Research Postgraduate Studies: An Overview

The Faculty shares with other Faculties in the University the common goals of imparting knowledge to students through research. Every department/school in this Faculty therefore actively participates in the training of research postgraduate students for the Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees. While pre-clinical departments conduct and supervise research mainly in laboratories, clinical departments conduct and supervise research in both laboratories and clinical settings. Research postgraduate students of the Faculty enjoy the benefits of working in state-of-the-art laboratories and technologically advanced core facilities.

The Faculty has been attracting high calibre candidates to enroll in its research postgraduate programmes. The programmes are not only popular among graduates in medicine and other healthcare profession, graduates in biological, biomedical, and health sciences. Graduates in physical sciences, engineering, computer sciences and social sciences are also welcome to apply.

Degree Definitions

MPhil and PhD candidates are required to undertake research studies in a chosen field of study under supervision of at least one supervisor. The result of the research, presented in the form of a thesis, must be submitted for examination by the end of the prescribed period of study.

A successful MPhil thesis should represent the result of the candidate's research which displays some originality and demonstrates a sound understanding of the field of study and the appropriate research methods. A successful PhD thesis should represent the result of the candidate's research which should be an original contribution to knowledge and worthy of publication.

Joint PhD Programmes

The joint PhD programmes offer full-time students the opportunities to benefit from shared research excellence in a wide range of disciplines between HKU and its prestigious partners. Candidates normally split their time of study equally between the two universities.

Joint HKU-King's College London (KCL) PhD Degree Programmes

Joint Educational Placement for PhD with University of Toronto (UofT)

Medium of Instruction

The medium of instruction of the University is English. All applicants for admission are expected to be fluent in English.

Programme Structure

  Master of Philosophy
4-year Doctor of Philosophy
(4-year PhD)
3-year Doctor of Philosophy
(3-year PhD)
Registration Dates Two registration dates: January 1 and September 1 every year First day of every month First day of every month
Probationary Period Full-time: 12 months
Part-time: 18 months
Full-time: 18 months
Part-time: 24 months
Full-time: 12 months
Part-time: 18 months
Durationof Study Full-time: 24 months
Part-time: 36 months
Full-time: 48 months
Part-time: 72 months
Full-time: 36 months
Part-time: 54 months

The coursework component includes:

  1. Four Graduate School courses:
    1. Introduction to Thesis Writing
    2. Research Ethics for Graduate Students
    3. Transferable Skills
    4. Research Methods
  2. Three Medical Faculty Research Postgraduate Courses
One Graduate School compulsory Module (Research Ethics for Postgraduate Students)

Composition Fees (in HK$)

Application   $150 (via the online application system)
$400 (by other means)
Caution Money   $350
Composition Fee   full-time $42,100 p.a.#
part-time $63,000 p.a.
[Note#: Waived for local full-time Research Postgraduate students. Please refer to the University Grants Committee's Tuition Waiver Scheme]