My UNISIM/SUSS Experience 2

Hola everyone! The frequency of my posts have been wavering due to being away from work for a good two weeks to study for my final exam papers and I’m so glad to say that my first year of University has been completed! yay!

Pictures of the last few weeks and months of working full time and studying part time, exhaustion and shameless selfies overload! IMG_20150523_064840[1]The last two weeks have been pretty stressful. I don’t know if you ever notice it, it’s really the kind of feeling you get when you have so many topics to study, so many exam papers to revise, that you kind of go into a full procrastination mode until you finally end that final paper. I couldn’t believe it, honestly.

As you know, I wrote a post on my own UNISIM experience a few months back (you can find it here) and it has seemingly reached a little further than expected, thank you all for the emails and messages of friends who have considered studying here.  After my year ended, and going through two whole semesters of UNISIM, I thought I’d share a post on some of the questions you might have had! Remember, this is based on my own personal experience and opinions!

How to apply?

There are two intakes a year. One in January and one in July. You can follow the steps to apply by reading more about them here.

Why did you choose Social Work in UNISIM? 

To practice Social Work in Singapore, you need a degree from a recognized institution from Singapore’s Association of Social Workers (SASW). To date locally, only National University of Singapore (NUS) offers it full time, and UNISIM offers it part time. These two institutes fall under SASW’s approval.  NUS was too difficult to get into after polytechnic despite my interest in Social Work, so I went to do my degree at UNISIM while working full time, which was a better choice for me financially at that point of time.

I did two essays and a skype interview with the University of Sussex which had the strongest social work program in UK back in 2014 and was accepted. But after considering the cost (which totalled up to be about sgd $220k for 3 years BA Hons, lodging and food), the idea of being indebted to my mother (not that she asked) made me feel uncomfortable because it was too big an amount. So, I opted for UNISIM. Also, though SASW approved of Sussex’s Degree to practice social work, to convert it back on the field when the time was ready could be pretty difficult to handle, considering the vastly different demographics of people in Singapore than the UK.

What is the cost of your degree?

On average, UNISIM goes by costing of the modules you choose. On average, should you not fail anything, a degree will cost between sgd $15,000 to $20,000. This is because the government gives a grant of 55% to Singaporeans and PR’s who hold a full time job in the sector and are interested to study part time. If not, a degree will cost between $30,000-$40,000. For more ideas on the fees, you can check out UNISIM’s website here.

Why Social Work? Is it easy to pass?

I heard a friend say Counselling was much easier…. though I’m not too sure.You have to have a passion for social work, my opinion is: don’t choose it if you don’t feel for others more vehemently for the unjust and disadvantaged then not.

It is NOT easy to pass. Please do not assume that a part time degree will be any easier than a full time degree. Wrong-o! It’s easy to get a D i guess (marks below 40) if you study last minute. But…….. very tough work. And I’m sure getting a degree at a decent grade is everyone’s goal.  Or at least a decent C pass.

They recommend the Max Credit Units per semester to be a max load of 20CU. is 20 CU too much or too little?

20CU is manageable, considerably that it is about 4 different core subjects of 5 CU.  If you feel it is too little, you can apply to add more. Check with your course manager. If you want to speed it up, they will offer a max of 30 CU. Don’t overkill and don’t under kill. If you under-kill, you will take a longer time to finish your degree. On average, a basic degree is 3 years. A BA with Hons is 4 years.

I chose 20 CU but now I think I want to take only 15 CU. How do I go about changing it?
Email Admissions. I remember paying a admin fee of $60 sgd or so because I had already submitted my choices.

What UCores do you recommend?

I took academic writing (Compulsory), Law, Managing your personal finances and finally, appreciating literature. If you’re the reading sort and love analyzing texts, lit is the way to go: full coursework 100%. Law is easy IF you are the kind that can do tests, there are 3 tests, 1 after every lecture. Managing your personal finances is not too bad if you enjoy debating on current financial issues like the euro debt crisis and the CPF system. I loved academic writing the best! It was only 2 essays worth 50% of the grade. Easiest grade to upkeep and score!

Also, the picture of Dorian Grey was the book I read for appreciating literature, and I loved it!

How many classes do you have a week? How do you cope?

I took 25 CU last semester of my core, and had on average classes 2 times a week. I chose which to go for, I usually gave a lesson a first chance. If I felt that I didn’t gain anything from it, I studied at home. Mostly, the reasoning behind it was that the travelling time from school to my home (east) was way too long at 10pm, and with work the next day. Secondly, I missed classes a lot in sem 1.2 because I worked early on some Saturday mornings, so Friday night classes was a no-no. But honestly, I studied hard when the peak periods came, more often then when I skipped classes. Wrong move. Don’t do that.

I’m going to try to study consistently next semester though! And attend more classes I hope…..

How do you study for examinations?

last minute…………. and regretted it dearly for the last two runs of examinations. DO NOT STUDY LAST MINUTE. more nonsense comes out from it if you study last minute like me.

Read your study guide. Highlight the main points. Close the study guide, paraphrase what you have highlighted. Open the study guide and mark accordingly.  Repeat two to three times until you’ve got the gist.

Do your readings. Summarize at the end of the study by the main point/main finding.

Print the last 3 years x2 semesters=6 papers. Take a pencil, do all the qns without referring. Open the text and mark accordingly in red, add on in red.

Practice with your friends through verbal testing. Works wonders for me and my friends.

Hope all this helps! And to all those who are planning on joining UNISIM, Welcome to a world of torture and pain!!! (haha I’m kidding, but welcome to a world of less sleep and more stress, and in 3 years, a degree!)

Cheers!