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What will I learn?

The Faculty of Social Sciences was established in 1967 and has since undergone rapid expansion and significant transformation. Today, the Faculty comprises the Departments of Geography, Politics and Public Administration, Psychology, Social Work and Social Administration, and Sociology and the Journalism and Media Studies Centre. It also has seven multidisciplinary research centres/units that provide a platform for research interaction and collaboration among colleagues on campus and in the wider world.

At the postgraduate level, the Faculty offers 23 taught programmes including doctoral degree programmes in Public Administration and Psychology. There are also around 250 MPhil and PhD students in the Faculty.

To reinforce the strength of its research degree programmes leading to the award of MPhil and PhD degrees, the Faculty has identified 16 research clusters in which it is particularly keen to recruit research degree students. Building on the established research strengths of the Faculty, these are

• China Studies
• Comparative Asian and International Studies
• Criminology
• Culture and Heritage
• Environment, Urban Planning and Sustainable Development
• Interpersonal Relationships
• Media
• Methodology
• Nonprofit Management and Civil Society
• Political Theory and Philosophy
• Population and Mental Health
• Psychosocial Intervention and Processes
• Public and Social Policy, and Governance
• Public Policy
• Social and Cognitive Neuroscience
• Transnationalism and Global Migration

The Faculty has identified four strategic directions for future development: China studies; NGOs and civil society; social and cognitive neuroscience; and public policy. In our work in these four areas we aspire to be world-leading, to develop Areas of Excellence, and to leverage our interdisciplinary approach to social science.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Social Sciences

Study options

Full Time (3 years)

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

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

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.


About The University of Hong Kong

HKU produces the ‘Most Employable University Graduates in Hong Kong’ and is 10th in producing ‘Most Employable University Graduates in the World’.

  • 1st in Hong Kong - QS World University Rankings in 2022
  • Based in one of world’s most cosmopolitan cities- Hong Kong
  • 22nd in the world - QS World University Rankings in 2022
  • 9 of its disciplines rank in top 25 globally