FAQ

Current Students

A.

For students registered in or after September 2007

  Full-Time Part-Time
MPhil 12 months (minimum)
24 months (maximum)
18 months (minimum)
36 months (maximum)
3-year PhD * 18 months (minimum)
36 months (maximum)
27 months (minimum)
54 months (maximum)
4-year PhD * 24 months (minimum)
48 months (maximum)
36 months (minimum)
72 months (maximum)

*To safeguard the standard of a PhD degree, a candidate who has successfully transferred his/her MPhil candidature to the degree of PhD is required to enroll in the PhD programme for at least 12 months (for full-time candidate) or 18 months (for part-time candidate) after formal approval of the transfer. In any case, his/her minimum study period, counting from the initial date of his/her MPhil registration, should not be less than half of the study period as stipulated in the table above.  

For students registered between September 2001 and August 2007

  full-time part-time
MPhil 24 months 36 months
3-year PhD 36 months 54 months
4-year PhD 48 months 72 months

A.

Before the end of the probationary period, the Faculty shall make a decision on whether the candidature shall be confirmed or terminated. To have your candidature confirmed, you are required to:

(i) submit a "Candidate's Progress Report" together with a detailed scheme of research to the Departmental Research Postgraduate Committee (DRPC) one month before the expiry of the probationary period;
(ii) have demonstrated capability in research; and
(iii) have satisfactorily completed all the Graduate School courses and at least 50% of the remaining prescribed coursework.
(iv) submit a Data Management Plan (DMP) before the expiry of probationary period if data is to be collected or generated as part of the research. Details of submission of DMP are available on the web site of the University Libraries (http://lib.hku.hk/researchdata/rpg.htm)*

*For students registered in September 2017 and thereafter only

A.

You have to apply for an extension of the probationary period. Please submit your application to the Departmental Research Postgraduate Committee (DRPC) by writing an application letter with endorsement by your supervisor(s). Alternatively, you and your supervisor(s) may indicate in the progress reports that your probationary period has to be extended. The DRPC shall consider the letter/reports and submit a recommendation to the Faculty for a decision.

A.

You have to submit an application for extension of candidature to your Departmental Research Postgraduate Committee (DRPC) via your primary supervisor(s) no later than 3 months before the period of study is due to expire. Please note that approval for application for extension of candidature is exceptional and will be subject to strong justifications. You must, in consultation with your supervisor(s), submit a study plan for the period of extension.

Note: You will be liable to pay continuation fee for every 3 months during the extended period of candidature. Postgraduate Scholarship (PGS) will not be awarded and no leave of absence will be granted during the extended period.

A.

You are most encouraged to submit your thesis earlier than the expiry date of your candidature. After confirmation of your candidature, it is not necessary to apply for early submission of thesis unless you registered in or before August 1999 in which case you need to submit an application to the Faculty Board via your supervisor and Department Head at least 3 months before the minimum period is due to expire.

A.

(i) From MPhil to PhD

First, if you wish to apply for a transfer of candidature, you should have confirmed your candidature and completed all coursework requirements satisfactorily.

Second, you shall submit an application in writing together with a revised research proposal, endorsed by the supervisor(s), to the Departmental Research Postgraduate Committee (DRPC). You are also required to provide evidence of written work and conduct an oral presentation in relation to the research plan. The application shall then, together with the recommendation from the DRPC, be submitted for a decision by the Faculty.

Faculties may have more specific requirements for transfer of candidature. You are advised to consult the Faculty Office for details.

Such transfer, if approved, shall be effected at least three months prior to the expiry of the MPhil candidature unless special approval has given by the Faculty. In any case, the transfer shall not take place after the expiry of the MPhil candidature or during the period of extension of MPhil candidature. The candidate's period of study for the degree shall be counted from the initial date of registration.

In order to safeguard the standard of a PhD degree, a candidate who has successfully transferred his/her MPhil candidature to the degree of PhD is required to enroll in the PhD programme for at least 12 months (for full-time candidate) or 18 months (for part-time candidate) after formal approval of the transfer. In any case, his/her minimum study period, counting from the initial date of his/her MPhil registration, should not be less than half of the study period.

