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Programme Information

The School of Chinese offers MPhil and PhD degrees in four streams: 1) Chinese Language and Literature (CLL), 2) Chinese History and Culture (CHC), 3) Translation Studies (Translation), and 4) Hong Kong Studies (HKGS). The details are shown as follows:


Chinese language:
Phonology, etymology, semantics, grammar and rhetoric; Chinese dialects; language, society and culture.


Chinese literature:
Classical, modern and contemporary Chinese literature, including prose, poetry, fiction, drama; Chinese women’s literature and literary criticism, gender and sexuality in Ming and Qing literature.


Chinese history:
Political and intellectual Chinese history, China-West historical studies, history of Chinese cartography and historiography.


Chinese culture:
Traditional and twentieth-century Chinese culture, cross-cultural exchange, overseas sinology, history of Christianity and Chinese civilisation.


Chinese thought:
Chinese and comparative philosophy, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism.


Translation studies, theories, and criticism; the linguistic and cultural dimensions of the translation practice, translators’ strategies, and translations of the Ming-Qing period.


Hong Kong Studies:

Hong Kong society, Hong Kong culture, creative industries, Hong Kong economy, politics, history and environment

Students are required to complete two compulsory courses offered by the School, CHIN6002 & CHIN6003, and are strongly encouraged to take the elective course, CHIN7802, in lieu of the relevant courses on research methods and thesis writing offered by the Graduate School.


To find out more about each faculty member’s expertise, please click the following link and read their individual profile. In addition to the research-based MPhil and PhD programmes, the School offers taught MA programmes in the streams of CLL, CHC and Translation.


Chairman of Departmental Research Postgraduate Committee (DRPC) & Postgraduate Admissions Advisor (w.e.f. 1 September 2022)
Prof. S. Y. W. Chu
Tel: (852) 3917 2901
Fax: (852) 2858 1334


For details, please refer to the web site of Graduate School:

In addition to the compulsory courses offered by the Graduate School, MPhil and 4-year PhD candidates are required to complete two compulsory courses, CHIN6002 and CHIN6003, offered by the School. Students are also strongly advised to take the Research Methods and Thesis Writing course (CHIN7802) which can be taken in lieu of the equivalent courses offered by the Graduate School. All courses should be completed by the end of the probationary period except for the Seminar course (CHIN6003) which can be finished by the end of the candidature.


CHIN6002: Special Topics in Chinese Studies

This course introduces students to the topics that are of relevance to their research specialties but have not been taken previously. Subject to the approval of the thesis supervisor (and the Chairman of the Departmental Research Postgraduate Committee, for cross-institutional course enrolment only), students will select one 6-credit course from the undergraduate programmes, or one from the M.A. programmes, predominantly from the School of Chinese (and from other departments of the Arts Faculty subject to specific requirements by cases). They will be given assignments at the equivalent research postgraduate level. The format of assignments may vary, depending on the courses chosen. It may include classroom presentations and essays, and will be decided at the discretion of the teachers.


Assessment: 100% coursework on a pass/fail basis.


CHIN6003: Seminar

This seminar course runs in parallel to the School of Chinese’s staff seminar. It consists of two parts – an oral presentation at the seminar on their research subject during their period of study (and before submitting their theses), and seminar attendance. During their candidature, research postgraduate students (except those admitted for the 3-year PhD programme) will take turn to do a public oral presentation, followed by a Q&A session. At present, students taking this course are required to attend at a minimum of 10 seminars, among which at least 6 should be research postgraduate presentations and at least 4 should be scholar seminars organized or co-organized by the School of Chinese.  Performance in seminars will be assessed on a pass/fail basis.


Assessment: 100% coursework on a pass/fail basis.


CHIN7802: Thesis Development and Professional Skills for Chinese Studies*

This course focuses on both research method and practical thesis writing, which is specifically tailored for the first-year students pursuing MPhil and PhD degrees in the School of Chinese. It aims to expose students to the fundamentals of thesis writing in Chinese, as well as methodologies in research in Chinese language and literature, history, philosophy, and translation and functions as a general survey on the current state of these fields. Upon completion of this course, students will have a basic understanding of how to properly structure a thesis in their disciplines. 


Assessment: 100% coursework on a pass/fail basis.


* With effect from Sem 1 of 2024/25, CHIN7802 is offered as a replacement of the two formerly co-requisite courses “CHIN6001: Research Methods in Chinese Studies” and “CHIN6004: Introduction to Thesis Writing in Chinese”. Students are strongly advised to take CHIN7802 which can be taken in lieu of the compulsory courses offered by the Graduate School, “GRSC6104: Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods (Humanities)” or “GRSC6106: Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods (Humanities)” of Module 2 & “GRSC6120: Introduction to Thesis Writing (Humanities)” of Module 3, but cannot be counted as a compulsory course in the departmental coursework requirement.

