Teaching Scholarships & Awards: Frequently Asked Questions
What are the undergraduate teaching scholarships available?
Ministry of Education (MOE) and Public Service Commission(PSC) offer a wide range of attractive teaching scholarships and awards to ‘A’ level, International Baccalaureate (IB), NUS High School Diploma, Polytechnic Diploma holders and undergraduates who demonstrate the qualities we are looking for — good academic achievements, rigorous thinking, leadership skills, communication skills and personal attributes as befit those bound for teaching:
- PSC Teaching Scholarships:
- Overseas Merit Scholarship (Teaching) [OMS(T)]
- Local-Overseas Merit Scholarship (Teaching) [L-OMS(T)]
- MOE Scholarships and Awards:
- Education Merit Scholarship (EMS)
- MOE Teaching Scholarship (MOE TS)
- MOE Teaching Award (MOE TA)
- PSC Teaching Scholarships:
What is the difference between PSC and MOE Teaching Scholarships/Award? What is the difference between the OMS(T) and the EMS?
The main difference is that the OMS(T) and L-OMS(T) are administered by the Public Service Commission (PSC). If you are an OMS(T)/L-OMS(T) scholar, you will automatically be placed on the General Phase of the Public Service Leadership (PSL) Programme. The PSL Programme is a talent development programme run by the Public Service Division (PSD) to groom officers for future leadership positions within the Public Service. As an Education Officer in the General Phase, upon university graduation, you will go through the Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) programme in NIE, and then serve with MOE (your parent ministry) for three to four years. This will be followed by a posting to another ministry for the next two years, after which you will return to MOE. If you are a male scholar on OMS(T)/L-OMS(T), you will be granted National Service (NS) disruption to pursue your undergraduate studies.
If you are a MOE Teaching Scholarship/Award holder, you will similarly go through the PGDE programme in NIE upon university graduation. After the PGDE course, you will be exposed to a myriad of challenging and meaningful work both in schools and at MOE HQ. A male scholar who is a MOE Teaching Scholarship/Award holder will pursue undergraduate studies only after completing NS.
Is there a cap on the number of Teaching Scholarships/Awards offered every year?
There is no cap. MOE will offer as many Teaching Scholarships/Awards as long as there are good candidates. On average, MOE offers about 300 Teaching Scholarships and Awards a year.
How do I go about applying for the PSC/MOE Teaching Scholarships/Award? Do I have to indicate my choice of Teaching Scholarship or Award in my application?
If you are interested in a PSC/MOE Teaching Scholarship, you will have to submit your application online via the PSC Gateway, which is the one-stop online portal for application of PSC and Ministry Scholarships. You will need to indicate the Teaching Service as one of your career preferences through the online application. You need not indicate your choice of scholarship as all scholarship applicants will be considered for the full range of Teaching Scholarships and Awards available.
If you are keen on the MOE TA, you can download the application form and submit it with the relevant supporting documents for our consideration.
When are the closing dates for the PSC/MOE Teaching Scholarships and Award applications?
For ‘A’ level, IB, NUS High School Diploma, and Polytechnic Diploma holders applying for the MOE Teaching Scholarships, online application opens on 1st September and closes 10 days after the release of the ‘A’ Level results. For current undergraduates, application opens on 1st September and closes on 31st May. You will need to check the PSC Gateway during the release of the GCE ‘A’ Level results for the exact application deadline.
For the MOE TA, applications forms are available for download from our website usually in late January/early February. Application usually closes in mid March. For more information, please refer to our MOE TA website.
When can I apply for the PSC/MOE Teaching Scholarships?
You may submit your application for a PSC/MOE Teaching Scholarship when the PSC Gateway opens in September.
You are strongly encouraged to apply for the PSC/MOE Teaching Scholarships before the release of your results. This gives you more time to fill up your application form and prepare the essay. MOE will also have more time to process your application, and may contact you to sit for the necessary psychometric tests and psychological interview.
Will I be called up early for my interview if I apply for the Teaching Scholarship before the release of the ‘A’ Level results?
MOE will try to interview applicants as early as possible. However, given the large number of scholarship applications that we receive annually, we may interview applicants only after the release of the ‘A’ Level results. Nevertheless, we would still encourage interested candidates to submit their applications early.
If I had previously rejected MOE’s offer of a Teaching Scholarship/Award, will I still be considered if I re-apply?
We will consider your application in competition with the other applications received if you meet the requirements for the MOE Teaching Scholarships/Award.
Are my chances for an overseas scholarship higher if I only apply for overseas universities?
While the award of the Teaching Scholarship is subject to the recipient successfully obtaining a university placement, securing an overseas university placement does not guarantee an overseas scholarship. The scholarship interview panel may find you more suited for a local scholarship. Applicants will have to obtain a local university placement if they are keen to take up the local scholarship.
