You are probably here researching and reading because you are looking to sign up for a part-time degree with either a Private Education Provider (PEI) or Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), Singapore’s 6th Autonomous University or commonly known as “Government University”.
In this mini series, I will share my experience on my journey in making my final choice of choosing a part time degree. Every article, I will share a few consideration factors before I made my final decision.
While I am no expert in this field, I am sharing my experience so that you can save time from doing mundane and tedious research on certain general information. An additional perk is that you can spend less time talking to salespeople who is trying to close the sale(course).
A part-time degree requires a significant financial and time commitment hence it is normal that you are more “Kiasu” and “Kiasi” before your final decision.
I had eliminated SUSS very early in my selection process. In a future part of this series, I will talk about why I eliminated it but why SUSS is a good choice.
You might not know, but there are a lot (I really mean a lot) of PEI in Singapore.
From the commonly known ones like SIMGE, Kaplan, PSB, MDIS to ones that I found when I googled “part-time degree in Singapore” like Amity, LSBF, TMC, ERCI, Dimensions, EASB and a few more that I am not able to remember their names. Most of them are located centrally in town areas like Orchard, City Hall except for SIMGE which is in Clementi while ERCI is in Mountbatten.
While the providers likely have registered with the Committee for Private Education (CPE) and follow the guidelines and policies, it is good for you to check that the provider is indeed registered for a peace of mind.
2) Types of Degrees (Top up Direct Honours (UK) or Degree with exemptions (AUS))
In your research, you will likely see the word top-up appearing frequently. These are degrees awarded by UK Universities which means that you had prior education and can start from year 2 or year 3. The word will not appear in your degree and most if not all degrees awarded are same as on campus awarded degrees. It is also a direct honours degree which means that you can get honours if you do well enough.
For the Australian degrees provided in Singapore, I have not found 1 that provided an honours option hence you will be getting a basic degree. I had heard that Australian degrees has an achievement called Degree with distinction, I am not able to verify it hence if you have this information, please comment below and I will update on the article.
The salesman from 1 of the providers went to great lengths to explain and convince me that they are of the same standard and provided me a link to research on his claims.
On top, he/she told me that the Australian Degrees provides you with the full transcript which means that for subjects that you were exempted from, it will appear in your transcript that you had learnt this module. For the UK top-up degrees, only subjects that you had studied for will appear in your transcript.
The differences here were key to my final choice.
This is probably 1 of the most if not the most critical criteria for you. You will see degrees as cheap as 12k to as expensive as 44k in your research. So why are there these huge differences? It all lies in the price for subject fee. While a degree from Dimensions University of Hertfordshire and MDIS University of Sunderland cost around $12k to $13k, the degree only has 6 modules which when broken down cost you about $2k per module.
Compare this to Kaplan’s degree from Royal Hollloway University of London (RHUL), the total fees are about $23k for 16 modules which works out to be about $1.4k per module.
From here, based on your needs, you can assess which degree is cheaper.
Also, the prices are closer are pretty much fixed with small promotions like applications fee waivers, small study rebates. It is more like to negotiating in buying a new car from AD rather than buying clothes from a night market where your negotiation skills for the best price comes to the fore.
The 6 module degrees can usually be completed within 12 months. The 12 to 16 module degrees can be completed within 18 months as there are no summer breaks/school breaks compared to a full-time student studying.
If you are taking a degree because your current or potential future employer promised you a promotion/increment/job opportunity as long as you get a degree (any degree), you can consider taking up the 12-months degrees to reach your goal as soon as possible.
Otherwise, I recommend taking up a minimum 18 months degree as it is based on 2 years of school curriculum This means that you can consider it as a 3-year degree. (1 year exemption + 2 years school). Highlight this to any prospective future employer to reduce any potential apprehensions about your degree.
You might need to take some bridging modules as well, check with the provider before committing.
4) Partner University Rankings
Based on my research, the well-known and reputable sources to check university rankings will be Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) and Times Higher Education (THE).
Using these 2 websites, I found out that SIMGE has the highest ranked universities with University of London (UOL), University of Birmingham (UOB) (note that Kaplan partners with Birmingham City University (BCU) which is a different university) , Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), University of Wollongong (UOW), followed by Kaplan which partners with University College Dublin (UCD), Royal Holloway University of London (RHUL) and University of Essex (UOE).
I was surprised that PSB and MDIS did not partner with any University in the top 300 for part time business courses. I was told that their part-time business program from University of Newcastle (UON) is not available. I will recommend that you research more on PSB if you are looking for a Science/Engineering degree since PSB has a Campus in Toa Payoh specially for these courses.
With all the information above, we hope to does help you streamline your search for your desired course and university that best suit your needs.
Take your time to choose and pick one that you are most comfortable with.
With that, we wish you best and see you at soon with that square hat!