Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Course Selection and Credit Transfer

  1. Can I take an introductory ENGL/LCOM course if I got Level 4 in English Language HKDSE exam?
  2. Normally, a minimum Level 5 in English Language HKDSE exam is required for admission to any of the introductory courses. You can apply for special consideration if you have other equivalent qualifications such as IELTS, TOEFL, GCSE, etc. and submit the proof to the School Office during the course selection period.

  3. I am a non-JUPAS applicant and did not sit for the HKDSE exam; can I still qualify to take an introductory course?
  4. Yes, you simply have to submit a copy of your equivalent qualification(s), such as IELTS, TOEFL, GCSE, IB Diploma, etc., to the School Office for consideration during the course selection period.

  5. Between the two main fields of English literary studies and English linguistics, I am more interested in one field. Can I take all the advanced courses in the same one field to fulfil my English Studies major?
  6. Yes, you are free to choose advanced courses from the syllabus according to your interest. We encourage you to define your interest with an open mind, however, and not to focus too narrowly on a small number of courses or a particular specialization in English Studies. Our curriculum offers you various attractive concentrations in the major and in order to make most of the programme, you do well to balance your interests between different aspects of English Studies, so as to explore interesting connections. You are advised to consult the UG Coordinator or any teachers in the School regarding your study plan in the major.

  7. How can I enrol in an extended essay course?
  8. Extended essay courses are primarily offered to outstanding final-year students enrolled in the Undergraduate Research Fellowship Programme (URFP) to pursue an advanced research project under the guidance of a supervisor (please refer to FAQ no. 11 below for information on the URFP). The extended essay course can only be taken in conjunction with another advanced ENGL/LCOM course, as part of a 12-credit combination. Before making the course selection online, students enrolled in the URFP have to seek approval from a prospective supervisor via the School Office, who will normally be the teacher of the conjoined course, to consider their intended admission to the extended essay course.

  9. Can I transfer the credits gained from exchange studies to the major or minor in English Studies or Language and Communication? What are the application procedures for credit transfer?
  10. Yes, if the courses which you are going to take on exchange are comparable to the introductory or advanced courses listed in the relevant syllabuses. Please note that it is not necessary to do course mapping between HKU’s and your host institution’s courses. In other words, students may apply for credit transfer for courses which either exist or do not exist in HKU.  

    Under the Faculty cap policy on credit transfer, up to 50% of the transferred credits to HKU can be counted towards the declared Arts major/minor. Transferred credits in excess of the cap will be counted as free electives for the undergraduate degree programme.

    Regarding the Faculty’s application procedures, students are required to:
    (a) seek preliminary approval for credit transfer before their departure for exchange;
    (b) confirm their finalized course enrolment for credit transfer during exchange; and
    (c) provide a copy of the academic transcript to show they have passed the courses.

    Please refer to the Faculty’s webpage for details on credit transfer:




    Declaration of Majors/Minors

  1. What are the main characteristics of the majors offered by the School of English?
  2. Our majors will offer students a stronger foundation in critical reading, analysis and writing and in historical and theoretical knowledge. This will enable a more effective progression through the four years. Students are required to take three introductory courses (at least one from both List A and List B) before taking the advanced courses. The majors also offer students a wide range of choices in various concentrations and a capstone experience in the senior years. A capstone experience focuses on the integration and application of knowledge, which may take the form of research or experiential learning like internships, overseas fieldtrips, etc.

  3. What do I need to do in order to declare a major or a minor in the School of English?
  4. You have to successfully complete one introductory ENGL or LCOM course from List A “Historical and theoretical foundations” (6 credits) as a prerequisite before you can declare a major or a minor in the School. If you complete the prerequisite in the first year, you can declare the major online during the course selection period at the beginning of the second year. A major consists of 13 courses (78 credits) and a minor consists of 6 courses (36 credits).

  5. How many introductory courses do I have to take if I want to declare a major in the School of English or enrol in advanced courses offered by the School?
  6. You have to take at least one introductory course from List A as a prerequisite in order to declare a major. It is best to take the prerequisite in the first year. Altogether, you will have to complete 5 introductory courses (with at least 2 from each list) in the first two years in order to fulfill the requirement of the major. And you have to complete 3 introductory courses (with at least one from each list) before you can enrol in any advanced courses offered by the School of English.

  7. Is it possible to double-major or to take a major and a minor in the School of English?
  8. Yes, we offer two majors and two minors (English Studies, Language and Communication) at undergraduate level, which you can combine according to your interest. Declaring either a double major or a major with a minor in two of our programmes will allow you to gain a deeper knowledge in different areas of English literature and linguistics and to strengthen your academic record, especially if you are interested in pursuing postgraduate studies in English.




    Plagiarism and Undergraduate Research

  1. What is plagiarism and what happens if a student is found to have committed plagiarism?
  2. The University’s definitions on “plagiarism” are as follows:

    Plagiarism refers to “direct copying of textual material or wilful use of other people’s data and ideas, and presenting them as one’s own without acknowledgement, whether or not such materials, data and ideas have been published”. In other words, you are committing plagiarism if you paraphrase or quote the work of another person without clearly identifying (according to academic conventions) the borrowed material and documenting its source.

    Self-plagiarism refers to “reuse of one’s own data or repeat of previously published written work, or part thereof, in a ‘new’ publication without acknowledging that the data set has been used or written work has been published elsewhere”. For instance, if a student re-uses largely or fully the contents of his/her past assignment submitted elsewhere and without acknowledging so in the “new” assignment, it can constitute self-plagiarism.  

    Plagiarism is a very serious offence and offenders may be failed not only in the plagiarised oral or written assignment but also in the course. Their case will also be considered by a School panel and may involve disclosure of the plagiarism committed to teachers of other courses within the School or lodging of a complaint with the University’s Disciplinary Committee. Students are advised to read the following webpage carefully in order to avoid plagiarism:

  3. How can I join the Undergraduate Research Fellowship Programme (URFP)?
  4. The Faculty of Arts will invite academically outstanding third-year students to join the URFP in the next academic year which offers them an opportunity to undertake research under the guidance of a supervisor. Students enrolled in the URFP are required to complete 12 credits in research-focused courses in the major (such as an extended essay course in conjunction with an advanced ENGL/LCOM course; see FAQ no. 4 above), admission to which is considered at the School level. A remark on the URFP will be recorded on students’ academic transcripts upon completion of the requirements. For details on the URFP, please visit

  5. When do I have to apply for departmental ethics review?
  6. As stipulated in the University’s Policy for Ethical Practice in Research, undergraduate students who are undertaking a research project involving the consent of human participants must apply for ethics review. An application form for departmental ethics review of undergraduate research projects can be downloaded via and needs to be submitted to the Research Supervisor for endorsement.



Last updated: 31 July 2018