Study Scheme
1. Coursework Requirement

1. Students are required to take ENGE8100 each term in preparation for Part I of the qualifying examination.

2. Upon passing Part I of the qualifying examination, students are required to take ENGE8200 each term in preparation for the thesis and Part II of the examination.

3. Thesis monitoring courses are listed below:
ENGE8100 and ENGE8200

2. Reading List
To be centred on the candidate’s chosen area of research. For example, a candidate intending to work on a modernist writer must read five entries from the section labelled “20th Century (pre-1945)” and five from each of those sections which are contiguous with it – currently “19th Century (2nd half)” and “20th Century (post-1945)”. In addition to this, the candidate is to read ten works deemed contextually “important” by the candidate’s mentor / supervisor / committee members. This means that students should be given a reading list consisting of 25 works in total.
3. Qualifying Examination
Advancement to Ph.D. candidature is conditional upon the successful completion of the following:

1. Section I – Written Exam
– A three-hour written examination based on the agreed reading list, devised by supervisor and committee members. Student to answer three questions from a question paper of six questions.
– This section is to be completed with 6 months of enrollment.

2. Section II – Written Research Paper and Oral Examination
– Completion of two written tasks – a full and final research proposal/plan (c.5k words), and a chapter of (or a substantial portion thereof) the thesis as outlines in the full and final research proposal/plan.- To deliver two presentations – one defence of the proposed thesis and the shape and dimensions of the proposed research area (id est the research proposal/plan); one defence of the argument(s) outline in the submitted chapter.- The written research proposal/plan and delivery of first presentation/defence to be completed within 12 months of enrollment. The written (substantial portion of) chapter and second presentation/defence to be completed within 18 months of enrollment. Both of these dates to be push back by 6 months for those on the four-year programme.

The following guidelines must be met by the student in preparing for Part II of the qualifying examination. The oral examination cannot be taken unless all the three conditions set below are fulfilled:

1. At least one paper (i, ii or iii) must be based on analysis of specific text(s).

2. At least one area (i, ii or iii) must involve the treatment of a problem in the field of genre or period studies.

3. At least one area (i, ii or iii) must involve the treatment of a theoretical problem in any field of literary or critical studies.

As a general requirement, the Ph.D. student in Literary Studies must present results of original research in two colloquia by the end of the fourth term. Topics chosen for the colloquia should be closely related to the areas covered by the long and short papers subsequently submitted for Part II of the qualifying examination. The colloquia will be open to all students and faculty members of the Department. Students are allowed no more than two attempts at passing the examination or parts thereof. Any second attempt must come within six months of the first attempt.

The maximum periods for students to pass the qualifying examinations are –

Degree Normative Maximum Maximum Period to Pass the Candidacy Requirement
Ph.D. (with research Master’s)
36 months
48 months
84 months
96 months
18 months
24 months
Ph.D. (without research Master’s)
48 months
64 months
84 months
96 months
24 months
32 months

3. Other Requirements

1. Students are required to submit a research thesis and pass an oral examination for graduation.

2. IT Proficiency Test (Please refer to “Student IT Competence”.)

3. Students must complete with satisfactory results at least 6 units of language courses coded 3000 or above offered by the language departments at CUHK under the current curriculum. Alternatively, completion with satisfactory results of any language courses comparable to the year 3 courses offered at CUHK is also accepted as equivalent qualification. In some cases, a special language test may have to be arranged in coordination with the language departments in order to examine students’ competence in a third language. Passing the test will also fulfill the language requirement for Ph.D. candidature.

4. A student who obtains a cumulative grade point average (GPA) below 2.0 in the preceding term or receives a failure grade in thesis monitoring courses (for Research Postgraduate Programmes) will be put on academic probation. For details, please refer to Clause 14.0 “Unsatisfactory Performance and Discontinuation of Studies” of the General Regulations Governing Postgraduate Studies which can be accessed from the Graduate School Homepage:

5. Complete an Improving Postgraduate Learning (IPL) module on “Observing Intellectual Property and Copyright Law during Research”. This will be an online module and relevant information can be accessed from the website: to students admitted in 2001-02 and thereafter.)