PhD in English

Duration: 3 or 4 years (Full-time)

Place: Hong Kong

Contemporary English Studies is one exciting area of teaching and research. The Department of English offers a Honours Degree programme and a postgraduate programme in English Studies. For us, English Studies embraces the study of Contemporary Literature in English, Applied Linguistic Studies and Language Studies. We recognise English as an international discourse or lingua franca, no longer a literature and language belonging to Britain and North America.

Our departmental research interests include:


  • Semiotics
  • Metaphor Theory

Applied Linguistics

  • Sociolinguistics
  • English in Hong Kong
  • World Englishes and English as a Lingua Franca
  • Digital Literacies
  • Discourse Analysis and Multimodal Discourse Analysis
  • Second Language Pronunciation

Literary Studies

  • Critical Theory
  • Asian Literatures in English
  • Tragic Drama and Tragic Discourse
  • Cross-Cultural Studies of Literature
  • Travel Writing
  • Literature in Adaptation

Details of staff research and teaching expertise can be found on the departmental website:

The Department is deeply committed to Lingnan’s ethos of “student-centred learning” and “teaching the whole person”. For postgraduates, it offers

  • regular, attentive and highly supportive supervision
  • high-quality research support, with excellent library and computing facilities
  • vigorous and friendly discussions in seminars and informally
  • financial support to attend conferences and for archival research
  • research links with similar departments internationally
  • opportunities for undergraduate teaching
  • collegial relations with staff who welcome and value our postgraduates

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 1 December 2018 (Hong Kong Time 12:00 noon). Fellowship awardees will be provided with a Fellowship with a monthly stipend of HK$25,100*, 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 2018-19, 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 1 December 2018 (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 2018 (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$16,720/month*.
* To be raised to HK$17,050/month after confirmation of candidature. (rate for 2018-19, subject to annual review)

The University invites applications from 1 November 2018 to 25 January 2019. 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 213 (computer-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.
  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.
Program taught in:
  • English

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Last updated November 27, 2018
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 2019
30 - 72 months
42,100 HKD
tuition for the year 2019-20 is under review.
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Deadline for application via HKPFS: 1 December 2018; Deadline for application directly: 25 January 2019.
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Sep 2019
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Deadline for application via HKPFS: 1 December 2018; Deadline for application directly: 25 January 2019.

Sep 2019

Application deadline
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Deadline for application via HKPFS: 1 December 2018; Deadline for application directly: 25 January 2019.
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