Study in Singapore: the ultimate guide for a Short Course in 2024

The Ultimate Guide to Studying in Singapore in 2024

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  • Mar-Nov Academic Year
  • 8 Listed Institutes
  • 55,000 Int. Students
  • 199,000 Students
  • 5,454,000 Population

Study in Singapore

If you're looking to study at a university in Singapore, you will find many study degrees, offering top-tier education in a modern, dynamic city-state. With modern teaching tools, technology and research facilities, Singapore's universities deliver top-quality courses that nurture your creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Strong links between universities and neighbouring industries also ensure relevant courses for you to gain valuable practical skills.

Singapore is an open and cosmopolitan city-state and island country that welcomes more than 86,000 international students from 120 nationalities every year. As a choice destination for advanced education, Singapore is unique in providing a safe and stimulating environment to develop the next generation of world leaders.

Why study in Singapore?

1. Local universities are among the best in the world

Singapore is known as an important business and education hub. With that in mind, it's hardly surprising that local universities are ranked among the best in the world, often earning their places in the top 15 best higher education institutions.

Universities in Singapore are especially renowned for their courses in Business and Management.

2. English is widely spoken

You don't need to worry about language barriers while studying in Singapore. English is spoken almost everywhere, from restaurants to banks, from public institutions to shopping centres, and so on.

According to recent data, English has actually become the most commonly spoken language in Singaporean homes.

3. Advantageous scholarships and government subsidies

There's no way around it: tuition fees in Singapore are high. But that shouldn't discourage you. As an international student, you can apply for government subsidies, which significantly reduce the costs of your education.

Scholarships are another excellent option to lower your expenses. You can contact the universities for more details or check out scholarship opportunities on Mastersportal.

4. Singapore is one of the most prosperous states

Singapore has developed a stable and healthy economy, based on a solid infrastructure and the proper implementation of modern technology. This fact makes the island city-state an attractive destination for people who want to earn high wages and enjoy a high living standard.

In 2020, for example, the average salary in Singapore was around 5,700 USD per month. So if you plan to stay here after graduation, you'll be fairly compensated for your work and knowledge.

5. Fun activities and attractions will keep you entertained

After you finish classes, Singapore offers a wide range of activities and places where you can relax and enjoy your free time. From restaurants to parks, from museums to cinemas — it's all there, waiting for you.

We recommend visiting the Marina Bay Sands, the Gardens by the Bay, the Orchard Road, the Singapore Flyer, Sentosa Island, the Asia Civilisations Museum, etc.

Which universities and colleges to attend in Singapore?

Higher education institutions in Singapore are divided as follows:

  • 6 public universities
  • 5 polytechnics
  • 2 art institutions
  • around 15 private universities

Singapore's higher education institutions offer a wide range of education programmes to both local and international students. Private universities offer special pathway programmes dedicated to international students. Many of them include study exchange programmes through partnerships with overseas universities.

Examples of universities in Singapore we recommend:

What is it like to study in Singapore?

Over the years, Singapore has evolved from its traditional British-based education system to one catered to the needs of individuals and nurtures talent. The strength of Singapore's education system lies in its broad-based curriculum.

Students acquire relevant skills and abilities to succeed in competitive international environments.

What to study in Singapore?

Universities in Singapore provide undergraduate and graduate degrees in almost any field you can imagine. You can pursue a degree in Business, Engineering, Languages, or Social Sciences.

Here are some of the most popular study options in Singapore

How to apply

All universities in Singapore have a website with a simple and straightforward online application process.

You simply have to choose the degree(s) you wish to enrol in and submit all required documents.

Carefully check all the required application documents and make sure they are all translated into English. For instance, an internationally recognised Bachelor's degree or equivalent is the main requirement when enrolling for a Master’s degree at a university in Singapore.

  • Make sure to know what the language requirements are, and whether you need to prove skills in English before enrolling in a degree programme.
  • Show how you performed as a student, and be sure to know what your Grade Point Average (GPA) was during your studies.
  • To help your chances of going to Singapore, be sure to apply to more than one university!

How to qualify for a University in Singapore?

Take Preparation Courses

These kinds of courses enable degree-seeking students to get an extra educational boost just before they start their Master’s degree or other post-graduate degree programmes.

