinion. But I had fun preparing for the speeches and the group projects. The quiz was a MCQ test, conducted online. Please take this if you're looking for a platform to practice public speaking. I'd recommend taking this module with a friend, so you guys can support each other when preparing for and delivering the speech.
I hope this helps! And I really recommend choosing modules based on your interest, on top of fulfilling the graduation requirements. I think being in FASS is amazing in that it allows you the freedom to choose what you wanna learn and how you want to arrange your timetable - I made sure to have at least one free day in the week and I once had like Fridays & Mondays off in a semester so I had a really long weekend.
I think learning new things is more meaningful than regurgitating what you already know when you're choosing your modules. After all, isn't it a waste of money if you spend $4,000 per semester just to score well without actually gaining knowledge/skills?