Hyper Local Nation

A Detailed Guide To Polytechnics In Singapore Based On Rankings


One stereotype of being Asian is that we always get good grades. While that’s not necessarily true, our community definitely values a good education.

With post-secondary education becoming as mainstream as it has, we have a lot more options today than our parents and their parents did before them. While that’s decidedly a net positive, it presents a unique challenge to the youth of today:


Or more specifically, too much choice.

I can tell you firsthand that choosing a school is overwhelming, to say the least. With dozens of education fairs filled with booths of people promising that their school is actually the best school to have ever existed, it can be kind of impossible to make a choice that you’re confident in.

Well, it would have been if you’d never stumbled across this article.

So fret not, dear highschool graduate, and put down that stack of university brochures. Here’s a ranking-based breakdown of polytechnics in Singapore to get you started on your educational journey.

Table of Contents

 What Is A Polytechnic

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the best polytechnics in Singapore, it’s important to know what a polytechnic even is.

At its core, a polytechnic is a higher education institute that offers courses in a variety of courses, most commonly vocational, at a degree level or lower. As the name suggests, polytechnics provide specialized education in technical or otherwise vocational subjects that the typical university would not.

Basically, it’s a specialized school that fits somewhere between a college and a university on the educational hierarchy.

But how does it compare to universities?

How Does A Polytechnic Compare To Other Options

Education systems around the world can be vastly different from each other, and while Singapore definitely subscribes to most educational conventions, it is important to note that polytechnics are a uniquely important part of its system.

Polytechnics can serve as a stepping stone in your tertiary education, or the launching-off point of your professional life. The diploma received at the end of a three-year course is an incredibly versatile qualification.

In fact, they’re widely recognised even outside of Singapore. From China to America, a whole host of countries recognize Singaporean polytechnic diplomas.

An education at a polytechnic in Singapore usually consists of a lot more practical knowledge than you would receive in the typical classroom. Even admissions are more merit based, taking the emphasis off academics and focusing on applied education.

Plus, considering that there are only five polytechnics in Singapore, you’ll always have a recognizable name on your diploma.

How Do You Get Into A Polytechnic

If you’re a Singaporean candidate looking to apply to a polytechnic, you most likely already have all the baseline requirements.

Admission to the typical three-year course depends on your ELR2B2. For the uninitiated, this refers to your English Language grade, two relevant subjects to the course you’re applying for, and your two best subjects.

Add those numerical grades together, and any scores below 27 points are admissible to polytechnics in Singapore.

Okay, so now you know what a polytechnic is and the basis of how to get into one. Onto the main purpose of this article and probably the reason that you clicked on it in the first place:

What are your options?

Polytechnics In Singapore

As stated above, there are only five polytechnics in Singapore, all of which are funded by the government. So while there are limited options, they’re far from slim pickings.

From Republic’s paperless campus, to Nanyang’s laundry list of awards, there is definitely a lot that each of these options have to offer.

Had I not already graduated with my degree, you’d best believe that my name would be the first on the sign up sheet to Singapore Polytechnic. There’s something about a long history paired with amazing facilities that’s very appealing to me.

However, in the spirit of making things a little easier for you, I’ve separated the five schools by their 2022 rankings and included a little information on each to help you along.

5. Republic Polytechnic

Republic Polytechnic, commonly known simply as RP, is the youngest polytechnic in Singapore, having only been founded in 2002. They’re best known for their sports science courses, and their modern campus which, fun fact, is the only one on this list that is fully air-conditioned!

Here’s some information about them:

Established 2002
Location 9 Woodlands Ave 9, Singapore 738964

45 Full-Time Courses
7 Academic Schools

Specialty Sport Science
Annual Tuition Fee (Singapore Citizen) $3,086
  • Extensive sports facilities
  • 100% Paperless
  • Accessible via public transport
  • Fully airconditioned
  • Smallest campus
  • Lowest grade-cut off point for O’Levels, which can be seen as less prestigious
  • Students are required to purchase laptops prior to starting classes in order to complete classwork

For more information on Republic Polytechnic, check out their website at this link here.

