Research Degree

PhD Programme

The Department of Chinese and History offers a research programme leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in both full-time and part-time mode. The programme consists of coursework, research studies and qualifying examination leading to the submission of a thesis.

Staff members in the Department are actively engaged in a number of research areas and candidates interested in the following broad areas are particularly encouraged to inquire further about the programme.


Areas and Topics

1. Chinese Language, Literature and Culture

  • Chinese Classical Studies (jingxue)
  • Chinese Literary Criticism
  • Chinese Philosophy
  • Classical Chinese Language
  • Classical Chinese Literature
  • Modern Chinese Literature and Culture

2. Comparative Literature, Cross-cultural Studies and Cultural Heritage

  • Comparative Literature
  • East Asian Literature and Culture
  • Cultural Studies
  • Cultural Heritage
  • Digital Humanities

3. Chinese History

  • Urban History
  • History of Buddhism
  • History of Medicine
  • Song-Yuan Studies
  • Ming-Qing Studies
  • Modern China
  • History of Cultural Exchange


Minimum Entrance Requirements

Applicants seeking admission to a research degree programme should satisfy the following minimum entrance requirements:

(a) Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

  • hold a relevant bachelor’s degree with first or second class honours (or equivalent qualification) from a recognised university.

(b) Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

  • be a current MPhil student in the University who is seeking transfer to a PhD candidature; or
  • hold a higher degree by research (or equivalent qualification) from a recognised university; or
  • hold a Master’s degree (or equivalent qualification) from a recognised university; or
  • hold a Bachelor’s degree with first class honours (or equivalent qualification) from a recognised university.


English Proficiency Requirements

Applicants whose first degree was obtained from an institution where the language of teaching is not English should satisfy the minimum English proficiency requirements specified by both the University and individual Colleges and Schools. The University’s minimum English proficiency requirement for research degree programmes is a total score of 550 (paper-based test) or 79 (internet-based test) or 59 (revised paper-delivered test; sum of Reading, Listening and Writing section scores) in the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) OR an overall band score of 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Equivalent qualifications are also acceptable. TOEFL and IELTS scores are considered valid for two years from the test date and must be valid at the time of submission of application.

In addition to the University’s requirement given above, our College has set a higher standard, suitable for our discipline as follows:

  • a minimum TOEFL* score of 88 (Internet-based test), with a minimum of 21 for Reading, 21 for Listening, 25 for Writing, and 21 for Speaking; or
  • a minimum IELTS 6.5 for overall band score and for the sub-categories including Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.

* TOEFL Paper-based test (before October 2017) and Paper-delivered test (after October 2017) will not be accepted as there is no Speaking component.


Study Period

Programme of Study Full-time Part-time
MPhil 2 years 4 years
PhD 4 years 8 years



Applications for admission should be made online at Chow Yei Ching School of Graduate Studies (SGS) website: (
For application period and procedures, please visit
For major fees and points to note, please visit


Stream Requirements

The Programme is divided into two streams (Stream 1 the Chinese Module and Stream 2 the English Module) and the contents of both streams are identical. It should be noted that students, by default, should enroll in Stream 2 (the English module). Applicants have to satisfy the minimum entrance requirements and English proficiency requirements as stated in the Admissions Handbook.

Students who wish to take Stream 1 (the Chinese module) will have to fulfil the “Chinese Proficiency Requirements” as stated below and the Department will consider the applications on a case by case basis.

  • Students who enroll in Stream 1 (Chinese Module) are required to hold a degree in Chinese, Chinese Literature, History, Philosophy, Archaeology or Art from any university Mainland China or Taiwan.
  • Students with qualifications from a university or comparable institution outside Mainland China and Taiwan where the language of teaching or examination is not Chinese are required to obtain:
    • Level 6 (a score of 210 or above) in the New Chinese Proficiency Test (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi, New) (in or after 2010), in which a score of 65 or above in the Test of Written Chinese or
    • Advanced Level (score 9 or above) in the Chinese Proficiency Test (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi) (before 2010) or
    • Level 4 or above in listening, speaking, reading and writing in Test Of Chinese as a Foreign Language (TOCFL)

Other qualifications will be subject to the Department’s approval.



Programme pamphlet for 2023/24 entry is available in Chinese only. Click here to download.



For general enquiries, please contact the Research Degree Committee via email at or the Chow Yei Ching School of Graduate Studies at

For admission details: please go to website: