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Masters Study in Singapore – A Guide for 2023

A Master’s in Singapore offers students the chance to study and train in a vibrant, forward-thinking intellectual culture in addition to the chance to spend a year or two living in an exciting, exotic location. You can learn from cutting-edge technological advancements or study a fascinating and distinctive cultural heritage if you pursue a Masters’s degree in Singapore.

Everything you need to know about postgraduate study in Singapore, from tuition costs and funding to visas and the application process, will be covered on this page. Additionally, you can start looking for a master’s in Singapore right away.

Reason to Study Masters in Singapore 

Singapore is a center of academic excellence in South-East Asia and much more than just a tourist destination. It boasts highly regarded educational institutions, rigorous academic standards, eminent scholars, and cutting-edge research facilities.

Here are a few more reasons why you should consider a Master’s in Singapore this year:

Reputable universities: Two of Singapore’s six publicly funded universities rank in the top 100 universities in the world.

Funding options

International students studying in Singapore have access to a range of scholarships and tuition fee assistance programs.

English is a language of instruction

Postgraduate courses in Singapore are taught in English, which is used frequently because it is the mother tongue of many Singaporeans.

Quality of life

Singapore is frequently cited as one of the safest nations in the world, and foreign postgraduate students find it to be a haven due to its cleanliness and low crime rate.

Universities for Masters in Singapore

Singapore’s higher education system, which includes both domestic and international universities, is remarkably diverse for a nation of its size. Graduate programs are held to the highest standards and are recognized globally thanks to strict quality assurance frameworks.

Although private institutions have been required to register with the Council for Private Education since 2011, the Ministry of Education (MoE) still oversees higher education in Singapore (CPE). The central authority in Singapore that recognizes degrees earned from foreign universities does not currently exist, nor is there a list of accredited foreign universities. Therefore, it is advised that you contact the appropriate authorities in the institution’s country of origin to confirm whether the institution is a legitimate educational institution.

In a similar vein, it is advisable to make sure that degrees earned from foreign universities in fields like engineering are acknowledged by the relevant professional body.

Local universities

Six public universities in Singapore provide opportunities for master’s degree study:

  • National University of Singapore (NUS)
  • Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
  • Singapore Management University (SMU)
  • Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT)
  • Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)
  • Singapore University of Social Sciences

Foreign institutions

Many of the top universities in the world, in addition to local universities, provide graduate programs in Singapore, either independently or in partnership with regional universities (which will be the awarding institutions).

University rankings

Singapore’s higher education system may be small, but its universities consistently outperform those found elsewhere in the world.

UniversityTHE 2023QS 2023ARWU 2022
National University of Singapore191171
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore361988

Types of Courses for Masters in Singapore

In Singapore, postgraduate study is simply referred to as “graduate study,” taught master’s degrees and professional doctorates are known as “graduate studies by coursework,” and master’s degrees and doctoral degrees are known as “graduate studies by research.”

However, Singapore’s system for naming master’s degrees, which includes the well-known MA, MSc, and LLM, is comparable to that of the US and the UK.

In Singapore, master’s programs can differ significantly between institutions. The length is typically between one and two years, and the institution can choose the curriculum.

For instance, the National University of Singapore takes a flexible approach to the duration of a master’s degree, preferring to stipulate that a minimum number of credits must be earned each semester rather than defining a set study period. Meanwhile, full-time Masters in Engineering programs at Nanyang Technological University typically last one year. To graduate, students must finish 30 academic units during this time. Lectures typically take place in the evening, while practical work is done during the weekdays or even on Saturdays (if applicable).

Full-time MBA programs can last 12 to 18 months. For the majority of Master’s programs, there are part-time and full-time options available.

Masters in Singapore Entry requirements

Candidates may be required to submit entry examination results in order to demonstrate their readiness for graduate study (e.g. GRE or GMAT). A strong undergraduate degree or its equivalent in a relevant field is required for admission to taught and research Master’s programs.

Because there are frequently more qualified applicants than openings, meeting the minimum entry requirements is not a guarantee of admission. Subject to the approval of the relevant administrative body, departments may also admit applicants with a strong Bachelor’s degree and relevant research experience.

Masters fees and funding in Singapore

Postgraduate students can take advantage of a variety of funding and support options because Singapore is eager to support international students. The cost of tuition for master’s programs in Singapore can be high, but it also depends on the university you apply to and the field you are studying.

For a graduate program at one of Singapore’s top universities, you can typically expect to pay an unsubsidized fee of around S$27,640 (USD $19,520) as an international student.

Additionally, Singapore offers some unusual opportunities for fee waivers through a system known as the “service obligation”; find out more about this below. In most cases, the fee you pay will be made up of several components, rather than being quoted as one lump sum.

Fees may also be quoted per semester or trimester, but interestingly some institutions only offer three trimesters per year or three semesters per year (remember, a semester is four months long!).

Service obligations and the subsidization of tuition fee

Foreign students who self-finance at the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University have the option of paying a reduced tuition rate. Students who receive any kind of scholarship are not eligible for this. The subsidy is not available to all programs, which are chosen based on the demands of the labor market. Additionally, individual universities have the authority to determine which programs qualify for MoE funding, so carefully review the university’s website.

Depending on the field of study, the amount of the subsidy for international students ranges from S$5,000 to S$40,000 (USD $3,700 to 30,000). To be eligible, you must sign a Service Obligation (SO) with the MoE, which commits you to work for Singapore-based businesses for three years after graduation. Please visit the Service Obligation Scheme page at the National University of Singapore for more details.


While a Master’s degree is frequently a requirement for Ph.D. study in Singapore, it also opens up a variety of career options. One of the most alluring nations for foreigners looking for highly skilled employees in Singapore. Singapore provides a wide range of opportunities due to its status as a South-East Asian business and high-tech hub, particularly in key industries like banking and finance, biomedical sciences, chemicals, communications and media, electronics, healthcare, and information technologies.

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