The Ultimate Guide To CS1010 And Its Related Modules (NUS)

CS1010 And Relatede Modules

If you’re looking to take the Programming Methodology module in NUS, you may have noticed that there are quite a few different codes for the same module, such as CS1010, CS1010S, CS1010E and CS1010X.

What are the differences between these modules, and which one should you choose?

Here’s what you need to know:

What’s the difference between CS1010, CS1010S, CS1010E and CS1010X?

The 4 modules (CS1010, CS1010S, CS1010E and CS1010X) are all preclusions of each other, so they can be considered equivalent of each other. However, they will differ slightly in terms of the programming language used, and the faculty that the module is suitable for.

Here is a comparison table between these 4 modules:

Module CodeSuitable ForProgramming
CS1010Computer Engineering
and Information Security
CS1010SScience and
Business students
CS1010EEngineering studentsPython
CS1010XReturning NSmenPython and C


CS1010 is mainly suitable for Computer Engineering and Information Security students, and the programming language that you’ll learn is C. This module is slightly older, and it may be harder for you to grasp if you are not too familiar with coding.


Meanwhile, CS1010S is generally the module that most Redditors agree it is the most ‘fun’ module, even though it can be really tough.

Compared to CS1010, you will be learning programming in Python instead of C.

Moreover, it is the recommended module if you are totally new to programming. This is because the syntax of C is slightly harder to grasp compared to Python.


CS1010E is generally considered to be ‘easier’ than CS1010S, based on the past year papers of both modules.

However, you may be at a disadvantage if you’re looking to obtain a Computer Science minor in NUS. Although CS1010E can be used as your category 1 module, you may find it harder to grasp the concepts in the later modules that are required for the minor.

In comparison with CS1010, CS1010E has a greater emphasis on low-level details of programming, such as memory management or pointers.

In comparison with CS1010S, CS1010E has more geometry and physics-based questions, while CS1010S has more general logic and math-based questions.


You may notice that you aren’t able to bid for the CS1010X module, as this module is usually reserved for the Returning NSmen.

Based on what was mentioned on Reddit, it seems that it is the hardest module among all 4 CS1010 variants!

CS1010X Difficulty 1

What’s the difference between CS1010 and CS1101S?

CS1101S is taught in JavaScript, while CS1010 is taught in C. CS1101S is considered to be harder compared to CS1010. However, they are considered to be preclusions, where they are equivalent of each other.

Depending on the course that you take, you may only be able to take a certain course. For example, you are required to take CS1101S if you intend to obtain an Honours in Computer Science.

Comp Sci NUS CS1101S Requirement

If you’re looking to get First Class Honours in NUS, you can check out this guide here.


When choosing which Programming Methodology module to take, the 4 ‘variants’ are actually equivalent to each other since they are all considered to be preclusions.

However, one of the modules may be more suited for you, depending on:

  • The programming language you are familiar with
  • The type of questions that are asked and who they are geared towards (e.g. engineering vs science students)

For certain courses, you may be required to take CS1101S instead of CS1010, such as for the Computer Science degree.

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