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Programme Details

The Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Hong Kong (HKU Business School) offers research postgraduate programmes leading to the degrees of Master of Philosophy (MPhil)* and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Our PhD programme is designed to provide students with a deep understanding of the key aspects of business and economics. Students are introduced to basic research tools and are expected to be able to conduct independent research in their fields of study. Through regular interactions with faculty, students also acquire a broader perspective on management and economic issues of the region and beyond.

*Only applicable to students who transfer from PhD to MPhil

Mode and Period of Study

The PhD programme is offered on a full-time basis. Candidates pursuing PhD studies are first required to register provisionally for the degree and are subject to a probationary period specified below:

Area/Field of Study:

Accounting1, Economics, Finance

Area/Field of Study:

Accounting2, Innovation & Information Management, Management & Strategy, Marketing

Study Period
Probationary Period
Study Period
Probationary Period
3-year PhD (Full-time)3 years2 years3 years1 year
4-year PhD (Full-time)4 years2 years4 years1.5 years

Remark 1: Applicable to Accounting students registered in or after September 2018
Remark 2: Applicable to Accounting students registered before September 2018

By the end of the probationary period, the candidates must demonstrate capability on research, submit a detailed scheme of research and complete the required coursework for confirmation of candidature.

For the key dates of PhD candidature, please refer to


The coursework components of our programmes provide students with basic knowledge of their fields and offer tools to prepare them for writing the thesis. All MPhil and PhD students are required to satisfactorily complete the Graduate School courses as well as the Faculty courses prescribed for their respective fields of study/degrees.  The completion of coursework typically requires two to three years.

Training for PGS Holder

A Postgraduate Scholarship holder may be required to provide, under supervision, services which carry educational benefits for the holder. The amount of such services shall not exceed 100 hours in any full twelve-month period. The provision of services forms part of the research student's training covered by the value of the Scholarship, and the nature of the training may for example include:

  • assistance with research;
  • assistance with scheduled laboratory, studio and fieldwork classes and with tutorials;
  • assistance with the preparation of materials for scheduled classes;
  • assistance with marking practical notebooks and answers from exercise classes; and
  • assistance with invigilation of University degree examinations.

Thesis and oral examination

Candidates shall complete their studies within the specified period of study. The results of the research must be presented in the form of a thesis, which can be submitted at any time after confirmation of candidature provided that the requirement for the minimum study period is met. The thesis will be examined by both internal and external examiners. In addition, candidates are required to take an oral examination. Other examinations may be prescribed if necessary. A successful PhD thesis should represent the result of the candidate's research which should be an original contribution to knowledge and worthy of publication.

Useful links

Information for current research postgraduate students

Frequently asked questions on the study period, transfer of candidature, leave of absence, coursework, progress monitoring, and thesis examination: