PhD in Cultural Studies

Normal Duration: 3 or 4 years (Full-time)

Place: Hong Kong

Established in 2000, the Department of Cultural Studies is the first department of its kind in Asia, with a fully interdisciplinary and international faculty committed exclusively to teaching and research in contemporary Cultural Studies.

For our postgraduate students, we provide close-contact supervision and working relationships with world-class scholars. Students can avail of travel grants to participate in conferences worldwide. We also offer various opportunities for exposure to workshops in different locations through our Inter-Asia cultural studies networks.

Application Methods

Applicants may seek admission to the PhD programme in two ways as follows:

1. Apply for PhD Programmes via the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme (HKPFS)

Outstanding and brilliant applicants may seek admission via the HKPFS by 2 December 2019 (Hong Kong Time 12:00 noon). Fellowship awardees will be provided with a Fellowship with a monthly stipend of HK$25,800*, and waived the full tuition fee for his/her first year of study. Students who apply for and do not get the fellowship can still be considered for the regular PhD places at Lingnan.


(*rate for 2019-20, subject to annual review)

To apply for admission, please make an initial application on the Admission System of the RGC at during the period from 1 September to 2 December 2019 (Hong Kong Time 12:00 noon). Each applicant will be allocated a reference number. The applicant is then required to submit a full application directly to Lingnan’s electronic system at on or before 2 December 2019 (Hong Kong Time 11:59 pm). Late applications will NOT be considered.

2. Apply for PhD Programmes Directly

Applicants may also seek admission to the PhD programmes by applying to the University directly. Full-time students will normally be provided with Postgraduate Studentships. The Postgraduate Studentship for a PhD student will be HK$17,390/month*.
* To be raised to HK$17,730/month after confirmation of candidature. (rate for 2019-20, subject to annual review)

The University invites applications from 1 November 2019 to 24 January 2020. Applicants may apply online via For details, please visit

General Admission Requirements

  1. An applicant for admission to candidature for the degree of PhD should normally:
    a. hold a master's degree awarded by a tertiary education institution recognized for this purpose by the University; or
    b. hold a relevant bachelor's degree with first or second class honours or at an equivalent standard, and have registered in a programme of study for a master's degree at a recognised tertiary education institution for at least one year and have evidence of research achievement; or
    c. have obtained an equivalent qualification of a) or b) above; or
    d. have provided satisfactory evidence of academic and professional attainment.
    Note: First-degree graduates with proven research qualification or experience might be admitted directly to PhD studies ONLY UNDER EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES. Normally a candidate without a master's degree would not be admitted to PhD studies and he/she should register as an MPhil student in the first instance.

  2. In addition to the above, an applicant whose degree is not from a tertiary institution in Hong Kong or an English-speaking country should obtain a minimum score of 550 (paper-based test) or 79 (internet-based test) in the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or a band score of 6.5 or above in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or an equivalent score in a recognised test, or an equivalent qualification to prove his/her language proficiency which will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Applicants are required to fulfill additional requirements, if any, set by the programmes to which they apply for admission.

    [Note: For IELTS and TOEFL qualifications for admission to 2020-21 intake and onwards, the University only accepts results that are within the validity period, viz. 2 years, from the time of submission of an admission application for the specific intake cohort.]

  3. For admission to Lingnan PhD programmes via the HKPFS, the RGC stipulated that for an applicant from a non-English speaking university, unless he/she provides proof that English is the language of instruction for all courses for the entrance qualification(s) of his/her proposed PhD programme(s), he/she is required to attach score results of TOEFL or IELTS in the PhD application. This requirement (mandatory submission of TOEFL/IELTS score results) can be exempted for applicants whose proposed PhD studies are specifically in non-English medium, e.g. Chinese. However, the applicants still have to meet the language requirements of the University as stipulated in paragraph 2 above.

Programme Specific Admission Requirements

An applicant who proposes to write the thesis in Chinese should seek approval from the Department by providing sound justifications. He/She may be required to demonstrate his/her ability in English and/or Chinese in an interview.

Program taught in:
  • English

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This course is Campus based
Start Date
30 - 72 months
42,100 HKD
tuition for the year 2019-2020 is under review.
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Deadline for application via HKPFS: 1 December 2018; Deadline for application to the University directly: 25 January 2019.
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Deadline for application via HKPFS: 1 December 2018; Deadline for application to the University directly: 25 January 2019.
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Deadline for application via HKPFS: 1 December 2018; Deadline for application to the University directly: 25 January 2019.
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