Research Degree - Master of Philosophy & Doctor of Philosophy (MPhil&PhD)


Program Description

The Research Postgraduate (RPg) programme focuses on PhD education. It is designed to enable each student to become familiar with existing knowledge in their chosen area of study, to become a critical consumer of others' research in the chosen area of study, and to become an independent knowledge creator through the use of appropriate research methodologies.

The PhD degree by research admits outstanding applicants interested in the theoretical understanding of, and academic research in, advertising, cinema and television, communication in new media, journalism, media studies, organizational communication, and public relations.

MPhil admission is considered only in exceptional circumstances.

Highlights of the Programme

Research postgraduate students play an active role in the teaching and learning process of the programme. In addition to classroom learning, they seek intellectual stimulation and share research experiences through active participation in research seminars or lectures conducted from time to time by faculty members, visiting scholars or industry professionals.

The School and four other universities - Peking University and Tsinghua University in Beijing, the National Chengchi University in Taiwan and the Chinese University of Hong Kong - regularly take turns to host a Postgraduate Students' Conference on Communication. Besides presenting papers, Research Postgraduate students are involved in the process of planning and organization. Students conceptualize, operationalize, and present their research, as well as hearing the responses of fellow students and leading scholars in the field.

Together with faculty supervision and coursework learning, conference participation has become an integral part of postgraduate education in the School. The number of accepted refereed papers and the comments received after their presentation constitute an important part of the programme. Student papers have won recognition at conventions of major academic associations.

Career Prospects

PhD graduates hold teaching or research positions in universities around the world, e.g., Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University, University of Macau, the University of Queensland, Tsinghua University, and New York University.

Faculty and Facilities

All the faculty members responsible for postgraduate teaching and thesis supervision hold doctoral degrees from major universities around the world. They possess strong theoretical training and extensive professional experience. They are active in research or creative work and in scholarly publication, as well as community service. They win awards for their papers and obtain research and teaching development grants. By way of achievements, among faculty members, there are editors or associate editors of major communication journals, such as Asian Journal of Communication, Communication Theory, Management Communication Quarterly, and Media, Culture & Society. They serve on the editorial boards of many local, regional and international journals and are invited to act as reviewers for manuscripts submitted to scholarly journals. In the collaboration with the School of Journalism and Communication at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the school co-edits the highly-regarded Chinese language Journal of Communication and Society, which is now in its sixth year of publication.

All RPg students are accommodated in one large office equipped with networked computers to facilitate their scholarly activities. They may access the School’s state-of-the-art equipment and facilities (digital imaging laboratories, animation studios, editing suites, computer laboratories) as well as the University Library's holdings of around 1,000,000 volumes and very extensive electronic resources. The University Library participates in the “Hong Kong All” sharing scheme whereby students may access material held in any of the 8 public universities in Hong Kong.

Recording a new podcast interview with CEOs and Founders of successful online businesses, Scale or Die. This show recently hit Apple's New and Noteworthy for business and technology categories. Watch or listen to the most recent episodes at  This photo is free for public use. Please credit this photo in caption with link to "".

Course Structure and Requirements

Students are assigned a temporary adviser upon admission. In discussion with members of the faculty, students decide upon a permanent advisory team during the first semester of their study. In order to graduate, students must take and pass a minimum number of taught courses: MPhil students must take a minimum of 3 courses; PhD students must take a minimum of 7 courses. All students are required to attend and pass the Proseminar and mandatory common core courses. With the supervision of their advisory, each student is required to complete a research project which constitutes an original contribution to knowledge. They must present a written thesis which demonstrates their understanding of existing knowledge, the methodologies they employed in their research, and the nature of the original contribution they have made to their field of study. On submission of the thesis, the student must satisfy the Board of Examiners in an oral examination on matters relevant to the subject of the thesis.

Mode of Tuition and Duration

Both MPhil and PhD degrees are pursued on a full-time mode; part-time studies may be considered only on a case-by-case basis. The normal period for completion is 24 months for the MPhil and 36 months for the PhD (full-time).

RPg students receive studentships and conference support. Outstanding RPg students may be recommended for scholarships established by private donations. PhD students may apply for financial assistance if they are recommended for attachment to an overseas university (for one semester or one academic year).

business, background, blog

Application Requirements

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Applicants seeking admission to the PhD degree programme should possess:

  • a master’s degree from a recognised university or comparable institution; or
  • a bachelor’s degree with first-class honours from a recognised university or comparable institution; or
  • any other qualification deemed by the Graduate School to be acceptable for this purpose.

Candidates under paragraph (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 paragraph (c) may be required to take a qualifying examination. Their progress shall be reported to the Graduate School at the end of their first year of study.

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

Applicants seeking admission to the MPhil degree programme should possess:

  • a bachelor’s degree with honours from a recognized university or comparable institution; or
  • a qualification deemed to be equivalent; and shall if required, satisfy the examiners in a qualifying examination.

Normally, only First and Second class honours graduates will be considered to have met the admissions criterion under paragraph (a). Graduates with third-class honours degrees, with a period of relevant work experience and satisfactory results in the qualifying examination, may also be considered.

Language Proficiency Requirements

An applicant seeking admission on the basis of a qualification from a university or comparable institution of which the language of teaching and/or examination is not English is required to obtain a minimum score in the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) at 550 (PBT)/79(IBT)* or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) at 6.5. (* PBT: Paper-based Test; IBT: Internet-based Test. The TOEFL institution code of the University is 9467). 

Students are also required to meet the subscore requirement of TOEFL (Reading ≥18; Listening ≥18; Speaking≥18; Writing≥19) or IELTS (at least 5.5 for Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing). 

Students admitted with English test results lower than the threshold standards

Students admitted before 2019/20 will have to take English enhancement course(s) offered by the University's Language Centre after the commencement of the study and pass the threshold standard in relevant international English proficiency test before their oral examination. Those that are admitted from 2019/20 will have to complete the English enhancement course(s) before confirmation of candidature or pass the threshold standard in IELTS/TOEFL before the oral examination.

Other Admission Criteria

The Faculty/School/Academy, in approving the application, also takes into account a number of factors, including:

  • Academic excellence (i.e. GPA, professional qualifications, awards, scholarships, etc.)
  • Research ability and potential (i.e. quality of the research proposal, the feasibility to carry out the research and the potential and value of the research to the department)
  • Cultural diversity (i.e. whether the student would contribute to the diversify of the learning environment)
  • Leadership ability and societal responsibility (i.e. proven experience in professional and/or extracurricular activities and a good sense of societal responsibility)
  • Communication and interpersonal skills (i.e. ability to articulate and express ideas and concepts in English both verbally and in written form)


  • HK$42,100 per year for full-time, UGC-funded students;
  • HK$84,200 per year for full-time, self-funded students;
  • HK$42,100 per year for part-time, self-funded students.
Last updated Jun 2020

About the School

The School of Communication of Hong Kong Baptist University was founded in 1968. It provides a comprehensive range of programmes in communication available in Hong Kong at the undergraduate and postgr ... Read More

The School of Communication of Hong Kong Baptist University was founded in 1968. It provides a comprehensive range of programmes in communication available in Hong Kong at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Read less