Frequently asked questions


Frequently Asked Questions

Questions on General Course Information
1) What are the differences among the similar courses offered by the five polytechnics?
An example of similar diploma courses offered by the Polytechnic is as follows:
Engineering:  Mechatronics and Robotics (SP)
                              Mechatronics (TP)
                              Mechatronics Engineering (NYP)

The contents of these courses are largely similar. However, there are slight differences in the topics covered and options offered.

2) Do any of the polytechnic courses offer specialisations and options?
Yes. Most polytechnic courses offer specialisations and options for students to choose in their second or third year of study based on their interests and results obtained in their studies.

3) Can a student learn a foreign language in any of the Polytechnics?
Foreign language courses such as French, German, Japanese, Bahasa Indonesia and others are offered by the Polytechnics.

Questions on Applications & Admissions

1) When can GCE "O" Level students apply for courses at the polytechnics?
Applicants with GCE "O" Level qualification can apply for polytechnic courses through the JAE. Applications are open to eligible candidates on the day of release of the GCE "O" Level results and will remain open for 5 CALENDAR DAYS.

2) Can students use results of their GCE "O" Level examinations taken at different sittings to apply for polytechnic courses?
Yes they can but not from more than two sittings.

3) Will students who have completed the five-year Normal Stream be eligible to apply for courses offered by the polytechnics?
Selection of candidates applying for polytechnic courses is based on candidates' GCE "O" Level examination results. Students whose GCE "O" Level results meet the minimum entry requirements of the courses they are interested in can apply for them.

4) Can students reserve a place in the course if they wish to work or do their National Service first? 
The Polytechnics' policy is to reserve places only for successful applicants, who have been enlisted for full-time National Service, for course commencement in the academic year closest to their ORD.

5) Are there any financial assistance schemes for students who face financial difficulties?
Yes. Each Polytechnic has a number of financial schemes for which students can apply. Please see the sections on Tuition Fees and Financial Assistance Schemes.

6) How many students are admitted to the polytechnics each year?
The student intake for polytechnic courses may vary from year to year depending on the projected manpower requirements of Singapore and the intake capacity of the courses offered.

7) Are there any medical or special requirements for entry into polytechnic courses?
Successful applicants must be certified physically and mentally fit to pursue the course offered. They must submit a medical report, which must comply with the Polytechnics' requirement, and an X-ray report from a registered medical practitioner. Students of Ngee Ann Polytechnic, other than those of the Child Psychology & Early Education, Early Childhood Education and Health Sciences (Nursing) courses, are required to complete a Health Record form in lieu of a medical examination.

Questions on Campus Life

1) What is campus life like?
The campus environment is conducive to students' intellectual, physical and social development. Leadership qualities are developed through leadership training programmes and participation in various clubs and societies under the Students' Union. Involvement in community service is encouraged so that students will learn to care and share. There are programmes to promote healthy lifestyle through sports and healthy eating habits. Other talks, seminars and workshops covering a wide range of topics also prepare students for successful careers.

2) How are the polytechnics' academic terms structured?
The academic year for the 5 polytechnics is structured from mid April of one year to mid April of the subsequent year. You may refer to the individual polytechnic’s website for the exact start-date of the current or the coming academic year.

3) Do all the polytechnics incorporate industrial training/attachments as compulsory components of the curriculum?
Industrial orientation/training/attachment is a compulsory component of the polytechnic curriculum. This is usually scheduled during the second or third year of study.

4) How long is the industrial training/attachment period?
Work attachments are included as part of the practical curriculum and this can vary from the usual 6 weeks to 6 months in certain courses.

5) What is the average time a polytechnic student spends on campus everyday?
The time a student spends in the Polytechnic varies from course to course. On average about 25-40 hours a week is spent attending lectures, tutorials, practical or other educational activities. In addition, many students remain on campus after classes for sports, other recreational activities and self-study.

6) Is it compulsory for a student to be a member of the Students' Union/clubs and participate in the activities?
All students of a polytechnic are members of the Students' Union of that polytechnic. They are encouraged to be members of the clubs and societies so that they will be able to widen their social life on campus.

7) Do polytechnic students participate in national tournaments?
Yes. Besides participating in the national competitions, polytechnic sportsmen and sportswomen also take part in the Institute-Varsity-Polytechnic Games.

Questions on Examinations 

1) How are students assessed at the Polytechnics?
Continuous assessments, projects, tests and semestral examinations would be conducted to assess the academic performance of the students.

2) How many examinations are there in an academic year?
There are two examination periods per year, one in August/September/October and the other in February/March.

3) If students fail their examinations, will they be given a second chance?
Students who are unsuccessful in an examination may be required to repeat the modules where they have not achieved the required standard, provided they are not dismissed under the dismissal criteria.

Questions on Career Prospects & Further Education

1) What will be the career entry level for diploma holders?
Upon graduation, polytechnic diploma holders can start their career as technologists or middle-management executives. The career prospects are very promising as long as they perform well and have gained relevant working experience.

2) What are the chances for upgrading after completing the diploma studies?
Graduates can pursue advanced diploma courses, post/specialist diploma courses, professional courses and certificate courses conducted by the polytechnics and other educational or professional institutions. Polytechnic graduates may also consider further studies in the local or overseas universities.

Questions for each polytechnics