MPhil  &  PhD


The Department runs a postgraduate research programme leading to MPhil, and PhD for local, Mainland China and overseas graduates with a view to advancing their knowledge and applying expertise to understand and solve real world problems. The MPhil study requires candidates to undertake critical study of a chosen area, whereas the PhD study demands candidates to accomplish a study which makes a significant contribution to knowledge deserving of publication.

Since 1961, the Department has conferred 95 degree awards for PhD, 16 for MA (Research) and 117 for MPhil. To facilitate their research activities, the Department provides studies with a full range of support in the form of strong supervisory staff, regular postgraduate seminars, and ready access to laboratory facilities and high-performance computing systems. At present, the Department has 15 teaching staff and 1 Post-doctoral Fellow from diverse backgrounds whose research interests straddle a wide spectrum of specialities in physical, human and regional geography, environmental studies, geographic information systems and spatial analysis.

Applicants are advised to browse the ‘Full-Time Academic Staff’ profiles to find out the on-going/new research projects or general research interests of individual staff members before submitting their applications for admission to study.

Research Postgraduate Seminar (2021-2022)


Research Postgraduate Course

The Research Postgraduate coursework programme in the Department of Geography is comprised of the following two components:

(A) Four compulsory courses offered by the Graduate School

  1. Introduction to Thesis Writing

  2. Research Ethics for Graduate Students

  3. Transferable Skills

  4. Research Methods

For the modules available under each of these four courses, please refer to the Graduate School's website at:

 (B) Two departmental compulsory courses

  1. ‘GEOG6003 Research Colloquium’

  2. ‘GEOG6007 Research Methods in Geography’

All MPhil and 4-year PhD students will be required to register for and complete these courses in the following manner:

  • M.Phil. students need to complete all the Graduate School's and departmental courses in their first year of study. 

  • 4-year PhD students need to complete all the Graduate School's courses in their first year of study, and the departmental courses within the first 12-18 months of study.

To consult and seek guidance from their supervisors in selecting the appropriate modules offered by the Graduate School.

GEOG6003 Research Colloquium

This is a full-year course to be offered in both first and second semesters.

(A) Course aims and objectives

The primary objective of this course is to provide an opportunity for students to learn from and share their research findings with each other as well as the teaching staff and guest speakers.

(B) Course syllabus

This course is a formalized version of the existing Departmental Seminar Series (also known as ‘Postgraduate Seminars’).  The Department’s teaching staff and postgraduate students, as well as invited guest speakers outside of the Department, will make presentations of their research findings at these bi-weekly meetings, which are held throughout the academic year.  Students are required to attend a minimum of 24 hours of seminars in their first year of study.

(C) Mode of assessment

The performance of the student’s own presentation, along with the student’s participation in the discussion at the research colloquium will be used as the basis for determining the grade of the students.  There will be no other course requirement and no final written examination.  The students are expected to obtain a passing grade, under a pass/fail grading system, in this course before they are allowed to proceed further in their studies.

GEOG6007 Research Methods in Geography

This is a one-semester course to be offered in either first semester or second semester.

(A) Course aims and objectives

This course aims to provide students with an understanding of the fundamental research concepts and methods in conducting research on geographical problems. 

(B) Course syllabus

The course, which meets once every week for two hours, will include lectures, classroom discussion, and student presentations.  The course is structured to help students go through the steps associated with the process of developing a research topic in a manner that facilitates the development of a defendable research proposal. Lectures of the course will cover the nature of geographical research, design and development of research questions, practical/conceptual differences between qualitative and quantitative research approaches, and writing-up and dissemination of research findings.  It is hoped that by the end of the course, students would have grasped the basic understanding of the process involved in developing a research framework to the production of a workable research proposal on geographical studies.

(C) Mode of assessment

Assessment will be in the form of written assignments and presentation (100% coursework)

Entry Requirement

Applicants seeking admission to the MPhil/PhD research degree programmes should satisfy the University’s minimum entrance requirement. Please refer to the Graduate School’s weblink: for information on the entrance requirement.

Applicants from institutions outside Hong Kong where the language of instruction and examination is not entirely in English should take an English language proficiency test and obtain the required score. Details of the recognized English language proficiency tests are also available at the above-mentioned Graduate School’s weblink.

Applicants should attach a research proposal together with their applications. 
They are strongly advised to contact the relevant staff member(s) of the Department about their research proposal before submitting their applications.

Research Postgraduate Theses