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NUS Admission Result – Engineering Science

May 1, 2008

Life operates in such a way that my prediction always goes wrong—seems like the admission result is released two day earlier than I have expected.

This is from status inquiry system :

“You have been offered Engineering Science in academic year 2008 – 2009.
The details of the offer will be stated in the offer letter.
Your letter of offer was sent on 30-Apr-2008.
Please reply here by 14-May-2008.”

Unlike Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, I chose Engineering Science out of pure interest. The applied Quantum Mechanics module for the 2nd year intrigues me. On the side note, I am the third batch for the course—in other words, one of the pioneers.

But it comes with a certain degree of risk as well—not many know this course, let alone the number of Malaysian applicant for the Engineering Science Program. After all, the job market for the course graduate is not as substantial as conventional Engineering course.

Time to choose between Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Engineering Science.


1. Both are unconventional

2. I am slight more interested in Engineering Science than Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

3. But choosing Engineering Science has a certain degree of risk.

Two weeks time to decide. How nostalgic, the exact same situation occur to me when I was offered ASEAN Pre-U Scholarship.

Two choices, different path of life.

29 Comments leave one →
  1. July 8, 2008 8:10 pm

    Hey, I found your website accidently. Hey was kind of hmm.. (don’t know to explain the feeling) when I read the second last sentence of this blog entry.

    I was on the same kind of path you walked. I was offered ASEAN Pre-U also. But I stayed back for Form 6 due to many reasons, which I thought was important. Then, I was wrong.

    Until recently I applied NUS and NTU again. NTU offered me my first choice also, Chemistry and Biological Chemistry, while NUS offered me Science (I am a Biology student).

    I was not offered any scholarships. Yet I’m still going to pursue my dreams in NUS. I am not sure what is your next direction as you didn’t posted it up in your blog. But, don’t worry, what passed is past. Just look forward. If you keep looking back, you surely will miss many things =)

    Sometimes I do feel regret over my decision, but it was a past already. I feel grateful that God gave me another chance to go to Singapore.

    I wish you all the best in whatever you do. If you are going to NUS, hope to meet you in MSL/or anything =P

    Take care!

  2. July 9, 2008 7:45 am

    While many bitter events have happened during my stay in Form 6, I don’t feel regret now.

    Not because Form 6 is better, I merely think it is imprudent to regret over spilled milk. I admit there was a period of time I felt rather despondent due to my choice, though.

    Yes, I am going to NUS. Many of my acquaintance are offered science in NUS. I hope to meet you during the QET!

    (By the way, are you a member of NUSMSL forum? Your name looks familiar.)

  3. July 9, 2008 4:14 pm

    Yeah, very true. Hey, initially I thought I am the only person in the country faced this(how silly of me =P), and I am actually happy to meet you!

    I will arrive NUS most probably on this Sunday afternoon, provided if the check-in process is smooth.

    Yeah, I am hananosakana ^^

  4. July 10, 2008 9:23 am

    lol I am Harmony. No wonder your name looks familiar…I am a frequent visitor of NUSMSL too! (Though my post is few)

    I will be taking the 1st QET, and arriving in NUS on the 28th of July.

  5. Kent permalink
    March 30, 2009 5:53 pm

    I have offer from engineering science for 09. May I know how is the course like?
    I am currently on a dilemma as another university in hk hav juz offered me a place in Applied physics..
    I would really wanna know more abt engineering science b4 deciding. Please help if you can. Thank you very much.

  6. March 31, 2009 12:49 pm

    Nice to meet you Kent. Sorry for the delayed reply.

    The curriculum of Engineering Science has a strong emphasis on research and design projects, notably in emerging fields such as Energy System, Nano technology, Bioimaging and Computational Engineering Science. Unlike conventional engineering filed, we have a stronger foundation in fundamental science.(Imagine learning Advanced Calculus in your first year rather than Calculus as other does)

    At the same time, we have more design projects. We started our design project in year 2 (rather than year 3)

    Some of the projects that our senior have done :
    1) Devise your own experiment to measure Young modulus (year 2)
    2) Solar Golf Car (year 3, energy system)
    3) Industrial Drying Machine (year 2)
    4) Wireless Antenna (year 2)
    5) Electroplating (year 2)

    Some final year projects (which the year 3 are working on)

    Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have more questions. 🙂

  7. Kent permalink
    April 1, 2009 11:03 pm

    Thank you for replying.

    I can see there are a lot physics content in the course.
    I heard things about this course. Some people say that it may look like an elite course of engineering, but the truth is nobody wants get into this course as it is a risky choice to study such a new course.

    How much do you think it is true?
    What is the career prospects for this course?
    How much is this course different from applied physics?