Try a pre-M.B.A., pre-Law, or pre-Medicine programme, as well as any other foundation or preparation courses that will allow you to study in the degree programme of your choice.

Improve your English through an English-language prep course

If you’re attending a degree programme in Singapore, you will sometimes need to prove that your language skills are good enough to participate in the classes and understand the lectures. These courses will also prepare you for any of the English-language tests that universities require.

English-language tests

There are over 150 English-taught programmes in Singapore.

Universities in Singapore will want to see proof that you have good English-language skills, so that you can easily succeed in their courses. Almost all Singapore universities accept these official English exams:

Many study programmes have a bilingual policy, combining English with Malay, Mandarin or Tamil study languages.

Living in Singapore

Let's take a closer look at tuition fees and living costs in Singapore:

Tuition fees

There is no online database with average fees at universities in Singapore. Still, international students should know that studying here is anything but cheap. Let's take the National University of Singapore (NUS) as an example:

  • Tuition for Bachelor's degrees: 17,750–24,300 EUR/year; Degrees in Medicine, Dentistry, and Music cost between 75,700–99,450 EUR/year
  • Tuition for Master's degrees: 22,200–40,800 EUR/year; Dentistry degrees costs around 59,600 EUR/year

These fees can change every year; always check the official university page to see how much you need to pay. As an international student, you can apply for a subsidy from the Singapore Ministry of Education (MOE) and significantly reduce your tuition costs.

If you enrol at a private university in Singapore be prepared to pay even higher tuition fees.

Living costs

Due to the high standard of life, the costs of living are also high in Singapore. As an international student, you can spend anywhere between 700 and 1,500 EUR per month, depending on the type of housing and your lifestyle.

Here's a breakdown of average living expenses in Singapore:

  • accommodation (on-campus housing): 200–385 EUR/month
  • accommodation (privately rented flat): 1,100–3,300 EUR/month
  • utilities (only if you rent a flat): 80–140 EUR/month
  • food and groceries: 175–275 EUR
  • monthly transport pass: 75 EUR; students may get a discount
  • three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant: 43.50 EUR
  • 1 loaf of bread: 1.40 EUR
  • 1 litre of milk: 1.90 EUR
  • 1 kg of apples: 2.80 EUR
  • 1 kg of bananas: 2.10 EUR
  • 1 cappuccino: 3.50 EUR

About Singapore

Located in Southeast Asia, Singapore has a land area of about 710 square kilometres – one of the smallest countries in the world and the smallest in the region. Singapore commands an enormous presence in the world today with its free trade economy and highly efficient workforce.

Singapore is the fourth biggest commercial centre in the world, with major economic sectors in: trade, financial services, oil and petroleum refining, electronics manufacturing, biomedicine, and tourism.

Although Tamil is the main official language in Singapore, English is the main language of instruction, and also the second mother tongue for Singapore people. Singapore is home to a mix of four major communities: the Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Eurasian.

Typically, Singapore has just one season all year round, where you will experience a warm but humid weather, and many rainfalls.

Iconic places to visit

Singapore is a bustling, cosmopolitan place, offering wide and diverse leisure options. From high-rise buildings, to landscaped gardens, to a vibrant nightlife and numerous shopping centres, no one can get bored in Singapore.

Here are some of Singapore’s top attractions:

  • Gardens by the Bay
  • Buddha Temple and Museum
  • ArtScience Museum
  • Civilian War Memorial
  • The triple-towered Marina Bay Sands
  • Sri Mariamman Temple
  • Sultan Mosque
  • Singapore Zoo
Fun facts
  • During the 14th century, the small but strategically-located island of Singapore was named “The Lion City” or Singapura.
  • Singapore is one of the three city-states in the world; the others are Vatican and Monaco.
  • According to a study by the British Council, Singaporeans have the fastest walking speed of all people worldwide. On average, they can walk about 6.15 km in an hour.
  • The world’s first night zoo, The Night Safari, is in Singapore.
  • The largest fountain in the world is in Singapore, at the heart of Suntec City.
  • The longest human domino chain was set in Singapore in 2000.
  • Singapore is also a Commonwealth member, and for this reason, Singapore citizens have rights to vote in all elections in the U.K..

Universities, colleges and schools in Singapore

How to Apply to a Master's in Singapore

If you've decided to study a Master's degree at a university in Singapore, you will have to gather the right documents to prove that you fit the university requirements. Provide complete personal information, previous qualifications, financial information, and a personal statement.

