How to apply

Entrance requirements

For entry into the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programme, students must be a current MPhil student in the University who seeks transfer to PhD candidature; or hold a Master's degree by research (or a Master's degree with a considerable research component) from a recognized university; or hold a taught Master's degree or a Bachelor's degree with First Class honours in English studies or a closely-related subject from a good university. In addition, the Department of English requires a knowledge of the English language documented by an international proficiency test, such as TOEFL or IELTS. For the TOEFL test, including the Test of Written English (TWE), candidate should score a minimum of 630 (paper), 267 (computer), or 109 (Internet). For the IELTS test, candidates should score a minimum of 7.5 (with no module under 7.0). A score of 125, or above, on the Duolingo online test is also accepted.

Application procedures

Applicants can apply for admission either as Hong Kong government-funded or as self-financing students. Applicants should note the following points:

  • Applicants should first send a research proposal to the Research Degrees Coordinator, Dr Lindsay Miller, indicating their chosen area of research and outlining their proposed research project.
  • When doing this, applicants should carefully follow the guidelines set out in the Section titled 'Research proposal' below.
  • After receiving an acknowledgement from the Research Degrees Coordinator, applicants may then proceed to submit their applications online.
  • Applicants submit their applications online at
  • The deadline for application under the government-funded scheme is currently early December. Self-financing students may submit their applications at any time.
Financial assistance

Eligible new full-time PhD students will be considered for the award of the Postgraduate Studentship as part of their application for admission to a research degree programme. Separate applications are not required. Please note the following points:

  • The Postgraduate Studentship is granted on the basis of academic merit.
  • Students will normally be granted the Studentship for a maximum of three years.
  • The Studentship award period should not exceed students' stipulated study period.
  • The studentship rates are subject to revision in September of every year, and any revision to the rates will apply to both current and new students.
  • Studentship recipients are normally required to undertake up to six hours of academic-related duties per week as assigned by the Department. They shall not engage in any paid employment without the prior approval of the University.