CHIN7802 is scheduled on 12 Sep, 19 Sep & 26 Sep (Thu), 18:30-20:30 in Sem 1 of 2024/25. The class venue is to be announced in August 2024.

Course coordinator: Prof. I.M.C. Yue (Email:



Please refer to


CHIN6003 is scheduled on Friday, 17:30-18:50 in 2024/25. The class venue is to be announced in August 2024.

Course coordinator: Prof. L. Chen (Email:

Q1. Before submitting the formal application (Create an account and fill in the info. and submit the application fee), do I have to contact the potential professor who I target to supervise my project in advance to discuss my research planning and let him/her to check with the proposal first?


A1: You are strongly advised to find a qualified teacher (with title equivalent to Assistant Professor or above) of similar research interest from the School as your proposed primary supervisor before your application esp. if you'd like to apply for Postgraduate Studentship (PGS) for your postgraduate studies. The recommendation of your proposed supervisor will enhance your chance of obtaining PGS.


You may send your personal CV and previous academic publications for reference during your email contact with your proposed supervisor to see if he/she still have quota of RPg supervision in the coming academic year and consult with him/her about your research proposal as well if he/she accepts your application.


For details of the list of teachers of our School, please refer to the following webpage:


Q2. Do all admitted postgraduate students have the monthly PGS or it may be a self-funded programme?


A2: Since the quota for PGS is decided by the University on a very limited basis and is varied each year, the admission to our postgraduate programme will NOT guarantee the award of PGS. Your application for PGS will be discussed by our Departmental Research Postgraduate Committee (DRPC) based on your previous academic records (e.g. GPA of your undergraduate studies), the value of your research topic and quality of your research proposal and recommendation of your proposed supervisor (if any). If your application for PGS is accepted by DRPC, the recommendation will be further submitted to Faculty Higher Degrees Committee (FHDC) for determination. A very limited number of full-time/part-time self-funded places have been offered by the School since 2023/24 if no PGS is available. 


Q3. If I cannot obtain PGS, is there any other lawful income that could support my living expenses during the study? I have heard of the post "part-time demonstrator", does it work for me as well?


A3: The payment by hour-rate of a part-time demonstrator at our School is HKD162.00/hour for 150 hours/year. You have to be recommended by your primary supervisor to obtain the opportunity to take the job under the approval of DRPC.


Q4. Could I submit my research proposal in Chinese only?


A4: Since not all the committee members of Faculty Higher Degrees Committee (FHDC) understand Chinese, the English version of your research proposal is compulsory while a separated version of Chinese is accepted to be included as a supplementary document to your English version.


You may write a detailed research proposal in English ONLY and upload to the online application system. Or, you may submit a detailed research proposal in Chinese (up to approx. 8 pages) together with a summarized English version covering the major parts (e.g. research topic, purpose, methodology, research questions, etc.) of your research proposal. The two versions could be submitted either in one file or separately.


For PhD Applicants:

Form: No standardized form

Length: usually 4-5 pages (max. 10 pages)

Format: Double-spaced

Instruction: It should outline a clearly-considered and defined research topic, with an account of research questions and methodology proposed, an explanation of the value and originality of the research, and a bibliography.


For MPhil Applicants:

Form: No standardized form

Length: usually 3 to 4 pages (max. 8 pages)

Format: Double-spaced

Instruction: It should include a brief account of the applicant's academic history (including what he/she studied and what in particular has interested him/her; also, where relevant, the reason why he/she wants to undertake research at HKU). The proposal should set out the area of study he/she proposes to work in, and the research he/she intends to do in it. It should show that the applicant knows something about the field, has started on the relevant reading, and has a sense of the interesting research questions and problems likely to be faced, of the methodology proposed and, if relevant, the resources required. The applicant should append a preliminary bibliography.


Note: If your research proposal in Chinese is detailed enough, the English version could be a summarized version with no need of translation of your full list of bibliography from Chinese to English.


Q5. Do I need to translate my previous publications into English?


A5: The publications are supplementary documents of your application which does not require "officially certified translation". You may upload an abstract in English as a reference to your publications written in Chinese.


Q6. I have not been interviewed by my proposed supervisor. Does it indicate that I fail to be admitted to your School? When will I know my application result?


A6: Interview with the applicants is optional at our School (i.e. each individual School teacher has the right to decide whether to conduct interview with a certain applicant or not). Without interview does not necessarily stands for your failure of admission.


You will be formally informed of your application result by official email notification (Offer/Conditional Offer Letter/Waiting list/Rejection) issued by the Graduate School in about three to four months after the closing date of application. You may also check the result at


For the sake of fairness of the RPg admission process of our University, the department will not release the application result before the official announcement by the Graduate School.


For further inquiries about the admission procedure, you may contact the Graduate School:

Tel: (852) 2857 3470

Fax: (852) 2857 3543