• A
  • A
  • A
Follow us on
Practical guide 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. 


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 Nan Zhang 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 nzhang@hku.hk.



Research study in the University is considered a year-round activity that continues between terms and throughout the summer months.  Student who wishes to be absent from Hong Kong and/or the approved course of study and research, or who proposes to take vacation, shall be required to submit an application for leave of absence via the online leave system, viz. Online Application for Leave of Absence for RPg Students, as early as possible and in advance of the proposed leave period via the HKU Portal: 

HKU Portal > SIS Main Menu > Online Applications > Application for Leave of Absence

The different types of Leaves are explained in the below link:


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 afternoon 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

The interlibrary loan system is now fully online. 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. For more information, please visit the HKU Library website: https://lib.hku.hk/userinfo/student.html#2


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. 3917 8301; sylchan@hku.hk).


Probationary Periods for MPhil and PhD Candidates

The Graduate School’s key dates for RPG students (including progress monitoring stages and probationary review periods)


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 Nan Zhang, our Graduate Studies Advisor.

Email: nzhang@hku.hk;

Office: Room 744, 7/F, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU