MPhil & PhD Studies


The department offers supervision for M.Phil./Ph.D. candidates in the following sub-disciplines within the field: China and Hong Kong studies, comparative politics, international relations, political theory and public administration. The degrees may be taken on either a full-time or a part-time basis. The M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees are research degrees and require the submission and oral defence of an original piece of work. Candidates are expected to demonstrate both that they have made a new contribution to their area of study and that they have a command of the relevant literature. M.Phil. candidates are required to complete a coursework curriculum as part of their research training. They will be required to take courses organised by the Graduate School and the Department. Applicants in the field of public administration and international relation should note that the department also offers a Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) degree and a Master of International and Public Affairs (M.I.P.A.) degree. (For more information, please contact the departmental office.)

Requirements for admission to the M.Phil./Ph.D. degrees

Applicants should have a good honours degree from a recognized university and, depending on the nature of their research proposal, some background in the study of politics, public administration, political philosophy, or applied ethics. Applicants are required to obtain a score of 550 or above in the paper-based, 213 or above for computer-based,79-80 or above for internet-based TOEFL test , or equivalent evidence of the ability to read and write in English. Every applicant is expected to have in advance of admission a clear idea of the nature of the research he or she wishes to pursue and should try to identify the staff member best suited as supervisor. A research proposal must be enclosed in the application. The following items must be addressed in the research proposal:

  1. a statement of the aim and scope of research;
  2. an explanation of the research methods to be employed (e.g. theoretical approaches, methods of data collection, and methods of philosophical analysis, etc);
  3. a statement on the significance of the research study and its possible contribution to the field of study;
  4. reference/reading list.

All applications should be submitted to the Online Application system. If you have enquiries regarding how to use the Online Application System, please contact the Graduate School by email at or telephone: (852) 2857 3470.

The Faculty reserves the right not to admit applicants who meet the minimum qualifications. In some cases, it will not be possible to provide supervision in the specific area of the applicant's interest; in others, the member of staff with expertise in the area may already be fully committed.

Information for rpg admissions:

FAQ regarding rpg admissions:

Major Research Areas

Comparative politics:
Comparative politics, political economy of development, politics of economic reform in socialist countries/central provincial relations in China, local government and economic reform in China. Political culture and political participation, democratisation, civil society and social movements, history of ideas, gender studies, authoritarian politics and corruption in China.

International relations:
International relations theory, international political economy, East Asia, and Chinese foreign policy. International politics, global governance, and Asian regionalism.

Political theory and ethics:
Contemporary Western political philosophy, Confucianism, human rights, applied ethics, just war theory and the ethics and violence, global justice, immigration, egalitarianism and anti- egalitarianism, comparative political philosophy.

Public administration and public policy:
Organisation theory and problems, public personnel administration, bureaucratic participation, bureaucratic representation, new public administration, public administration in China, public policy analysis, institutional analysis, public management, common-pool resources management, self-governance, environmental governance, comparative environmental regulatory policy, participatory governance, civil society organisations, social policy development, theories and public administration and public policy, health care policy.

Guidance for accepted applicants

The department will allocate a supervisor or, in some cases, joint supervisors for all accepted applicants. Candidates should ensure that they keep their supervisors informed of their progress and their written work. Supervisors are required to report regularly to the department and the Faculty on each candidate's progress in research and writing. A candidate must pass an oral defense of his or her revised research proposal before the candidature can be confirmed at the end of the probationary period. In the second year of study, every M.Phil./Ph.D. candidate is expected to present a seminar paper on his or her research work to the department.

Departmental Requirements

Students are required to participate in Departmental seminars, make seminar presentations, lead tutorials and assist in activities organised by the Department.

Financial support

The university awards post-graduate studentships, on a competitive basis, to full-time post-graduate students. The award is HK$18,390 per month for 2022-23 and requires some teaching assistance at the undergraduate level or research assistance for the department.


The department currently has 6 M.Phil. students and 18 Ph.D. students. The department has an international post-graduate student body. Our current and past non-local students come from Canada, Columbia, mainland China, France, Ireland, Italy, Nepal, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Greece, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States, Japan, Myanmar, Morocco, Thailand, and Saudi Arabia.

