SMU launches new degree programmes in Computer Science and Computing & Law

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With the rapid growth of the digital economy and the ongoing efforts to transform Singapore through technology, there is strong demand in the public and private sectors for graduates with sound knowledge and training in computing.

In response to these industry trends and demand, the School of Information Systems at Singapore Management University (SMU) has strengthened its undergraduate curriculum with the introduction of two new degree programmes – Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) from the new academic year commencing in August 2019, and Bachelor of Science (Computing & Law) in August 2020.

Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) degree

  • Objectives and description

The new Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) programme aims to equip students with technical skills to build computing products and solutions to thrive in the marketplaces and society. This requires an understanding of the interplay between computing theory and practice and the essential links between them; as well as fundamental business innovation, IT solution development and management skills.

The programme features a first major on IT Solution Development. Our courses cut across traditional technology components and equip students with skills to translate scientific principles and integrate the knowledge they learn holistically to develop real solutions to use cases.

Our curriculum nurtures a specialization in an up-and-coming technology track built on a foundational core that apply across industries, preparing graduates for the highly-demanded fields such as Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, and Cyber-Physical Systems while equipping them with nimbleness to ride on future technology waves.

Students will also be encouraged to take up a second major on IT Solution Management, where they will learn to manage the development and deployment of computing solutions. They will gain broad-based exposure to software product management, IT solution architecture, as well as business, legal, and accounting aspects of IT.

  • Outcome

The new programme will prepare students for a wide variety of job roles, including software engineer, product manager, artificial intelligence developer, full stack developer, as well as security penetration tester.

The School plans to admit about 45 students for the pioneer batch.

The Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) programme is the second degree programme by the School of Information Systems. The School has been offering the Bachelor of Science (Information Systems) degree programme since its inception in 2003.

Bachelor of Science (Computing & Law) degree

  • Objectives and description

Starting from Academic Year 2020-2021, SMU School of Information Systems and School of Law will jointly offer a new degree programme in Computing and Law.

As Information Technology (IT) goes beyond automating backroom functions to transforming

business models and processes, innovators need to consider:

• How their innovations can be protected within the legal framework where they operate

• How to ensure that their business operations comply with pertinent legal, regulatory and contractual requirements

• How to address legal questions, as well as manage the technology and business risks posed by the innovations

There have been calls to pay heed to the technological wave sweeping the legal fraternity and to embrace new technology. Speaking at the opening of the legal year on 7 January 2019, Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon reiterated that technology has changed the way the legal sector works. “Today, successful lawyering requires far more than just the knowledge of the law. It demands competencies commonly associated with other disciplines, ranging from business and finance to project management and information technology. Consequently, law schools may need to do more than educate students in the law; they may also need to offer programmes that will equip students with the skills to find innovative solutions to the issues that they will be confronted with in contemporary legal practice.”

This changing landscape calls for IT professionals who not only are technology innovators, but also have a strong grounding in law and regulation. It also requires policy makers and regulators who are conversant with both technology and law to create an innovation-friendly business environment.

At the same time, advances in technology are heralding a paradigm shift in the delivery of legal services. Legal technology holds the potential to infuse efficiency into law firms’ case management and back-office work.

In the longer term, legal technology solutions could support or even replace lawyers in the execution of core legal tasks (e.g., automated document review and drafting, predictive analytics to assess the probable outcome of a case drawn from previous court judgments). Law graduates who are able to leverage on technology will thus provide a compelling value proposition as digital transformation takes hold in the legal sector.

  • Outcome

The BSc (Computing & Law) degree will produce IT and legal professionals who are adept at bridging technology and law. It will equip students with skillsets in IT & business innovation, operating IT & business innovations within a legal framework, and employing IT in legal practice.

Beyond a solid foundation in Computing and Law, students will specialise in advanced technology tracks such as Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, Cyber-Physical Systems, Business Analytics, Digital Business Solutioning, Financial Technology, or the planned Technology Risk Management to become future-ready for Business & Public Sectors, Consulting & Finance Sectors, as well as the Legal Sector.

Some of the job roles which students in this programme can undertake include IT audit and compliance, risk management, legal knowledge engineer and legal technologist.

The inaugural class will admit between 30 and 50 students in 2020.

Accelerated Bachelor-Master programme with University College London

Students taking the Smart-City Management & Technology (SMT) major can now look forward to an accelerated Bachelor-Master programme after SMU’s School of Information Systems and University College London (UCL)’s Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) entered into a partnership to provide SMU students of the SMT major an integrated progression from bachelor’s degree to a master’s degree within a duration as short as four years (i.e. bachelor’s degree at SMU in three years and master’s degree at UCL in one year).

This is the first time CASA has established a partnership with a university in Singapore, it is also a first accelerated programme for the new SMT major.

Students in this integrated programme will graduate from SMU with a Bachelor of Science (Information Systems): Smart-City Management & Technology, and a Master of Science in Smart Cities and Urban Analytics from CASA.

The inaugural batch of SMT students will be eligible to apply for this accelerated programme at the end of their 2nd year of study at SMU (i.e. May 2019). Up to 10% of SMU students in each SMT cohort will have the opportunity to take up this integrated programme. The first batch of students is expected to commence their studies at UCL’s Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis in September 2020.

The SMT is an interdisciplinary major offered by SMU’s School of Information Systems, in collaboration with the School of Social Sciences. It aims to nurture graduates who innovate solutions to urbanisation challenges through application of interdisciplinary knowledge across technology, social sciences and management.

UCL’s Bartlett is the highest-ranked built environment faculty in the UK and Europe and 2nd in the world according to the latest QS World Rankings.

SMU’s bachelor’s degree in SMT complements well with UCL’s master’s degree in Smart Cities and Urban Analytics. SMU students will be able to apply the technology solutions and analytics skills learned in the bachelor’s degree to spatial and urban planning problems in the evolution towards smart cities. The students will also be able to see examples of smart city initiatives and solutions in a variety of urban contexts, and will understand how the use of data and technology can be part of the solution to a whole range of contemporary urban problems.

Students will complete a Smart-City Project Experience and at least an Internship in Singapore. Over at UK, students must complete a dissertation on a piece of smart city application with an emphasis on data analysis and visualisation for an identified urbanization challenge.