Applicants seeking admission to a research degree programme should satisfy the following minimum entrance requirement:
- a Bachelor's degree with honours (or equivalent qualification) from a recognized university.
- a Bachelor's degree with honours and a Master's degree (or equivalent qualification) from a recognized university; or
- a Bachelor's degree with first class honours (or equivalent qualification) from a recognized university.
In addition, certain degree courses have more specific requirements. Qualifying examinations to test the applicants' abilities to follow the prescribed courses and/or interviews may be conducted. Applicants with qualifications other than an honors degree are considered on their individual merits.
Please refer to the section 'Hong Kong PhD Fellowships' and the official website of HKPF for details.
When is the deadline for application? Where can I get the programme and admission details?
The application deadlines are as follows:
Admission in 2020-21
|Hong Kong PhD Fellowship (HKPF) Scheme *||Initial Application to Research Grants Council (RGC):
September 1, 2019 (HKT 12:00 nn or GMT +8 hours) - December 2, 2019 (HKT 12:00 or GMT +8 hours)
Full Application to HKU:
September 1, 2019 - December 2, 2019 (HKT 23:59 or GMT +8 hours)
|Main Round||September 1, 2019 - December 2, 2019|
|1st Clearing Round||December 3, 2019 - April 30, 2020|
|2nd Clearing Round||May 1, 2020 - August 31, 2020|
* For application in Main Round only
Successful MPhil applicants will commence studies on either September 1 or January 1. Successful PhD applicants may commence studies on the first day of any calendar month. Due to the limited number of student places, it would be to your advantage if you submit your application for the main round.
Please click here for programme and admission details.
Please refer to the webpage "Documents to Support an Application" for details. All supporting documents should be uploaded to the Online Application System after successful payment of application fee. Documents uploaded to the system should not be delivered to the Graduate School by post in duplicate.
You may apply for MPhil/PhD programme in more than one department. Please submit an application with full set of supporting documents and pay the application fees for eachapplication.
Please note that each applicant shall only submit one application to each department, regardless of the study mode (Full-time/Part-time) and degree (MPhil/PhD). Please refer to Question 1 above for the eligibility requirement for the programmes. You may consult the postgraduate admission advisor of your proposed department of study or your proposed supervisor if you are in doubts about which programme you should apply for. Their contact can be found in the Guide to Application for Admission to MPhil/PhD programmes.
Applications for Hong Kong PhD Fellowship (HKPF) Scheme submitted through HKU will be considered for admission to HKU programme(s) at the same time. Separate application for HKPF and admission to HKU programme(s) is not required.
Applicants from institutions outside Hong Kong where the language of instruction and examination is not entirely in English are required to take one of the following English language proficiency tests:
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (taken within a two-year period) (Institution code: 9671; Department code: 99)*
- An overall score of 550 or above
- Additional requirement for applicants to the Faculty of Arts except the School of Chinese and the Centre of Buddhist Studies: 4 or above in the Test of Written English (TWE)
- An overall score of 80 or above
- Additional requirement for applicants to the Faculty of Arts except the School of Chinese and the Centre of Buddhist Studies: 25 or above in the Writing section
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (Academic Module) (taken within a two-year period)*
Faculty of Arts (except the Centre of Buddhist Studies): Band 7 with no subtest lower than 5.5
Other Faculties: Band 6 with no subtest lower than 5.5
*TOEFL/IELTS score report cannot be substituted by CET-6/TEM-8
Overseas General Certificate of Education (GCE)
International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE)
Cambridge Test of Proficiency in English Language (CPE)
All Faculties: Grade C or above
Only those applying for admission to the MPhil/PhD programmes in the Faculty of Business & Economics are required to send the official score report of GRE or GMAT, taken within five years. (Institution code: GRE - 2482; GMAT - FS2-WL-48)
Those applying for admission to the MPhil/PhD programmes in the Department of Psychology whose first degree is not in Psychology are required to send the official score report ofGRE Subject Test in Psychology, taken within five years. (Institution code: GRE - 2482)
You can either pay the application fees online or by other means. To encourage applicants to settle application fees online, concession in application fees will be given to online payment by credit card. For online payment by VISA or MASTERCARD, the application fees is HK$150 and HK$400 will be charged for payment by other means. Application fees are non-refundable. Payment by cash will NOT be accepted.
