- The Department of Fine Arts of the University of Hong Kong is one of Asia's leading centres of art historical research. We offer research degree programmes leading to the award of M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees, and are able to offer supervision in a variety of fields. Currently our main fields are Chinese art (including Hong Kong art), Japanese art, European art from the Renaissance to the present day, and American art. We welcome approaches by suitably-qualified applicants from both Hong Kong and elsewhere.
Normally applicants will be expected to have a first degree with an upper second class honours standing or above (or equivalent for overseas candidates), including substantial previous study of art history. Students with a background in other related disciplines who can demonstrate that they would be capable of undertaking art history research are also invited to apply. Candidates should have a high standard of English, as well as proficiency in whatever language or languages they need for their proposed study. Research postgraduate places are limited, and are distributed by the Arts Faculty on a competitive basis according to academic excellence. Successful applicants for full-time study are normally offered a studentship which is intended to cover their tuition and living expenses during the period of their studies.
The Department does not offer any taught M.A. programmes, but from 1999, the University has introduced a coursework component into the M.Phil. degree (see below). These courses are of a qualifying nature - that is, they must be passed before the student can proceed further with their studies, but they will not be counted towards the assessment of the M.Phil degree itself. Students will take courses in the Department with the aim of broadening their understanding of art history and its methodologies as an aid to their research - such courses will assume an undergraduate level art historical knowledge, and are not intended as an introduction to art history for students with no previous exposure. All students will be expected to give a seminar paper to the Department as one part of their coursework, which is normally completed in the first year of their studies, prior to the confirmation of their candidature. In addition they will take Graduate School core courses which are designed to provide less subject-specific support (for example language courses and thesis-writing workshops). M.Phil. students are expected to complete a thesis of some ambition on a well-defined topic, at a standard considerably higher than that of an M.A. thesis. They work largely on their own with the guidance of a supervisor. This thesis, which should make a contribution to knowledge in the chosen area, must be completed within a strict two year time limit.
Prospective Ph.D. students will have a thorough grounding in art history prior to commencing their study, and will usually already have experience of independent research in an M.A. or M.Phil programme. Ph.D. students must complete a thesis within three years of registration (four if they have not previously undertaken a research masters degree). They work with the aid of a supervisor, but in a largely independent way, mobilizing resources for themselves. A Ph.D. thesis should be a major contribution to knowledge, such as might be the basis of an academic book. Ph.D students are required to attend all Department seminars arranged for them, and will be expected to give two seminar presentations themselves. The first of these will normally be given before the end of their tenth month of study, and the second around the end of their second year of study, and not later than the 28th month.
- Notes for intending M.Phil and Ph.D. applicants
Intending applicants for both the M.Phil. and Ph.D. programmes normally have a fairly clear idea of the area in which they wish to research. They will be familiar with existing publications in their chosen area and will have some sense of what work still needs to be done. They will have ascertained the availability of resources to conduct their proposed research, and have a basic idea of what their main research questions and plan of work will be. Applicants are welcome to approach the member of staff whose area of interest appears to correspond most closely to their proposed field (see research interests of staff members elsewhere on this website). They may also contact the Department's Postgraduate Admissions Advisor, Dr. Y.W. Koon.
When making formal application for admission both M.Phil. and Ph.D. candidates are required to submit a formal research proposal. The Department of Fine Arts has not established a standardized format for this proposal, but it may be about 4 or 5 pages in length and should be as clear and detailed as possible, addressing the issues mentioned above.
Information on the University's admissions procedures, deadlines, regulations, and financial support can be obtained directly from the Graduate School (or via the University's internet home page: www.hku.hk). Potential applicants are advised to contact the Graduate School for admissions forms and prospectuses prior to contacting the Department. Further information on the Department can be found elsewhere on this website (finearts.hku.hk).
Information on completed and current M.Phil. and Ph.D. theses in the Department.