Postgraduate Programmes (MPhil, PhD)2018-06-13T10:05:01+00:00

MPhil and PhD in Linguistics

PhD applications for admission please click here.

The Department of Linguistics offers supervision for the degrees of MPhil and PhD by research, and welcomes inquiries from prospective postgraduate students with a good first degree and sufficient background in linguistics. Applicants should discuss their field of study and prepare a proposal in collaboration with the Chairperson of Department and/or a prospective supervisor before applying through the University to register for a postgraduate degree.

Studentships to support research students are available on a competitive basis, for up to 2 years (for MPhil candidature) and 3 years (for 3-year PhD candidature) or 4 years (for 4-year PhD candidature). Applicants for the 3-year PhD programme will usually already have successfully completed a postgraduate programme with a research component. Studentship holders are expected to contribute to teaching, typically by tutoring introductory linguistics for first year students, or by contributing to departmental research projects. Postgraduate students may also be supported as research assistants by research grants.


The website of the Graduate School contains detailed information on all coursework requirements. MPhil students and 4-year PhD students are required to take altogether six courses, three with the Department of Linguistics and three with the HKU Graduate School. 3-year PhD students normally take three courses, two with the Department and one with the Graduate School.

Coursework requirements with the Department of Linguistics for 4-year PhDs consist of three core and one elective course from the course offering below. 3-year PhD students have no coursework requirement with the department. However we strongly encourage 3-year PhDs to take two courses to strengthen their research skills, namely Research Seminars in Linguistics I or II (LING7501 or LING7502) and Research Methods in Linguistics (LING6001):

  • LING6001 Research methods in Linguistics (Core)
  • LING6010 Readings in Linguistics (Elective)
  • LING6012 Special Topics in Linguistics (Elective)
  • LING7501 Research seminars in Linguistics I (Core)
  • LING7502 Research seminars in Linguistics  II (Core)

Cousework requirements with the Graduate School for 4-year PhDs consists of the three core courses listed below. 3-year PhDs are required to take one course only with the Graduate School, namely Research Ethics (GRSC6030). However, 3-year PhDs can be exempted from this course if they have already followed an equivalent course in a previous degree programme:

Application and Admission

The Graduate School of the University of Hong Kong manages all applications to MPhil and PhD programmes, including those to the Department of Linguistics. The website of the Graduate School contains detailed information on the application process and information on awards and financial assistance for postgraduate students. All applications must be submitted via the Online Application System.

There are three rounds of application to postgraduate programmes of the University of Hong Kong, beginning with so-called Main Round from September to December each year. We strongly advise applicants to apply for admission in the Main Round rather than in the other rounds (the so-called 1st and 2nd Clearing Rounds). Admission to our postgraduate programmes is competitive and most available places for the academic year tend to be filled in the Main Round.

Once admitted, MPhil candidates may begin with their studies either on September 1 or January 1 of the year following their application. PhD candidates may commence their studies on the first day of any calendar month during the academic year. Applications should be made at least three months before the intended date of registration, allowing extra time for visa and other formalities.

PhD applications for admission please click here.