Methods of payment by other means are as follows:
Please deposit HK$400 to any branch of HSBC (account no. 002-222834-014 (Ref: 4001)) or transfer the amount using the ATM machine (please click here for payment instructions). Please submit the original customer copy of the Account Deposit Form or the ATM customer advice to the Graduate School office
Please pay by bank draft of HK$400 or US$53 payable to "The University of Hong Kong"
Please write your full name in English, online application username, email and proposed department of study on the back of the pay-in-slip or bank draft for identification purposes. Your payment may not be accepted if you failed to provide the above information.
If you settle the application fee payment by means other than online payment, you may pay in US dollars by a bank draft of US$53 payable to "The University of Hong Kong".
If you apply via the online application system, the application fees can only be paid by VISA or MASTERCARD in Hong Kong dollars. If you are using a credit card denominated in other currencies, you may be required to pay some service charges to the card-issuing bank in order to pay the application fees online in Hong Kong dollars. Please check with your bank for details if you have doubts.
a. The fees will be reviewed annually.
For candidates registered from September 2019 to August 2020: $42,100
For candidates registered from September 2018 to August 2019: $42,100
For candidates registered from September 2017 to August 2018: $42,100
b. Due to the withdrawal of funding from the University Grants Committee on part-time places with effect from 2009-10, part-time MPhil and PhD programmes will be offered on a self-funded basis. The tuition fees will be reviewed annually.
For candidates registered from September 2019 to August 2020: $63,000
For candidates registered from September 2018 to August 2019: $63,000
For candidates registered from September 2017 to August 2018: $63,000
c. HKU waives first-year composition fees of HK$42,100 for HKPF awardees for the 2019-20 exercise.
d. UGC waives composition fees for all local students enrolled in full-time UGC-funded RPg programmes w.e.f. July 1, 2018. For more information, please refer to the UGC website.
Please click here for the full schedule of fees for 2019-20 and 2018-19.
What is the amount of Postgraduate Scholarship (PGS)? Am I eligible for this award?
Full-time MPhil and PhD students who hold a first degree at second class honors upper division (or equivalent) or above are normally considered eligible for receiving Postgraduate Scholarships (PGS) during the normative study period. The University's Board of Graduate Studies, which has sole and absolute discretion in granting the award of the PGS, may also take into consideration the candidates' results in their Master's degrees, where appropriate. Scholarships are tenable on an annual basis and are renewable upon satisfactory progress and the availability of funding. The monthly scholarship for the 2019-2020 academic year (w.e.f. September 1, 2019) is HK$17,330 and the value of the Scholarship is subject to review by the University from time to time. Please indicate whether you would like to apply for a Postgraduate Scholarship on the application form for admission. There is no separate form for Postgraduate Scholarship application.
A PGS holder may be required to undertake in each year, under supervision, services which carry educational benefits for the holder. The amount of such work to be performed by a student receiving the above amount of PGS shall not exceed 100 hours. Apart from the work undertaken in this capacity, the PGS holder shall not undertake any other employment either within or outside the University during the tenure of the PGS.
My university does not classify graduates into categories of "first class honours" and "second class honours upper division" etc. Am I eligible for the award of the Postgraduate Scholarship (PGS)?
We will determine your equivalent honours classification based on the information in your final academic transcripts. Postgraduate Scholarship (PGS) shall be awarded to selected students who normally hold a Bachelor's degree at second class honours first division or above and/or Master's degree as appropriate from this University, or another qualification of equivalent standard.
How long is the processing time for an application and when will the result be announced?
The Graduate School will inform all applicants of the result of their applications in writing in about three to four months after the closing date of application. Applicants may also check the result at http://www.hku.hk/gradsch/status.
