When is a good time to start doing level 3000 modules in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)?

A student wrote to me, asking:

When is a good time to start doing level 3000 modules in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)?

You can do it whenever you like!

I started doing level 3000 mods when I was in Year 1 Sem 2 (the module was PH3202 Philosophy of Law, if you’re wondering). But that’s me. The level of a module (1000, 2000, 3000, 4000) only indicates the depth of learning, and not the workload.

It is the modular credits (MCs) that determines the workload. 4MCs = 10 hours of work per week (includes time for lectures, tutorials, projects, and assignments).

If you belong to a small department, the depth of the module doesn’t matter too much because the lecturer will probably have to start from scratch, since they probably weren’t able to offer a level 2000 module in time (or train enough students in time) to have the fundamental understanding in place, ready for the level 3000 (or 4000) module.

But if you belong to a big department, the department may have the expectation that you need to clear some level 2000 mods first so that you have the fundamentals in place (since they would have the capacity to train enough students to be ready for the level 3000 module. In which case, the lecturer for the level 3000 module will assume that you already know these things.

To be safe, you should drop an e-mail to the module coordinator to ask about it.

One more thing to consider: You should enquire with your department about how regularly they offer certain modules. Some modules (level 3000 or 4000) are offered once in a long long time. So if you are really interested in it, you might want to consider taking it ASAP instead of waiting, because it may never be offered again during your undergraduate time.

Author: Jonathan Y. H. Sim

Jonathan Sim is an Instructor with the Department of Philosophy at the National University of Singapore. He is passionate about teaching and he continues to research fun and innovative ways of engaging students to learn effectively. He has been teaching general education modules to a diverse range of undergraduate students and adult learners at the University.

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