    Sorry to bother you again. Thank you for your time spent answering my question. 🙂

  8. April 2, 2009 11:02 am

    I wouldn’t really say our course is an elite course, it is just more catered towards research career than other engineering courses. (I think people have this misconception since we don’t study the same module as other engineering students do.) There are elites in our class of course (I am not one of them), but there are also many mediocre ones. (However the mediocre one do become more hardworking as time pass by…)

    This course is introduced for two main reason: to integrate science and engineering as there are more research field which is mulltidisciplinary, and independent learning. (Very evident when you have to do much more design projects than the others—-but receive way less information from your professor except some brief background.) Hence if you don’t wish to venture into research field in the future, you may still apply your independent learning skills in other fields.

    However, if you prefer conventional and established field such as civil engineering, electrical etc., and are passionate in them, by all means go for those course. Afterall it is your passion that is the most important factor. And their field of specialization is different from ours.

    Career prospect wise…well, i can only said that it has better prospect in research field (in comparison to other engineering), and it is easier for us to get an internship (since we are such a small cohort and profesor can always help us personally. Our department deputy is quite concern about this). Other than research…you have to prove your skills to the employees, either via interview, CV or internship performance.

    Nobody wants to go in? Well, I consider my self as a person. lol And my friends too. Our cohort is small (less than 50), but that is deliberately done to enable better interaction among the students and professors. (Not because all of us are elites. But the Bell Curve for a small cohort can be scary… We also tend to be more competitive due to this reason.)

    How much is this course different from applied physics? I do not know enough about applied physics to answer you that. However, bear in mind that our specialization is in energy system, nanotechnology, bioimaging and computational engineering science. (Though Energy System is the most prominent one, second by nano, and a few in other specialization) Hence if you are not too interested in these fields, I would advise you to choose applied Physics instead.

  9. Kent permalink
    April 2, 2009 4:52 pm

    That’s a lot of useful info on the course. Thank you.

    I have colourblindness, is there alot of colour-related topic?

    Apart from the course, do you view R&D as a wise career choice?

  10. April 2, 2009 8:20 pm

    In fact, there is a color blinded senior in our course. And he is one of the high performer.

    Whether R&D is a wise career choice, that depends on what you wish to achieve in life, and also external factors as well. I am convinced, through my life in university, that you really need to be passionate in research and are willing to sacrifice time and make effort for it. There are researcher who treat research as just a job, write mediocre papers and journals for the sake of achieving the requirement. But there are also researcher who love their career, and is able to endure the hardship of research.

    Academic performance is secondary, your passion and goal is more important. (However, I don’t expect you to become a good researcher if you perform too miserably in science and math subjects)

    I suppose you are more concern towards career prospect, that you may not be able to secure a job in research. I don’t know about China, but Singapore does offer more job opportunity in research career than my home country. Research internship is not uncommon in NUS or NTU. (Their focus is more on applied science rather than theoretical science though) However, the deciding factor is still your own abilities, skills, and passion.

    I admit that I am not the best person to answer the question. I think it maybe better if you speak to some professors. 🙂

  11. Kent permalink
    April 3, 2009 1:07 am

    Thank you very much for being so helpful. By the way where are you from? You mentioned something about your home country.

  12. April 3, 2009 1:33 am

    Malaysia. There are research opportunities there, but no where as many as Singapore. If you wish to know more about applied physics, you may ask Xin Zhao. (Check out my blog link) He is a pure physics student in NUS. In fact he just commented in my post on Engineering Science.

    Anyway, I am not trying to influence your choice…so to have a more objective view it is better for you to ask more people. 😉

  13. Kent permalink
    May 11, 2009 9:42 pm

    Ohoh. I’ve got another question. Is it possible that I survive through the 4 years with just a laptop at home? By the way I stay in clementi.

  14. Kent permalink
    May 12, 2009 12:08 am

    arr sorry i mean desktop.

  15. mediocre permalink
    May 15, 2009 11:42 am

    That’s not a major problem. The main lecture room that you will be using is fulled of desktops. 🙂

  16. mediocre permalink
    May 15, 2009 11:45 am

    Don’t worry, the main lecture room for ESP students are equiped with dektops, installed iwht every software you would need.

  17. July 12, 2010 10:24 pm

    hello there, chance upon your post while searching for NUSMSL. I’m Joshua, U06 batch of ESP. ::wave::

  18. December 16, 2010 2:48 pm

    Hello, may I know how great is the Photonics and Optics specialization under Engineering Science programme?


  19. December 17, 2010 4:50 am

    wow… not bad huh? People kept chancing upon your blog post when they search for “Engineering Science” I suppose. Maybe I should start writing a post on ESP, considering the fact that I’ve just “officially” graduated from the course.

