Research Postgraduate Degree Programme (MPhil and PhD)

The Research Postgraduate programme leading to the award of MPhil and PhD degrees is for students who wish to pursue innovative and original research in Buddhist Studies. It enables students to conduct research in any geographical area and topic related to Buddhism in either premodern or contemporary settings.

Programme Structure

Candidates for the MPhil programme are required to follow an approved course of study under structured supervision including coursework. The normal period of study is 2 years for full-time students and 3 years for part-time students. Candidates for the PhD programme are required to follow an approved course of study, which may include additional coursework, and research under supervision, the period of completion can be 3 years or 4 years for full-time students, and 4.5 years or 6 years for part-time students. The primary requirement of the MPhil and PhD programmes is the production of a substantial and original body of work in the form of a thesis. The thesis must be written to a publishable academic standard, including proper use of quotations, notes, citations, illustrations, and other supporting materials. The expected limit for an MPhil thesis is 40,000-50,000 words, while for a PhD thesis is 60,000-80,000 words.

General Qualifications for Admission

The basic qualification necessary for admission to research postgraduate studies is a good honours degree from the University of Hong Kong or an equivalent qualification from a comparable institution. Qualifying examinations and/or interviews to test the applicant's abilities to follow the prescribed courses may be conducted. Applicants with qualifications other than an honours degree may be considered on their individual merits.

Applicants who wish to be admitted to the programme 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:

(1) A score of 550 or above (paper-based test) or 80 or above (internet-based test) in the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) taken within a two-year period; or

(2) A minimum overall band of 6 with no subtest lower than 5.5 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) taken within a two-year period.

Additional Requirements of the Centre of Buddhist Studies

In addition to the above mentioned general requirements, applicants for the programme are expected to have the following qualifications:

(1) A Master of Buddhist Studies(MBS) with Distinction from CBS; or an equivalent qualification from another institution.

(2) A minimum of one year formal training in a major Buddhist language (i.e., classical Chinese, Sanskrit, Pāli, classical Tibetan, Japanese, etc.), or demonstrable equivalency.

(3) Demonstrable proficiency in the language(s) related to the research topic of the candidate. In the case of textual and doctrinal studies, proficiency in the scriptural language(s) involved is a prerequisite. Specific language training may also be required in certain other areas of research.


The University has several awards of Fellowships/Scholarships. For detail information, please click here. The application of Fellowships/Scholarships has been built into the Online Application System.

The 'Glorious Sun Group Postgraduate Scholarships in Buddhist Studies' is available for Buddhist clergy who pursue the Research Postgraduate degree programme. Please click here for more details. The scholarship application form and the supporting documents should be submitted to the Centre of Buddhist Studies, The University of Hong Kong.

For applicants who intend to apply for any scholarship, it's highly recommended to submit applications in the Main Round.

Application Period

The application period for admissions in 2022-23 commenced on September 1, 2022 and the application dates are as follows:

(1) Main Round: September 1 - December 1, 2022
(2) 1st Clearing Round: December 2, 2022 - April 30, 2023
(3) 2nd Clearing Round: May 1 - August 31, 2023

Online Application

Before submitting applications online, interested applicants ought to contact the proposed supervisor(s) whose research expertise is suitable with the research project proposed.

All applicants are expected to submit a detailed research proposal which should typically contain the title of the proposed research, an introduction to their topic, a literature review section, and pertinent bibliography of no more than 2,000 words as a single supporting document through the Online Application System. Applications should be submitted to the Graduate School via the Online Application System. Supporting documents need to be uploaded by applicants before the deadline. For admission details, please visit here.

General Coursework Requirement

In addition to a traditional one-to-one mode of supervision, the incorporation of coursework into the MPhil/PhD programmes serves to provide a form of structured supervision. The general coursework requirements by the Graduate School are available at the Graduate School website.

Candidates for the MPhil/PhD programmes are required by our Centre to take 3 elective courses from the list below to be decided in consultation with the candidates' supervisors and with their prior approval. Students who have completed these requirements during their MPhil studies will not need to take any additional courses during their 3-year PhD course.

(1) Courses from the Master of Buddhist Studies(MBS) programme;

(2) Courses from the Master of Buddhist Counselling(MBC) programme;

(3) Courses from another department's MPhil/PhD curriculum relevant to the candidate's research.

Further Information

For more information about the programme and application, please click here.

Postgraduate Admissions Advisor

Dr. Georgios T. Halkias


Tel: (852) 3917-0094

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