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What will I learn?

Our research postgraduate degree programmes in music are prided with the longest history and also the largest intake amongst similar programmes in Hong Kong. The research activities of the Department of Music can be subdivided into four areas of concentration: (1) Composition, (2) Ethnomusicology/Chinese music, (3) Historical Musicology, and (4) Theory.

The Programme is research-oriented and a student is required to enrol in all required courses. All students must meet their Supervisors for prescription of courses every academic year before course selection.

Fields of Specialization

Historical Musicology

Ethnomusicology and Chinese Music

Ethnomusicology at CUHK is grounded in a comprehensive, fully integrated curriculum emphasizing a balanced approach to theory, methodology, and area study. Students engaging in ethnographic as well as historical research are taught by a team of four faculty members whose own cross- and interdisciplinary work bridges the fields of anthropology, musicology, dance, and performance studies and addresses issues of aesthetics, colonialism, diaspora, modernity, nationalism, politics, ritual, and tourism, among many others.

Cheong Wai Ling and Mak Su Yin, the two full-time faculty members in the field of music theory, with their complementary training and interests, can ensure comprehensive coverage of research areas in music theory and provide supervisory support to research postgraduates on a diverse range of thesis and dissertation topics. Cheong specializes in post-tonal theory and the music of Messiaen and Scriabin, while Mak is a Schubert scholar with experience in Schenkerian analysis and semiotic theory.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Arts

Study options

Full Time (Normative period: 2 years, Maximum period: 4 years)

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 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

In additional to the general requirements of the Graduate School,


  • Applicants should have majored in ethnomusicology, musicology, anthropology, or another related field.
  • All Ethnomusicology students are expected to demonstrate proficiency in Chinese and English. Ability to use a language other than Chinese and English, for research purposes, may be required.

Historical Musicology

  • Applicants should have majored in musicology or another related field.
  • Ability to use a language other than Chinese and English, for research purposes, is required for all Historical Musicology students.


  • Applicants should have majored in music theory, musicology, or another related field.
  • Ability to use a language other than Chinese and English, for research purposes, is required for all Theory students.

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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