The inquiry modules are a structured collection of multi-disciplinary modules that provide intellectual broadening. Students are exposed to two Domains in Humanities & Social Sciences (HSS) and Sciences & Technologies (ST). They can be read at any time over four years.

Students may also fulfil the requirements of inquiry modules in other ways by taking the following:

USP students enrolled in the School of Design and Environment, and School of Computing may also fulfil the requirements of some of their inquiry modules through modules taken in their major.

One USP Inquiry module waiver is granted to USP students with Polytechnic qualification.  Please contact USP Academic Office for details.


* ISMs regulations vary from faculties to faculties, please refer to the guidelines for details.

Module substitution

Modules mapped are to fulfill USP Inquiry tier requirement only.

ProgrammeModule CodeRemarks
  • SEP
Module substitution code:
  • Allow 2 Inquiry modules per semester away.
  • Approval granted for up to 4 modules.

General guideline (important): Of the twelve USP modules, students must have at least a minimum of 8 USP modules read in NUS (The 8 USP modules exclude substituted modules and directly recognised non-USP modules). Students are only allowed up to a total of 4 modules of module substitutions or modules waiver. A non-USP module, e.g. ISM, if read to fulfill major requirement, is considered as double-counting.

Humanities & Social Sciences (HSS)


Modules in this area analyse major literary and cultural forms. You will study not only novels, poems, and plays, but also films, television, and other popular narrative forms that reflect the actions of women and men of different cultures, and their relationships to the societies in which they live. The ability to read, decode, and challenge written texts is an important skill whatever your chosen career.

Issues & Theories


This area offers pioneering, cutting-edge and multi-disciplinary modules in Cyberarts, Music and Technology. The Cyberarts programme was the first in the region.


If you were Socrates, condemned to death but with a chance to escape, would you try to escape? Socrates did not. While we may not agree with his decision, his reason is a prime example of moral reasoning. Modules in this area deal with questions of ethics and morality, and offer reflections on scientific practices. Learn how to reason about morality, and apply it to contemporary moral issues.


How do our thoughts, feelings and interactions with others affect our behaviour? How is our behaviour influenced by our culture, our social roles in our community, and the institutions and organisations in our society? Modules in this area draw answers from behavioural disciplines such as psychology, sociology, anthropology and organisational behaviour.


Modules in this area deal primarily with macro-level issues, focusing on social units such as groups, organisations and societies in their social, economic and political dimensions. They cover central concepts and analytical methods of the social sciences, helping students to understand the world we live in and to think critically about issues at domestic and international levels.


Modules in this area focus on units larger than single societies and are concerned with the study of the contributions and interactions of the major world civilisations, religions and cultures. They expand your understanding of the impact of cultural factors on people's behaviour or way of life. You will learn to grasp the cultural assumptions and traditions and the distinctive patterns of thought and action of various cultures in contemporary societies.

Sciences & Technologies (ST)


Modules in this area explore topics such as genes, the brain, life and death, and the interrelationships between ethics, science, technology, and medicine.


Modules in this area critically examine the empirical evidence and the theoretical concepts that form the natural sciences. You will be brought through the process of inquiry, experimentation, and theorizing that has led to our current understanding of Nature. You will learn that science itself is a continuously evolving process; there are important questions that have yet to be answered or even formulated.


This area highlights how quantitative reasoning plays an important role in intellectual pursuits as well as everyday life. Modules in this area examine the nature and methodologies of mathematics, how simple mathematical models can help us understand the complex world, and how mathematical and statistical thinking can help us make cogent arguments and logical decisions in everyday situations.


Modules in this area investigate the new technological frontiers created by molecular biology and consider their impact on law, ethics, society, and the environment.


Modules in this area explore the principles of physics and chemistry, the practice of modern engineering, and the possibilities for future technologies.


Modules in this area explore the central ideas and major technological advances in information technology (encompassing computer science, digital and communication technologies, and the internet) and develop awareness of the impact of the information technology revolution on various aspects of society.