Alternative Approaches to Learning in Singapore

The integrated programme (IP) is an education pathway designed for high-performing students in Singapore. It provides direct tickets into the university or junior college without having to do final O-level exams. Integrated programme tuition carries essence into primary and junior schools, where parallel programmes are provided. However the integrated programmes align differently from ordinary education programmes and have a ton of benefits to offer.

How the Integrated Programme works

Singapore introduced the integrated programme in 2004, which has transformed structurally over the years. Calls to enable broad coverage of the IP curriculum led to an additional two years, totaling six. From year 1 to 4, students undertake a secondary education scheme. Basic subjects taught include mathematics, science, history, geography, among others. For secondary schools, students sit for GSE advanced level examinations or the international baccalaureate, contrary to O-level education. Students in gifted education programmes (GEP) in primary schools can attend Integrated Programme schools offering school-based education (SBGE). Additionally, Singapore has incorporated an integrated childcare programme within the IP, and children with special needs, aged 2 to 6 years, can interact with others.


How much it costs to study in integrated programs schools

The most significant advantage is that students undertake studies for six years and eventually enroll in junior colleges and Universities without sitting for O-level examinations. During this time, they cover a broad range of curriculum with advanced learning experiences with special programmes embedded. Students learn through seminar interactions and engagements on overseas trips. However, the catch is that the fee paid is hefty. The type of IP School varies, and students and international students pay the highest amount of $1200 monthly. Permanent residents pay to start from $700 per month, while Singapore residents pay $380. Nonetheless, it’s worth it, considering that students get better exposure and can enroll in Universities and community colleges without sitting for the conventional O-level exams.

How to enroll in Integrated Programme

The decision to enroll in an integrated programme primarily lies with parents. They normally plan for their children’s studies at a tender age, and they grow up while in the system. However, those wishing to join secondary school level integrated programmes can find suitable institutions and seek admission. Most IP schools have websites that are good to start from. They offer guides on how to secure admission conveniently. If possible, a manual visit to the school is a better way of acquiring the information you need.

It’s worth considering that the consent to join IP schools should come from the students more than parents because preferences change, and many opt out before completion. Some choose polytechnics over universities, whereas others find it overly overwhelming.



Pros and cons of integrated Program learning

Every learning program has its pros and cons, and integrated program learning isn’t spared either.


  • Broader exposure to the curriculum through advanced learning. Students learn through seminars and interact widely. It builds different perspectives on learning.
  • Students are provided with scholarship acquisition training to help secure extra financial support as they join universities and colleges.


  • Students become lazy because of the prospect of not facing exams.
  • Student’s preferences change as they mature and can become mid-level, thus disorienting them.


Integrated programme education is an excellent approach to learning. However, it is always good to place that decision on students themselves as they mature and decide their paths. Quitting mid-level can be disappointing for parents, especially if they’ve spent a fortune paying for integrated programme tuition. Nonetheless, integrated programme learning is an excellent way of subsidiary learning, and it offers myriad opportunities to learners.

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