What documents do I need to provide to apply in Singapore?

To apply to a university in Singapore you will likely be asked to provide some of the following documents:

  • birth certificate;
  • recent photos;
  • your passport or national identity card;
  • one or more reference letters from past employers or teachers;
  • copies of past diplomas or certificates, including your graduated Bachelor's degree;
  • academic transcripts;
  • letter of intent;
  • Curriculum Vitae;
  • Some form of proof that you can support your stay in the country during your studies.

Depending on the subject or specialization of your chosen Master's, you might also be asked to provide scores for additional tests like the GRE, GMAT or LSAT. Check if your programme requires any of these, or others.

The list of documents depends on the specific requirements of universities in Singapore so you might be asked to include additional documents. It’s also likely you’ll have to provide official English translations of your documents, or translations in the local language.

Prove your English skills

Because you’ll study an international degree in English, you'll have to present a language certificate. Some popular options for international students are IELTS, TOEFL or C1 Advanced language certificates. You’ll have to meet a minimum language score set by the university, and your test scores shouldn’t be older than 1-2 years. If you don’t meet the minimum language requirements, you will have to improve your skills and scores by taking an English preparation course.

Application deadlines for Singapore

The deadlines for applying to a Master's in Singapore are usually during summer (June-July), or in winter (January-February). Keep in mind that some universities don’t have application deadlines, which means you can apply whenever you are ready.

To avoid delays or missed deadlines send your required documents with plenty of time in advance.

Interesting programmes for you

Find Short Courses in Singapore

Numerous education initiatives in the world were formed to promote international cooperation and academic exchange between universities as well as attract students and staff worldwide. This focus on international student education provides high quality programmes in various fields of study and prepares students for future careers anywhere in the world.

Studying, for instance, in Australia, Asia, Europe or America represents a wide range of opportunities to see the world and interact with other students from different countries. Different study options allow students to hold a job during their study years in order to pay for their education, if they wish to do so. Online programmes help you get an international education without having to leave home.

The number of English-taught short courses in Asia, Australia, Europe and The United States are continuously rising in popularity in the last few years. Many countries offer English-taught study programmes, including: Australia, China, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, France, Spain, Sweden, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the United States and more. Other English short courses may be found in the rest of the European countries as well.

Short courses / Summer Courses

Short courses offer a great variety of subjects for a short and fixed period. This period can vary between a week to six weeks, depending on country, institution and course. This is an excellent opportunity to gain academic, cultural and social experience if you are not able to access long-term study opportunities. A wide variety of countries and institutions offer summer and short courses in all kinds of subject areas. It is a great opportunity to get some background information for your own research, to learn a language or to gain knowledge on a related topic.

Sometimes summer and short courses provide students with short-term housing. Therefore, it is useful to find out if housing is included in the fee of the summer or short course you wish to apply for.

