Postgraduate Programs 2021/22
Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy Programs in Marine Environmental Science
Award Title

Master of Philosophy in Marine Environmental Science
Doctor of Philosophy in Marine Environmental Science

Program Short Name

MPhil(MES)
PhD(MES)

Mode of Study

Both full- and part-time

Normative Program Duration

MPhil

Full-time: 2 years
Part-time: 4 years
 

PhD

Full-time: 3 years (with a relevant research master’s degree), 4 years (without a relevant research master’s degree)
Part-time: 6 years

Program Advisor

PG Programs Coordinator:
Prof Qinglu ZENG, Associate Professor of Ocean Science

The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) Program aims to train students to conduct independent research in Marine Environmental Science. A candidate for an MPhil degree is expected to demonstrate knowledge in the discipline and to synthesize and create new knowledge, making a contribution to the field.
 

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Program seeks to train students in original research in Marine Environmental Science and to cultivate independent and innovative thinking that is essential for a successful research career in environmental science. A candidate for a PhD degree is expected to demonstrate mastery of knowledge in the chosen discipline and to synthesize and create new knowledge, making an original and substantial contribution to the discipline.
 

Also, the SZU-HKUST Joint PhD Program in Marine Environmental Science offers students the opportunities to benefit from shared research excellence in Marine Environmental Science between The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and Shenzhen University (SZU). The program is an interdisciplinary and collaborative program which aims to cultivate outstanding science and technology talents to help build the sustainable economic development for China. Upon successful completion of the program, students will receive a certificate from SZU and a degree certificate from HKUST, with a special note to show that the degree was conferred through a joint program.

On successful completion of the MPhil program, graduates will be able to:

  1. Understand the fundamentals of ocean science;
  2. Understand current research in one subfield of ocean science ;
  3. Perform laboratory, theoretical, and/or computational techniques necessary to conduct research in a subdiscipline of ocean science;
  4. Demonstrate the potential to conduct an independent research project;
  5. Communicate concepts and research results related to ocean science with peers; and
  6. Understand the importance of ethical conduct in scientific research.

 

On successful completion of the PhD program, graduates will be able to:

  1. Understand the literatures and research methods/techniques applicable to ocean science;
  2. Evaluate current research in one or more subdisciplines of ocean science relevant to a selected research specialty;
  3. Demonstrate mastery of laboratory, theoretical, and/or computational skills necessary to contribute to knowledge in a subdiscipline of ocean science;
  4. Propose, plan and conduct a scientifically robust research project related to oceanic systems; and apply appropriate methods for analysing and interpreting experimental/observational/modelling data;
  5. Communicate scientific ideas and results clearly and effectively with peers (both in writing and verbally); and
  6. Understand complex issues in ethical scientific conduct.

The Department emphasizes on building multiand cross-disciplinary research and educational programs in Ocean Science and Technology. Our primary study sites include the estuarine environment of the Pearl River, the coastal bays of Hong Kong, and the deep sea (including the South China Sea).
 

Research Foci

  • Marine Ecology

  • Oceanography

  • Ocean Technology
     

Facilities

Our Coastal Marine Laboratory on campus is a key item of infrastructure supporting our marine researches, while the Environmental Central Facility provides a range of equipment and technology commonly used in water and atmospheric environmental research.
 

Coastal Marine Laboratory

The Laboratory is located on the seafront at HKUST, with a total area of about 1,200 sq. meters. The lower floor houses an excellent natural running seawater facility, together with two fully equipped wet laboratories and two well-designed environmentally controlled rooms. The upper floor is a dry laboratory area, compartmentalized into a multipurpose research laboratory, a molecular biology laboratory, an analytical laboratory, a microscope room, a radioisotope laboratory and a multifunction room.
 

Environmental Central Facility

The Environmental Central Facility provides common analytical instruments for environmental chemical analysis laboratory service (e.g., GC-MS, LC-MS, TOC, UV-Vis, etc) and real-time meteorological and environmental database service. It also offers field and technical support for environmental research projects.

  1. Minimum Credit Requirement

MPhil: 11 credits
PhD: 16 credits
 

  1. Core Courses

    All students must complete a minimum of 6 credits from the following core courses:
     

OCES 5001
OCES 5100
OCES 5200
OCES 5300

 

Students can fulfill the program minimum credit requirement by taking more than two core courses or taking the elective courses.

