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Our IP Humanities department takes an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to engage students and nurture their ability to take multiple perspectives. Using real-world tasks and case studies, students will hone vital skills and competencies, such as critical thinking and analytical skills, which are essential for success in a globalised world.

At IP Years 1 and 2, students are introduced to Fundamental Humanities, an integrated subject that employs the lenses of History, Geography and Social Studies to give them a broad understanding of societies around the world. As they move on to IP Years 3 and 4, under the umbrella of Core Humanities, they may choose to deepen their learning in History, Geography or English Literature, in addition to Singapore Studies. Programmes are strongly centred on an inquiry-based approach using authentic learning experiences.



In designing our customised Fundamental Humanities curriculum, tutors start with the big picture in mind with lessons structured to enable students to work towards an enduring understanding for each topic. In IP Year 1, students explore the factors for the rise and fall of societies, and examine political systems such as democracy; while in IP Year 2, they examine the various ways that societies can change over time. Students also work towards the mastery of skills common to Humanities disciplines, such as inference, cross-referencing, data literacy and the use of well-defined criteria for comparison and evaluation.

In addition to writing a comprehensive and engaging core curriculum, we have crafted additional teaching tools and experiences to further challenge students. For example, our award-winning Cities of Pangaea computer simulation gives our IP1 students the experience of building and maintaining a society. Through this, they can see how various geographical, economic and social factors work together to determine the outcomes of their society, and how these scenarios have played out in real-world societies over the course of history.

Explore the factors that cause the rise and fall of societies through the custom-designed Cities of Pangaea browser-based game
Learn about the factors that drive colonialism through the V3 card game

We have also designed the V3 card game to give IP2 students a hands-on take on the factors that drive colonialism. This allows students to take on the role of a colonial power, and experience for themselves how certain factors may play a greater significance than previously assumed.


IP2 students learning in the field, in Ipoh, Malaysia

One of the main features is the IP2 Fundamental Humanities Trip, which is designed for students to apply and extend what they have learnt in the classroom through authentic learning tasks framed as investigative mysteries that they have to solve throughout the journey from Ipoh to Penang. From peeking into the lives of tin miners to learning about the use of architecture as a tool for projection of power, the activities give the students greater insights into colonial legacies as well as the rationale and controversies behind the bicentennial commemoration back home.


Core Humanities is a compulsory subject for all IP3 and IP4 students. The subject comprises a Singapore Studies module as well as a choice of English Literature 1, Geography 1 or History 1 modules.

All students have to offer the Singapore Studies module of the Core Humanities programme. This module provides a safe environment for students to discuss and explore issues surrounding contemporary Singapore using an interdisciplinary approach. Through the programme, students will hone their competencies necessary for discourses in the humanities and social sciences. They will also acquire knowledge and skills to develop as active citizens who think critically yet with empathy towards different societal needs.

Students can also choose to offer English Literature 1, Geography 1 or History 1 in addition to Singapore Studies. These modules offer a more condensed content while requiring the same skills as English Literature 2, Geography 2 or History 2. The choice to study an additional Humanities subject enables them to gain a richer learning experience, and provides an opportunity for them to develop their strengths and passion.

To better engage the students, we are guided by a progressive and thematic approach that allows us to pitch the learning according to their progress and development. Through an interdisciplinary inquiry of multi-faceted issues in contemporary Singapore, students will develop the skills of reasoning and the habit of thinking critically. The issues discussed include national identity, governance, national security, economic and social policies, as well as economic development. The infusion of economics into the Singapore Studies curriculum also helps students to acquire economic intuition to make the learning experience more authentic, as well as to provide an early start to financial literacy.

In addition to a seminar-style approach to teaching and learning, student-centred activities enable students to explore beyond the content and discover knowledge and create new ones of their own. Debates, role-plays and simulation games are just a few of the platforms to allow students to take ownership of their learning and to foster a community of collaborators. We also encourage students to take part in external competitions such as moot parliamentary debates to further strengthen their mastery of the subject and build their confidence. At the end of the course, students will present their research findings in a capstone project based on a topic surrounding contemporary Singapore.

Selected groups debate Singapore policy during Moot Parliament finals at the Parliament House


English Literature aims to develop students’ critical and analytical thinking skills, sensitivity to language, and a passion for reading. In the process, we aim to foster the value of empathy because we believe that at the heart of English Literature is an important lesson of humanity and the human condition.

English Literature focuses on a detailed, technical analysis of literary texts as well as essential essay-writing skills. Our students engage in discussions and posit arguments through oral presentations and rigorous written work. Students also work on projects that go beyond pen and paper tasks, for example, creating digital poetry and dramatising literature texts for a more hands-on and authentic learning experience.

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A roving theatre coming alive with our Literature students

The syllabus is designed on a modular basis where students who choose to study English Literature 2 will study 2 modules a year while students who choose to study English Literature 1 will study 1 module a year. Please see the table below for a brief description of the modules

English Literature 1
  • Practical Criticism
  • Shakespeare
English Literature 2
  • Practical Criticism
  • Of Myths and Fairytales: A Study of Intertexuality
  • Shakespeare
  • Contemporary and World Literature

Our students are given opportunities to learn from local and international writers through workshops, talks and seminars. We also organise learning journeys to watch theatre productions in order to enhance their understanding and appreciation of literature and the arts. Furthermore, we provide our students with various platforms to express themselves creatively. Students who are aspiring writers and who have a keen interest in Literature can take part in creative writing workshops and the Creative Arts Programme. We also focus on developing students’ research skills and encourage their participation in the Literature Seminar and the Humanities and Social Sciences Research Programme.

To see more of what the IP Literature syllabus has to offer, check out the department website here.


In order to understand the world we live in, Geography is essential as it allows students to see the links and relationships in the world around them. Our IP Geography is a multi-faceted subject that is grounded on a view of the world through a spatial lens. We aim to guide our students to expand their understanding of the world by looking at issues that go beyond Singapore’s geographical boundaries.

Geography at TJC IP places an emphasis on diverse pedagogies. From poster presentations to mapping exercises, students are engaged in learning through investigative work that is rigorous and engaging.

Geog fieldwork at East Coast Park

An education in Geography is not complete without venturing into the world around us, and we strive to create opportunities for students to participate in talks, exhibitions and fieldwork investigations. Our learning activities beyond the classroom have taken us to places like the NEA Central Forecast Office, Gardens by the Bay and East Coast Park, as well as virtual fieldwork that allows students to venture to places that they are otherwise unable to access. Each year, we also field a team of students to participate in the NUS Geography Challenge, with commendable results over the years.


We believe that the study of History is anchored on the examination of historical ideas that have changed the world today. The engagement with the historical discipline enables our students to gain a consciousness of humanity and clarify their individual roles and purpose in the world.

We train our students to approach challenging historical concepts in a systematic and inquiry-driven manner. As a result, they are empowered to arrive at their own understanding of significant ideas in human history. They will apply these ideas through various exciting tasks that allow them to demonstrate knowledge and understanding, construct their own explanations and critically evaluate sources.

Reducing the focus on traditional examinations, our students embark on independent research projects that allow for an authentic exploration of what the students themselves are interested in. We will guide them through the research process, teach them how to source for and evaluate evidence. These group projects go beyond conventional tasks such as writing a research paper, where our students present their learning through historical fictions and creatively crafted infographics. Interested students may also be given a chance to take part in competitions such as the MOE History Challenge and be part of the MOE History Talent Development Programme.

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An innovative infographic by our IP4 students on a Cold War conflict