Will MOE consider me for a Teaching Scholarship if my results or CCA records are not outstanding?
MOE takes a holistic approach when considering a candidate. MOE will consider your academic qualifications, CCA records and other relevant information, in competition with the other applications received.
Is it possible to obtain the MOE Teaching Scholarships/Award if I do not have any ‘H3’ subject(s)?
It is not a prerequisite for applicants of the MOE Teaching Scholarships/Award to have ‘H3’ subject(s).
What qualities does the interview panel look for at the interview?
MOE takes a holistic approach when selecting Teaching Scholars/Award holders. Beyond good academic and co-curricular achievements, the panel will assess your leadership qualities, analytical and communication skills, as well as aptitude for teaching.
I am a Diploma holder, am I eligible to apply for the Teaching Scholarships/Award?
Yes, you may apply for the Teaching Scholarships/Award. Your application will be considered in competition with other applications received.
Are psychometric tests and SAT compulsory for the Teaching Scholarship application?
You will be invited to sit for psychometric tests if you have been shortlisted for the PSC/MOE Teaching Scholarships. SAT is not a prerequisite for the award of scholarships.
Bond for Teaching Scholarship/Award
What is the bond period?
Local scholarships and award: 4 years
- 6 years (for those who study in English speaking countries)
- 5 years (for those who study in non-English speaking countries)
Is the period of NIE training counted towards the discharge of my bond?
Yes, the period of NIE training will be counted towards the discharge of your bond, provided that the period of NIE training and the period that you have served as a trained Education Officer is equal to the bond period for your Teaching Scholarship/Award.
Can I disrupt National Service (NS) to pursue my undergraduate studies and re-enlist after the completion of my undergraduate studies?
You will be granted NS disruption only if you are offered the OMS(T) or L-OMS(T) administered by PSC.
If you are awarded the EMS, the MOE TS or the MOE TA, you will have to complete your NS before proceeding to your undergraduate studies. You will be given a provisional scholarship/award if you are selected. MOE will then confirm your provisional scholarship/award upon the completion of your NS, subject to good NS performance and medical clearance.
Does NS count towards the discharge of the scholarship bond?
Yes. Part of the NS period can be counted towards the discharge of the scholarship bond.
Should male applicants apply for university admission before entering National Service (NS)?
Male applicants who are interested in the PSC-administered OMS(T) / L-OMS(T) should apply for university admission before NS as you would be eligible for NS disruption.
Male applicants who are awarded the EMS, the MOE TS or the MOE TA will pursue their undergraduate studies only after completing NS. They should note that generally, overseas universities only allow a one-year deferment of student admission.
Which countries does MOE send its scholars to?
MOE has sent Teaching Scholars to Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, the UK and the US. We welcome you to discuss your choice of university and country of study with our Scholarship Officers.
Do I have a choice with regard to the university I attend?
MOE does not restrict your choice of university, so long as the university is of reputable standing. The course of study should be rigorous and provides relevant subject content for you to teach at the secondary school or junior college level. We welcome you to discuss your choice of university and country of study with our Scholarship Officers.
Does PSC/MOE submit an application to the universities on my behalf?
You are required to apply to the local or overseas universities of your choice directly. The university application should be done concurrently with your PSC/MOE Teaching Scholarships/Award application. This is to ensure timely admission into university upon confirmation of the scholarship/award. If you are keen to study in Japan or China, PSC/MOE will assist you with your university application upon your acceptance of the scholarship.
If I decide to take up a Teaching Scholarship/Award after my first year of undergraduate studies at NUS, will MOE grant me back-payment for the first year and will the bond period be pro-rated?
There will not be any back-payment for your first year of study. MOE will sponsor you from your second year onwards. There will not be any pro-rating of your bond period. Your bond period will remain.
Do I need to pursue a degree in a specific teaching subject if I want to take up the MOE Teaching Scholarships/Award?
Teaching Scholarship/Award recipients can study subjects relevant to teaching, such as the Humanities (Geography, History and Literature), Social Sciences, Languages (English, Mother Tongue Languages), Foreign Languages (French, German, and Japanese), Sciences (Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Life Sciences), Mathematics, Fine Art, Music, Physical Education & Sports, and Nutrition & Food Science. This is to equip you with the relevant content mastery to better prepare you to teach in our schools. We are open to discussing the subjects you would like to major in.
Will I be able to choose the subjects that I want to teach or will MOE assign the subjects to me?
You should indicate your preferred teaching subjects to MOE. Teaching subjects are assigned based on the needs of the Education Service, your indicated preference as well as your proficiency in the subject. The Scholarship Officers will discuss this with you if you are shortlisted for an interview.
