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What will I learn?

First-year history students are introduced to the discipline of history through modules that emphasize global and regional patterns. They learn how political and economic trends, geography, and other determinants have shaped the last few centuries of human civilization. Upper-level students take modules that cover aspects of the histories of specific regions or countries, or focus on specialized topics such as the rise and fall of empires; major developments in art, science, and technology; the formation of trans-regional and international networks of trade, culture, and communication; and the historical interaction of human societies with their fragile environments. Students engage such pressing issues as gender and racial relations, sustainable development, war and peace, and the social, political, and intellectual dimensions of humankind’s relationship to technology and to nature.

In keeping with the Department's overall focus, the Ph.D. scholars work on topics in Southeast and East Asian history, and the M.A. programme covers the same broad range of areas, themes and topics as the undergraduate curriculum. Graduate students are encouraged to participate fully in the academic and social life of the department, as teaching and research assistants, and in presenting conference papers and attending seminars.

Career Prospects

Few history graduates work in jobs where they call themselves historians, but the skills they acquire are of fundamental importance in many occupations, and people trained in history have found success in a wide variety of professions. Historians learn how to ask questions, locate and analyze information and develop answers, write effectively, formulate coherent arguments and make successful presentations.

People with a well-rounded education, who have wide-ranging general knowledge, experience in locating information, and the ability to think, reason and communicate effectively, are always in demand. These are precisely the skills that the study of history cultivates.

There are graduates of the Department working in information technology, business and finance, law and medicine, the civil service and the teaching profession.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Study options

Full Time (60 months)

Tuition fees
SG$20,350.00 (11,49,068) per year
Start date

Expected August 2022


Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

The Shaw Foundation Building, Block AS7, Level 5,

5 Arts Link,

117570, Singapore

Entry requirements

For students from United States

PhD programme requires a good Master’s degree in a relevant discipline, or at least a Second Class Upper Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline. English Language Requirements: TOEFL scores for Internet Based Test (IBT) is 90; or IELTS score of 6.0. 

For international students

In general, the University requires:

  • Normally a good Master’s degree in a relevant discipline; or
  • an NUS Honours degree (at least Distinction/Second Class Upper Division) or equivalent (e.g., a four-year Bachelor’s degree with an average grade above B) in a relevant discipline, subject to approval by the Faculty, on a case-by-case basis.

English Language Requirements: Minimum TOEFL score is required: 85 for the internet-based test (with a minimum score of 22 for the writing section); or 580 for the paper-based test; or 237 for the computer-based test. IELTS result of 6.0 is required.


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