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In contrast to polytechnics in the United States and the United Kingdom, polytechnics in Singapore admit majority of their students after secondary school, which is after at least 10 years of formal education. Diplomas in a specialised area of study, Biomedical Sciences for example, are generally awarded after completing 3 years of studies.
Republic Polytechnic's project team began operating in the premises of Data Storage Institute,National University of Singapore in January 2002. On 1 July that year, it moved into Tanglin Campus which was previously occupied by the Ministry of Education, Singapore. The polytechnic opened its doors to the first intake of students in 2003 before moving to the current Woodlands campus at Woodlands Avenue 9 in 2007. The polytechnic saw its twelfth batch of students graduating in 2017, also the fifteenth anniversary of the polytechnic.
Schools and Centres
The Republic Polytechnic campus
Each diploma awarded by Republic Polytechnic is recognized for articulation into a bachelor's degree at a university in Singapore or a top university across the world.
As of 2019, RP has 7 schools and 1 academic centre which offers 39 full-time diplomas:
Full Time Courses
School of Management and Communication (SMC)
Common Business Programme
Diploma in Consumer Behaviour & Research
Diploma in Business & Social Enterprise
Diploma in Human Resource Management with Psychology
Diploma in Mass Communication
School of Applied Science (SAS)
Diploma in Biomedical Science
Diploma in Biotechnology
Diploma in Materials Science
Diploma in Pharmaceutical Science
Diploma in Environmental Science
Diploma in Marine Science & Aquaculture
School of Engineering (SEG)
Diploma in Industrial & Operations Management
Diploma in Supply Chain Management
Diploma in Aviation Management
Diploma in Aerospace Engineering
Diploma in Green Building Energy Management
Diploma in Electrical & Electronic Engineering
Diploma in Engineering Systems & Management
Diploma in Engineering Design with Business
School of Sports, Health and Leisure (SHL)
Diploma in Sport & Exercise Science
Diploma in Sport Management
Diploma in Outdoor & Adventure Learning
Diploma in Health Management & Promotion
Diploma in Health Services Management
Diploma in Sport Coaching
School of Hospitality (SOH)
Diploma in Integrated Events Management
Diploma in Customer Experience Management with Business
Diploma in Hotel & Hospitality Management
Diploma in Wellness & Hospitality Business
Diploma in Restaurant & Culinary Operations
School of Infocomm (SOI)
Diploma in Information Technology
Diploma in Business Information Systems
Diploma in Business Applications
Diploma in Mobile Software Development
Diploma in Infocomm Security Management
School of Technology for the Arts (STA)
Diploma in Media Production & Design
Diploma in Sonic Arts
Diploma in Arts & Theatre Management
Diploma in Game Design
Diploma in Design for User Experience
RP's Industry Immersion Programme (IIP), or internship, is designed to give students a first-hand experience of the work environment and lets them apply the knowledge they have gained from the classroom. Each year, final-year students are placed on internship with over 1,200 industry partners. The duration ranges from 20 to 24 weeks and is an integral part of the diploma programme. Some students have also pursued their internships overseas during their 3rd year of study at RP. The countries include the United States, Australia and New Zealand, to destinations closer to home such as Indonesia, China and Myanmar.
The polytechnic also has a Continuing Education and Training (CET) learning arm for upskilling and lifelong learning. In line with Singapore's SkillsFuture movement, these part-time programmes - short courses and certificates offered by the Academy for Continuing Education known as ACE@RP - allow learners to stay relevant in the current knowledge-based global economy. They include:
Part-time Diploma Programmes
Specialist Diploma Programmes
SkillsFuture Earn & Learn Programmes
Short courses/ Workshops
National Silver Academy Courses
In January 2019, the polytechnic launched the Diploma in Applied Science in Urban Agricultural Technology, the first full-qualification diploma course in agricultural technology in Singapore. The aim of the programme is to train the next generation of high-tech farmers so that the country can produce more of its own food.
A building within the Republic Polytechnic campus
On 31 July 2007, RP's Woodlands campus was officially opened by Singapore's Prime MinisterLee Hsien Loong. The campus was designed by Japanese architect, Fumihiko Maki and DP Architects. Completed in 2006, the new campus is able to cater 13,000 students. It is conceived as a campus with a central nucleus which contains 11 learning Pods (8-9 storeys high) which are unified by 2 elliptical decks of common facilities, namely The Lawn and The Agora.
Also known as a Paperless Campus, RP's Woodlands campus is backed by IT-supported network for both academic and administrative functions. It employs the latest technology, through a wireless IT infrastructure supported by a comprehensive hardware-software system. In line with its green approach, environmentally friendly features such as fritted glasses, flooring made from recycled nylon and tyres, and sunshade louvres were integrated in the building design. Instead of the conventional air-conditioning system, the campus is equipped with tanks containing chilled water, which are recharged at night using low tariff electricity. This significantly reduces overall electric consumption.
In 2008, RP earned the ASEAN Best Practices for Energy Efficient Buildings Competition under the New and Existing Buildings category. RP was also honoured with the President*s Design Award in 2009. The campus was also the first to win the First-ever Singapore Green Mark Plantinum award for its eco friendly design.
