The 5 C’s is no stranger to this country, a popular phrase to define success in concrete —albeit somewhat materialistic terms. It may be a wise choice to adopt some degree of practicality in our decision but as we all know, sometimes the intangible aspects of a school such as culture and student life are just as important. With this in mind, here’s what we gathered about JCU Singapore on our 2015 Open Day.
Firstly here’s an introduction to the university.
James Cook University 101
1 university, 2 countries, 3 tropical locations
JCU is ranked in the top 4% of universities in the world and is the leading tropical research university in Australia.
In addition to the Singapore campus, JCU operates two campuses located in the tropical cities of Townsville and Cairns in Australia. Students here graduate with the same globally recognized degree as their Aussie peers.
JCU Singapore is within a 10 minute walk from Kallang and Aljunied Station. The campus is also accessible using a wide range of public buses.
And, now on to the 5 C’s of JCU!
#1 Campus Sneak Peek
Just to give you guys an idea of how the campus looks like. JCU is a homely campus with a warm and friendly ambiance and very easy to navigate.
The pool tables are very well-received by the students. These are just placed right outside the Student Hub, which serves as the student services center as well as a recreation area for students.
Welcome to the Psychology Clinic!
JCU takes pride in its Psychology Clinic. This is a working clinic open for public consultation services. Psychological services are provided by JCU Singapore students who are completing post-graduate Masters or Doctoral training at the JCU Singapore Psychology Clinic to qualify as Clinical Psychologists. Most students do their first practicum placement in the JCU Clinic. Fees for services are at subsidised rates and free of charge for JCU students.
Here’s an exclusive preview of the two-way mirror brought to you by Digital Senior!
One of the training tools they have is a one-way mirror. This is in a consultation room with maximum privacy and is used only for educational purposes. The rest of the consultation rooms do not have this mirror.
We were really honored to be given a demonstration and have our lovely school guides pose a picture for us.
When the observation room is lit up, the people on the other side will be faced with a normal mirror, and can no longer see through it. At other times, there is a blind covering the mirror, so nobody can see into the consultation room. So this is not open to the public.
#2 Crossing Borders
The JCU Inter-campus Mobility Program provides students with the chance to study in Singapore and Australia. Each course (to be introduced later) has its own set of basic academic requirements to fulfill before students can head off to Aussie for exchange up to two semesters.
Many programs have also included overseas trips. For example, students in the Bachelor of Business and Environmental Science program had embarked on a two-week trip to Bintan last year where they conducted mini field studies.
Besides exchange programs, many students come from abroad to study in JCU Singapore. You’ll meet people from various parts of the globe and get to experience the vibrant diversity and learn about foreign cultures everyday in school. Meeting different people helps in networking and broadens our perspectives in life.
#3 Curriculum of Choice
(Warning: this ‘C’ is a particularly long section for the genuinely intrigued)
JCU offers a wide selection of Bachelor and Postgraduate programs in Psychology, Business, Information Technology and Education.
The list below is not exhaustive, do check out the brochures that available for download on the website link below! There are many other options available with the interests of the student in mind.
The Bachelor of Psychological Science followed by a Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) generally takes 4 calendar years to complete in other Australian universities. At JCU Singapore campus, four years of academic work is offered in 3 years (in a full-time course structure). There is also Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) that compacts a 3 year coursework into 2 years. In addition to studying the scientific basis of psychology, students are introduced to various subfields such as clinical, educational, counselling, forensic, and developmental and health psychology.
A Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) is offered to students with high academic performance. Alternatively, those who do not meet the entry criteria can still opt for the Graduate Diploma of Psychology [subject to meeting academic requirement], which covers the same academic coursework but only differs in that the Psychology Thesis is an individual piece of work for Honours Students and a group project for Graduate Diploma students. All JCU psychology degrees are recognized by the Australian Psychological Society (APS) and Singapore Psychological Society (SPS).
Graduates of the Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) and the Graduate Diploma of Psychology are eligible for provisional registration with the Psychology Board of Australia. Graduates who wish to become fully registered as psychologists, must complete, in addition to either of these courses, two years of supervised practice in the field; or an accredited Master degree (e.g. Master of Psychology) with one further year of supervised practice.
Can I be a psychologist upon graduation?
At present, there is no official statutory regulation for the practice of psychology in Singapore.
The Singapore Psychological Society does not accredit any courses, but recognizes any degrees that are being accredited by the respective accreditation councils (e.g. APAC) or by the societies (e.g. APS).
As a JCU graduate, you have two ways of applying for membership to practise as psychologists in Australia:
A: Complete a further two years of supervised practice (in Australia)
B: Apply for membership to the Australian Psychological Society (APS) as a Master of Psychology Graduate. Then, apply for registration to practice as psychologists in Australia.