Staff members and their areas of expertise

Name Qualifications Academic Interests
Professor CHEN Haohan
[Assistant Professor]
Tel: 3917 5028
e-mail :
B.Soc.Sc., HKU;
M.S., Ph.D., Duke
Computational social science,
political communication,
authoritarian politics,
inequality and redistribution
Professor CHAN Kwan Nok
[Associate Professor]
Tel: 3917 7862
e-mail :
BA., MPhil., HKU;
PhD., Indiana
Institutional analysis,
comparative public policy,
competitive authoritarianism,
politics and social media,
environmental governance regime,
environmental monitoring
Professor DING Fangda
[Assistant Professor]
Tel: 3917 2585
e-mail :
B.A., & B.S., Wuhan
MSc., London School of Economics and Political Science., Peking U. Ph.D., Rutgers
Social equity, Diversity
Management, Public
Presonnel Management,
Environmental Policy,
Nonprofit Management
Professor HAN Enze
[Associate Professor]
Tel: 3917 1466
e-mail :
Ph.D., George Washington
International Relations of East Asia,
China's Relations with Southeast Asia,
Ethnic Politics in China,
Southeast Asian Politics,
Myanmar and Thailand Politics,
Race and Ethnic Politics
Professor JIN Yutang
[Assistant Professor]
Tel: 3917 2398
e-mail :
L.L. B. Peking;
M. Sc., London School of Economics;
M.Sc., DPhil., Oxford
Confucian and Chinese political thought,
Democratic theory,
Comparative political theory
Professor LAM Wai Fung
[Professor & Head]
Tel: 3917 2391
e-mail :
B.Soc.Sc., CUHK;
Ph.D., Indiana
Public policy analysis,
institutional analysis,
public management,
common-pool resources management,
Professor LEVIN Dov H.
[Assistant Professor]
Tel: 3917 1908
e-mail :
B.A. & M.A., The University of Haifa;
Military and Non-Military Interventions,
U.S. Foreign Policy, Regional War and Peace,
Terrorism and Insurgency, International Relations Theory,
Security Studies/International Security
Professor LI Hui
[Assistant Professor]
Tel: 3917 4372
e-mail :
B.A. & M.A., Renmin U;
Ph.D., Southern California
Public/nonprofit management,
organization theory,
civil society,
environmental governance
Professor LI Zhengyan
[Assistant Professor]
Tel: 3917 4982
e-mail :
B.A., Remin U;
MPA, Columbia;
Ph.D., Indiana
Environmental Policy,
Environmental Justice,
Environmental Attitudes and Opinions,
Information Disclosure
Professor QUEK Kai
[Associate Professor & Chairman of Departmental Research Postgraduate Committee]
Tel : 3917 7118
B.A., Cornell U;
Ph.D., MIT
Experimental political science,
global-level strategic interactions,
international security,
East Asia, causes and prevention of war
Professor STEINHOFF Uwe
Tel : 3917 1927
e-mail :
M.A., Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe U;
Ph.D., Wurzburg
Contemporary western political philosophy and applied ethics, in particular: the ethics of violence (self-defense, war, terrorism, torture, assassination, punishment, etc.), global justice, political obligation, collective responsibility, egalitarianism vs. anti-egalitarianism
Professor STRANGE Austin
[Assistant Professor]
Tel : 3917 1120
e-mail :
B.A., William & Mary
Ph.D., Harvard
Chinese foreign policy, international political economy, international development, trade, diplomacy
Professor YAN Xiaojun
[Associate Professor]
Tel : 3917 4880
e-mail :
LLB, LLM, Peking;
Ph.D., Harvard
Chinese politics, comparative political development, political regime, government reform, institutional innovation, authoritarianism, democratization, contentious politics and comparative historical study of reform and revolution.
Professor ZHU Jiangnan
[Associate Professor]
Tel : 3917 2278
e-mail :

B.A., Peking;
M.S., Ph.D., Northwestern

Chinese Politics, Corruption and Government Integrity, Methodology.


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