Having just starting out I've played around with different bits of software (PS Elements 12, Silver Efex etc) and was pondering about Lightroom 5. I'm currently doing an online photography course and am a registered NUS student so which version should/could I get? Are there different ones or is it just a matter of just cost?
There's really only one piece of software, but it is licensed in different ways.
So, the only real issue is do you want Photoshop and Lightroom for 9.99 US Dollars/month (which includes free upgrades to Lightroom 6 whenever it comes out) or do you want Lightroom as a standalone for either the full price, or the student price if you qualify (I have no idea what an "NUS student" is), neither of which provide free upgrade to Lightroom 6 and beyond.
"NUS" stands for National Union of Students, and as far I can tell, the OP should qualify for the Educational version of Lr if he has an educational email address.
If this is the case, it's a straight choice between the educational version price and the Cloud subscription yearly cost.