Enhanced NUS Business School curriculum focuses on AGILE leaders to meet 21st century market demands

New  curriculum  will  future-proof  students  for  rapidly  changing  work  environment through  strengthened  industry  collaborations  and  specialisations

Singapore, 27 February 2017 - The National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School will launch a new Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) and Bachelor of Business Administration (Accountancy) curriculum for incoming students admitted from Academic Year 2017/2018. 

The new curriculum is aimed at equipping students with enhanced competencies to prepare them as leaders for the future economy while retaining and building on the rigour for which NUS Business School is known. Carefully designed by a review committee over the past 10 months, the changes offer five main benefits for students including: 

1. Greater flexibility to chart a personalised study plan according to their career aspirations and ambitions;

2. Relevance of majoring in new specialisations to meet anticipated market trends;

3. Insights garnered from close networking relationships with corporate stakeholders;

4. Intimate business knowledge from hands-on projects; and

5. International perspectives gained from being a ‘global student’ beyond the classroom.

Professor Bernard Yeung, Dean of the NUS Business School, said: “We strongly believe in providing our students with a rigorous learning experience that enriches and prepares them for their careers and life beyond graduation. While the current structure and content of our undergraduate business and accountancy programmes are renowned, we are adapting to market trends and factoring in different learning approaches targeted at students of this generation. In this new curriculum, we ensure the knowledge we ground our students in is relevant to this rapidly changing environment. Beyond knowledge creation and dissemination, the new curriculum will bridge knowledge and practice, provide business-relevant opportunities, inculcate creativity, and instil students with the confidence to face the business world.”

Prof Yeung added: “As our current undergraduates have shown, students entering our programme are capable of selecting and completing multiple internships and overseas experiences, while balancing their core discipline within the candidature period. Seeing how they’ve thrived, we are now formally recognising and translating these valuable efforts into graduation requirements. At the same time, we are taking the opportunity to introduce immersive and intensive learning methods, while offering new relevant specialisations to augment their educational experience.” 

Over the years, regular reviews have been conducted to ensure the curriculum stays relevant to industry needs and market demands. The last major revision to the BBA curriculum was in 2010.

Key changes to the NUS BBA undergraduate curriculum

In an increasingly volatile world, with an economy driven by rapid changes in technology, graduates face greater ambiguity in career, industry and national boundaries. With this in mind, the new NUS BBA curriculum is developed around the characteristics of an AGILE business leader. 

A.G.I.L.E. stands for:

• Academic;

• Global and experiential;

• Industry-relevant;

• Leadership; and

• Entrepreneurial. 

The four key enhancements made to the NUS BBA undergraduate curriculum are: rigorous, relevant and rewarding curriculum; customisable world class degree; hands-on third-year capstone modules; and required international exposure. 

Rigorous, relevant and rewarding curriculum

a. Mandatory orientation modules 

New to the BBA curriculum, freshmen will take online-based multimedia modules as pre-requisite knowledge preparation at the start of the semester. This provides a smooth transition to university education. Examples of modules are Calculus and Statistics, and Microsoft Excel Skills for Business. 

b. Compulsory year-one academic primer module 

Year One students will be exposed to an intensive primer module called Understanding How Business Works prior to taking functional modules. This module gives an overview of how different business functions work together for a deeper appreciation of the modules they subsequently take.

c. Streamlined business core modules 

Retaining a strong business foundation in leadership, analytical and functional core modules has always been a top priority of the BBA curriculum. By streamlining compulsory core modules, the refreshed structure creates the flexibility and autonomy for students to pursue their interests in one or more specialisations in the following academic semesters. In addition, new core modules such as Programming for Business Analytics will prepare students for the digital economy. For a list of the modules, please refer to Annex A.

 d. Career preparation and networking 

Students will undergo intensive career skills training, career workshops and industry leadership seminars to prepare them to make the right first steps in their career and to network with industry captains even before they graduate. These are mandatory graduation requirements. 

e. Internships formalised as part of curriculum 

Opportunities to engage with prospective employers are critical to Business students’ potential to translate internships into career prospects. The School wants to inspire and encourage more students to accumulate valuable work-related experiences prior to graduation by formalising internships as part of the undergraduate curriculum. Under the new curriculum, students may earn up to eight modular credits (equivalent to two modules) through a business internship experience. 