Republic Polytechnic Industry Centre (RPIC) - The RPIC is a six-storey building that houses laboratories and learning facilities to support research, innovation and enterprise across a range of industries that include food manufacturing, hospitality, advance manufacturing and logistics, among others.
The Republic Cultural Centre (TRCC) - Designed by Maki & Associates, TRCC has three main performing arts venues: a) 1,000-seat Theatre, b) 300-seat Studio and, c) 120-seat Lab. In addition to these performing spaces, TRCC also houses rooms and studios for practice, rehearsal and recordings that support curriculum, student development.
Career Centre - As part of Education and Career Guidance (ECG) efforts, the RP Career Centre, which commenced operations in October 2015, provides career advisory services.
Library - 2100-seater RP library.
Indoor competition hall ideal for sporting games such as basketball, volleyball and netball
Multi-purpose outdoor courts which can be used either as three basketball courts, three volleyball courts or one futsal court
Multi-purpose indoor hall for holding any type of indoor competition or event including the games of floorball, frisbee or captain's ball
Swimming complex with an Olympic-size swimming pool, a warm-up pool and a baby wading pool
Badminton hall comprising 6 badminton courts
4 tennis courts
Martial arts room
Indoor & outdoor rock wall and an outdoor "adventure learning centre"
Aerial perspective of Republic Polytechnic's former Tanglin Campus
July 2002 - Start of operations at the temporary Tanglin campus, Republic Polytechnic was official established a month later
July 2003 - Start of classes for pioneer batch of students in RP's three schools: School of Applied Science, School of Engineering and School of Information and Communications (now known as School of Infocomm)
January 2005 - Launch of School of Technology for the Arts
November 2005 - The Republic Polytechnic Centre building was officially opened
December 2005 - Launch of School of Sports, Health and Leisure
March 2006 - Official move to Woodlands campus
July 2007 - Official opening of The Republic Cultural Centre
March 2008 - Launch of School of Hospitality
November 2009 - Signing of the Memorandum of Agreement with Singapore Sports School
September 2010 - Opening of Centre for Continuing Education and Training
May 2012 - Re-launch of Centre for Professional Development as the Academy for Continuing Education @RP and launch of the first part-time diploma
October 2012 - Launch of the Centre for Enterprise and Communication
April 2013 - Official launch of the Centre for Innovation for Supply Chain Management
April 2016 - Centre for Enterprise and Communication was renamed School of Management and Communication
August 2016 - Launch of Republic Polytechnic Industry Centre (RPIC)
November 2018 - Launch of Republic Polytechnic Academy for Continuing Education @ Paya Lebar (RP ACE @ Paya Lebar)
Republic Polytechnic collaborates with industry partners to establish and maintain close industrial linkages.
Some examples include:
In June 2018, RP signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Ubisoft, a leading French game creator and distributor. Selected students from the Diploma in Sonic Arts and Diploma in Game Design programmes will be involved in the production of Foley effects and sound design for selected Ubisoft game releases.
In March 2018, RP signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) to forge an alliance to provide opportunities to educate and engage youth on sports science, and jointly establish the RP-FAS Centre of Excellence (COE)
On 4 November 2016, RP signed three Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with key MICE partners in a three-year collaboration providing industry-relevant learning experiences for 600 students from the School of Hospitality. Two new MOUs were signed with SingEx Holdings Pte Ltd (SingEx) and Koelnmesse Pte Ltd, and a MoU was renewed with Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (SACEOS)
The RP-Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence (HMI) Joint Laboratory was launched on 29 June 2016. Students studying for the Diploma in Industrial & Operations Management (DIOM) from the School of Engineering at RP are able to enhance their capabilities and skills in the field of engineering through this new lab
On 9 June 2016, RP's new customer experience laboratories were launched. The facility will cater to around 1,000 students, mainly from the School of Hospitality's Diploma in Customer Experience Management with Business (DCXB). An inaugural collaboration between RP and partners ASICS, Cumulus Nimbus, ZA and Ma Cherie, the facility includes a retail lab stocked with lifestyle products. It also includes a contact centre that trains students in responding to customer queries, and a customer relationship management lab where students can interact with different consumer market segments
In May 2016, RP's School of Infocomm and Samsung launched a new Android training and development laboratory to equip its infocomm students with the skills to develop Android software applications. The RP-Samsung Mobile Lab is a first among the institutes of higher learning in Singapore
In September 2016, RP's School of Applied Science inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Rolls-Royce, allowing students from the Diploma in Materials Science opportunities to work on aircraft component failure inspection and non-destructive testing R&D projects with the company. Rolls-Royce will also lend its aerospace and technological expertise to co-develop and enhance RP's curriculum in the areas of advanced materials and composites
In December 2015, RP's School of Management and Communication jointly launched the Youth Livelihood Programme (YLP) with World Vision Singapore. Students from the Diploma in Social Enterprise Management (renamed Diploma in Business & Social Enterprise) will partner with youth counterparts from Cambodia to exchange entrepreneurial and business skills for sustainable livelihood. Through the collaboration, RP students are allowed the opportunity to apply classroom concepts in social entrepreneurship and business to real communities