(ii) From PhD to MPhil

You may apply for transfer to MPhil candidature within the following time frames:

3-year PhD 4-year PhD
Full-time Part-time Full-time Part-time
12 months 18 months 18 months 27 months

You shall submit an application in writing together with a revised research proposal, endorsed by the supervisor(s), to the Departmental Research Postgraduate Committee (DRPC). The application shall then, together with the recommendation from the DRPC, be submitted for a decision by the Faculty. You have to complete the required proportion of coursework by the end of the probationary period of the MPhil candidature and complete all formal coursework requirements before thesis submission.

(iii) Transfer of study mode

If you wish to apply for transfer from full-time to part-time candidature (or vice versa), you shall submit an application in writing endorsed by the supervisor(s), to the Departmental Research Postgraduate Committee (DRPC). The application shall then, together with the recommendation from the DRPC, be submitted for a decision by the Faculty.

If the application is approved, the candidate's new remaining period of study shall be calculated by applying the ratio of 2:3 as the conversion value to the original remaining period of study, to the nearest whole day.

Any transfer shall take effect only on the first day of any calendar month.

A.

For transfer of curriculum, the candidate's new period of study for the degree shall be counted from the initial date of registration.

In order to safeguard the standard of a PhD degree, a candidate who has successfully transferred his/her MPhil candidature to the degree of PhD is required to enroll in the PhD programme for at least 12 months (for full-time candidate) or 18 months (for part-time candidate) after formal approval of the transfer. In any case, his/her minimum study period, counting from the initial date of his/her MPhil registration, should not be less than half of the study period.

For transfer of study mode, the candidate's new remaining period of study shall be calculated by applying the ratio of 2:3 as the conversion value to the original remaining period of study, to the nearest whole day.

The postgraduate scholarship (PGS) will still be awarded to existing holders until the end of the minimum or normative study period of the new curriculum. However, it will not be awarded to part-time students.

A.

Vacation leave, study leave, sick leave, maternity leave and paternity leave will be counted towards the period of study, i.e. the period of study will not be automatically extended by the period of absence. Only non-study leave will result in an extension of the period of study by the period of absence. Postgraduate scholarship (PGS) will not be paid to students during non-study leave.

A.

Applications for leave of absence from Hong Kong and/or from the approved course of study and research, or for vacation purposes, shall be made by completing the application form as early as possible and in advance of the proposed leave period. The application shall be addressed to the Departmental Research Postgraduate Committee(DRPC) via the supervisor(s).

Permission for absence of up to one month may be granted by the DRPC on the recommendation of the candidate's supervisor(s). An application for absence for a period exceeding one month shall be considered by the Faculty Higher Degrees Committee (FHDC), on the recommendation of the DRPC.

A.

A pregnant student is provided flexibilities to decide either to take non-study leave or maternity leave, based on her own needs.

Maternity leave is introduced w.e.f. September 1, 2018. Maternity leave is 10 continuous weeks. It should start on or before the actual date of birth of the child. Calendar days are counted, including any intervening Sundays and public holidays. Postgraduate Scholarships (PGS) will be paid during maternity leave. The PGS provided during maternity leave is not extra financial support, and will be counted towards the total amount of PGS available to cover a student’s normative study period. A student on maternity leave will not have her study period interrupted, i.e. her normative study period will not be automatically extended by the period of maternity leave. Nonetheless, if the student needs a longer period to finish her thesis at the end of her study period, she can apply for an extension of candidature.

The student may also take non-study leave instead of maternity leave. The differences between non-study leave and maternity leave are summarized as follows:

Options of leave

PGS during leave

Liable to University fees during leave

Automatic extension of study period

Non-study Leave

No

No*

Yes

Maternity Leave

Yes

Yes

No

* Students whose study period is suspended are not liable to University fees. However, University fees shall be paid in advance. Credit(s) arising from the taking of non-study leave will be carried forward to offset composition fee in the ensuing instalment. 

A medical certificate signed by a registered medical practitioner certifying the pregnancy and specifying the expected date of confinement has to be submitted together with the maternity leave application.

A.

Paternity leave is introduced w.e.f. September 1, 2018. A student may apply for up to 5 days of paternity leave for each confinement of his spouse/partner, and he may take all 5 days of paternity leave in one go or on separate days. Paternity leave can be taken any time during the period from 4 weeks before the expected date of delivery of the child to 10 weeks beginning on the actual date of delivery of the child. Any period of paternity leave granted will be counted towards the period of study. PGS will be paid during paternity leave, and the student is required to pay the normal fees.

Please click here for the documents that you have to submit in support of your application for paternity leave.

A.