Customisable world class degree

The streamlining of core modules under the new curriculum will empower students to better customise their degrees based on personal interests, aspirations and career ambitions:

a. Unrestricted electives for flexibility 

With more than 25 percent of the new curriculum catered for unrestricted electives, students are able to adapt the curriculum to their diverse career aspirations and ambitions. This flexibility affords individual customisation to meet the challenges of the business world.

b. Expansion of specialisations relevant to marketplace 

Together with more unrestricted electives, students can pursue more options of cross-disciplinary studies within the standard candidature period. The new curriculum boasts seven specialisations, out of which three are new – Business Analytics, Business Economics, and Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Undergraduates are encouraged to choose beyond one compulsory specialisation or explore over 25 options to read a second major or minor outside of the School.

For example, besides a BBA degree with specialisation in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, students can read a Second Major in Business Analytics with the School of Computing, all within the standard candidature period. Or, a BBA degree with specialisation in Marketing plus a Second Major in Psychology with NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS). Or, a BBA degree with specialisation in Finance plus a Second Major in Economics with NUS FASS. Please refer to Annex B for other examples and a full list of specialisations offered.

BBA (Acc) students also have the enhanced flexibility as they can complete their degrees paired with, for example, a Minor in Information Security or Business Analytics, without any overload. For a full list of Accounting modules, please refer to Annex C.

In addition, BBA undergraduates will also be eligible for direct admissions when opting to take on a second major or minor pairing offered by different Faculties.

c. Direct Honours programme with dual track options 

Students will now automatically be accepted into the Honours programme with the option to withdraw and complete with a basic degree if they wish. The Honours programme also features two tracks: Honours by coursework or by research. This approach caters to students with varying academic inclinations and aspirations. 

i. Coursework Students will read three business modules in an area of specialisation plus undertake a field service project.

ii. Research Students will submit a dissertation in an area of specialisation while completing two advanced independent study modules or field service project. 

Hands-on third-year capstone modules

Year Three students will have the option to experience intensive one-week modules which provide hands-on learning, driven by undertaking actual entrepreneurial or social projects. There will be two modules offered:

a. Entrepreneurial boot camp 

Students will experience launching an entrepreneurial venture while gaining a cross disciplinary perspective of entrepreneurship. This provides them with direct experience of conceptualising an entrepreneurial venture.

b. Development of impactful social sector solutions 

Students will understand how management principles are applied to social projects while gaining awareness of ethical and social causes in society. They will garner direct experience of working on a social project. 

Required international exposure

Students will be able to meaningfully expand their horizons and graduate as globally-minded, culturally aware individuals. Overseas opportunities include:

a. Student Exchange Programme (SEP) 

Undergraduates can spend a semester reading courses at an overseas partner university, gaining invaluable experience abroad through a culturally-different environment. Students will be able to broaden their outlook and approach to doing business.

b. Study Trips for Engagement and EnRichment (STEER) Programmes 

The STEER programme is designed to build and cultivate familiarity and interests in burgeoning economies in Brazil, China, India, the Middle East and Vietnam.

c. NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC)

Through this prestigious entrepreneurship development programme, students are given opportunities to work and study for up to a year in leading entrepreneurial and academic hubs in Beijing, Israel, Lausanne, Munich, New York, Silicon Valley, Shanghai and Stockholm. 

d. Overseas internships 

Students are encouraged to take on these increasingly available overseas internships for a chance of international work exposure. This would place our graduates in better steed when contending for overseas placements during their career.  

The above curriculum revisions will apply to the next intake of students due for admission to the School in August 2017. For more information, please refer to: bba.nus.edu/bba2017.



A. Streamlined core modules* with new additions

i. Leadership Core
- Communication Skills for Business Leaders (new)
- Leadership and Decision Making Under Uncertainty (new) - Strategic Management

ii. Analytical Core
- Decision Analytics Using Spreadsheets (new) - Global Economy (new)
- Programming for Business Analytics (new)
- Managerial Economics

iii. Functional Core
- Operations and Technology Management (new) - Organisational Behaviour (new)
- Accounting for Decision Makers
- Finance
- Legal Environment of Business
- Principles of Marketing

*Note: Module names are subject to final modification.

B. Specialisations that BBA undergraduates can choose from

i. Business Analytics (new)
ii. Business Economics (new)
iii. Innovation and Entrepreneurship (new)
iv. Finance
v. Marketing
vi. Leadership and Human Capital Management vii. Operations and Supply Chain Management

Figure 1: Possible combination examples when pursuing a second specialisation, second major or a minor from over 25 options



C. BBA (Acc) Accounting modules offered to undergraduates

i. Corporate Accounting and Reporting (I) [new]
ii. Corporate Accounting and Reporting (II) [new]
iii. Accounting Information Systems
iv. Advance Corporate Accounting and Reporting
v. Assurance and Attestation
vi. Corporate and Securities Law
vii. Corporate Governance and Risk Management
viii. Integrated Perspectives in Accounting and Business ix. Managerial Accounting
x. Taxation
xi. Valuation