BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – Ahead of next month’s Higher Education Expo, Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB), has unveiled five new degree programmes for the 2023 academic year.

Interested in becoming a game developer? Or perhaps a cybersecurity analyst? UTB’s newest programmes cover these exciting fields as well as other study areas such as food science, human nutrition, digital media and architecture.

The expansion of the university’s offerings is aimed at giving students a more diverse academic experience, as well as more opportunities for industry placements and research.

The new programmes are also aligned with Wawasan 2035, creating graduates that are industry-ready and equipped with 21st century skills to help shape a sustainable future for Brunei.

Here’s a rundown of the five new degree programmes being introduced in 2023:

1. BSc (Honours) in Food Science and Human Nutrition

Health professionals are increasingly looking to preventative solutions instead of medical interventions, said Dr Namasivayam Navaranjan, dean of the School of Applied Sciences and Mathematics.

“Nutritionally balanced, quality and cost-effective food and beverage production are needed to help with these emerging health threats.”

During the three-year programme, students will learn about food science and technology, human health and nutrition, and also undergo industry training in their final semester.

Graduates can work in a number of settings, from hospitals and community health centres; food marketing and product development; to sports nutrition and wellness; universities and pharmaceutical companies, to name a few. 

“It’s much more than working as a nutritionist or dietician, graduates of this programme are in the best position to make a difference,” the dean added.

2. MSc in Food Science and Technology (by coursework)

Building on the existing undergraduate programme, UTB is introducing a year-long masters degree in food science and technology.

“The full-time programme can be beneficial to those graduates who recently completed their degree and are looking for an opportunity to complete a taught MSc,” Dr Namasivayam said. “The part-time programme (which is two years) is flexible and will be an advantage for in-service staff.”

Students will develop advanced skills and knowledge of food microbiology, processing and preservation; chemical properties of raw materials and products; food safety, packaging and labelling; and halal science and global food safety management.

“The programme is well aligned to support the strategies of Wawasan Brunei 2035, such as the growth of local agri-food sectors and building well-educated and high skilled workers in the agriculture and food sectors,” the dean added.

Both the MSc in Food Science and Technology and the BSc in Food Science and Human Nutrition are also designed to obtain accreditation from international organisations, UTB said.

“Students of both programmes will gain extensive practical experience from our laboratories and industry partners.  The government of Brunei Darussalam has already provided $20 million to establish infrastructure for the School to accommodate all important resources for these programmes, which is currently in the first phase of construction.”

3. BSc (Honours) in Digital Media (major in either Digital Content Design or Game Development)

Exciting news for students aspiring to work in the creative industries – in 2023 UTB will introduce a BSc in Digital Media.

Aimed at young creatives looking to build fundamental knowledge and practical skills, the three-year course will teach students a wide range of modules from creative technological tools and design theory, to game design and gamification.

For the game development course, the focus is not just on creating entertaining games, but also educational content and apps that can have real-life application in academia or business.

“With a degree in digital content design or game development, employment opportunities at both the local and international creative industries will become accessible,” said Dr Hj Sharul Tazrajiman Hj Tajuddin, dean of the School of Computing and Informatics.

Graduates could work in a wide variety of fields, including multimedia content development; graphic design; sound design; digital art and animation; 3D modelling; game development, and VR app development, to name a few.

4. MSc in Cybersecurity

Beginning in July 2023, this programme covers aspects of IT management and policy as well as technical concepts of security in the cyber realm.

The MSc in Cybersecurity aims to teach the latest security principles, practices and tools so that graduates will be able to protect networks and data from cyber attacks.

Students will learn how to secure cyber infrastructure, perform risk management, malware analysis and carry out digital forensics.

The one-year programme also aims to provides skills on how to monitor systems and mitigate threats, as well as getting students to understand and manage human factors in cybersecurity.

UTB is currently working on an initiative with the ASEAN-Korea Cooperation Fund (AKCF) to build capacity of cybersecurity professionals in ASEAN.

Graduates could go on to work as information security specialists, ethical hackers, digital forensic analysts, or even cryptography experts – the possibilities are vast. 

5. MSc in Architecture

UTB introduced Brunei’s first undergraduate degree in architecture back in 2018, which is equivalent to Part 1 of the Professional Chartered process.

The masters programme would fulfill Part 2 of the process, completing the academic requirements for a possible application as a chartered architect.

“The programme aims for local and international recognition from professional bodies (BAPEQS) Brunei and RIBA (UK),equipping students with 21st century skills,” said Dr Yulfian Aminanda, dean of UTB’s School of Design.

As well as being aligned with Wawasan 2035, the two-year, full time course is designed to take into account the UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals; clean energy; sustainable cities and communities, in order to leave a positive legacy for future generations.

“Upon completion of Masters in Architecture, students might work as professionals in architecture fields, and can also continue the journey to be Professional Chartered Architect,” said Dr Yulfian.

“They can also become academics, especially if they continue their study at PhD level.”

With these new exciting changes and the broadening of degree programmes at UTB this year, the university is confident in providing its graduates with a diverse academic experience that will inevitably support the nation’s aspirations.

UTB students will graduate with a solid academic foundation and the hands-on experience that will set them apart from the rest in the field and shape them to be citizens with intellectual courage.

More information about these new programmes and other degree courses offered by UTB can be obtained at the Higher Education Virtual Expo 2023 taking place from February 13-16, and during UTB’s Open Day 2023 from February 15-16, at the Multi-purpose Hall, UTB.