Studying Psychology in JCU could be a good stepping-stone to getting that foreign degree without traveling abroad, you have 3 years to think about studying abroad and whether being a psychologist is really what you want eventually.
The Bachelor of Business Program offers 8 business majors which includes:
- Hospitality & Tourism Management
- International Business
- Sports & Events Management
- Financial Management
- Business Intelligence and Information Systems
The options seemed to be endless as students can opt for a variety of combinations between majors and minors. Something to take note is that a program in JCU typically consists of 3 trimesters per year, normally 4 subjects per trimester. This means that the program can be completed in two years.
The next program which stood out to me was the Bachelor of Business and Environmental Science program. It is a good choice for those intrigued by biology, environment conservation but wants to study something that gives a practical edge to it. Look no further, this multi-disciplinary program leverages on the university’s strength in business, environmental and marine science.
The Postgraduate Programs also offer inter-disciplinary advantages. The joint-degree programs (Master of Professional Accounting-Master of Business Administration, Master of International Tourism & Hospitality Management – Master of Business Administration) can be completed within 16 months.
“Do you want a lot of money?” was what the lecturer said, which kept me in my seat. I was prepared to leave at prior to this point of the talk but this professor really knew how to keep us engaged. His next sentence was even more epic, “We play… then we make money.”
Then he started flashing pictures of the richest billionaires in the world, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates… All they had in common was their background in IT. In this digital age, IT is something we can no longer overlook.
In their Bachelor of Information Technology program, you get to take subjects such as Games Design and Computer Science as minor electives. Postgraduate programs include joint-degree ones including Master of IT – Master of Business Administration. All master programs can be finished in just 16 months full-time.
As an IT student, you will be entitled to memberships with two professional bodies: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Singapore Computer Society (SCS). This will be helpful in kickstarting your career upon graduation. The IT programs in Singapore are fully accredited by Australian Computer Society under “Professional Level” – the highest level.
Education Courses include Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education) and pathway programs such as the pre-university foundation program are also available to help students who do not meet the entry requirements for the Bachelor’s degree programs upgrade their skills and gain entry to the degree programs.
#4 Career Prospects
Business and Environmental Science
I’m sorry for the running gag, but yes, you will make a lot of money in the future. This is the hand of the witty and ingenious lecturer. I still remember how he said it, “Who do you think makes the most money in the world? Lawyers? Doctors? …. Noooo ~ IT Managers.”
These were some of the students the Professor still keeps in contact with, and this is quite some list, no?
Graduates can find rewarding careers in private and public sectors. Other than research, practicing psychologists are also sought after in many other fields such as human resource, consulting, training and development.
While looking around the school, this friendly student guide approached me and offered to show me around. Who knew he turned out to be Sajan Varghese, the President of the Student Council.
I took the chance to ask him about his experience pursuing his Master of Professional Acounting-Master of Business Administration under the postgraduate joint-degree program here in JCU Singapore.
Collaborative and Friendly Culture
“We try to take away the notion that it is a competition; that if I help you, you may become better than me.” says Sajan, as he shares his philosophy about making friends. He proudly tells me how his batch is very helpful towards each other, and the student council’s motivation to spread this culture to every incoming batch.
“And even then, so what?” he says. His conviction is so strong, displaying his confidence in himself and his fellow JCU schoolmates. Such simple yet admirable words naturally translates into great leadership.
He then introduced me to some clubs promoting the spirit of friendship and collaboration in JCU.
The EMAS programme is a student-initiated peer tutoring program. EMAS stands for English, Mathematics, Accounting and Finance, and Statistics. Professors recruit students who are doing well in class and these students in turn can bring in their ‘khakis’ basically. Not surprisingly, Sajan and friends are part of this club as a peer tutor. Peer tutors are in turn trained by the school professors. Learn more about learning support in JCU.
JCU’s Mateship program is also run by students. Senior students are assigned the role of “Mates” and each “Mate” is linked with a few “Joeys”, who are none other than the incoming freshmen. This is a befriending program where older peers help their new friends become acquainted with life at JCU.
Clubs and Societies
This school may provide one of the most realistic experience if you join Model United Nations, due to the international culture. Student guides also excitedly gushed about their own international leagues in Soccer club. JCU Toastmasters has also done well in competitions, and the exchange of cultures between members from different backgrounds really enhances the club experience.
And when your passion translates into results, it is highly rewarding as well.
The Student Council is highly involved, Sajan and his student council members are in almost every single photograph on the showcase board.
Hope the review has been helpful in trying to show the many facets of school life in JCU. It was an eye-opening experience attending JCU Open House even though I wasn’t a potential candidate. Once again, a big shoutout to the friendly staff and students of JCU in creating an excellent environment for everyone!
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