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38 Questions with James, Singapore (National Institute of Education)

Gloria Ho

Meet James. A current student at National Institute of Education (NIE), who is in his fourth year of part-time Masters studies in Applied Psychology. Prior to entering NIE, he graduated from Nanyang Technological University’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences and he is a local student from Singapore.


1. What school do you study in? 

National Institute of Education (NIE).

2. Do you/others have a nickname for the school? 


3. Why did you choose this school? 

NIE offers part-time courses so I can continue on with my full time job. 

Scene (Questions that give hints of the school culture) 

4. What is a scene that you often see in the school? 

People rushing to and from classes. Because ours is a part-time course, many hold full time jobs and hence classes start and end later too. 

5. What is one thing that you wish you knew before enrollment? 

What the confirmed/core modules will be like. 

6. Your school is great, but if you could change one thing, what would it be? 

The administrative part of the school e.g. the website is hard to navigate. 

7.  And if there’s one thing you’d never change? 

The fact that the school offers a part-time studies option. 

8. The unofficial uniform of your school is? 

Dressing is quite diverse here. There are those who dress casual and those who dress more formally because they come to class from their full-time job.

9. When you meet a new friend for the first time and you have to describe your school with one word, what would it be? 


10. What is one place in the school that you are proud of? 

The NIE wellness clinic.  It’s a place where practicing cousellors can see clients, and where students who need psychological help can find someone to turn to. 

11. If you could swap programs for a day, what would it be? 

I would actually choose to go to NUS’ Clinical Psychology program if they had the part-time option but too bad, they only offer it full time. 

12. What is a common myth of your school? 

That the courses at NIE are only for teachers. 

13. If you ever had to stay in school past 9pm, what would it be because? 

Part-time classes usually start and end late. 

14. What is the strangest thing you’ve ever seen in the school? 

Nothing much. 

15. What is your one guilty pleasure you indulge in in school? 


16. If you were given $5 million dollars to revamp the school, what would you do with it? 

I would strengthen the administrative and IT infrastructure in NIE and hire experienced faculty. 

17. In between classes, where can we find you? 

We only have one class a day for our program so no in between classes to speak of.  

Tips (Info for future students) 

18. What is the best place to be as one with your laptop and lecture recordings? 

The library. 

38 Questions with James, Singapore (National Institute of Education)Library in the National Institute of Education (NIE) at Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

19. In the occasion that the school has to downsize till only ONE food place remains, what will it be? 

There’s only one canteen in NIE so we wouldn’t have much choice, but students can always head to other food joints in Nanyang Technological University (NTU) since we’re located inside NTU.

38 Questions with James, Singapore (National Institute of Education)

20. For free electricity in the school, where would you go to? 

Most places have electrical plugs. 

Programs & Electives

21. What program are you in? 

Master of Arts in Applied Psychology

22. Is this related to your dream job? 

I already am in my dream job as a counsellor. Taking on this part-time program is to  increase knowledge and gain more skills and experience. 

23. Do you know the actual value of your degree? 

I pay about $30-40K for a 4 year duration of studies. 

24. Do you think a degree in your course is cost efficient in terms of the quality of education you are receiving versus what you are paying? 

I think it’s okay, I’m quite neutral about it. 

25. In your opinion, how much should a degree in your program cost? 

I would keep it at the cost I’m paying, the cost has increased since I enrolled 4 years ago.  

26. What is the most unforgettable module you have taken? 

Psychological Testing. 

27. If you could be exempted from any module in your program, what would it be? 


28.What advice would you give to future students about module selection and planning? 

Psychological Testing is one of the best modules here. 

29. If you had to choose one, would you advise a Singapore Junior College (JC)  or Polytechnic (poly) student to join your program? 


30. In what scenarios will any student be exempted from any modules? 


31. Theory vs. Practical. In what ratio would you say your program content is? 


32. On a scale of 1 – 10, how employable do you think students from your program are? 


33. Name 3 job fields people from your program go into. 

Counselling, Civil Service, Educational Psychology.

34. Favorite Professor? 

Dr. Anu who taught me Psychological Assessment. 

35. What is one thing that most people don’t know about your program? 

It’s not just a MOE thing, cousellors can take on this program as well. Upon graduation, students can also join the Singapore Psychological Society. 

36. Ideal tutorial class size versus reality? 

Cohort size is about 20+ students so class size is small and quite ok as it is. 

37. Given a chance to go on exchange, which country would you choose? 

Either the United Kingdom or the United States as a lot of good research came out from these places. 

38. Common exam formats include: 

We do have some exams but a large part is actually assignments. When we do have exams, it’s mostly statistics exams. 


Works as Marketing Executive at NI Galactica Pte Ltd