 

  1. Elective Courses

Elective courses can be taken from:

  1. The following pre-endorsed elective courses, and/or

  2. Approved postgraduate courses subject to endorsement by the PG Coordinator. Only a maximum of 3 credits from this category can be counted towards the credit requirement.


Pre-endorsed Elective Courses:

ENVS 5116
OCES 6012
MATH 5311
MATH 5350
PHYS 5110

 

  1. Graduate Teaching Assistant Training
PDEV 6800

 

All full-time RPg students are required to complete PDEV 6800. The course is composed of a 10-hour training offered by the Center for Education Innovation (CEI), and session(s) of instructional delivery to be assigned by the respective departments. Upon satisfactory completion of the training conducted by CEI, MPhil students are required to give at least one 30-minute session of instructional delivery in front of a group of students for one term. PhD students are required to give at least one such session each in two different terms. The instructional delivery will be formally assessed.
 

  1. Professional Development Course Requirement

PDEV 6770

 

Students are required to complete PDEV 6770. The 1 credit earned from PDEV 6770 cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.
 

PhD students who are HKUST MPhil graduates and have completed PDEV 6770 or other professional development courses offered by the University before may be exempted from taking PDEV 6770, subject to prior approval of the School.

 

OCES 6770


Students are required to complete OCES 6770. The 1 credit earned from OCES 6770 cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.
 

PhD students who are HKUST MPhil graduates in Marine Evnvironmental Science and have completed CHEM 6770 Professional Development in Science (Chemistry), LIFS 6770 Professional Development in Science (Life Science), MATH 6770 Professional Development in Science (Mathematics), PHYS 6770 Professional Development in Science (Physics) or ENVS 6770 Professional Development in Science (Environmental Science Programs) before may be exempted from taking OCES 6770, subject to prior approval of the Department Head or PG Coordinator.

 

  1. English Language Requirement

LANG 5000


Full-time RPg students are required to take an English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA) Speaking Test administered by the Center for Language Education before the start of their first term of study. Students whose ELPA Speaking Test score is below Level 4, or who failed to take the test in their first term of study, are required to take LANG 5000 until they pass the course by attaining at least Level 4 in the ELPA Speaking Test before graduation. The 1 credit earned from LANG 5000 cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.
 

LANG 5010


Students are required to complete LANG 5010 in the first year of study. The 1 credit earned from LANG 5010 cannot be counted toward the credit requirements. PhD students who are HKUST MPhil graduates may be considered for exemption from this requirement subject to prior approval from the Program Director and PG Coordinator.
 

  1. Postgraduate Seminar

MPhil: 2 credits
PhD: 4 credits
 

OCES 6011


Students are required to complete OCES 6011 whenever it is offered. The maximum number of credits to be earned from this course is 2 for MPhil students and 4 for PhD students. PhD students who have taken the HKUST MPhil Program in Marine Environmental Science will be granted credit transfer from OCES 6011 to the PhD program up to 1 credit.
 

  1. PhD Qualifying Examination

PhD students are required to submit a thesis proposal to the Qualifying Examination Committee who will examine the students’ general background knowledge and knowledge related to the topic of the research proposal. They must pass the qualifying examination.
 

  1. Thesis Research

OCES 6990
OCES 7990


MPhil:

  1. Registration in OCES 6990; and

  2. Presentation and oral defense of the MPhil thesis.

PhD:

  1. Registration in OCES 7990; and

  2. Presentation and oral defense of the PhD thesis.

 

Last update: 25 March 2021

To qualify for admission, applicants must meet all of the following requirements. Admission is selective and meeting these minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.

 

1. General Admission Requirements of the University
  • Applicants seeking admission to a master's degree program should have obtained a bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution, or an approved equivalent qualification;

  • Applicants seeking admission to a doctoral degree program should have obtained a bachelor’s degree with a proven record of outstanding performance from a recognized institution; or presented evidence of satisfactory work at the postgraduate level on a full-time basis for at least one year, or on a part-time basis for at least two years.

2. English Language Admission Requirements

Applicants have to fulfill English Language requirements with one of the following proficiency attainments:

  • TOEFL-iBT: 80*

  • TOEFL-pBT: 550

  • TOEFL-Revised paper-delivered test: 60 (total scores for Reading, Listening and Writing sections)

  • IELTS (Academic Module): Overall score: 6.5 and All sub-score: 5.5

* refers to the total score in one single attempt


Applicants are not required to present TOEFL or IELTS score if

  • their first language is English, or

  • they obtained the bachelor's degree (or equivalent) from an institution where the medium of instruction was English.