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2020-21 Full-time

The full-time taught Master's programme provides a unique opportunity to pursue in-depth studies in English Linguistics and Literature, taught by leading specialists in the field. Full-time students will also have the option of specialising in either the literature or linguistics stream, allowing them to gain more expertise in their chosen area of study. The programme will also include a new, exciting capstone experience that will culminate in a research paper and a creative project to be presented at a conference for the academic and wider community.

Students will be introduced to a wide range of domains in English Linguistics and Literature. Along with introductory courses that provide foundational knowledge, Linguistics courses include Global Englishes, Cultural Semiotics, Politics of English, Intercultural communication. Literary courses include Travel Writing and Culture, World Modernisms, Post-Colonial Representations and Global Shakespeare.

Our cross-cultural approach to English language and literature takes advantage of Hong Kong's historical, geographical and political background and discusses language and literature in relation to its position in the global world. Overseas students are welcome to apply for a student visa through the university.

Please note that our MA is not an English as a Second Language or an English teaching programme. Although many of our students are English teachers or teachers-to-be, our focus is purely on literature and language as fields of critical enquiry, and the programme does not focus on pedagogical methods or improving language skills. Our programme assumes that you already have a strong foundation in reading and writing in English.‚Äč

For more information and application details, please contact maesft@hku.hk.


The MA in English Studies consists of two introductory courses (9 credits each), four seminar courses (6 credits each), and a capstone experience (18 credits) in the form of a final research project and a conference paper to be presented at a conference on a Saturday in early May. This conference will be open to the academic and wider community. The total graduation requirement is 60 credits.

HKU Calendar for the Academic Year 2020-21 (For Undergraduate and Taught Postgraduate Students)
Timetables of MAES for the students admitted in 2020-21

Core courses

Please note that not all elective courses listed below will necessarily be offered every year.

Elective courses (Linguistics)
Elective courses (Literature)
Final capstone course
ENGL7998   Capstone Experience: Final Research Project


The introductory core courses will be held in the evenings, Mondays and Wednesdays, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm. Some elective courses will be offered in the evenings and others in the daytime.

Each session may consist of a lecture, workshop, students' presentations or other form of in-class learning. Students' attendance and participation in all courses are required.

Programme Structure

The full-time MAES programme is an intensive one-year course that runs over two semesters. In Semester 1, student will take two introductory courses, as well as two elective courses in Linguistics and/or Literature. In Semester 2, students will have the option of specialising in either the Linguistics or Literature stream and can choose two more electives from above, depending on their area of interest. In addition, the students will develop a final research project in the capstone course in the second semester, culminating in a paper and a presentation at a conference.  

Please find the Regulations & Syllabuses 18-19 for your reference.

Application and Fee
Designed for

Education professionals, researchers, and those seeking academic careers or intellectual challenge.

Entrance requirements

(a) shall hold

  1. a Bachelor’s degree with good honours of this University or a qualification of equivalent standard from this University or another comparable institution accepted for this purpose; and
  2. a Bachelor’s degree with a major in English or a closely related subject;

(b) for a candidate who is seeking admission on the basis of a qualification from a university or comparable institution outside Hong Kong of which the language of teaching and/or examination is not English, shall satisfy the University English language requirement applicable to higher degrees as prescribed under General Regulation G2(b). The programme has its specific requirements with regard to TOEFL and IELTS:

Test   Minimum requirement
TOEFL: Paper-based test (PBT)   Overall score of 550 with 4 in Test of Written English (TWE); or
TOEFL: Internet-based test (iBT)   Overall score of 80 with 25 in Writing; or
IELTS   Band 7 with no subtest lower than 5.5

In addition, a personal statement, a writing sample and two references will be required for your application. More details on supplementary documents will be made available on the online application form.

Overseas referees will have the option of posting their references to our School or emailing a scanned copy of their reference, signed on university letterhead to Ms Connie Kong at ckconnie@hku.hk from a university email address. In addition to the letter, the referee must send the referee report that is available for download on the Faculty application website under ‘Supporting Documents’. Hong Kong referees should either post their references and report to the School, or the applicant can post them to us along with their supporting documents.

Other qualifications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Candidates might be asked to attend an entrance examination and interview.

Programme fee

Locals: HKD$134,000 per annum
Non-locals: HKD$195,000 per annum

Candidates who have accepted a conditional offer will be asked to pay the 1st instalment of tuition fees.

 ***Once you have paid the initial deposit to secure your place on the programme, please note that it is NOT transferable to other MA Programmes at HKU or refundable in any way.***



Student Visa

Overseas students would be able to apply for a student visa through the university upon acceptance to the programme.

Deadline for application

First Round: 12:00 noon (GMT +8), December 2, 2019
Second Round: 12.00 noon (GMT +8), March 27, 2020
Third Round:
12:00 noon (GMT +8), June 30, 2020* (for non-local applicants)
12:00 noon (GMT +8), July 31, 2020 (for local applicants)

*Note: The earlier deadline for non-local students is to give enough time for the Immigration Department to process student visas.

MAES Entrance Scholarship
Entrance Scholarship for the Master of Arts in English Studies

In 2018, the School of English established an Entrance Scholarship for students of the Master of Arts in English Studies programme to recognise their outstanding achievements upon admission. The Scholarship shall be awarded to cohorts admitted in the academic year 2019-20, and from 2020-21 under the following updated regulations:         

  1. The Scholarship shall be named as the “Entrance Scholarship for the Master of Arts in English Studies”.
  2. There shall be
    1. two awards available annually to new students of the Master of Arts in English Studies programme on the basis of academic merit upon admission. Out of the two awards, one shall be for a full-time student and the other for a part-time student. The value of each award shall be equivalent to 50% of the total value of an awardee’s total tuition fee; and
    2. up to five awards available annually to new full-time and part-time students of the Master of Arts in English Studies programme on the basis of academic merit upon admission. The value of each award shall be HKD$20,000 (new, subject to the University’s approval).
  3. In any year when candidates are judged to be of insufficient merit, no awards shall be made.
  4. Awardees shall not receive any other scholarships concurrently from the University throughout their studies in the Master of Arts in English Studies programme.

[Download the application form here: docx / pdf ] Application deadline: March 27, 2020


For more information, please contact maesft@hku.hk.

Programme Director

Dr. Haewon Hwang
School of English
The University of Hong Kong
E-mail for enquiries on full-time programme: maesft@hku.hk
E-mail for enquiries on part-time programme: maespt@hku.hk