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  • Writer's pictureZachary Tham

5 Reasons Why YOU Should Join CNM

Updated: Mar 21, 2020

Missed the E-Open House? Not sure where to look for information about Communications and New Media (CNM)? Fret not! This article will summarize all the important things to know about CNM, and more!

1. New Media Literacy: a desirable skill

In CNM, students learn about a wide array of communications disciplines, with a focus on new media, as the department’s name suggests. Students are hence not only taught about traditional media platforms, but new ones as well, such as social media. This is highly important in today’s digital age. The constant stream of new technologies in recent years has left the media landscape in flux, making it all the more important to be literate in new media, so that you are more adaptable to changes.

CNM equips its students with essential new media competencies, to become multifaceted and future-ready media professionals. CNM graduates can be employed in a vast range of roles and fields. This includes but is not limited to: social media marketing, market researchers, advertising, public relations, journalism and reporting.

2. Exposure to multiple disciplines

CNM is a department under the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS). Therefore, CNM majors have to fulfil faculty requirements on top of their major requirements in order to graduate. These faculty requirements entail General Education (GE) modules, Writing and Communication (FAS) modules and Exposure modules, where students must read and pass a minimum of one exposure module from each of the three divisions in FASS – Asian Studies, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

If you’re someone who’s absolutely obsessed with Communications, perhaps this seems tedious and unnecessary. Why waste time taking modules in subjects you aren’t interested in, right?

There’s an important reason for all these “extra” modules. It simply isn’t enough to be specialized in one area and only have knowledge in that field. Imagine being a journalist with no political know-how – how are you supposed to write articles about world affairs? Knowledge from other subjects can actually supplement your communications expertise and make you a more well-rounded media practitioner. And who knows? Perhaps taking an exposure module could inspire you to take up a second major in that subject!

Finally, in FASS, students don’t have to declare their major until their fourth semester (i.e. Year 2, Semester 2). If you’re unsure of what major to choose, you can spend the first few semesters exploring your options to make sure you know what you’re really interested in! Or, if you’re really dead set on majoring in CNM, you can declare your major as soon as you complete the introductory module, NM1101E, in your first semester (that’s what I did)!

3. Design your own curriculum!

If you’ve ever felt restrained by the school system dictating what you should and shouldn’t learn, worry not! In CNM, you have a high degree of flexibility to design your own curriculum. All CNM Majors intending on pursuing the Honours track must complete at least 84 Modular Credits (MCs) of CNM modules. However, out of these 84 MCs, only 33 MCs are compulsory. These 33 MCs will be allocated to the CNM Core Modules, which are the following:

a. NM1101E Communications, New Media and Society (4MCs)

b. NM2101 Theories of Communications and New Media (4MCs)

c. NM2103 Quantitative Research Methods (4MCs)

d. NM2104 Qualitative Research Methods (4MCs)

e. NM3550Y Communications and New Media Internship (12MCs)

f. NM4102 Advanced Communications and New Media Research (5MCs)

This means that you’ll actually have the freedom to take virtually any CNM module you like to fulfil the remaining 51MCs.

You don’t have to pigeonhole yourself into a specific specialization; rather, you’ll be able to expose yourself to a wide range of communications competencies to build yourself into a well-rounded communications expert.

If you’d like to see for yourself exactly what modules are available in CNM, click here for the full list!

4. CNM: There's more than one way to skin a cat

What if you are interested in CNM, but prefer another major? Well, in NUS, there are myriad ways you can study Communications, besides taking it as your main major.

Students can take up CNM as a second major. The difference between a first and second major is that students only need to complete at least 44 MCs of modules from the second major, compared to 84 MCs in the first. If you’re pursuing the Honours Track, you will take modules only from your first major in your Honours year. By pursuing a second major in CNM, you are able to gain in-depth knowledge of the communications field to supplement your first major.

Other than majoring in CNM, you also have the option of taking up a minor in CNM. CNM offers 3 different minors (Communications and New Media, Interactive Media Development, and Cultural Studies), available to all NUS students. While a first major requires the completion of at least 84 MCs of modules, a minor requires students to complete only 24 MCs of modules under that subject. So, if you’re interested in Communications, but not quite to the extent of majoring in it, perhaps you can consider undertaking a minor in CNM.

CNM’s minors can complement a wide range of fields and provide you with essential media expertise to prepare you for the workforce. (Side note: students majoring in CNM can also declare a CNM Minor, for example Interactive Media Development, if you so desire!)

Finally, if you’re really hardcore, perhaps you can consider pursuing a double degree in Business and CNM. Currently, CNM only offers a double degree programme with the NUS Business School. This programme allows students to graduate with two degrees, a Bachelor of Business Administration (either in Business Administration or in Accounting), and a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Social Science (depending on if you take up single or double honours respectively). A benefit of this programme would be gaining in-depth knowledge and experience in both degree fields, which are highly synergistic.

Be warned: this programme will take at least 4.5 to 5 years to complete, compared to 4 years for a single degree on the Honours Track. You can also expect the curriculum to be far more rigorous than a single degree programme. There are two ways you can apply for this highly competitive programme. You can gain direct entry by applying with your “A”-level, Polytechnic or equivalent qualifications, or apply at the end of your first year of study as a student of either NUS Business School or FASS.

5. Industry Exposure

As a student of CNM, you’ll be required to undertake a credit-bearing internship module in your third year of study (NM3550Y), where you’ll spend 20 weeks out of school and interning at a company in a communications-related role. Through this internship, you’ll gain valuable hands-on industry experience that will allow you to apply everything you have learnt as a CNM student.

For more information about the CNM internship, check out our internship guides here and here!

Well, what are you waiting for? Apply now, and we’ll see you all in August!

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1 Comment

Jul 11, 2020

wow! thanks zachary for an informative and engaging read. please write more :)

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