Postgraduate Programs 2021/22
Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy Programs in Urban Governance and Design

For admission to HKUST (Guangzhou) Pilot Scheme

 

Award Title

Master of Philosophy in Urban Governance and Design
Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Governance and Design

Program Short Name

MPhil(UGOD)
PhD(UGOD)

Mode of Study

Full-time

Normative Program Duration

MPhil
2 years

PhD
3 years (with a relevant research master’s degree), 4 years (without a relevant research master’s degree)

Offering Unit

Urban Governance and Design Thrust Area

Society Hub

Program Advisor

Program Director:
Prof Xiaogang WU, Chair Professor of Social Science

Enquiry

By 2050, two out of every three people are likely to be living in cities or other urban centers, and most of the increase is expected to be highly-concentrated in a handful of countries, including China. Rapid urbanization and growth of cities call for high-quality public services and effective governance to make urban places more livable. The study of cities becomes an increasingly cross-disciplinary enterprise. The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Programs in Urban Governance and Design employ cross-disciplinary perspectives to analyze the data on cities from different sources (including population census, surveys, administrative and big data) to address critical issues in contemporary urban governance and design.

 

The MPhil Program aims to train students to conduct independent research in urban governance. An MPhil graduate is expected to acquire cross-disciplinary knowledge of cities and employ quantitative skills to integrate and analyze the data from different sources, to write research reports addressing various audience in academia, think tanks, government, or industry, and to contribute to urban governance and design in practice.

 

The PhD Program seeks to train students in original research with cross-disciplinary approach to urban governance and design, and to cultivate independent and innovative thinking for knowledge creation in the field. A PhD graduate is expected to demonstrate mastery of knowledge in the chosen area of research and to synthesize and create new knowledge making an original and substantial contribution to the cross-disciplinary studies of cities.

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

  1. Identify and synthesize current research on cities, especially those in the Chinese context;
  2. Compare and contrast state-of-the-art knowledge in urban science and relevant referenced disciplines (e.g., data science, demography, economics, geography, public administration, and sociology), and apply such knowledge to drive research, practice, and innovation in the field;
  3. Analyze, design, and execute research by utilizing proper research methodologies; and
  4. Communicate the developed knowledge and research on cities with the academic and practitioners’ community.

 

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

  1. Identify and synthesize current research on cities, especially those in the Chinese context, to demonstrate mastery of knowledge in the chosen area of research;
  2. Compare and contrast state-of-the-art knowledge in urban science and relevant referenced disciplines (e.g., data science, demography, economics, geography, public administration, and sociology), and cultivate independent and innovative thinking for knowledge creation in the field;
  3. Analyze, design, and execute research by utilizing proper research methodologies to make an original and substantial contribution to the cross-disciplinary studies of cities; and
  4. Communicate the developed knowledge and research on cities through publications and teaching.
  1. Minimum Credit Requirement

    MPhil: 15 credits 
    PhD: 21 credits 
     

  2. Credit Transfer 

    Students who have taken equivalent courses at HKUST or other recognized universities may be granted credit transfer on a case-by-case basis, up to a maximum of 3 credits for MPhil students, and 6 credits for PhD students. 
     

  3. Cross-disciplinary Core Courses

2 credits
 

IIMP 6010
IIMP 6020
IIMP 6030
IIMP 6040

 

All students are required to complete either IIMP 6010 or IIMP 6030. Students may complete the remaining courses as part of the credit requirements, as requested by the Program Planning Committee.

 

  1. Hub Core Courses

4 Credits

 

Students are required to complete at least one Hub core course (2 credits) from the Society Hub and at least one Hub core course (2 credits) from other Hubs.

 

  Society Hub Core Course

SOCH 5000

 

  Other Hub Core Courses

FUNH 5000
INFH 5000
SYSH 5000

 

  1. Courses on Domain Knowledge

MPhil: minimum 9 credits of coursework 
PhD: minimum 15 credits of coursework 
 

Under this requirement, each student is required to take a required course and other elective courses to form an individualized curriculum relevant to the cross-disciplinary thesis research. To ensure that students will take appropriate courses to equip them with needed domain knowledge, each student has a Program Planning Committee to approve the courses to be taken soonest after program commencement and no later than the end of the first year. Depending on the approved curriculum, individual students may be required to complete additional credits beyond the minimal credit requirements.
 

  Required Course List

UGOD 5010

 

  Sample Elective Course List

To meet individual needs, students will be taking courses in different areas, which may include but not limited to courses and areas listed below.
 

UGOD 5020
UGOD 5030
UGOD 5040
UGOD 5050
UGOD 5060
COMP 5211
COMP 5212
ECON 5130
ECON 5390
ECON 5420
ENVR 5250
ENVR 5320
MATH 5470
MATH 5471
orCOMP 5222
PPOL 5130
PPOL 5200
PPOL 5220
PPOL 5320
SOSC 5440
SOSC 5480
SOSC 5620
SOSC 5660
SOSC 5700
SOSC 5720

 

  1. Additional Foundation Courses

Individual students may be required to take foundation courses to strengthen their academic background and research capacity in related areas, which will be specified by the Program Planning Committee. The credits earned cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.

 

Students who need to acquire a stronger quantitative background may be required to take relevant fundamental course(s) in probability and statistics, and software packages in the first regular term of study. The following are examples of such courses:

PPOL 5140
SOSC 5090

 

  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 Program Planning Committee.

 

SOCH 6780


Students are required to complete SOCH 6780. The 1 credit earned from SOCH 6780 cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.


PhD students who are HKUST MPhil graduates and have completed SOCH 6780 or other professional development courses offered by the University before may be exempted from taking SOCH 6780, subject to prior approval of the Program Planning Committee.

 

  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 5001
LANG 5002
LANG 5010

 

Students are required to take one of the above three courses. The credit earned cannot be counted toward the credit requirements. Students can be exempted from taking this course with the approval of the Program Planning Committee.
 

  1. Postgraduate Seminar
UGOD 6101
UGOD 6102

Students are required to complete UGOD 6101 and UGOD 6102 or their equivalent in two terms in sequence. The credit earned cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.

 

  1. PhD Qualifying Examination

PhD students are required to pass a qualifying examination to obtain PhD candidacy following established policy.

 

  1. Thesis Research
UGOD 6990
UGOS 7990

 

  MPhil:

  1. Registration in UGOD 6990; and
  2. Presentation and oral defense of the MPhil thesis.

PhD:

  1. Registration in UGOD 7990; and
  2. Presentation and oral defense of the PhD thesis.

 

 

Last Update: 24 July 2020

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.

For admission to HKUST (Guangzhou) Pilot Scheme

Apply online before the application deadlines.

 

Application Fee

HK$180

Application Deadlines

For Hong Kong PhD Fellowship (HKPFS) Application (for PhD studies only):

Step 1 deadline at RGC (to obtain an HKPFS reference no. from RGC):
1 Dec 2020 (12noon, GMT+8)
Step 2 deadline at HKUST:
1 Dec 2020 (11:59pm, GMT+8)

Details please refer to http://pg.ust.hk/hkpfs
 

For 2021/22 Fall Term Intake:

Non-local Applicants*
Full-time: 1 Jun 2021

 

Local Applicants
Full-time: 15 Jul 2021


 * Applicants are considered as non-local students if they hold (i) student visa/ entry permit; or (ii) visa under the Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates (IANG); or (iii) dependent visa/entry permit who were 18 years old or above when they were issued with such visa/ entry permit by the Director of Immigration. For details on student visa/ entry permit requirements, please click here.