Doctor of Philosophy in Laws (PhD)

The PhD in Laws is the most advanced degree awarded by the University. Students are required to conduct extensive research and write a thesis of publishable quality making an original contribution to knowledge, under the guidance of a member of CUHK LAW. Only a limited number of places are available each year and placement is highly competitive.

Medium of instruction: English
How and when to apply:

You may apply by using our on-line application process at the University’s Graduate School webpage.

Applications for 2020-21 admissions, with the following application deadlines, have been closed.

  • For admission under the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme (HKPFS):

– Submit an initial application to RGC by 12 noon, 2 December 2019 (Hong Kong time); and

– Submit full application to CUHK by 5 pm, 2 December 2019 (Hong Kong time).

Details of the HKPFS can be found at the Graduate School website and the Research Grants Council website.

  • For regular admission: 31 January 2020.

Applications are considered on a rolling basis. Even if you do not plan to apply for HKPFS, you are encouraged to apply early.

Admission requirements:

In addition to the General Requirements of the Graduate School, applicants must:

  • possess a Juris Doctor (JD) degree or a Master of Laws (LLM) degree awarded by a recognized university with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above; or
  • possess an equivalent degree (including non-law related) awarded by a recognized tertiary educational institution.

Applicants must satisfy the English Language Proficiency Requirement by:

  • possessing a Bachelor’s degree awarded by a recognized university in Hong Kong or an English-speaking country, or taught primarily in the English Language; or
  • achieving a result of Band 7.0 or better in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). IELTS test results must be obtained not more than two years prior to the date of applying for admission to the PhD Programme; or
  • achieving at least a score of 587 (Paper Based Test) or 95 (Internet Based Test) in the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL). TOEFL test results must be obtained not more than two years prior to the date of applying for admission to the PhD Programme; or
  • providing alternative evidence of English Proficiency equivalent to one of the preceding measures.

For HKPFS applicants, please visit the Scheme website for additional admission requirements.

Applicants to submit
research plan:

All applicants are required to submit as part of their application a research plan not exceeding 5,000 words in length. The research plan will be reviewed by CUHK LAW in evaluating the applicant’s potential for conducting academic research at PhD level. Although it is understood that applicants are generally not yet ready to develop a full argument and/or solution for a problem at the application stage, they are expected to address the following in their research plan:

  • Title of the research;
  • Research objectives;
  • Major problem(s) to be explored;
  • Outline of subject-matter content of the proposal;
  • Review of the literature in the field;
  • Research methodologies to be used; and
  • Expected contribution of the resulting thesis to learning in the field of law.

The proposal should include relevant bibliographical references.

Applicants to submit
personal statement and
curriculum vitae:
Applicants should submit as part of their application a personal statement not exceeding 1,500 words and brief curriculum vitae. The personal statement may describe the academic and professional experiences, interests and goals of the applicant, as well as the personal credentials that he or she considers most relevant to the proposed research work.
Duration:

Applicants with a research Master’s degree:

  • Full-time mode: normative of 36 months; maximum of 84 months.
  • Part-time mode: normative of 48 months; maximum of 96 months.

 

Applicants without a research Master’s degree:

  • Full-time mode: normative of 48 months; maximum of 84 months.
  • Part-time mode: normative of 64 months; maximum of 96 months.
Campus: University main campus in Shatin.
Programme requirements:

Students are required to complete the following courses for graduation:

  • LAWS7001 Orientation to Research Postgraduate Studies and LAWS7002 Research Methodologies in the first two academic terms of enrolment; and
  • LAWS7003 Legal Academic Composition for Research Postgraduate Students in the first academic term of the second year of enrolment; and
  • LAWS8001 Thesis Research, Writing and Organisation (multi-taking), a thesis monitoring course, throughout their enrolment in the Programme.

Additionally, students are also required to complete the following modules for graduation:

  • Improving Postgraduate Learning module on “Observing Intellectual Property and Copyright Law during Research”; and
  • Research Ethics Training module on “Publication Ethics” and obtain a valid Publication Ethics Certificate.
Assessment and graduation: In their graduating year, students shall submit a thesis which shall be an original piece of work that makes a substantial contribution to learning in the field of law, upon endorsement of their supervisor as to their readiness to submit. Students are also required to pass an oral examination.
Delivery mode: Full-time or part-time study modes.
Tuition fees:

Full-time mode: HK$42,100 per year.

Part-time mode (self-financed): HK$42,100 per year.

(Above quoted tuition fees are subject to annual review.)

Studentship: Full-time research postgraduate students may receive postgraduate studentship, valued at HK$17,330 per month for the 2019-20 academic year, during the normative study period. Awardees of the postgraduate studentships do not receive a waiver of tuition fee. Further details can be found here.
Student housing: Full-time research postgraduate students who are within their normative study period are eligible to apply for on campus accommodation at the Postgraduate Halls. Further details can be found here.
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No. You will need to apply separately for each Programme as applications for admission into either MPhil or PhD Programme will be processed independently.

CUHK LAW assigns supervisors to each successful applicant based on the applicant’s areas of interest and the supervisor’s availability. You do not need to mention your preferred supervisor at the application stage. However, if you have based your application on what you hope will be supervised by a specific person, it will be helpful to name that person. Although there can be no guarantee that successful applicant will be assigned the supervisor of choice, CUHK LAW will make an effort to do so when the choice is reasonable.

Yes. Postgraduate studentships, valued at HK$17,330 per month for the 2019-20 academic year, may be awarded to full-time research postgraduate students who are within their normative study period. Students receiving postgraduate studentships are expected to assist in the teaching and research work of CUHK LAW.

Further information on financial aid can be found at the University’s Graduate School website.

Yes. A student who has registered in a research master’s programme and has completed the first year of studies may be permitted, on the recommendation of the Graduate Division concerned and with the approval of the Graduate Council, to transfer to a research doctoral programme provided that the student meets the admission requirements of the doctoral programme concerned. The period of study of a student changing from research master’s to research doctoral in the same field of study shall count from the commencement date of his/her research master’s studies.

Tel:(852) 3943 1681
Fax:(852) 2994 2505
E-mail:rpg.law@link.cuhk.edu.hk
Address:Faculty of Law
6/F, Lee Shau Kee Building
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Shatin, New Territories
Hong Kong