    Hi Robin, sorry for the rant above. Yes, Photonics & Optics, I’m the first batch from that specialization. I’m not too sure what do you mean by “how great..”. But truth be told, it is quite a niche field with very exciting research prospects like cloaking using metamaterials, plasmonics, nanofabrication etc. Of course, like what “mediocre” have mentioned above, this course is not for the faint-hearted. The course is quite design centric, lots more hands-on than other engineering courses. Of course everything is equally tougher than normal engineering course. As for job prospects, nothing much can be said at the moment since the first batch has just graduated in May 2010. But so far things have been quite promising.

    My last word, if you are not keen on pursuing a career in the academia, you might want to consider and re-consider before taking up this challenge. Not for the faint-hearted is no kidding business.

  20. December 17, 2010 11:43 am

    Hey Josh, go for it and blog about your experience in ESP. 🙂 So far, Mediocre is the first blog that mentions student experience in ESP.

    From what you’ve said, ESP is designed in such a way to prepare its graduates for R&D and academia. In that sense, how do you think such programme will be beneficiary for those who are undecided? For my case, I love to work with people as in dealing with clients, meeting people’s needs and so on. Is ESP a rigorous and worthwhile training for those who want to go industry after graduated?

    From the specializations document, there are quite a lot of modules offered by CEG, especially EE courses which are also taken by Photonics and Optics students. Is it possible for an EE student to map an ESP student’s modules so as to learn the similar skill sets and prepare him for a similar career as an ESP student will have?

    Thanks a lot. 🙂


  21. December 19, 2010 6:01 am

    Hi Robin,

    I think if you’re undecided, you might want to take Common Engin instead. Engineering Science is really not for the faint-hearted, and definitely not for people to figure out what they’re really interested in while you’re in it.

    But having said that, I am speaking as a first-batch ESP graduate. Things might have changed over the years.

    As for whether it’s good for the industry – it really depends on what industry are you talking about? If it’s Energy System, maybe so. Biomedical, maybe Optics & Photonics.

    What do you mean by “similar career as an ESP student”, do you mean “research as a career”? If that’s what you meant, then the answer is “definitely”. But if you are truly interested in research and one of the 4 specialisations that ESP offer appears to be your interest, then I see no reason why you shouldn’t be in ESP.

    An EE student of a CEG student by default wouldn’t be getting the kind of rigorous training ESP students have in their first two years. Year 3 and year 4 they might end up taking similar modules, but ESP students will be doing the module with a different perspective, a broader perspective. Not sure about the new CEG curriculum, but I know for sure EE people won’t have to take “Intro to Biochemistry”, that’s one key advantage of a ESP student. Imagine a EE student taking the core module “Biophotonic (from Bioengin)”, I think the EE student will surely freak out.

    Lastly, you should really take a look at the kind of projects ESP students did, it might give you a better idea of what ESP is really about .

  22. December 25, 2010 2:19 pm

    First, I would like to thank Joshua for helping me with the comments.

    As for Robin’s question…I think Joshua has pretty much answered it. I have, however, posted another post on engineering science, which you may be interested it.

    Just my two cents. 🙂

  23. December 25, 2010 8:01 pm

    Josh, thanks a lot for your detailed reply. I reckon EE + USP is a better match for me as I would like to do some modules very different from my major as well. 🙂

  24. December 26, 2010 1:32 am

    all the best for you Robin!

    BTW, will you be considering staying in hall?

  25. December 26, 2010 1:36 am

    Yeah, definitely. If I get into USP, then I will stay in Utown. Do you have any recommendations or opinions for halls? I’ve been to PGP and that’s it so I don’t have any experience with it. All I heard is my friends are working like crazy just to get enough points to continue to stay in hall…

  26. December 26, 2010 1:45 am

    Haha, you’re quite right about “working like crazy just to get enough points to continue to stay in hall”. Fortunately by the time you enter NUS, there’ll be a new Resident Admission Scheme that we all hope will be much better than previous years. But if you are the type like me , who doesn’t like to be constrained by only one thing, and you’re not satisfied by academics only, hall is the place for you.

    I’ll be quite biased when it comes to hall recommendation, simply because I stayed 4.5 years throughout in Eusoff Hall. You can take a look @ what we have over @

    Drop me an email @ joshuatj [at] gmail if you want to find out more. [Sorry for the blatant advertisement]

  27. December 26, 2010 10:03 pm

    Any idea about the admission scheme?

    Yeah, university life is not just about academics. 🙂 It’s pretty cool that Eusoff has a technological committee committed to IT stuff. That sounds appealing.

  28. December 28, 2010 3:55 am

    if you want to come to Eusoff – send me an email – we’ll see what we can do from there.

    The IT committee is pretty exciting and intense! I am slowly learning from them as well.

  29. December 28, 2010 3:58 pm

    Sure, I will let you know after I do my homework 🙂

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