Small but full of bite: 7 short courses to whet your learning appetite

Are you bored? Or itching to exercise your brain, because you can feel it rattling around in your skull telling you to feed it new things?

Does this mean we could all be Sheldon?? (Credits: Big Bang Theory)

Or maybe you need (or want) to pick up a specific skill that will help you greatly with your job or your potentially groundbreaking business idea.

Whatever the motivation, the great amount of short courses on offer from the various learning institutions out there can help you expand your skill arsenal. From Creative Story Making to Fashion Figure Drawing, here’s our taster list of courses for a fun mind challenge.

All course fees are in SGD unless otherwise stated.

We hope you’re as excited as Merida! (Credits: Pixar Animation Studios)

1) Urban Farming Using Hydroponics

Harvest the vegetables of your labour and have them taste even sweeter!

You might have learnt about hydroponics in primary school or never grown a single plant in your life. No matter which group you fall under, this course will help you learn—or refresh your knowledge on how to—grow your own soilless edible urban farm. The course is taught by the highly experienced Mr. Chow K.K. Gregory, the Centre Manager for Urban Horticulture & Greenscape (CUHG) at the School of Life Sciences and Chemical Technology, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore.

Curriculum: Topics covered include Hydroponic systems, Introduction to Plant Nutrition, Hydroponic Nutrient solution, Growing media, Controlled Environment Agriculture, Media preparation and monitoring, as well as Seedling propagation and care.

The course has no exam and a certificate will be issued to those with 75% attendance and above.

Duration: 1 day (the next course is on 9 Mar 2019), from 9am-5pm. It is offered by Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

Course Fees: $214.00. Singaporeans aged 50 and above can enjoy a special price of $114.00. The course is also SkillsFuture eligible.

2) Creative Story – Introduction to Story Making

Do you dream of being an author one day? Or being able to share your content to the world? Build a firm foundation with the help of this course! Taught by Adeline Foo (Author of the well-loved The Diary of Amos Lee), in collaboration with Singapore Polytechnic’s Diploma in Creative Writing for TV and New Media, the course aims to help aspiring writers bring their ideas into reality.

Curriculum: The course will teach participants how to write, conceptualise, develop and pitch original ideas and stories for digital media platforms, as well as how to write for children and how to produce Ebooks. All participants will receive a certificate of participation.

Duration: 1 day (the next course is on 26 Jan 2019), 9am-6pm. This course is offered by Singapore Polytechnic.

Course Fees: $121.98 for Singaporeans below 40 and PRs, $406.60 for others. Those falling into specific groups are eligible for discounted prices.

3) Basic Chocolate Production Techniques

Tried making your own truffles before, or thought of adding them into your repertoire? Consider this introductory course to chocolate making. While you won’t become a master chocolatier anytime soon, you’ll at least know the difference between making Chantilly and Nama chocolate (you mean there’s a difference??) while getting to taste some chocolate on the side.

Curriculum: The course will teach you how to melt chocolate correctly, familiarise you with the basic ingredients needed for chocolate and introduce you to traditional, as well as modern, methods of chocolate tempering.

Duration: 1 day workshop (the next course is on 2 Mar 2019), 9am-4pm. It is offered by Republic Polytechnic.

Course Fees:  $267.50, $142.50 for Singaporeans aged 50 and above and PRs.

4) The Layman’s Guide to Professional Medical Terms and disorders

Health is wealth. Knowing more about medicalese, therefore, cannot do you anything but good! This course helps you demystify all the medical terms that you see in the news and anywhere else. For example, did you know that the ‘-Itis’ suffix denotes diseases characterised by inflammation? Now you do.

Curriculum: The short course will cover medical word structures, how to understand and identify common medical terms, and introduce smart phone apps that will help in the understanding of medical terminologies.

Duration: 1 day (the next course is on 5 Mar 2019), 9am-5pm. It is offered by Nanyang Polytechnic.

Course Fees: $224.70, $67.41 for Singaporean citizens above 40. This course is SkillsFuture credit claimable.

5) Charcoal Drawing

Looking for a hobby or a means of self-expression? Try charcoal drawing! One of the oldest art mediums, charcoal can produce versatile and detailed art depending on strokes, pressure and the grain of the paper one chooses to use. Master the basics through this course for an accessible (and portable) hobby!

Curriculum: Elements of drawing, lines, shade and mark-marking, textures, shape, composition, perspective.

Duration: 8 sessions, 3 hours each from 7pm-10pm (the next course period starts 11 Jan 2019). It is offered by the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA).

Course Fees: $380.00. The course is SkillsFuture credits claimable.

6) 5-Day “MBA Express”

Geared toward managers, senior managers and directors in specialist roles needing a better understanding of business, the course helps provide a general management perspective through the surveying of the MBA curriculum. While it’s the kind of course companies would sponsor their employees for and not really something you’d go for on your own, we list it here just in case you want to pitch it to your (current or future) bosses, or want an idea of how to go about picking up business concepts (look to MBA content for a great skeleton)!

Curriculum: Covers Accounting, Finance, Management as well as Strategy components of a business. These include topics such as key financial statements, conflict management, the 5 Ps of marketing, as well as how to influence stakeholders.

Duration: 5 days (the next course period is 14-18 Oct 2019), from 9am-5pm. This is offered by SIM Professional Development.

Course Fees: $2,500.00 non-member (excluding GST), $2200.00 for members (excluding GST). Early bird rate (10% off) applicable.

7) A Practical Introduction to Augmented Reality

One of those that got swept into the Pokémon Go craze, or tried your hand at a zombie survival AR game while freaking out all the way?  If that taste of AR has whetted your appetite, explore the history and mechanics of AR, while learning more about its applications (which is more extensive than you might expect) in the industry and in education! You’ll also get to make a simple AR demo on a tablet PC to complete the experience.

Curriculum: The fundamentals of AR, hands-on demos, introduction of AR toolkits and Fraunhofer’s AR Library, hands-on creation of simple AR demo.

Duration: 1 day (the next course dates fall on 25 Jan and 3 Apr 2019), 9am-5pm. It is offered by Nanyang Technological University.

Course Fees: $125.19 with SkillsFuture Series Subsidy Funding (applicable to Singaporeans and PRs only)


But wait, none of these seem like my jam…

We hope that something on our short list caught your eye, but in case nothing does…it’s okay! We understand. Here’s where you can go to find more short courses that could suit you better.

Polytechnics offer all kinds of interesting courses, which you can check out through their respective websites:

Other places you can check out include the various universities (NTU, NUS, SMU, just to name a few) and NAFA or LASALLE! Happy course finding!

Taken any great short courses that left a lasting impression on you? Share it with us below!


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