9 Master’s degrees (apart from a MBA) in Singapore that prep you for a management role

With so many bright talents in the job space, a bachelor’s degree has become the bare minimum for getting your foot in the door. These days, however, it’s seldom enough to propel you up the career ladder into coveted leadership positions.

 

Students worldwide are increasingly turning to postgraduate studies in order to stand out. Postgrad student numbers soared by 59% within the last decade alone, reported the Guardian UK.

Fiona Major, postgraduate programme director of pharmaceutical giant GSK, noted how postgrads tended to have “values-based leadership” and “strategic thinking”, making them more attractive candidates. If your career plan includes rising into management positions, it’s worth investing in a postgrad program to equip yourself with management know-how.

This doesn’t necessarily mean an MBA, which unfortunately no longer commands the prestige it once did. With more and more job seekers boasting those three letters on their resume, other Master’s-level qualifications are actually more likely to get you an executive position, headhunter Debbie Goodman-Bhyat tells The Economist.

Here, we’ve narrowed down eight of the best alternative options for postgrad study in management:

1) Master of Science in Engineering Management, from Coventry University, at PSB Academy

Established in 1964, “Asia’s Future Academy” has won numerous awards for its standards in education in recent years. Developed in collaboration with the UK’s Coventry University, their prestigious course balances rigorous technical training with a strong focus on management skills.

Coventry University was lauded as one of the World’s Top 200 Young Universities (Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2017) and UK’s Top Modern University for 7 consecutive years (Complete University Guide 2013-2019). The school was also the No.1 Modern University in the Midlands in the Guardian University Guide 2022.

If you aspire to leadership within the engineering sector, this course will arm you with a deep understanding of the necessary competencies—global engineering strategy, people management, and project management, just to name a few.

These areas are taught through case studies and applied work, enabling a smooth translation of theory to the workplace. You can also choose to specialise in a particular management area via an individual project, allowing you to align your learning even more closely with your career interests.

Duration: 12 months (full-time), 16 months (part-time)

Tuition Fees:

  • Local Students and International Students: S$23,151.60
  • Progressing students enjoy a discounted rate

Prerequisites (at least one of the following):

  • A minimum of a second-class honours degree in any engineering-related subject or Management studies.
  • A relevant professional qualification of an equivalent level.
  • 21 years old and above
  • Mature candidates (must have at least 8 years of working experience):
    • A lower qualification plus appropriate and relevant experience at a professional level.
    • Satisfactory, independent evidence of working for several years in a relevant area (non-hons grads).
  • Students whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.5 or equivalent with a minimum of 5.5 for all components.

Find out more here.

2) Master of Science in CFO Leadership, Singapore Management University

Offered by SMU’s School of Accountancy, this distinctive degree aims to transform you into a finance and business leader. The program trains finance professionals in specialised hard skills such as making financial decisions while giving them the right tools to lead their organisations and shape business outcomes.

Specialising in business and management studies, SMU has received recognition from AACSB International and was a finalist in “preparing students for the workforce” (Wharton-QS Stars Reimagine Education Awards), so rest assured that you are in good hands.

Duration: 1 year via block format (6 academic sessions of full-time classes, each 8 consecutive days long)

Tuition Fees:

S$55,000, SMU alumni will be eligible for 10% off.

Prerequisites:

  • GMAT / SMU AT TOEFL / IELTS
  • Business managers or potential/aspiring CFOs with at least 7 years of full-time relevant work experience

Find out more here. (Interested individuals may also be interested in the Tsinghua-SMU Master of Science in CFO Leadership degree programme, which will be conducted mostly in Mandarin Chinese and in both universities)

3) Master of Technology in Software Engineering, National University of Singapore

Consistently achieving high rankings in global university rankings, Singapore’s oldest university brings together the best of IT and management know-how to bring you a program suitable for aspiring project managers in the software industry. The comprehensive curriculum includes technical knowledge like building software solutions and IT infrastructure. This is integrated with training on soft skills, project management, and innovation.

Duration: 1 year (full-time), 2 years (part-time)

Tuition Fees:

  • S$34,151.60 to S$34,611.58 for Singaporeans after Study Award
  • S$42,276.60 to S$42,736.58 for Permanent Residents after Study Award
  • S$53,500 to S$53,790 for international students

Prerequisites:

  • Bachelor’s degree (preferably in Sci. or Eng.) with a GPA of at least B
  • Proficiency in the English Language (written and spoken)*
  • Preferably two years of relevant working experience as an IT professional in software development or maintenance (eg: programmer, designer, software project manager)
  • Applicants who graduated from universities where English is not the medium of instruction require a TOEFL or IELTS score.

Find out more here.

4) Master of Science Management, SIM GE

Developed and awarded by the UK’s University of Birmingham, this programme aims to impart to graduates crisis management skills, sustainable leadership skills, as well as resillience and reliability. It is made up of 10 core modules and 3 electives of the candidate’s choice so that candidates can tailor their education to their immediate needs and interests.

Elective options include Organisational Behaviour and Leadership, Crisis, Resilience and Change Management, Digital Business and Business Analytics, amongst others!

According to The Graduate Market in 2020 Report published by High Fliers Research, the University of Birmingham was among the top 10 universities targeted by the largest number of UK’s top employers for graduate recruits.

Duration: 1 year (full-time)

Tuition Fees:

S$35,904.60

Prerequisites:

  • Bachelor’s degree (2nd Class Honours degree or its equivalent)
  • Other qualifications will be assessed on individual merits
  • ≥ C6 pass in English as First Language at GCE O-Level/ 7.0 in IELTS

Find out more here.

