Research Postgraduate Programmes
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. Although the four concentrations
reflect recognized professional boundaries, the faculty as a
whole embraces the spirit of interdisciplinary research and
is actively engaged in diverse modes of scholarly
inquiry. In keeping with international practice,
postgraduate studies in composition lead towards the
professional degree titles of MMus and DMus, while that in
the other three research concentrations, ethnomusicology,
historical musicology and theory, lead towards the MPhil and
Our research postgraduate students, in additon to formal
courses, have many other opportunities to become exposed to
the latest academic research in music. The
department research forum series offers a platform for
faculty and PhD students to present their work in progress,
and the colloquium series features guest lectures by
international scholars on a regular basis. Faculty-
and University-wide interdisciplinary lectures, forums and
conferences, and exchange opportunities are also available.
Philosophy/Master of Philosophy/Doctor of Music/Master of
1. General admissions requirements
2. Departmental admissions requirements
3. Online applications
4. Postgraduate Studentship (monthly stipend of around HKD13,600–14,070 for
5. Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme
Master and Doctoral Degree Programmes
MPhil (Historical Musicology, Music Theory, Ethnomusicology), MMus (Composition)
- The 2-year MPhil programmes (1-year in the case of MMus) are designed to bridge the gap between undergraduate and doctoral studies, and to prepare students for further advanced studies either locally or abroad. They are also stand-alone programmes that can equip graduates for careers as research associates, adjunct university teachers and professional composers.
- The MPhil programmes are emphatically research-oriented, with the completion of a thesis/portfolio as the major degree requirement. In addition, students are required to take core and elective courses within their specialized fields and a foreign language (aside from English and Chinese) and IT competency are also required of students in selected fields. These requirements are specifically designed to help students lay the groundwork for carrying out up-to-date research in the field.
- The 3-year doctoral
degree programmes are highly specialized to prepare
students for full-time academic appointments in their
selected fields. The PhD programmes are
emphatically research-oriented, with the completion of a
dissertation/portfolio set up as the main degree
requirement. Additional course work is required in
selected fields. Apart from fulfilling credit
requirements, students are also required to pass
qualifying examinations before they formally start
working on the dissertations/portfolios.
Areas of Specialization
- There are three full-time faculty members (one Professor, one Assistant Professor, and one Senior Instructor) within the field. Required classes for the MMus (Composition) include Research Methods and Bibliography, Advanced Composition I and II, and Advanced Music Analysis I and II. Students are also responsible for producing a portfolio consisting of musical works written after registering in the programme.
- There are no course
requirements for the DMus (Composition) and the study
scheme focuses on the creation of a portfolio of new
- There are three ethnomusicologists in the Department (one Associate Professor and two Assistant Professors). They all perform research in more than one area, including but not limited to the music of China (from historical and anthropological perspectives), Sufi music, popular music, Bollywood film music, and the material culture of music.
- The Ethnomusicology programme includes intensive training in the theory and methods of ethnomusicology research.
- Doctoral students are
expected to complete additional coursework as part of
their doctoral studies, and are often encouraged to
pursue relevant postgraduate classes outside of the
Department when relevant to their dissertation topic.
- The Department has three historical musicologists (one Professor, one Associate Professor, and one Instructor) whose primary areas of interest range from sixteenth- and seventeenth-century European to twentieth-century North American musics.
- The coursework for both MPhil and PhD students encourages students to acquire broad knowledge of music history and its methods, while simultaneously cultivating their own field of interest and expertise.
- Students may be required to
take additional foreign language study, if their
research topic requires it.
- There are two full-time faculty members (one Professor, one Associate Professor) within the field of music theory. The former specializes in post-tonal theory and the music of Olivier Messiaen, while the latter is a Schubert scholar with experience in Schenkerian analysis and semiotic theory. Their complementary training and interests ensure comprehensive coverage of research areas in music theory, and can provide supervisory support to research postgraduates on a diverse range of thesis and dissertation topics.
- The core courses in the MPhil Theory programme (Research Methods and Bibliography, Advanced Music Analysis I and II, Seminar in the Theory of Music I) offers training in research and analytical methodologies, and familiarizes students with the state of research within the field. Students will also be directed to take elective courses and study foreign languages that are relevant to their thesis areas.
- There are no coursework requirements in the PhD programme in Theory, and the study scheme is primarily centered around the dissertation. Upon admission to the programme, students immediately begin working with their supervisors towards the refinement of their dissertation proposals, and are directed to undertake a comprehensive literature review relating to their research areas. As their work on the dissertation progresses, students are also encouraged to present their preliminary findings as conference papers and journal articles. Thus the dissertation, when completed, would have benefited from peer review and professional exposure.
Study Scheme and Course DescriptionDetails of the courses offered.
- Current Students and Topics
- Graduates and their Theses
- Honesty in Academic Work: A Guide for Students and Teachers