Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Humanities
[For Student Cohort Admitted before 2012/13]

This is a master's degree program satisfied by coursework and completion of a thesis. The primary aim of this MPhil program is to provide training for students who intend to pursue professional careers as teachers and researchers. It can be an end in itself or serve as preparation for the research degree of PhD.

Admission Requirements
All applicants must meet the general requirements for admission set by the University as stated in the Academic Calendar of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology:

Applicants seeking admission to master’s degree, graduate diploma or professional diploma programs should have obtained a bachelor’s degree from this University or a recognized institution, or obtained an approved equivalent qualification; and satisfied the school and department concerned as to their fitness as well as their English ability to pursue postgraduate study.

Since the focus of the program is on East Asia, especially China, students are normally expected to be proficient at the postgraduate level in Chinese, in addition to English.

Fields of Specialization
Students enrolled in the program may specialize in Linguistics, Literature, History and Anthropology, or Philosophy and Religion, but are expected to go beyond conventional disciplinary boundaries and cultivate knowledge and expertise in interdisciplinary dialogue and interaction.

Academic Advising
Upon entering the program, students will receive initial guidance from a temporary advisor assigned by the Division’s Postgraduate Committee (PGC).

The PGC, after consulting with the student and the faculty member, will assign a regular academic advisor—who will also serve as the MPhil thesis advisor—to each student no later than the end of the first semester. Students will then work under the guidance of their thesis advisors to formulate a study plan, combining coursework in their chosen field of specialization and in other disciplines, and to write an MPhil thesis.

At the end of each semester, the student’s progress will be reported to the PGC by his or her advisor.

Program Requirements
The requirements for the MPhil degree are as follows:

1. Complete a minimum of 12 credits of coursework;
2. Write an MPhil thesis; and
3. Take an oral defense of the thesis.

Students are also encouraged to take a non-credit third language, normally Japanese, French, or German, for one year.

   
1. Credits
  Students are required to take a minimum of 12 credits of coursework at the postgraduate (i.e., 5000- or 6000-) level in the Division of Humanities, excluding HUMA6100 Independent Study, preferably in their first year of study. The second year is normally devoted to the writing of the MPhil thesis. If students wish to further broaden their interests and training in a special area, they may choose to take more coursework and/or enroll in an independent study course in addition to the regular 12-credit requirement.
   
 
Linguistics

Students whose concentration is in Linguistics:

Of the 12 credits, 3 must be taken in one of the following core courses in Linguistics:

  (a) HUMA 5160 Chinese Historical Phonology
  (b) HUMA 5240 Chinese Dialectology
  (c) HUMA 5270 Cantonese Linguistics
In addition, 3 credits must be taken in a discipline other than Linguistics.
 
Literature

Students whose concentration is in Literature:

Of the 12 credits, 3 must be taken in one of the following core courses in Literature:

  (a) HUMA 5300 Chinese Literary History
  (b) HUMA 5330 Traditional Chinese Literary Theory and Criticism
  (c) HUMA 5380 Modern Literary Theory I, or
    HUMA 5390 Modern Literary Theory II
In addition, 3 credits must be taken in a discipline other than Literature.
 
History and Anthropology

Students whose concentration is in History and Anthropology:

Of the 12 credits, 3 must be taken in one of the following core courses in History and Anthropology:

  (a) HUMA 5550 Field Research: Theory and Practice
  (b) HUMA 5560 Methods in the Study of Source Materials
  (c) HUMA 5580 Theories and Methods in East Asian History
In addition, 3 credits must be taken in a discipline other than History and Anthropology.
 
Philosophy and Religion

Students whose concentration is in Philosophy and Religion:

Of the 12 credits, 3 must be taken in one of the following core courses in Philosophy and Religion:

  (a) HUMA 5800 Fundamentals of Chinese Philosophy
  (b) HUMA 5900 Fundamentals of Comparative Philosophy
In addition, 3 credits must be taken in a discipline other than Philosophy and Religion.
 
   
2. The MPhil Thesis
 

The PGC, after consulting with the student and upon the recommendation of the student’s thesis advisor, will appoint a three-member MPhil Thesis Committee no later than the end of the student’s second semester of study (third semester for part-time students). Of these three members, one must be the thesis advisor. The PGC will appoint one of the other two members as chair of the committee, whose responsibilities include chairing both the MPhil thesis examination and the review of the thesis prospectus.

At least two members of the MPhil Thesis Committee must be in the same discipline as that of the student.

An MPhil thesis prospectus (about 10 pages) should be submitted to the MPhil Thesis Committee no later than the first month of the student’s third semester of study (fourth semester for part-time students). The committee must approve the prospectus before the student can begin work on the thesis. The prospectus must demonstrate a clear understanding of the literature on the proposed subject, identify an important intellectual question, outline a plan of research for completing the thesis, and include a bibliography. The committee will review the prospectus and the committee chair will announce the committee’s decision in writing to the student no later than seven days after the review, with a copy to the PGC.

The MPhil Thesis Committee will jointly advise the student on his or her thesis. The thesis advisor will supervise and coordinate the process.

The thesis is normally written in English. If a student wishes to use Chinese as the thesis language, prior approval must be obtained from the following levels: thesis advisor, Division’s PGC, Division Head, School’s Postgraduate Committee, and Dean of Humanities and Social Science. Petition to write the thesis in Chinese must be made by the student before the end of his or her first year of study.

The thesis must be based on original research; it should demonstrate an awareness of the conceptual and methodological problems relating to the chosen topic and a solid command of bibliographical materials in the field of study. The format of the thesis should conform to the general university guidelines outlined in the Academic Calendar of the University. The usual length of an MPhil thesis is about 70 to 100 pages.

   
3. MPhil Thesis Examination
 

Each student who submits a thesis will need to defend it before the Thesis Committee. The thesis defense normally takes place in the second semester of the student’s second year of study.

A total of four copies of the thesis and an abstract of not more than 300 words must be submitted to the PGC four weeks prior to the oral examination. One of these copies will be placed in the General Office of the Division of Humanities for perusal by faculty, students, and other members of the University community.

Thesis defense will take place in front of the entire Thesis Committee and a public audience. The student will discuss the issues raised in his or her completed work.

The chair of the Thesis Committee will announce the result of the oral examination in writing to the student, with a copy to the PGC, no later than two days after the examination.

If revisions, either minor or major, are required, they will be relayed to the student by the chair of the committee in writing no later than one week after the examination. Revisions must be made to the satisfaction of the committee before the degree can be officially recommended by the Head of the Division to the Senate Committee on Postgraduate Studies.

According to University rules, both full-time and part-time students must complete the master’s degree in no more than five years.

   

Reconstitution of the MPhil Thesis Committee
When a change in the MPhil Thesis Committee is deemed necessary by the student, he or she must submit a written request to the PGC. The PGC will consider the request and make a decision on whether or not the committee should be reconstituted.

Enquiries
For application details, please contact the Admissions, Registration and Records Office:

Postgraduate Admissions Team
Admissions, Registration and Records Office
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Clear Water Bay, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Telephone No.: (852) 2623-1120
Facsimile No.: (852) 2358-2463
Email Address: gradmit@ust.hk
Web Site: www.ust.hk/admissions

Enquiries of an academic nature, however, can be directed to the Division's office:

Division of Humanities
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Clear Water Bay, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Telephone No.: (852) 2358-7786
Facsimile No.: (852) 2358-1469
Email Address: huma@ust.hk

 

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