5 Bachelor Degrees You Can’t Take in Singapore: International Relations, Podiatry & Others

bachelor degrees overseas only veterinary science international relations

The career path of a young Singaporean graduate isn’t quite as boring or as straightforward as before. There are now many more university courses than before, and your life is not over if you fail to make it to medical  or law school.

But the fact remains that, being a small country, certain educational options are simply not available here. If you’re an ‘A’ level or poly grad with good grades, you might still not be able to pursue certain degree courses locally simply because there are no options available in the country.

Here are 5 unconventional courses that are not available in Singapore, and how much it costs to take these degrees overseas.


Veterinary science

The HDB has gotten a lot of flack for its animal-hating policies—from that infamous notice calling upon residents to get their noisy dogs debarked, to the rather irrational ban on cats in HDB flats, they’ve been giving pet owners a big headache.

Still, pet ownership is on the rise here. As we can see from the dismal birth rate, it seems many people prefer cats and dogs since they don’t have to be enrolled in tuition classes once they hit 5 years of age.

Animal lovers who want to become veterinarians and look after all these furries are, however, forced to go overseas for their degree studies. While you can get a veterinary technology at Temasek Polytechnic and veterinary bioscience at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, you will have to go abroad (most Singaporeans choose Australia) to become a full-fledged vet.

Updated on 10 January 2019: From academic year 2018/2019, NUS started offering a concurrent degree programme with the University of Melbourne. The programme takes between 5.5 years to 6.5 years to complete and will take in 10 students for a start.

Fees cost $39,600 for 3 semesters in NUS and AUD $113,328 (SGD $110,042) for 8 semesters in University of Melbourne for the subsequent Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), totalling to SGD $149,642.


Speech pathology 

Singaporean parents are becoming much readier to send children with communication disorders for speech therapy these days. The aging population will also send more patients the way of speech therapists, as strokes and other medical conditions make rehabilitation necessary.

Right now, the only option open to aspiring speech therapists who don’t go overseas is to complete a bachelor degree and then enrol in a Masters of Science (Speech & Language Pathology) at NUS.

Those who wish to start their speech pathology studies at bachelor degree level need to go abroad for their studies, with Australia being the most popular destination. Total program fee at University of Queensland for Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours) costs AUD $180,164 (SGD $174,917).



Given Singapore’s growing healthcare needs, it’s surprising more health science degrees aren’t being offered. As the population ages, the need for audiology professionals will rise. Actually, based on the standard of most KTV singers here, it seems like more people are in need of an audiologist than we might think (haha, we kid).

Right now the only local option for aspiring audiologists is a Masters of Science in Audiology offered by NUS.

Considering audiology is a rigorous discipline overseas, it probably warrants more years of study. For instance, in Australia, an audiology course taken fresh out of JC or high school takes five years to complete. Those who want to start early will have to go abroad for their undergrad studies.

A 3-year undergraduate degree in Audiology in University of Southampton costs around £20,320 (SGD $35,159) a year, which brings the total cost to SGD $105,477.



Podiatry is another viable allied health discipline to venture into, given that healthcare will be one of the fastest growing industries in Singapore in 2019, and marathons are increasing in popularity.

If you’ve never even seen this word before, we don’t blame you, since podiatry not available in Singapore as a degree. Podiatry refers to the discipline of medicine that treats disorders relating to the feet.

A podiatrist will treat not only foot injuries, but also issues of such as flat foot, bunions, arthritis pains, and so on. While it doesn’t sound like an enviable job, it’s probably very lucrative since it’s a specialist profession.

The Bachelor of Applied Science and Master of Podiatric Practice at La Trobe University is purportedly the most established podiatry course in the Victoria State of Australia. The total course fee is AUD $145,600 (SGD $141,370).


International relations

Singaporeans love to go on overseas holidays, and many take up third or even fourth language as adults (although to be fair for many the main motivation behind their language studies is to be able to understand Korean or Japanese dramas). As a small country, we’re keenly aware of how global events affect us.

That’s why international relations would probably be a popular degree course if it was offered as a major at bachelor degree level.

While SIM offers a Bachelor of Science in International Relations, the degree is awarded by the University of London. Students who wish to study this discipline at a local public university need to wait till they’re qualified enough for a masters degree such as the MA offered by NTU, or NUS’s Master in International Affairs.

On the other hand, most major universities in the UK, US and Australia offer international relations as a Bachelor of Arts major. Let’s hope NUS and NTU will follow suit someday.

A Bachelor of Government and International Relations at Griffith University in Australia costs approximately AUD $75,000 (SGD $75,710) to complete.

Considering going overseas any of the above disciplines? Choose carefully, as it’s a heavy expense of anywhere between $75,000 to $175,000. Read up on top education loans in Singapore on how you can finance your degree.

Are you planning to study any of the above? Tell us about your plans in the comments!