PhD Programmes

  • Deadline for PhD admissions application commencing the academic year 2025-26: 1 December 2024.
  • We are NOT accepting applications for MPhil.
  • Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to check the research interests of our colleagues and contact them to seek their support before submitting an application.
 Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Programmes

The Department of Education Studies offers research postgraduate programme that leads to the award of Doctor of Philosophy. The PhD Programme helps equip graduates with the essential academic knowledge and skills that enable them to function effectively and competently as academics, researchers, and/or teacher-training professionals in education or related fields.

Aims and Expected Learning Outcomes

The research postgraduate programme aims to produce high-caliber scholars who are well-trained in education and related disciplines.  The programme is research-oriented with all master and doctoral candidates being required to learn how to initiate, plan and conduct original research; interpret their research findings; write scholarly articles, monographs and research reports; and articulate the implication of their endeavours for theory and applications. It is designed for persons who are intellectually curious and dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge and academic rigor. It seeks applicants who can bring a spirit of critical inquiry in addressing the varied challenges facing the country.

The following five PILOs were used to assess the achievement of the Research postgraduate students who should be able to demonstrate:

  1. advanced knowledge in education and related disciplines;
  2. skills to conduct research using appropriate methodological techniques;
  3. ability to make independent and critical judgments in educational issues and contribute to the field of knowledge;
  4. integrity, fairness and ethical behaviour as academics and professionals;
  5. ability to communicate research results and exchange academic knowledge within their fields
Admission Requirements

Applicants seeking admission to the PhD degree programme should possess:

(a)      a Master’s degree from a recognized university or comparable institution; or

(b)      a Bachelor’s degree with First Class Honours from a recognized university or comparable institution; or

(c)       any other qualification deemed by the Graduate School to be acceptable for this purpose.

Candidates under section (b) should have evidence of research achievement/experience. They may be admitted to the MPhil programme initially, but with a view to proceeding to the PhD programme after satisfactorily passing an assessment at the time of candidature confirmation.

Candidates under section (c) may be required to take an entrance examination, in which event their progress shall be reported to the Graduate School at the end of their first year of study.


Proof of English proficiency is required for all applicants whose bachelor’s degrees were obtained from institutions outside Hong Kong where the medium of instruction is not English. These applicants must meet the following minimum requirements for English proficiency: A score of 6.5 in International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or equivalent Selection of applicants is on a competitive basis, with consideration on academic qualifications, professional experiences, recommendations, and quality of research proposal. For details on Admission requirements and procedures, please refer to the following Graduate School web page:

Programme Structure

Candidates will pursue a programme of study approved by the Graduate School, and shall present themselves for relevant examinations and at such times as may be required by the examiners. The programme of study shall comprise:

    1. supervised original research work culminating in the submission of a thesis;
    2. coursework as required by the respective Faculty;
    3. mandatory research seminars and mandatory course(s) on research methodology;
    4. active participation in lectures, study groups, workshops, seminars, colloquia and conferences as directed by the supervisor(s);
    5. any other courses needed to make up for the candidate’s deficiencies as required by the supervisor(s) and the University; and
    6. the Mandatory Common Core Programme
    7. 1-6 months overseas learning experience;
    8. oral/poster presentation at a reputable international conference, workshop or exhibition;
    9. publications as required by the Faculty; and
    10. any other discipline-specific requirements.


Period of Study

Two modes of study are offered for the research postgraduate programmes, namely full-time and part-time. The period of study for full-time and part-time students is as follows:

 PhD Degree
Minimum Period36 months48 months
Normal Period48 months72 months
Maximum Period72 months96 months

Note: Any exception to these rules requires the approval of the Research Postgraduate Studies Committee.

Medium of Instruction

It follows the University’s requirement where English is the medium of instruction, except for those courses that are granted exemption.

Fellowship and Financial Support

Students can be admitted into PhD programme in three modes: (1) full UGC-funded studentship; (2) partial studentship for one or two years; (3) self-financed mode. UGC-funded students are awarded a studentship with monthly stipends (currently at HK dollar 18180) tenable during the period of study. Students who are interested in pursuing a PhD at HKBU may also consider applying for the annual Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme. 

Research Expertise of academic staff
  • Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to check the research interests of our colleagues ( and contact them to seek their support before submitting an application