About AEM & ApLM@Poly

Intent and Background

  • Advanced Elective Modules (AEM) are elective courses in applied areas which are developed by the Polytechnics. These electives, each involving 30 hours of contact time with the Polytechnic lecturers, will give students the opportunity to enjoy learning by seeing the relevance of what they learn and applying the learning to authentic learning contexts, helping them discover their strengths and interests in the process. In this way, all students will benefit from an applied approach to learning.

  • In light of the changing educational landscape, including the move towards Full Subject-Based Banding (Full SBB), Category A Elective Modules (CAT A EM)* and AEM will be enhanced and rebranded as 3-day Applied Learning Modules (ApLM) for full implementation from 2023. This enhancement will delink ApLM from course-based access, expand the accessibility to a wider range of students, and optimise applied learning efforts in our system for better student engagement and learning. ApLM that are developed and delivered by Polytechnics are referred to as ApLM@Poly.

  • *CAT A EM are offered by Institute of Technical Education (ITE) to students from the Normal (Academic) [N(A)] and Normal (Technical) [N(T)] courses. Please refer to the EM notification (requires access to MOE Intranet) for more details.

Feature AEM ApLM@Poly Soft Launch (in 2022)

AEM are open to upper secondary students from the Express and N(A) courses, and Secondary 2 students from both courses who have completed their end-of-year examinations.

Schools should clarify with AEM lecturers ahead of time if they are amenable to having Secondary 2 students join the AEM.

Students in the N(A) and N(T) courses can sign up for Elective Modules (EM)* to broaden their learning experiences and provide for their varied learning needs through applied learning.

While ApLM@Poly are designed for students from all courses, during the soft launch period in 2022, ApLM@Poly will continue to be available to students from the Express and N(A) courses, and Secondary 2 students from both courses who have completed their end-of-year examinations.

Schools should clarify with ApLM@Poly lecturers ahead of time if they are amenable to having Secondary 2 students join the ApLM@Poly.

Students from the N(T) course are encouraged to sign up for Elective Modules (EM)* or ApLM@ITE instead.

Duration Each AEM typically comprises 30 hours of contact time. Each ApLM@Poly typically comprises 22.5 hours of contact time.
Content While there could be some content overlap with the N-Level and O-Level curriculum, the applied learning approach adopted in AEM/ApLM@Poly provides students with an additional avenue for hands-on and practical learning experience. AEM/ApLM@Poly also allow students to experience life in the Polytechnics and provide opportunities for Education and Career Guidance (ECG) by exposing them to possible post-secondary courses and careers.
Delivery AEM/ApLM@Poly are delivered through a variety of approaches that cater to the needs and interests of students. Students are provided with opportunities to construct meaning for themselves through hands-on and practical learning activities. Examples of assessment modes that may be employed are assignments, projects, short tests and/or presentations.
Location Due to the nature of the learning and the type of equipment and facilities required, AEM/ApLM@Poly are typically conducted at the Polytechnics.
Instructor AEM/ApLM@Poly are primarily taught by Polytechnic instructors.

*Please refer to the EM notification (requires access to MOE Intranet) for more details.

Some questions you may have when considering AEM/ApLM@Poly for your school:

  • Schools can check the list of AEM and ApLM@Poly available via the AEM portal (http://aem.moe.gov.sg) or the Polytechnics’ websites.

  • We encourage schools to select AEM/ApLM@Poly that help students see the practical applications of what they are learning and expose them to post-secondary options. Schools can also consider students’ interest, the school’s Applied Learning Programme or other distinctive programmes in the selection of AEM/ApLM@Poly for their students.

AEM/ApLM@Poly offered currently come from the following clusters:

  • Business – includes marketing, entrepreneurship, and tourism and hospitality;

  • Engineering – includes foundational engineering, environmental engineering and electronics;

  • Mathematics and Science – includes engineering mathematics, and life and health sciences;

  • Media and Design – includes mass communications, media design, arts; and

  • Information Technology – includes web applications development and game design.

For more information on available AEM and ApLM@Poly, please view the synopses on the AEM portal (http://aem.moe.gov.sg).

  • Depending on the demand by students, there may be some AEM/ApLM@Poly which are similar in nature. There is a range of AEM/ApLM@Poly offered across the five Polytechnics to meet the learning needs and interests of the students.

  • Polytechnics constantly update their AEM/ApLM@Poly to ensure relevance to industry trends and students’ learning in secondary schools. MOE will provide funding support for the Polytechnics to make the relevant updates so that these modules continue to be useful and relevant.

  • Schools can reflect student participation in AEM/ApLM@Poly in the Holistic Development Profile in School Cockpit. Polytechnics also award certificates to recognise student participation in AEM/ApLM@Poly. Students can use these certificates as part of their portfolio when applying for the Early Admissions Exercise.

  • The minimum class size could comprise a mixed group of students from different courses, i.e., Express and N(A), and from different levels.

  • Schools that are unable to meet the minimum class size requirement may seek partner schools to combine student numbers to meet the minimum class size.

  • Schools need to ensure that the 1:20 teacher-student ratio guidelines are adhered to for the Learning Journeys. As such, teachers must be present as chaperons for the Learning Journeys beyond the school/Polytechnic premises to ensure the well-being of the students. Parent-volunteers may be involved as additional chaperons but at least one teacher must be present.

  • Course instructors are trained to ensure the safety of every student, and all necessary safety measures will be taken before and during the classes.

  • In the unfortunate situation where a student is injured during the AEM/ApLM@Poly, students are covered by MOE’s Group Personal Accident Insurance. Please enquire with the school’s General Office for submission of a claim.

  • The course fees paid by students through their Edusave accounts do not include insurance coverage against loss and damages of students’ personal items during class. The course fees are for covering the operational costs of running the AEM/ApLM@Poly, e.g. the use of specialised equipment and software, and man-hours.

  • Schools and Polytechnics ensure that students who require financial support will not miss out on the opportunity to benefit from the AEM/ApLM@Poly through the various assistance schemes available.

  • Schools can draw on their Edusave Grant to pay for the course fees of eligible students. Students who require additional assistance can also draw on the Opportunity Fund or other financial assistance support offered by schools.

  • Schools can choose to go for the next run of that particular AEM/ApLM@Poly or encourage students to opt for other AEM/ApLM@Poly in line with student interest and the distinctive programmes of the schools.

  • A school can sign up for any number of AEM/ApLM@Poly runs as long as the school meets the minimum number of students required for each AEM/ApLM@Poly run.

  • To increase the accessibility and range of AEM/ApLM@Poly to better match the varied interests of students, there is no cap on the number of unique AEM/ApLM@Poly titles that schools can offer each year.

  • That said, to ensure that Polytechnics are able to run the AEM/ApLM@Poly cost-effectively, schools are reminded to adhere to the minimum number of students required for each AEM/ApLM@Poly run, as indicated on the module synopsis page. We would like schools to select the AEM/ApLM@Poly carefully to maximise student participation and benefit. This would also help ensure that we can work within the budget allocated for AEM.

  • Schools are advised to register each student for at most two AEM/ApLM@Poly throughout their time in secondary school to manage students’ learning load and allow more students to benefit from AEM/ApLM@Poly. Students who wish to participate in more than two AEM/ApLM@Poly can still request to do so via the school, subject to approval from the Curriculum Policy Office (CPO). Students are not allowed to take the same AEM/ApLM@Poly twice.

  • Schools that would like to come aboard AEM/ApLM@Poly should write to MOE_AEM@moe.gov.sg and we will set up an account for your school’s appointed AEM/ApLM coordinator to access the portal.