Can I pursue one teaching subject and one non-teaching subject during my undergraduate studies?
You may indicate your preferred subjects to the interview panel for consideration. You are strongly encouraged to pursue 2 teaching subjects (either as double majors or as a major and minor) to ensure that you have the content mastery to teach at the secondary or junior college level. If you are interested in a particular non-teaching subject at your university, you could pursue it as an elective instead of a major/minor.
Can a student pursue a degree in Engineering, given that he is interested to pursue a career in teaching later on?
We would prefer students to major in a teaching subject such as Physics or Mathematics. The relevance of content knowledge will enable you to better contribute to the Education Service. An Engineering graduate may not have sufficient mastery of subject content and expertise to teach Physics or Mathematics at the secondary or junior college level.
Can I request for a change of course/subject during my undergraduate studies?
We do not encourage you to change your course/subject during your undergraduate studies. It is thus important to make informed choices from the start. If you intend to request for a change, discuss it with the Scholarship Officers.
Development and Career Opportunities
What programmes are available to develop Teaching Scholars/Award Holders?
All Teaching Scholars/Award Holders can look forward to participating in a range of interesting and exciting programmes and activities, before and during their undergraduate studies.
For a start, all newly-awarded scholars and award holders attend an Induction Course where they will have the opportunity to learn more about the Singapore’s Education System as well as its latest developments and initiatives. Scholars will also attend a 3-day leadership and teambuilding course.
In addition, overseas scholars will get the chance to attend a Pre-Departure Course where they will learn useful life-skills to cope with living and studying abroad, as well as interact and bond with returning seniors. During their undergraduate studies, scholars and award holders will also have opportunities to participate in various developmental programmes that will enhance their skills, knowledge and exposure to teaching and policy-making. These may include a 4-week attachment to schools, selected overseas conferences and dialogue sessions with senior MOE officials. Scholars will also attend a 3-day ‘Developments in Public Policy’ seminar which equips scholars with broader perspectives on policy-making in the wider Civil Service and helps them better appreciate the challenges faced by various Ministries, including MOE.
OMS(T)/L-OMS(T) and EMS scholars can also look forward to challenging and fulfilling attachments to MOE Headquarters (HQ) as well as opportunities to explore overseas attachments to foreign educational institutions during their vacations.
Apart from MOE programmes, scholars and award holders are encouraged to broaden their horizons and experiences by participating actively in various activities such as student exchange programmes, field trips and community involvement projects. MOE will also consider sponsorship for some of these activities.
What is the career path like for Teaching Scholars/Award Holders?
Upon completion of the Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) programme at NIE, Teaching Scholars/Award Holders will embark on a fulfilling and enriching career as classroom teachers in schools for the first 2 to 3 years. Thereafter, they can look forward to an exciting posting to MOE HQ for another 2 to 3 years to gain broader perspectives of education initiatives and be exposed to curriculum planning and policy formulation. With both school and HQ experience, scholars and award holders will be more ready to take on positions of higher responsibility in the Teaching, Leadership or Senior Specialist Track.
Will Teaching Scholars/Award Holders have the opportunity to pursue postgraduate studies immediately after their Bachelor degree?
Teaching Scholars/Award Holders who demonstrate outstanding academic and non-academic achievements can apply to pursue a Masters degree immediately after the completion of their undergraduate studies. They can pursue a relevant Masters degree either through MOE sponsorship or self-financing.
Serving scholars/award holders may consider applying for the MOE Postgraduate Scholarship/Award or Professional Development Packages (e.g. study leave, study loans) to pursue education-related postgraduate studies after gaining a few years of teaching experience. Officers will be able to identify the development gaps from their teaching experience and enhance their learning through the postgraduate programmes.
Does the PSL Programme apply to MOE Teaching Scholars?
The PSL Programme is a flagship talent programme introduced by PSD in April 2013, and it replaces the Management Associate Programme (MAP). The PSL Programme focuses on cultivating and developing talent in specialised government sectors, i.e. the economy building, social, security, infrastructure & environment or central administration sector. Officers in the PSL Programme will be required to undertake varied postings within the sectors that they choose. Under the PSL Programme structure, Education Officers (EOs) will not gain sufficient experience and expertise in education-related matters to be able to hold key leadership positions in the Education Service in future. As such, EOs who exhibit high potential and perform well will be developed under a parallel talent management programme within MOE. Scholars who exhibit high potential and perform well during the course of their teaching career may be considered for placement on the Future Leaders Programme (FLP). The FLP is MOE’s key talent management tool to identify, develop and retain promising EOs with the potential to assume key leadership positions in the Education Service, including those in specialist areas. The programme provides developmental opportunities such as milestone or general training programmes, exposure to senior management, and challenging assignments.