Programme Components

HSSR Briefing

A compulsory half-day briefing will be conducted by NUS and GEB. This briefing will include a general discussion of research to help prepare the HSSR student participants for independent research.

During the HSSR Briefing, NUS Supervisors and HSSR participants will be introduced to one another over a tea session so they could get to know one another, establish contact and plan consultation schedules.

Please note that the HSSR Briefing is meant to be an introductory session to orientate participants, Teacher Co-ordinators and NUS Supervisors so as to help them to understand their involvement in the HSSR programme. It is not a consultation session. The discussion would focus on administrative matters and not involve matters pertaining to student research content.

Research and Writing

After the HSSR Briefing, participants will embark on their independent study and research under the guidance of their NUS Supervisors. The NUS Supervisor will provide expert guidance and feedback to the participant in a series of consultation meetings. Participants are entitled to a maximum of six such consultation sessions.

All discussions of students’ essays are to be carried out during the face-to-face consultations. There should be no email discussions of students’ research essays. All consultations with NUS supervisors will end in May. The students and supervisors are encouraged to have at least one consultation close to the end of the mentorship period.

Notwithstanding the NUS Supervisor’s expert advice on the research, it is still the responsibility of the student participant to craft the research question and design; implement the research plan; interpret and analyse the research materials/data; reach informed conclusions; and prepare an Extended Essay. The Teacher Co-ordinator is not expected to be involved in the research and writing process.

Supervisors may accept a draft of a student’s work in advance of the consultations for discussion during the sessions, but supervisors are not allowed to give any written feedback on the draft submitted. Supervisors should encourage students to take notes during the consultations, so that they can refer to these notes subsequently when working independently.

The Teacher Co-ordinator is not expected to be involved in the research and writing process.

For more information on the NUS Supervisor and Teacher Co-ordinator and their respective roles, please refer to Roles of and Responsibilities of NUS Supervisors and Teacher Co-ordinators

Extended Essay

The Extended Essay, which should be 3500–4500 words, must be submitted in August of the student’s second JC year.

For Chinese Language and Literature, the word limit is 4500-6500 (w.e.f. January 2008).

The Extended Essay is to be submitted with a declaration that it is an original work produced solely by the student and free from plagiarism, and that it does not replicate the content of any other paper which the student has offered/is offering for the ‘A’ Level Examination.


The Extended Essay will be assessed by the student’s NUS Supervisor and by a second assessor from a panel of examiners. The panel will collectively review all assessments, and ensure consistency.

The grades awarded are Distinction, Merit, Pass and Ungraded, in alignment with the grading of all H3 subjects.