Postgraduate Studies

Philosophy Theses

Information for applicants

The Department of Philosophy offers two higher degrees by research, the M.Phil. and the Ph.D., and can arrange for supervision over a wide range of philosophical topics. We welcome both international and local students to apply. Qualified candidates may obtain financial assistance through studentships administered by the University (see below).

Please note the following if you intend to apply:

  • You must apply through the HKU Graduate School. For more information, please go to
  • Information about possible research areas and guidelines for writing your research proposal
  • Courses (2016-17) (Students are required to complete the Graduate Seminar and one other course from the list below)
    • PHIL6820 Graduate Seminar in Research Methods (compulsory course, offered in semester 1)
    • PHIL6830 Special Topics in Philosophy (elective course)
    • PHIL6101 Special Topics in Knowledge and Reality
    • PHIL6201 Special Topics in Mind and Language
    • PHIL6301 Special Topics in Moral and Political Philosophy
    • PHIL6401 Special Topics in History of Philosophy
  • See this page from the Graduate School about coursework requirements.
  • Please see this page for a list of our faculty members and their research interests. Since the postgraduate programme is a research degree programme, you should contact members of the Department before applying to find a potential supervisor and discuss your research proposal. Research proposals that do not align with the research interests of at least one staff member will not be considered.
  • If you have any questions, please contact:

    Dr. David McCarthy
    Postgraduate Coordinator
    Department of Philosophy
    The University of Hong Kong
    Pokfulam Road
    Hong Kong

Financial assistance

  • Studentships administered by the University include tuition support and a stipend for living expenses.
  • Please note that the University requires studentship holders to pay an annual Composition Fee.
  • Erik Kvan Postgraduate Scholarship: This scholarship is awarded to a student reading for the degree of M.Phil. or Ph.D. in the Department of Philosophy or Psychology who has (a) satisfactorily completed at least one year of study in the philosophy of mind or related areas in philosophy, or any of the following areas in psychology: perception, personality, cognitive psychology, social psychology; and (b) resided in Hong Kong for at least five years prior admission as a M. Phil. or Ph.D. student of this University. Please visit for information pertaining to this scholarship application.

Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme

The Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC) introduced a competitive Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme in 2010/11. The aim is to attract outstanding students from Hong Kong or overseas. For details, see:

Information for current students

  • Probation - Research postgraduate students are admitted on a probationary basis pending confirmation of their candidacy for the degree with twelve months (M.Phil. and three-year Ph.D.) or eighteen months (four-year Ph.D.). (For more details, see the Graduate School information page.) By the end of the probationary period, students must demonstrate capability in research, submit a detailed scheme of research, and complete the required proportion of coursework (in the case of M.Phil. and four-year Ph.D. students). To qualify for confirmation of candidacy for their degree, RPGs in Philosophy must submit a detailed research proposal, along with a bibliography and one sample thesis chapter, and pass an oral examination consisting of a twenty-minute presentation of their research plans and a discussion period. The examination committee will consist of the student's supervisor and appointed mentor, along with one other internal faculty member. (For further information on the pre-confirmation research proposal, see the Arts Faculty guidelines:
  • Seminar Presentation - Toward the end of their program of study, M.Phil. and Ph.D. candidates are each expected to give a presentation on their research at the department's regular weekly seminar. This presentation will typically take place in the fourth semester of study for M.Phil. students and in the third or fourth year of student for Ph.D. students.
  • Teaching - Studentship holders may be asked to tutor for departmental courses (see below). For this reason, all RPGs registered after 2010-11 must obtain the University's ‘Certificate of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education’. Please see this link for further information: In addition, see this web site for useful information about teaching techniques:
  • Responsibilities - Funded research postgraduate students (RPGs) should contribute to life in the Philosophy Department. They are required to attend PHIL6820, the Graduate Seminar in Research Methods, in the first semester of study. RPGs are also expected to attend the weekly department seminars. The Department may ask RPGs to invigilate examinations, mark exam scripts, and/or assist with Open Day. The Department also expects RPGs to obtain the ‘Certificate of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education’ and to work as teaching assistants at some point during their studies.

Other information