The School of Communication offers both taught Masters degrees and Research degrees (PhD and MPhil).
Research Degrees - Master of Philosophy & Doctor of Philosophy (MPhil & PhD)
The Research Postgraduate (RPg) programme focuses on PhD education. It is designed to enable each student to become familiar with existing knowledge in their chosen area of study, to become a critical consumer of others' research in the chosen area of study, and to become an independent knowledge creator through the use of appropriate research methodologies.
The PhD degree by research admits outstanding applicants interested in the theoretical understanding of, and academic research in, advertising, cinema and television, communication in new media, journalism, media studies, organizational communication, and public relations.
MPhil admission is considered only in exceptional circumstances.
Applications are considered for admissions once a year. If vacancies arise, a second round may be organized.
The deadlines to receive complete applications are as follows:
- For admission in the first semester: March 1 (Please note: this is different from the University’s deadline)
- For admission in the second semester: September 30, pending the availability of vacancies. If there are no vacancies, applications will be reviewed in March the following year.
The deadlines listed above are the dates by which all documents must be received by the Office of Graduate School. Application files will not be reviewed until all the required documents are received.
All RPg applications go through collective screening, i.e., admission from a pool of applicants on a competitive basis. Individual faculty members are not able to admit individuals. Application forms and related information can be obtained from the Graduate School website.
An explanation of the admission criteria is available at the website of Graduate School.
Mode of Tuition and Duration
Both MPhil and PhD degrees are pursued on a full-time mode; part-time studies may be considered only on a case-by-case basis. The normal period for completion is 24 months for the MPhil and 36 months for the PhD (full-time).
RPg students receive studentships and conference support. Outstanding RPg students may be recommended for scholarships established by private donations. PhD students may apply for financial assistance if they are recommended for attachment to an overseas university (for one semester or one academic year).
Course Structure and Requirements
Students are assigned a temporary adviser upon admission. In discussion with members of the faculty, students decide upon a permanent advisory team during the first semester of their study. In order to graduate, students must take and pass a minimum number of taught courses: MPhil students must take a minimum of 3 courses; PhD students must take a minimum of 7 courses. All students are required to attend and pass the Proseminar and mandatory common core courses. With the supervision of their advisory, each student is required to complete a research project which constitutes an original contribution to knowledge. They must present a written thesis which demonstrates their understanding of existing knowledge, the methodologies they employed in their research, and the nature of the original contribution they have made to their field of study. On submission of the thesis, the student must satisfy the Board of Examiners in an oral examination on matters relevant to the subject of the thesis.
Highlights of the Program
Research postgraduate students play an active role in the teaching and learning process of the program. In addition to classroom learning, they seek intellectual stimulation and share research experiences through active participation in research seminars or lectures conducted from time to time by faculty members, visiting scholars or industry professionals.
The School and four other universities - Peking University and Tsinghua University in Beijing, the National Chengchi University in Taiwan and the Chinese University of Hong Kong - regularly take turns to host a Postgraduate Students' Conference on Communication. Besides presenting papers, Research Postgraduate students are involved in the process of planning and organization. Students conceptualize, operationalize, and present their research, as well as hearing the responses of fellow students and leading scholars in the field.
Together with faculty supervision and coursework learning, conference participation has become an integral part of postgraduate education in the School. The number of accepted refereed papers and the comments received after their presentation constitute an important part of the program. Student papers have won recognition at conventions of major academic associations.
Faculty and Facilities
All the faculty members responsible for postgraduate teaching and thesis supervision hold doctoral degrees from major universities around the world. They possess strong theoretical training and extensive professional experience. They are active in research or creative work and in scholarly publication, as well as community service. They win awards for their papers and obtain research and teaching development grants. By way of achievements, among faculty members there are editors or associate editors of major communication journals, such as Asian Journal of Communication, Communication Theory, Management Communication Quarterly, and Media, Culture & Society. They serve on the editorial boards of many local, regional and international journals and are invited to act as reviewers for manuscripts submitted to scholarly journals. In the collaboration with the School of Journalism and Communication at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the school co-edits the highly-regarded Chinese language Journal of Communication and Society, which is now in its sixth year of publication.
All RPg students are accommodated in one large office equipped with networked computers to facilitate their scholarly activities. They may access the School’s state-of-the-art equipment and facilities (digital imaging laboratories, animation studios, editing suites, computer laboratories) as well as the University Library's holdings of around 1,000,000 volumes and very extensive electronic resources. The University Library participates in the “Hong Kong All” sharing scheme whereby students may access material held in any of the 8 public universities in Hong Kong.
PhD graduates hold teaching or research positions in universities around the world, e.g., Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University, University of Macau, the University of Queensland, Tsinghua University, and New York University.