There are two periods for Course Enrolment in each academic year, one in late August/early September (Semester 1) and the other in December/January (Semester 2). The actual dates vary from year to year depending on the academic calendar. An e-mail will be sent to students informing them of the course enrolment period. Information will also be posted on the Graduate School website.

A.

(i) On-line course registration
Students can select courses through their HKU Portal account during the Course Enrolment Period and On-line Add-drop Period.

(ii) "Form GS2" and "Form Faculty"
Students who need to change their course selection and/or apply for new course(s) after the On-line Add-drop Period should submit their requests by filling in the paper form(s), "Form GS2" for Graduate School courses and "Form Faculty" for Faculty/Departmental courses. The duly signed application form should reach the Graduate School or the student’s home Faculty Office before the second class of the course concerned is held.

A.

(i) On-line add-drop
 Students are allowed to change their course selection during the Online Add-drop Period. New students who arrive after the Course Enrolment Period may do course selection during the On-line Add-drop Period.
   
(ii) "Form GS2" and "Form Faculty"
Students who need to change their course selection and/or apply for new course(s) after the On-line Add-drop Period should submit their requests by filling in the paper form(s), "Form GS2" for Graduate School courses and "Form Faculty" for Faculty/Departmental courses. The duly signed application form should reach the Graduate School or the student’s home Faculty Office before the second class of the course concerned is held.

A.

The Faculty Office is responsible for releasing the course results to students. The results have to be formally approved by the Faculty Higher Degrees Committees or Board of Graduate Studies before they can be released to individual students. The process normally takes about 2 months after the last assignment deadline, the date of last lesson or the date of examination, whichever is later. Students may also check their results via HKU Portal.

A.

There is no university-wide standardized format for the detailed scheme of research. Please consult your Department Research Postgraduate Committee (DRPC) to see if your Department has any specified format for it. Basically it should describe the research work that you intend to undertake during the remainder of your candidature.

A.

Yes, you are required to complete the progress monitoring report and submit it to the Departmental Research Postgraduate Committee (DRPC) on time though you are going to submit your thesis for examination at the end of your candidature because the report can reveal your research progress in previous months and act as a channel for you to voice opinion on the University's facilities/supervision/coursework etc.

A.

The thesis submitted for examination shall be typewritten or printed on one side or both sides in A4 paper (except for drawings, maps or tables on which no restriction is placed). The margin should not be less than 35 mm on both right and left-hand edges of each paper.

The abstract should be between 200 to 500 words. You should have the word count written and signed on one copy of the abstract. The format shall be the same as the thesis. Please refer to the Regulations Governing the Format, Binding and Presentation of Thesis for Higher Degrees by Research. The Graduate School also publishes a booklet titled Preparing and Submitting Your Thesis which gives in detail the suggested format for the thesis and the abstract.

In order to save a few trees and storage space, students are encouraged to print their final bound copies of theses to be submitted to the Faculty Offices after examination on both sides of the paper. Please note that this is not a mandatory requirement but a preference only.

For the format of electronic theses, please refer to the HKU Libraries website at http://etd.lib.hku.hk.

A.

After the appointed person(s) has/have confirmed that all comments and suggestions raised by the specialist examiners have been satisfactorily addressed in your final thesis, and you have also submitted sufficient copies of the final bound thesis to the Faculty Office, the Graduate School will issue a letter to you indicating that you have completed all the degree requirements and are eligible for the award of the degree. You may also apply for an official academic transcript as a proof that you have completed all the degree requirements. For details on applying for transcripts or testimonials, please refer to the website of the Academic Support and Examinations Section, The Registry.

A.

After you have finished all the thesis corrections and are ready to submit your final bound theses to your Faculty, you may apply for restriction of library access to your thesis by completing Section C of the Thesis Submission E-form: MPhil & PhD. Please print out the form for submission to the Faculty Office for processing. Approval of restricted access to an e-thesis for 1 year only is automatic upon application as described above. However, applications for restricted access to the hard copy of a thesis for any period or soft copy of a thesis for more than 1 year need to be considered by the BoGS on a case-by-case basis.

When an application for restricted access to MPhil/PhD thesis is being considered, the thesis will be restricted from access temporarily until a decision has been made on the application.

If a student wishes to disallow reproduction or copying of his/her printed thesis, he/she may indicate this in a letter to the Librarian. If a student wishes to disallow reproduction or copying of his/her electronic thesis, he/she should apply for restricted access. 

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