Discover other countries

The Netherlands is a very popular study destination. Internationals choose this beautiful country because Dutch universities are some of the best in Europe, the living standards are high, foreigners are always welcome, and you get to live in one of the happiest and safest countries in the world. The Netherlands is also renowned for innovative technologies and engineering solutions, which is reflected in the wide range of Engineering degrees offered by universities. English is spoken by around 90% of Dutch citizens, so forget about language barriers. Also, bike lanes and the “cycling culture” will help you to stay fit and healthy, and there are diverse job opportunities and internships for international students.
Finland is an excellent choice for all internationals and especially for EU/EEA students who can study at local public universities for free. The beautiful Nordic country has one of the best education systems in the world and ranks among the safest and happiest nations in the world. You can also choose from over 400 English-taught programmes. In your spare time, you can explore the breathtaking Finnish nature and landscapes, as well as the numerous lakes that give the country the nickname ‘The Land of a Thousand Lakes.’ From here, you can easily travel to neighbouring countries like Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, or Estonia.
Ireland is among the top countries in the world in terms of quality of life, peace, safety, and development. It represents an appealing blend of beautiful landscapes, English-speaking environments, and a strong, welcoming, and rich culture — of which the Irish people are very proud. International students also enjoy the full support of Irish universities, which hire and train staff that are able to help with accommodation, studies, visa details, or any other challenge.
Norway is a paradise for anyone who wants to study abroad for free. Public universities don’t charge any tuition fees. This policy applies to all international students, regardless of their nationality. The academic standard is very high, and professors are easy to approach, always willing to go the extra mile for their students. Additionally, classes are organised in small groups, which further improves learning and cooperation. You can choose from a wide range of English-taught programmes, and you don’t need to worry about language barriers outside of classes either, because most Norwegians speak English as a second language. Internationals should find it easy to adapt to Norway’s society, which is based on equality and fair opportunities — reflected both in the legal system and in people’s behaviour.
Greece is the cradle of European civilization and the birthplace of philosophy. Greek universities and colleges have a long history in academics, attracting international students from all over the world. Classes are not typically formal, so you can expect open discussions between students and professors, in line with the classical philosophical debate tradition. EU/EEA students don’t pay any tuition at public universities, while non-EU/EEA citizens pay low fees. In Greece, you’ll also enjoy the well-known local hospitality and the wonderful Mediterranean climate. There are many landmarks and monuments waiting to be explored, including the Acropolis, Delphi, the Parthenon, and many others.
Sweden is a very ambitious, eco-friendly, and visionary country. For example, by 2040, it aims to produce all its energy from renewable sources. Universities play an important role in achieving development goals, thanks to their world-class research facilities. If you’re from the EU/EEA, you can study at public universities for free. As a student, you will discover and easily adopt the three main values of Swedish society: freedom, equality, and sustainability. These values are reflected in every aspect of the local society, and you’ll quickly learn to appreciate them. Language barriers are also almost non-existent since around 80% of Swedes speak English.
Switzerland has one of the most advanced free-market economies, which is reflected in the high living standards and the satisfaction of people living here. In terms of higher education, Swiss universities are constantly ranked among the best in Europe, and they shine in areas like Business, Tourism, Culinary Arts, and Engineering. When compared to Western universities, tuition fees in Switzerland are affordable, and all studies — especially PhD programmes — are world-class. You’ll have the opportunity to develop in a multilingual environment and try learning international languages like German, French, or Italian. If you settle down here, the unemployment rates are low, and salaries are well above the European average.
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Universities in the UK are some of the most highly regarded in the world, and for good reasons. Some of the world's most highly regarded research takes place in British universities, which are regularly featured in international rankings. While studying in the UK, you will be able to develop in a highly multicultural environment with high chances of pursuing lucrative careers after graduation. The teaching in the UK is designed to encourage new idea generation, encouraging individual research and group cooperation, through class discussions and creative assignments.
Canada is one of the most popular study destinations in the world due to its high focus on the quality of its universities and its emphasis on attracting international students who can later immigrate. Canadians are very welcoming to international students and they invest a lot into making sure students are safe, treated fairly, and enjoy their stay in the country. Study in one of the strongest economies in the world while enjoying a high living standard and a flexible study environment. Classes have smaller student groups ensuring everyone gets the attention they need, and encouraging group assignments and debates.
United States
United States
The United States is home to some of the most prestigious universities and colleges in the world. With over 150 universities featured in international rankings, the U.S. has some of the best business schools, medical schools, and engineering schools. Universities and colleges in the U.S. are well known for academic flexibility and ways to customize your study experience with optional studies and extracurricular activities. Depending on where you will be studying, you will be able to visit iconic places like the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Goldengate Bridge, The Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Disney's Magic Kingdom Park, and much more.
Israel attracts international students through high standards of education and a wide range of English-taught degrees. Local universities shine in areas like Technology, Sciences, Business, and Entrepreneurship. In fact, Israel is a renowned land of innovation, having earned itself the nickname ‘Start-Up Nation’. While living and studying here, you will discover a wonderful culture developed throughout 4,000 years of history; different cultural influences are noticeable everywhere, especially in Israeli food, art, and history. In major cities, English is widely spoken, so communication shouldn’t be a problem. In your spare time, you can visit one of the over 400 nature reserves and 80 national parks.
By studying in Australia you will take advantage of the great student environment both inside and outside classrooms. In addition to some of the best business and engineering schools in the world, you will be able to explore a greatly developed country that still retains its wild side with its warm climate, beautiful beaches, and the Great Outback, with over 500 national parks. Many Australian universities provide internships and work placements, preparing students early on for the job market.


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