Do I need to submit certified copies of transcripts and certificates to the University?
Supporting documents including the electronic copies of transcripts and certificates should be uploaded to the Online Application System after successful payment of application fee. Candidates may be required to provide certified true copies of academic certificates and transcripts upon request. Documents which are not in English should be accompanied by a formally translated version in English. If the policy of your institution is that the transcript should remain confidential, please request your institution to send it directly to the HKU Graduate School.
For current undergraduate or postgraduate students: it is to your advantage to upload an interim transcript showing the results of courses you have so far completed.
For qualifications obtained from HKU (except HKU SPACE): Certified certificates and official transcripts are not required but if you are a graduate, you are requested to upload a photocopy of the transcript with your application; if you are a current student, you are requested to provide a printout of your examination results from the Student Connect or a photocopy of your examination result slips.
If you settle the application fee payment online, you can upload the supporting documents after the transaction is completed. You can also check the details of information uploaded in the Online Application System. The reviewer(s) will consider your application based on the documents submitted and it is your responsibility to provide sufficient information. Documents/information submitted/uploaded after the application deadline may not be considered.
For applicants who settle the application fee by means other than online payment e.g. by bank draft (for non-local applicants) or pay-in slip (for local applicants) , the supporting documents can be uploaded upon receipt of the proof of the payment of application fee.
What are the differences if I apply in the "Main round", "1st clearing round" and"2nd clearing round"?
If you have missed the main round application deadline, you can still apply for admission in the 1st clearing round. And similarly, you can apply for admission in the 2nd clearing round if you have missed the 1st clearing round deadline.
You may wish to note that we have a quota for admitting MPhil and PhD students each year and applications are considered in batches.
The main round application is the first round in which departments consider applications for the coming academic year. Normally, if there are places left after admitting the main round applicants, the departments will consider applications received in the 1st clearing round (and subsequently the 2nd clearing round) to fill up those places. Hence, you are encouraged to apply as early as possible as the number of available places in the main round will be more than that in the 1st clearing round, which in turn will be more than that in the 2nd clearing round.
What are the differences between Research Programmes (MPhil/PhD) and Taught Master's Programmes?
MPhil and PhD are research programmes which focus on research work. These programmes require applicants to have sound research background. The award of the degree depends mainly on the assessment of the thesis. Students are normally required to take around 5 to 10 courses which will be assessed on a pass/fail basis only. The purpose of the courses is to help students prepare for their theses.
Only full-time MPhil and PhD students are eligible to apply for the Postgraduate Scholarship (PGS). Please click here for more information about admission to MPhil/PhD programmes.
On the other hand, taught master's programmes focus more on coursework although students may be required to complete a dissertation is some of the taught master's programmes. As the Graduate School administers only MPhil and PhD programmes, so if you are interested in taught master's programmes, please visit the relevant Faculty's website for direct information.
What do I need to prepare if I am successfully admitted to the MPhil/PhD programme?
Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) from Successful Applicants for more information.
The University Grants Committee (UGC) has announced a ‘Tuition Waiver Scheme’ (‘The Scheme’) for all local students enrolled in full-time UGC-funded Research Postgraduate (RPg) programmes in local institutions, to cover their composition fees with effect from the academic year 2018-19 (i.e. from July 1, 2018).
This Tuition Waiver Scheme provides non-means-tested funding to all current and new local students from all disciplines of study enrolled in full-time UGC-funded RPg programmes. Eligible students do not need to apply for the Scheme.
According to the UGC, local students eligible for the Scheme include:
(a) those who have the right of abode or right to land in Hong Kong (i.e. students holding Hong Kong identity cards with a symbol “A”, “R” or “U” under the Date of Birth, see Annex); or
(b) those who have entered Hong Kong on One-way Permits.
The UGC confirms that the Scheme does not cover students staying in Hong Kong holding any type of visas (including but not limited to student and dependent visas) or entry permit. Students admitted under the Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates (IANG) are not eligible.
For more information, please refer to the UGC website.