What are the career prospects for the graduates from the Double Degree programme of BMS/TCM?

TCM sector: NTU Chinese Medicine Clinic, Eu Yan Sang, Bao Zhong Tang, Thong Chai Medical Institution, Econ Healthcare, Singa Charity medical, Raffles Chinese Medicine, other private Chinese Medicine clinics etc

Healthcare sector: Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore General Hospital, Changi Hospital etc

Government: Ministry of Health, Health Science Authority, Ministry of Education, A-STAR etc

Further studies: Masters/ PhD in Biological field and Chinese Medicine in NTU, NUS, Duke NUS, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Tianjin University of Chinese Medicine, Chengdu University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine etc.

Our school produces graduates that are not only trained for a career in Life Sciences but equipped with knowledge and experience applicable to diverse career paths locally and internationally. Graduates can look forward to positions in research and development, administration and management, scientific journalism and communication, medical sales and support services, diagnostic services and marketing to name just a few.

Being a graduate of the double degree program, there are wider job opportunities present compared to that of single degree programs. For students who are interested in Chinese Medicine, they can pursue a career as a Chinese Medicine physician upon passing the Singapore TCM Physician Registration Examination (STRE), which is equivalent to the board exams that western doctors take before they are licensed to practice. For Biomedical Sciences, graduates can choose to go into research, marketing and business development or R & D in pharmaceutical companies. For those who aspire to become professors, they would have to continue with their masters and PhD. There are also career opportunities in policy-making pertaining to the general healthcare industry.​ 

I can speak and write Chinese but I am afraid that I might not be able to cope.

Initially, you may find it a culture shock, having to speak and write in Chinese. However, it is an adaptation process which we believe you will slowly get used to. Many of our graduates have been​ through this stage, and they have adapted quite well with many finding that their proficiency in Mandarin has improved significantly.

Can polytechnic students enter directly into the second year of the double degree in Biomedical Sciences and Chinese Medicine programme?

As Chinese Medicine courses are integrated into the first 3 years of the double degree programmed, it is not possible for polytechnic graduates (nor A Level graduates) to enter directly into year 2 of this programme.

What are the scholarships and types of financial support available for studying in the School of Biological Sciences?

NTU offers different types of scholarships, bursaries, loan and financial support. For more information please refer to the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid website:

NTU administered scholarships : Nanyang Scholarship, ASEAN scholarship

Are there any scholarships that I can apply for to subsidise my fees at either NTU or the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine (BUCM)?

Please refer to the NTU Office of Financial Assistance for details. The scholarships offered through NTU are only tenable for the study period at NTU (first 3 years of double degree).

Currently, there are 2 scholarships available for the last 2 years of the double degree in China. Thong Chai Medical Institution offers non-bonded $10 000 bursary annually. Eu Yan Sang offers bonded scholarships annually. During their studies in Beijing, top students will also be awarded a local scholarship for good performance of foreign students. 

How long has the double degree in Biomedical Sciences and Chinese Medicine programme been around?

The inaugural intake was in 2005 and that first class graduated in 2010. Currently, the new intake will be the 9th batch.

What are the differences between the Biomedical Sciences and Biological Sciences degrees offered at NTU?

The Biological Sciences programme focuses on the study of bio-systems of living organisms, e.g. bacteria, viruses, fungi, plants and animals, including humans. Therefore, it also includes aspects of biomedical sciences. The Biomedical Sciences programme is more focused on the study of humans and is designed to complement the TCM-related courses and medical principles.

What is the difference between your course and the TCM degree from Singapore TCM college and TCM courses from China?

We offer a double degree course which other local colleges and TCM universities in China do not offer. In addition, our students will be exposed to both languages to ensure their proficiency in both Eastern and Western cultures. Our students are also exposed to lab research work. Thus, we better equipped our students with modern biological knowledge that prepares them to be TCM physicians (if that is their goal) in the modern medical field. Furthermore, in collaboration with Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, one of the top Chinese Medicine universities in the world, we ensure that experienced lecturers are assigned to teach our students.

Are there any opportunities for laboratory work and research in the double degree in Biomedical Sciences and Chinese Medicine programme?

Yes, there are opportunities for lab work and research. The program is designed to train future scientists capable of undertaking active research in the fields of Biomedicine and TCM. Undergraduates receive exposure and hands-on training in research techniques in order to equip graduates with essential laboratory skills.

Selected students are invited to join the Undergraduate Research Experience on Campus (URECA) programme. Year 2 students have a chance to be part of the annual Hong Kong/Macau/Singapore International Conference of the Modernization of Chinese Medicine (ICMCM) at Hong Kong. Prior to the conference they would do a group research project to be presented at the conference.

All students participate in practical classes and individual project work during the Final Year Project. All students are also welcomed to approach principal investigators to gain further research experience during vacation.

Are any courses taught in Chinese in the double degree in Biomedical Sciences and Chinese Medicine programme?

The language of instruction for all Chinese Medicine-based courses is Chinese. This includes courses taught in NTU and in Beijing University of Chinese Medicine.

How are the examinations carried out in the double degree in Biomedical Sciences and Chinese Medicine programme? Do I have to answer the written papers in Mandarin?

The language of written examinations will correspond to the language of instruction for a particular course, i.e. the examinations for all TCM-based courses will be written and answered in Chinese.

Do we get to do hands-on during the internship periods?

Yes. For the first three years in Singapore, students will get to intern at Thong Chai and NTU Chinese Medicine Clinic. During this period of time, they will be given opportunities to carry out some of the TCM diagnostics for patients, under the supervision of senior physicians. When they proceed to year 4 and 5, they will be further exposed to western diagnostics and at the same time, be given opportunities to carry out some western examinations for patients. Not only that, they will also be involved in carrying out some TCM treatments for patients, for example acupuncture and cupping.​