5) Master of Supply Chain Management (Professional), Curtin Singapore

From operations management to global business, this course equips you with the necessary competencies to take the next step in your career in logistics and supply chain management.

Curtin’s program was ranked within the top 3 best Masters for Supply Chain and Logistics worldwide by the 2019 Eduniversal Masters Ranking. It is also globally accredited by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply. Amongst the top 1% worldwide, Curtin is Australia’s second-most international university, with strong industry connections and research performance.

Duration: 8 months (full-time), part-time available

Tuition Fees:

S$25,724

Prerequisites: IELTS band 6.5/TOEFL score of 79

The program is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, and graduates may be eligible for full membership status with 3 years of working experience.

Graduates are eligible to apply for graduate membership of The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Association of Australia (LAA).

Find out more here.

6) Master in Strategy & Management of International Business (SMIB), ESSEC Business School 

ESSEC Business School’s SMIB offers a unique experience, where you may get to study at both of their campuses located in France and Singapore! Candidates can choose between the Consulting or Corporate track, which then allows them to focus on Western or Asian countries. Corporate track candidates also have the opportunity to go on exchange or double degree programmes in Africa, Canada, the USA or Mexico.

During your studies, you will get to attend sustainability workshops and seminars, career day(s), a (optional) international business study trip, and participate in a Digital Week Competition exposing you to real and current business cases companies face.

ESSEC ranked 5th in the Financial Times’ Masters in Management 2023 ranking, and the SMIB 2nd globally in the QS Business Master’s Rankings 2024: Management.

Duration: 1 or 2 year(s) full-time depending on background and latest degree

Tuition Fees: 23,625 EUR per year 

Prerequisites:

  • 3 or 4-year Bachelor or Master’s Degree holders

Find out more here.

7) Master in Management, INSEAD

INSEAD has campuses in France, Singapore, China, the USA and Abu Dhabi, and the MiM program requires candidates to study at the first two campuses. They also have the option of joining study trips based at the other campuses. The program has 12 case-based core courses and practicals — two-week modules at the end of each period, where candidates gain experience through simulations, real-life business situations, and projects from partnering companies.

This program does not require any professional working experience, but experience in a business context is welcome. There are three application rounds (conducted over 7 weeks) for this program.

Duration: 14 to 16 months

Tuition Fees: €52,500

Prerequisites:

  • GRE: around 80% in both the Verbal and Quantitative sections
  • GMAT: around 65% in both the Verbal and Quantitative sections and above five for the Integrated Reasoning section
  • Undergraduate degree (Bachelor’s degree or equivalent) from a recognised college or university

Find out more here.

8) CEMS Master’s in International Management, National University of Singapore

This double-master degree program is the product of collaboration with CEMS, a global alliance of renowned business schools, MNCs, and NGOs. Not only does it deliver rigorous training in areas such as global management practice, but it also includes unique opportunities for cross-cultural immersion and experiential learning.

The extraordinary program incorporates overseas exchange trips with two CEMS partner schools, plus an internship with either a CEMS Corporate Partner or an international company. In other words, you get to hone your management and business communication skills in a truly global context.

The CEMS MIM program has been ranked among the Financial Times’ top Master’s in Management programs in the world since 2005.

Duration: 1.5 years

Tuition Fees:

S$64,310 (including acceptance fee, non-inclusive of misc. fees). NUS alumni are eligible for a 20% tuition fee rebate.

Prerequisites:

  • A good undergrad degree from a four-year business-related degree programme. Three-year business-related degrees may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • TOEFL score ≥ 260 for computer-based test, 620 for paper and 100 for internet / IELTS score ≥ 0.
  • Proficiency in another language aside from English

Find out more here.

9. Master of Management, Singapore University of Social Sciences

This programme has a unique feature: it’s stackable! You can graduate with the Graduate Diploma in Management after completing 12 management courses, and go ahead to make it a Master of Management after taking another 30 credit units worth of courses.

The Master of Management has 2 tracks to choose from. The first is the Management track, and the second is the Specialisation track. You can choose from 15 specialisations (Digital Marketing, Human Capital Management, Organisation & Leadership for Social Change, Facilities Management, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Analytics and Visualisation,  Financial Technology, Intellectual Property and Innovation Management, Professional Life-coaching, Non-Profit Management, Community Leadership and Social Development, Organisational Psychology, Sustainability Management, Project Management, and Taxation) for the latter, making this programme highly flexible.

Duration: 1 year minimum, part-time (up to 4 years)

Tuition Fees:

Local students and PRs: S$26,400 (as low as 14,520 with SSG subsidies)

International students: S$31,680

Prerequisites:

  • An undergraduate degree (or an equivalent) from a recognised institution
  • If the degree was not obtained from an English-medium university or conducted in the English language, an IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5, a TOEFL score of 580 (paper-based) or 85 (internet-based), or a PTE Academic score of 58, or C1 Advanced score of 180 is required. It must be less than 2 years old.
  • Shortlisted applicants may have to sit for written tests/interviews
  • If you have social outreach or volunteering experience, you may have an added advantage

Find out more here

Whether you find specialised or general programs more suitable, postgrad studies can give your career just the push it needs. And with part-time programs becoming more common, you don’t even need to worry about stopping work for a year or two to go back to school. Time to hit the books!

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