Add/Drop Period: Cool Electives to Liven Up Your Semester

By Sng Hui Ying, Eunice

You’ve fought your way through STAR Wars. Now, it’s finally time to squeeze in a few more General Education Prescribed Electives (GERPEs) or Unrestricted Electives (UEs) to complete your timetable for Semester 2.  

As the Add/Drop period approaches again, you may be feeling spoilt for choice scrolling through the seemingly innumerable list of courses on your STARS planner. What should I take? What can I score well in?  

We know how mind-boggling it is to try and find something that you will not only enjoy, but also potentially get that elusive A grade for. So, after speaking to seniors and doing my fair bit of research, I’ve put together a list of cool electives that may interest you.

For the Budding Detective 

When it comes to criminal investigate work, the devil is in the details.  
Photo credit: Unsplash | @lunarts 

HG8011 Detecting Meaning with Sherlock Holmes 

Available as: GERPE (LA) 

Offered by: Linguistics and Multilingual Studies (LMS) department from the School of Humanities (SoH) 

No. Of AUs: 

Assessment3 projects worth 20% each (2 individual and 1 group work) + 1 Final Quiz worth 40% 

Method of Delivery: 3-hour weekly lectures with set texts to be read beforehand 

Conducted by: Assoc Prof Francis Bond 

Ever marvelled at how the great Sherlock Holmes could deduce everything from the tiniest clues? You now have the chance to develop the perspicacity of a master detective by analysing how wider meanings in language are constructed – from the smallest of details in morphemes (linguistic units that cannot be divided) and words up to the macro level of sentences in stories! Revisit Sherlock’s fascinating adventures as you read some of his well-loved tales to prepare for discussions in class.  

If you are curious about the specific content being covered, here is the course outline from a previous semester.  

For the Caring Friend

HP8003 Are U Ok? Mental Health 

Available as: UE/GERPE  (LA) 

Offered by: Psychology department from the School of Social Sciences

No. Of AUs: 3 

Assessment1 mid-term assessment quiz (40%) and 1 final examination (60%) 

Method of Delivery: 3-hour weekly lectures 

Conducted by: Adjunct Assistant Prof Lim Choon Guan 

Mental health issues have become increasingly prominent in recent years. When we see our friends in distress, we often ask them, “are you ok?”  but it may still be hard to identify the best ways to help them.

Taking this course allows you to go in-depth into the psychological well-being of individuals, viewing mental illness from an academic perspective. Hopefully, you would soon be able to go beyond offering cliché self-help tips and be better equipped to guide your loved ones towards better lives. 

For the Gender-Savvy 

HG2024 X-Rated Linguistics: Language, Sexuality & Desire 

Available as: UE 

Offered by: LMS department from the SoH 

No of AUs: 

Assessment: 1 group video project (25%), 1 in-class test (20%), 2 blog posts (30%), 1 Instagram assignment (10%) and class participation (15%) 

Method of Delivery: 3-hour weekly seminars 

Conducted by: Assistant Prof Ivan Panovic 

Don’t be deceived – there won’t be any pornography in this course. Instead, you will learning to examine issues on human sexuality through insightful discussions and documentary screenings.   

Ivan is a quirky, casual instructor who delivers lesson content in a clear and engaging way and insists on allowing everyone to address him without an honorific, so you’re in luck! He has even created this website with past students’ projects for you to take reference from.  

For the Aspiring Self-Made Man/Woman 

ET9131 Venturing into Entrepreneurship 

Available as: UE 

Offered by: Nanyang Technopreneurship Center 

No. Of AUs: 

Method of Delivery: 9-hour lectures conducted over 5 weeks 

Thinking of setting up your own business in the future? Then this module is perfect for you. ET9131 explores concepts of entrepreneurship, innovation and the new venture creation process. Do take note that a heavy emphasis is placed on attendance and class participation; a lot of teamwork has to be involved when generating ideas and identifying business opportunities.  

For the Global Citizen  

Have the world at your fingertips with these modules on cross-cultural exploration.  
Photo credit: Unsplash | @greg_rosenke 

BU8641 Cultural Intelligence: How to be an Explorer of the World

Available as: UE/GERPE (LA) 

Offered by: Nanyang Business School 

No. Of AUs: 

Assessment: 1 group project (35%), progression markers (30%), experiential learning journals (20%) and class participation (15%) 

Method of Delivery: 3-hour weekly seminars 

I’m sure there are many of us who long to explore different countries. But exciting as travelling may be, cultural barriers can hinder relationship-building.   

Through taking this course, you can become an expert of navigating international cultures by developing the ability to adapt to differences across national, ethnic and organisational contexts. In an increasingly globalised world, having the right communication skills can help to open new doors for effective partnerships with people from various societies.

CS4160 The Korean Wave: A Multidisciplinary Perspective 

Available as: UE 

Offered by: Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI) 

No. Of AUs: 

Method of Delivery: 3-hour weekly lectures 

Conducted by: Dr Liew Khai Khun 

K-pop fans will rejoice. Now, you can justify your obsession with BTS and Blackpink since you will actually be studying about your favourite music industry! CS4160 delves deep into why the Korean entertainment scene has become so popular in recent years. There are also two other sections in this course: Korean software media flows and hardware.  

CS4266 Global Film Cultures: Non-Western Cinema

Available as: UE

Offered by: WKWSCI 

No. Of AUs: 

Method of Delivery: 4-hour weekly lectures 

Conducted by: Asst Prof Lee Sang Jun 

Movies don’t just come from Hollywood. For the film junkies out there, band together with fellow aficionados to enter the world of Japanese silent cinema, Post-Independent Indonesian cinema, the Thai film renaissance and many more. During lessons, watch screenings and participate in enlightening discussions to assess the cultural impacts of film.  

For the Creative Souls  

Why not experiment with different forms of artistic expression? Photo credit: Unsplash | @korpa

AAA08B Fashion & Design: Wearable Art as a Second Skin 

Available as: UE 

Offered by: National Institute of Education (NIE) 

No. Of AUs: 

Method of Delivery: 3-hour weekly studio sessions 

Fancy designing your own fashion wear? If watching models parade flamboyant outfits on the runway makes you excited, you may enjoy this elective. In this hands-on course, you can illustrate and construct fashion designs to eventually achieve a wearable piece of artwork.

ADP16A Introduction to Theatre & Performance 

Available as: UE 

Offered by: NIE 

No. Of AUs: 

Method of Delivery: 3-hour weekly studio sessions 

Unleash your inner drama queen with this holistic course on the art of the stage. Along with learning more about using your body and voice to perform, you’ll be exposed to well-known theatre-making methodologies. On top of that, you’ll also be taught how to analyse plays!  

Choose Carefully

Adding these unique courses can be a breath of fresh air from those boring core modules. When planning your electives, it is important to consider what your forte is – for instance, if drawing is your hobby, then taking an art module may help to bring up your overall GPA.  

But it remains a fact that some courses may be more popular than others. If you are not able to get what you want this time, there’s always the next semester to try your luck. We’re confident that it will be your turn to get out of that dreaded waiting list soon enough. May the force be with you!