4. Singapore Polytechnic

Singapore Polytechnic, or SP, is probably the most recognizable name on this list. While it has previously ranked as the top polytechnic in the country, 2022 has seen a slight fall in its ranking. Though that does little to tarnish the long-standing legacy of Singapore’s first polytechnic.

Here’s some stuff to know about SP:

Established 1954
Location 500 Dover Road Singapore 139651

37 Full-Time Courses
11 Academic Schools

Specialty Engineering
Annual Tuition Fee (Singapore Citizen) $3,076
  • Large campus
  • Good sports facilities
  • Close to local food and hangout spots (The Star Vista)
  • Accessible via public transport
  • Considered the most prestigious
  • High cut-off grade for O’Levels, making it difficult to get into

Find out more about Singapore Polytechnic at this link here.

3. Temasek Polytechnic

Next up on the list is Temasek Polytechnic, the only one of the five schools located on the east side of the country.

What you should know about Temasek, or TP:

Established 1990
Location 21 Tampines Ave 1, Singapore 529757

37 Full-Time Courses
7 Academic Schools

Specialty Design and Law
Annual Tuition Fee (Singapore Citizen) $3,000
  • Good facilities
  • Close to local food and hangout spots (Tampines Mall and Bedok Reservoir Park)
  • Accessible via public transport
  • Boasts the most unique courses
  • High cut-off grade for O’Levels, making it difficult to get into

If you’d like to know more about Singapore’s third polytechnic, go to this link.

2. Nanyang Polytechnic

In second place, having climbed from its previous bronze position two years prior, Nanyang Polytechnic is the second youngest in the country.

Established 1992
Location 180 Ang Mo Kio Ave 8, Singapore 569830

40 Full-Time Courses
8 Academic Schools

Specialty IT and Nursing
Annual Tuition Fee (Singapore Citizen) $2,987
  • Good facilities
  • Close to local food and hangout spots (Ang Mo Kio’s AMK Hub and Town Garden West)
  • Accessible via public transport
  • Highly specialized in IT, providing high quality IT courses
  • Smaller campus

If you’d like more information on Nanyang Polytechnic, be sure to check out this website.

1. Ngee Ann Polytechnic

Snagging the top spot on the list is Ngee Ann! With one of the largest campuses, a whopping 39 full-time courses, and a convenient location, it’s no wonder that NP is as popular as it is.

To give a little more context on the number one school on our list:

Established 1963
Location 535 Clementi Rd, Singapore 599489

39 Full-Time Courses
8 Academic Schools

Specialty Film and Media Studies
Annual Tuition Fee (Singapore Citizen) $3,000
  • Large Campus
  • Extensive Facilities
  • Close to local food and hangout spots (Clementi Mall and 11 Cheong Chin Nam Road)
  • Accessible via public transport
  • High cut-off grade for O’Levels, making it difficult to get into

Head to their website for a more in-depth look into the school.

To Conclude

Now that you’ve got the lay of the land when it comes to polytechnics in Singapore, it’s important to know this:

Each of the five establishments are commendable and highly reputable institutions in their own right. While these may be the rankings right now, remember that rankings can change.

What’s more important is picking a school that is suited to you. Whether that be through courses offered or the vibe of the students there, it’s essential to your educational experience that you pick a school that you actually like.

This is a decision that will affect the next three years of your day-to-day life. It’s not the end of the world, but it is something that is going to have a huge impact on you.

Each polytechnic has a different strategy that caters to a different market, and each school possesses a unique feel and atmosphere that goes beyond courses and campuses.

Take your time, speak to some alumni, and know that regardless of which you choose, you will be joining the ranks of some truly amazing students.

Scroll to Top


Sign up to our newsletter

Leaving so soon, Explorer?

We’ve got all the cool stuff in Singapore – get it delivered straight to your inbox once a week to not miss out on the most Coolest Local galore to share with your friends!