For detailed information on FASS Graduate Research Programmes: click here to enter the FASS Website for Prospective Graduate Students.
Candidature, Coursework & Thesis
M.Soc.Sci students are required to read six modules, including PS5111 Research Design in Political Science and PS6770 Graduate Research Seminar and core modules in two of the four subfields offered by the Department (Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Theory, and Governance and Public Policy). One of these core modules will be in their major subfield.
For Masters students, at least 75% of the total modular credit (MC) requirements must be at level 5000 or 6000. Up to 25% of the total MC requirements may be at level 4000, subject to the approval of the Department.
Ph.D students are required to read seven modules, including PS5111, PS6770, an additional methods module and also core modules in two of the four subfields - one in their major subfield, one in the minor subfield, and one elective module (allowed at Level-4000) and one Independent Study Module (which would be supervised by the thesis supervisor)
For Ph.D students, at least 75% (6 modules) of the total MC requirements must be at level 5000 or 6000. Up to 25% (1 module) of the total MC requirements may be at level 4000, subject to the approval of the Department.
Students normally read three modules per semester. In special circumstances, such as concurrent enrolment in an English language module or an imminent Qualifying Examination, and with the permission of his or her supervisor and the Graduate Coordinator, a student may read fewer than three substantive modules in a given semester.
CAP computation for repeat modules for all graduate students: Where a module is required for the graduate candidature and the minimum grade is not met, students will be allowed to repeat the same module (core or elective) only once. The improved grade point of the repeat/replaced module will replace the weaker one in the CAP computation in the semester in which the successful attempt is made. Students are allowed to repeat one-third of the curricular requirements not exceeding three modules, whichever is lower.
M.Soc.Sci and Ph.D students must also complete a thesis based on their research.
The maximum periods of candidature for both full-time and part-time candidates, the coursework requirements and the word limit for thesis (including footnotes but excluding appendices, bibliography, maps, charts, statistical tables, graphs, illustrations) are reflected in the table below:
|M.Soc.Sci.||36 Months||6 Modules||Max. 30,000 words|
|Ph.D.||60 Months||7 Modules||Max. 80,000 words|
For more information, please click here for Brief Programme Requirements
- Obtain a minimum Cumulative Average Point of 3.00 for the required modules;
- Where applicable, obtain satisfactory grades (at least grade C) in the graduate English courses conducted by the Centre for English Language Communication at intermediate level; and
- Pass Masters thesis.
- Obtain a minimum Cumulative Average Point of 3.50 for the required modules;
- Where applicable, obtain satisfactory grades (at least grade C) in the graduate English modules conducted by the Centre for English Language Communication at advanced level, with the exception of students from the Department of Chinese Studies who are required to achieve an intermediate level of proficiency;
- Pass Qualifying Examination;
- Pass PhD thesis; and
- Pass Oral Examination.
Ph.D Qualifying Exams
The Qualifying Examination (QE) for Ph.D students consists of a written comprehensive examination and an oral defence of the Ph.D thesis proposal. The length of the thesis proposal should be 30 - 50 double-spaced pages. The candidate must submit the proposal to his/her thesis committee (and a copy for the Department’s record) at least a week before the oral defence.
All Ph.D candidates must satisfy the following conditions before taking the Ph.D QE:
- Pass the English course, where applicable; and
- Complete a minimum of five modules, at least two of which at level 6000, with a minimum CAP of 3.50.
The written comprehensive examination consists of a field exam and a topic exam or paper. The field exam tests the competence of the candidate in a primary field of political science; and the topic exam or paper assess the student's expertise in his or her proposed area of research. The oral defence of the Ph.D thesis proposal ensures that the candidate is prepared to embark on his/her thesis research.
The QE must be passed before the end of the second year of the Ph.D candidature. However, the candidate may take the comprehensive examination earlier, subject to the approval of the Thesis Committee (TC), Graduate Coordinator, and Head of Department. Approval may be sought via email. Within this period a second Ph.D QE may be attempted should the candidate fail at the first attempt. This schedule applies to both full-time and part-time Ph.D candidates.