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Information for Current Postgraduate Students

Welcome to the School of English and what we are sure will be an exciting and challenging phase of your education and personal development. This page provides a summary of necessary and useful information to help your transition to graduate studies.

Office space and facilities

Every postgraduate student will be provided with a large locker in the School of English or Faculty of Arts postgraduate common room where desks are available daily on a first-come-first-served basis. In the School of English postgraduate common room, students will also have access to a computer and a printer. Photocopying facilities are provided in the general office, in room 735, 7/F, Run Run Shaw Tower (Building B, Arts), Centennial Campus. Should you have tutorial duties for the term, you will be permitted to make 20 copies per student per semester on the school photocopying machine. You will receive a code for these copies. For your other photocopying needs, the library has many photocopying machines, and copy cards can be purchased in the library.

Duties of graduate students

Every funded graduate student is expected to contribute to the life of the School of English in a variety of ways.  You may be required to assist lecturers as teaching assistants, and give tutorials or seminars to undergraduate students.  You will also be asked to help in invigilating examinations, and helping with departmental functions, such as the seminars or the School of English Open Day.


You will be assigned a supervisor, or sometimes two supervisors, who will advise you on research work, as well as other relevant matters.  In addition Dr Jessica Valdez also serves as the Graduate Studies Advisor for the school, and you are welcome to consult her on any matters relating to your work in the school. She is available for consultation during office hours and her email is jvaldez@hku.hk.

Conferences and conference grants

Every graduate student in the school is encouraged to apply for a conference grant to attend an overseas conference dealing with their particular field of interest.  A graduate student normally attends such a conference towards the latter part of their studies and is expected to give a paper at this conference. Information on conferences, applications, and research support grants is posted on the websites of the Graduate School and Research Services.

Research seminars

Research seminars are held regularly throughout the two university semesters, usually every Thursday evening during the academic term.  Graduate students are expected to give at least one paper at the Thursday night seminar, usually some time in their second year of enrollment.  You are also expected to attend all such seminars to hear papers from your peers, or from other academics, from HKU or other institutions, throughout the two semesters.

Library matters

Graduate students are entitled to a small grant to enable them to order books, and papers from overseas universities through a system of 'interlibrary loan'. The interlibrary loan system is now fully online under the HKALL and ILLiad systems of the library's computer network. The interlibrary loan desk is located in front of the main lending counters on the ground floor of the library. They are extremely helpful and efficient, although you should take the initiative to track the progress of books and papers you have ordered online. In addition, you are encouraged to take your requests for book orders to your supervisor, who may well be able to order such books for the university library.  Students are urged to do this as soon as possible after joining the school, as it often takes six months for the books to arrive.

Overseas students

Overseas students, for example from Malaysia and Singapore, may have special requirements for student visas, residence requirements, etc., and this is also the case if you are a student from mainland China. See the web pages of the Centre of Development and Resources for Students for more information. If you have any particular questions relating to such matters, you may call Ms Sylvia Wong, at the CEDARS, (Tel. 2857 8301; sylchan@hku.hk).

Coursework requirements for M.Phil. and Ph.D. students

As stipulated by the Regulations for the Degree of Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), newly registered MPhil and PhD students are required to complete a coursework programme to prepare themselves for research work and the writing of the thesis. The coursework programme includes courses offered by the Graduate School and additional courses required by the Arts Faculty and your registered School. Students should discuss their course selections with their supervisors before registration.

All newly registered MPhil and 4-year PhD students are required to take four compulsory courses offered by the Graduate School or their approved equivalents in the School of English (ENGL6070 Introduction to thesis writing in English studies and ENGL7011 Research methods). In addition, students will also be required to take one compulsory School of English course (ENGL6001 Research Seminar) and one School of English elective. Elective courses vary from year to year and current offerings can be found on the online course selection system.

3-year PhD students are only required to take GRSC6009 Research Ethics for Graduate Students: Arts and Architecture in addition to the School of English course requirements.

Graduate School courses
MPhil and 4-year PhD programme

The core courses (or their equivalents) must be passed by the end of the probationary period.

All students, unless they have prior teaching experience, will also be required to take a mandatory course on teaching skills if they are to be deployed as teaching assistants. This course is taught by staff from the Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL).

For more details of Graduate School coursework requirements and courses, please check here.

School of English courses

All MPhil, 3-year and 4-year PhD students are required to take one compulsory course (ENGL6001 Research Seminar) and one elective course from the School of English. The list of available courses is shown below. Note that not all elective courses will be offered every year. A current list of courses on offer can be viewed under the online course selection system.

Click on the Course Code for details.

C = compulsory
E = elective
** = ENGL6070 can be taken in lieu of the Graduate School Core Course I "Introduction to Thesis Writing" but not as a School elective course.
*** = ENGL7011 can be taken in lieu of the Graduate School Core Course II "Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods (The Humanities and Related Disciplines)" but not as a School elective course.

Course Code   Course Title C / E Pre-requisites
ENGL6001   Research Seminar C Nil
ENGL6003   Guided Reading Course E Nil
ENGL6053   Special Topics in English Studies E Nil
ENGL6056   Cultural Semiotics E Nil
ENGL6070   Introduction to Thesis Writing in English Studies ** Nil
ENGL6073   Introduction to Literature and Cross-cultural Theory E Nil
ENGL6075   The Politics of English E Nil
ENGL6079   World Modernisms E Nil
ENGL6080   Travel Writing and Culture E Nil
ENGL6081   Global Fictions E Nil
ENGL6083   Post-colonial Representations E Nil
ENGL7011   Research Methods *** Nil
ENGL7101   Introduction to Language and Communication E Nil
ENGL7102   Global Englishes E Nil
ENGL7103   New Media and Discourse E Nil
ENGL7104   Global Shakespeare E Nil
ENGL7105   Intercultural Communication E Nil
ENGL7106   The Global History of English E Nil
ENGL7107   Race in America: The Novels of William Faulkner and Toni Morrison E Nil
ENGL7108   Imagining Asia E Nil

1. Undergraduate courses taken as part of the M.Phil curriculum will carry extra tutorial and written work.
2. Students will normally complete all but one of their coursework units in the first year of study.

Current Postgraduate Students

Please click here for current Postgraduate Students.

Further advice

If you have any queries concerning the above or related matters, please contact Dr Jessica Valdez, our Graduate Studies Advisor.
Email: jvaldez@hku.hk;
Office: Room 837, 8/F, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU