Coursework provides systematic basic training for research postgraduate students with the purpose of cultivating the necessary mindset and nurturing the key basic habits of an academic writer.

1. Lecture Courses
The requirements for lecture courses or equivalent are:
(a) not less than 9 credits for MPhil students;
(b) not less than 9 credits for PhD students in the pre-candidacy stage, completion of which will be part of the candidacy requirements

2. Graduate Seminars
Graduate seminars are non-credit bearing. They help students identify and acquire broad and transferrable skills. Both MPhil and PhD students are required to attend at least 3 graduate seminars offered by the University in a given Academic Year.

3. Research Seminars
Research seminars are non-credit bearing. They provide students an opportunity to research learning. All active MPhil and PhD students are encouraged to attend at least one research seminar per year.

4. National and Values Education (NAVE)
All new students admitted from 2023/24 and thereafter must pass a non-credit bearing course of National and Values Education (NAVE) during the first year of study as part of the graduation requirement.
*In addition to the general course requirements for MPhil/PhD programmes, students need to refer to programme specific requirements for the host Department.

1. Common Core Courses
Students are required to complete two common core courses: GRS 101 Advanced Research Methodology (3 credits) and GRS 102 Interdisciplinary Approach (3 credits).

MPhil graduates entering PhD programmes who have exemptions for the above two common core courses need to take GRS103 Guided Readings for interdisciplinary Studies (3 credits) to make up for the exempted courses.

2. Departmental Courses (minimum 3 credits)
Those departments which currently offer taught postgraduate programmes may consider assigning some current taught master’s courses as required courses for MPhil/PhD students with more individual workload such as extra readings and tutorials and writing term papers, etc.

Apart from these modified courses, other departmental courses will be designed under the following categories:

  • Independent Studies in Special Topics
  • Graduate Reading Course

These departmental courses will be customised for individual students according to their research field and are expected to provide a sound foundation in critical theories in the field.

PhD students are required to write two Workshops to explore research topics outside their proposed thesis topics. PhD students can choose one of the two options as listed below:

(1) To write two papers of 7,000 – 10,000 words on different topics and present them at separate workshops. One of the papers must adopt an interdisciplinary approach and the other paper should focus on a topic that will not form part of, but could be related to, the final thesis. The papers are to be delivered in two separate workshops open to all.

(2) To adopt an interdisciplinary approach to conudct an independent research project on a topic different from their thesis topic. Students shall write a research proposal ofa round 2,000 words and present it at the first workshop. Then, they shall proceed to data collection and analysis, write a final report of around 4,000 words and present in the second workshop open to all.

PhD students are only allowed to hold the colloquium after passing the two workshops. The colloquium will be the presentation of a representative chapter of their dissertation. Upon passing the colloquium, students will be granted the status of PhD candidates.

The thesis is the central part of the requirements for an MPhil or PhD. The lecture courses in the MPhil/PhD programme provide training in research skills and methodology, foundation knowledge in the discipline/ field and exposure in the connectedness of related disciplines/ fields and contribute to the writing of the thesis.

At the time of application, students are required to submit a research proposal for the sake of matching their research interests with those of the designated MPhil/PhD supervisors. This is to ensure that students receive the best possible support in their thesis writing. Once admitted into the programme but prior to formal registration, students are asked to seek out their potential supervisors to make certain that proper supervision for thesis writing would be made available to them.

MPhil students are asked to submit a finalized proposal and defend it before the end of their 12-month probationary period; whereas PhD students are asked to do so before the end of their 18-month probationary period. After these respective periods, thesis writing can officially commence.

Students are required to submit a thesis progress report to the Graduate School every term starting from the second year of their study to the submission of thesis.  The first report is due by the end of the first term of the second year of their study. Both students and their supervisor have to complete sections of this report that detail progress, quality of work, and schedule for thesis and degree completion.

English is the primary medium of instruction for all MPhil/PhD programmes. Students in all disciplines need to attend the two compulsory common core courses GRS101 Advanced Research Methodology and GRS102 Interdisciplinary Approach and graduate seminars together, and these classes will be conducted in English. If the student’s research focus is in the realm of Chinese language and Chinese history, only related department courses may be conducted in Chinese if the topics required to be discussed in Chinese.