[JAE] JC subject combinations and Polytechnic courses which take you to the same University major

@Jade Ow Yanhui

Posted January 05, 2020
Last modified January 05, 2020

15 mins read

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What are the subject combinations that bring you to your desired University courses? Where do polytechnic courses fit in this picture? We try to answer some of the most burning questions through a couple of examples to help you choose the best path to your goal.


Choosing your subject combination in Junior College can be confusing. After all, in polytechnic you know that you are aiming to study medicine if you study, well, medicine. A polytechnic student who chooses to do a diploma in aviation management will probably choose a career that has something to do with commercial flying.


In JC, however, the possibilities are a lot more vague. After all, what are you supposed to do with a HELM combination? Why do most people gravitate towards the PCME and BCME duopoly? And for the uninitiated, what do those acronyms even mean? In this article we break down the most popular university courses and take a look at the pathways that can get you there.


This article makes several assumptions. All JC courses listed are 4H2 which may not be the case for some students. Economics is listed as the default contrasting subject for all science stream combinations, but it can just as well be replaced by any other arts subject. 


Engineering


One of the most common majors in Singaporean universities, being an engineer opens up a plethora of possibilities both locally and overseas. There are plenty of options to choose from, from electrical engineering to biomedical engineering, depending on your interests. Math and physics both play important roles in Engineering, so they are the ideal subjects to look out for when selecting your combination.


Best JC combinations:

  • PCME (Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Economics)

  • PFmME (Physics, Further Mathematics, Mathematics, Economics) 

Best polytechnic courses:

  • Aerospace Engineering

  • Electrical Engineering

  • Materials Engineering


Medicine


The classic favourite of students and parents alike, the study of medicine has long been seen as one of the most prestigious courses. Of course, this is not without reason. The starting pay of S$5000 per month (Business Insider, 2019) is a huge draw for many aspiring healthcare professionals. The standard requirement for studying Medicine is a H2 pass in any two sciences or a diploma in biomedical science.


It must be noted that a large percentage of Medicine students entered from Junior Colleges. While this could be attributed to the nature of the academic programme, it is definitely something worth your consideration. Of course, with recent developments in the educational landscape this could change, but for now if you are looking to don those blue and white robes, your best bet is to get the 'A' Level Certificate.


Best JC Combinations:

  • BCME (Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Economics)

  • PCME (Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Economics)


Best polytechnic courses:

  • Biomedical Science


Law


For the student who dreams of battling it out the courtroom with impeccable arguments - or simply having a well paid desk job in a self-run law firm, you’ll first need a Law degree. You’ll need an almost perfect command of English for an industry which runs on the precision of your vocabulary, of course, as well as some training in close analysis. For this degree, the only real requirement is a B grade for the General Paper, so science students need not despair. However, subjects like History, Geography and Literature are crucial for building knowledge and developing soft skills such as vocalising arguments and viewpoints.


Best JC Combinations:

  • HELM (History, Economics, Literature, Mathematics)

  • GELM (Geography, Economics, Literature, Mathematics)


Best polytechnic courses:

  • Law and Management


Communication


Where there are students with great aptitude for the sciences, there are also gifted writers among us. If you have what it takes to wield a pen like how a maestro wields his baton, then you would recognise this major as your calling. Similar to law students, you need a good grade for the General Paper, and at least a pass in H1 Mathematics. Arts subjects are also useful as you would gain a better understanding of how to structure your works, regardless of its eventual format. For polytechnic students, you would already be well trained in the basics if you come from any of the below courses.


Best JC Combinations:

  • HELM (History, Economics, Literature, Mathematics)

  • GELM (Geography, Economics, Literature, Mathematics)


Best polytechnic courses:

  • Mass Communication

  • Communication and Design

  • Creative Writing for TV and New Media


Computer Science


The world is beginning to see the value of programming thanks to the rise of the IoT (Internet of Things). Be at the forefront of technology by pursuing a career in computer science. You would need a good foundation in mathematics, but CS is about way more than just numbers.


Best JC Combinations:

  • PMCoE (Physics, Mathematics, Computing, Economics)

  • PCME (Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Economics)


Best polytechnic courses:

  • Data Science

  • Computer Engineering

  • Applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Analytics


Art, Design and Media


Whether you seek to become a professional animator or YouTube’s next great auteur, this path brims with possibility as social media levels the playing field for creators everywhere. You would need a portfolio of your own artworks, and the best way to develop one would be to take an ‘A’ Level subject or diploma which guides you along and gives you the material you need to hone your craft.


For animation students, you’ll need to throw some mathematics and physics into the mix. Mathematics is generally a compulsory prerequisite. However, your ability to understand physics concepts would aid you in creating photorealistic animations greatly.


Best JC Combinations:

  • LAME (Literature, Art, Mathematics, Economics)

  • PCMA (Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Art)


Best polytechnic courses:

  • Film, Sound and TV

  • Visual Effects and Motion Graphics

  • Animation


Arts and Social Sciences


If you are drawn to the intricacies of the arts and languages, you might want to consider a future in bringing the humanities to greater heights. This catch-all cluster of majors provide the skills you need to be an adept communicator and analyst.


Some of the courses in this cluster include Psychology, Chinese, Literature in English, Philosophy, and even Theater Studies.


Best JC Combinations:

  • CllCscME (Chinese Language and Literature, China Studies in Chinese, Mathematics and Economics)

  • CscTrME (China Studies in Chinese, Translation, Mathematics and Economics)

  • TrLEM (Translation, Literature in English, Economics, Mathematics)

  • HELM (History, Economics, Literature, Mathematics)

  • GELM (Geography, Economics, Literature, Mathematics)

  • HELKI (History, Economics, Literature, Knowledge and Inquiry)


Best polytechnic courses:

  • Chinese Studies

  • Psychology

  • Creative Writing for TV and New Media

  • Applied Drama with Psychology

  • Business


The process of choosing a course is not easy. After all, entire futures are at stake and you want to ensure that whatever path you take is as true to your end goals as possible. Hence, it would be wise to take some time looking through the list of courses available to you before narrowing down to the ones that you are passionate about. The ‘O’ Levels is not the end of the road. Rather, it is the beginning of a larger and more complex journey to self-discovery where your choices matter.

Author @Jade Ow Yanhui

A free spirit at heart with a passion for anything creative, Jade enjoys all forms of writing. She often dreams of escaping the ordinary and planning her life once she gets out of the education system. While the 'A' Level Examinations eat up much of her time, you can occasionally find her daydreaming by the Bishan river, under some trees, or just daydreaming in general. She runs a blog at tinygreenstone.com.

Editor @Jade Ow Yanhui

A free spirit at heart with a passion for anything creative, Jade enjoys all forms of writing. She often dreams of escaping the ordinary and planning her life once she gets out of the education system. While the 'A' Level Examinations eat up much of her time, you can occasionally find her daydreaming by the Bishan river, under some trees, or just daydreaming in general. She runs a blog at tinygreenstone.com.