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What will I learn?

Students are required to write a research thesis which will make an original contribution to English literary studies. They are expected to have an excellent command of English, the official language of the thesis, as well as an additional language other than English and Chinese. In addition to the thesis, students must pass a qualifying examination within the first year of study before they can be advanced to PhD candidature.

Goals and Objectives

The long-range goals of the Programme include those appropriate to literary studies in English as well as those of most Comparative Literature programmes throughout the world: to encourage critical and systematic studies of English and other literatures in the fullness of their mutual relationships. It attempts to develop in the students an understanding of advanced literary studies in English as well as a critical sense of perceiving resemblances and differences in literatures with various cultural and philosophical backgrounds.

The programme is organised to focus on both literary & cultural study, since at the graduate level, literary research often converges with other disciplines. Comparative Literature, apart from cross-cultural studies of literature in influence and reception studies, genre, structure, period and movement, etc. also embraces such recognized topics as the relations between literature and the other arts (e.g., painting, music and film), between literature and sociology (e.g., socio-cultural approaches, sociology of literature, critical theory), between literature and philosophy (e.g., aesthetics, phenomenology, analytic philosophy, hermeneutics), between literature and history (e.g., historicism, new historicism, Marxist criticism), between literature and language (e.g., semiotics, stylistics and literary discourse analysis), and between literature and culture (e.g., history of ideas, cultural analysis).

The Chinese University of Hong Kong’s bicultural environment aims to provide an ideal context for English and Comparative Literature studies which, in turn, will reinforce and strengthen the special efforts the University is making towards better East-West relations.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Arts

Study options

Full Time (For students with a research master’s degree: Normative period - 36 months, Maximum period - 84 months; students without a research master’s: Normative period - 48 months, Maximum period - 84 months.)

Tuition fees
HK$42,100.00 (4,25,898) per year
Start date

Expected September 2022


The Chinese University of Hong Kong


Sha Tin, Hong Kong, New Territories

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants must have a Master's degree holder from a recognized university; or graduated from a recognized university and obtained a Bachelor's degree, normally with honours not lower than Second Class; or graduated from an honours programme of a recognized university with a Bachelor's degree, normally achieving an average grade of not lower than "B" ; or completed a course of study in a tertiary educational institution and obtained professional or similar qualifications equivalent to an honours degree. English Language Requirements: TOEFL: 550 (Paper-based)/79 (Internet-based); IELTS (Academic): 6.5; GMAT (Verbal): Band 21.

For international students

Applicants must satisfy one of the following:

  • a Master's degree from a recognized university; or
  • a Bachelor's degree, normally with Second Class Honors in the upper division or above, and have been registered in a course of study for a Master's degree at this University for at least one year and have demonstrated research ability; or
  • been registered in a course of study for a doctoral degree at a recognized university for at least one year, and have been approved for admission by the Graduate Council.

To fulfill the University’s minimum English language requirements for admission to postgraduate programmes, applicants should have:

obtained a degree from a university in Hong Kong or taken a degree programme of which the medium of instruction was English; or

achieved scores in the following English Language tests2 as indicated:

  • TOEFL: 550 (Paper-based)/79 (Internet-based);
  • IELTS (Academic): 6.5;
  • GMAT (Verbal): Band 21; or

obtained a pass grade in other English language requirements equivalent to HKDSE or

obtained a recognized professional qualification, provided that the examination was conducted in English.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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