Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - Faculty of Architecture




What will I learn?

Department of Architecture

The PhD programme in Architecture offers independent research in architecture, landscape architecture and urbanism. It is intended for persons who wish to enter teaching and advanced research careers with a commitment to make an original contribution to the field. The programme places emphasis on originality, significance, and methodology in topics engaging pertinent issues in Asia and China, as well as important intersections with international and cross-cultural contexts. The Department houses a number of research centres associated with the HKUrbanLab, the research arm of HKU’s Faculty of Architecture, including the Centre of Chinese Architecture and Urbanism (CCAU), Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities Initiatives (AUHI), Rural Urban Lab, Fabrication and Material Technologies Lab, Urban Ecologies Design Lab, and Virtual Reality Lab of Urban Environments and Human Health.

Major Research Areas

History and theory of architecture, urbanism and habitation; built environment and urban landscape for public health and well-being; architectural and sustainable technologies; analysis and development of buildings, landscapes and regions with focus on social, cultural, economic, technological, ecological and infrastructural systems; and urbanism with attention on high-density, compact cities, housing research and design methods.

Department of Real Estate and Construction

The Department of Real Estate and Construction is a multidisciplinary department with solid theoretical foundations and expertise obtained through professional practice in property rights and neo-institutional economic research on real estate development, law, construction project management, urban planning and development, and facilities/building management supported by contemporary information technologies such as Building Information Modelling (BIM), urban big data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and smart technologies.

Major Research Areas

Our general research theme is “co-production studies of human and organisational factors which shape the development of the built environment”. Our aim, through engagement with industry, is to derive practical, theoretical and policy implications. The Department offers research expertise in land management, planning and development, project and construction management, construction informatics, real estate investment and finance, facility management, and urban regeneration.

Department of Urban Planning and Design

The Department of Urban Planning and Design and the Centre of Urban Studies and Urban Planning (CUSUP) are the focal points of multidisciplinary urban studies and planning research, especially in sustainable development of high-rise and high-density cities in East Asia. Through critical and comparative perspectives, along with fieldwork, the research outputs reflect the analysis and theorisation of urban development, urban planning and urban studies.

Major Research Areas

Planning and managing sustainable cities and regions; urban and regional development in China (particularly the Pearl River Delta Region and Shanghai); planning and management of urban transport systems with emphasis on sustainable transport systems; housing policy and planning; comparative housing policies; development of sustainable housing systems; housing and urban economics; financing housing and urban development; the impacts of land-use regulation; urban history and theory; information technology applications in urban planning, including GIS; transport GIS and its application in planning: globalisation and urban development processes; high-density urban development and management; urban issues of the Belt and Road region.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Architecture

Study options

Full Time (3 years)

Tuition fees
HK$42,100.00 (4,46,665) per year
Start date

Every month


The University of Hong Kong

MG 14, Ground Floor, Main Building,

The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam,

Southern, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Island

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants must hold a Bachelor degree with a major other than common law with at least second-class honours, or an equivalent qualification. Applicants who do not have a Bachelor degree with English as the medium of instruction are required to satisfy the English language proficiency on the basis of one of the following recognised English tests: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) - A score of 100 or above (internet-based test); or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) - An overall band score of 7.5 or above with no sub-test below 6.5 and a minimum band score of 7.0 in the academic writing module; In each case, for admissions purposes, the test score report is regarded as valid for two years.

For international students

The basic qualification necessary for admission to research postgraduate studies is a good honours degree from this University or an equivalent qualification from a comparable institution. In addition, certain degree courses have more specific requirements. Qualifying examinations to test the applicants’ abilities to follow the prescribed courses and/or interviews may be conducted. Applicants with qualifications other than an honours degree are considered on their individual merits.

Applicants who wish to be admitted to higher degrees on the basis of a qualification from a university or a comparable institution outside Hong Kong where the language of teaching and/or examination is not English are required to obtain the following:

(a) a minimum score in the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) as specified below:

Paper-based test

  • An overall score of 550 or above
  • Additional requirement for applicants to the Faculty of Arts except the School of Chinese and the Centre of Buddhist Studies: 4 or above in the Test of Written English (TWE)

Internet-based test

  • An overall score of 80 or above
  • Additional requirement for applicants to the Faculty of Arts except the School of Chinese and the Centre of Buddhist Studies: 25 or above in the Writing section; or

(b) a minimum overall band of 6 with no subtest lower than 5.5 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (Academic module); or

(c) grade C or above in the Overseas General Certificate of Education (GCE); or

(d) grade C or above in the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE); or

(e) grade C or above in the Cambridge Test of Proficiency in English Language (CPE);

unless in exceptional circumstances when they are exempted from this requirement.

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


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