Compulsory Courses

Although both the MPhil and PhD are research-based degrees, the Department requires all art history RPg students to complete and pass one compulsory course on research methods in addition to required Graduate School courses by the end of the probationary period.

Students may choose — with approval of the supervisor — to take either ARTH6002 or ARTH7001. Either of these courses will fulfill the Graduate School’s requirement for a course on research method. If an MPhil or PhD student has already successfully completed either of these courses during the MA or MPhil programme, she or he will be exempt from this requirement.

Additional course requirements are set by the Graduate School.

For all MPhil, 3-year PhD and 4-year PhD students

Course on Research Ethics
  • GRSC6030: Research Ethics for Graduate Students

For Mphil and 4-year PhD students

One of the Following Courses on Research Methods
  • GRSC6034: Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods
  • GRSC6036: Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods
  • ARTH6002: Research Methods in Art History
  • ARTH7001: Art History: Goals, Methods, and Writing
One of the Following Courses on Transferable Skills
  • GRSC6008: Transferable Skills
  • GRSC6038: HKU Transferable Research Skills Course / Transferable Skills Retreat
One of the Following Courses on Thesis Writing
  • GRSC6020: Introduction to Thesis Writing
  • GRSC6040: Advanced Thesis Writing
  • HIST6011: Introduction to History Thesis Writing
    (this can be taken to fulfill the Graduate School’s requirement of a course on thesis writing. The enrollment will be subject to approval by the Department of History and will be considered on individual basis.)


All courses taken by research postgraduate students are assessed on a pass/fail basis. Students who fail a course at the first attempt may be re-examined in the same course or an alternative course as determined by the Faculty Higher Degrees Committees. A student who has not satisfied the examiners in any course (which, for this purpose, includes the alternative course) in a second attempt may be required to discontinue his or her studies.


Students who have successfully completed the required course(s) or equivalent(s), either from HKU or a comparable institution, may apply for course exemption. Possessing full-time work experience for at least 6 months may fulfill the course exemption criteria for Graduate School Courses on Transferable Skills.

Please note that exemption from courses is subject to the approval of the Graduate School on a case-by-case basis, taking into account individual circumstances.

More info is available in the Graduate School website and the application form can also be downloaded there.

Course on Teaching Enhancement

Any student serving as a Teaching Assistant must complete the 24-hour course Certificate in Teaching and Learning, offered by HKU’s Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL). Depending on previous teaching experience, exemptions may be granted (for details on criteria for exemption and procedure, please see Guidelines for exemptions (CTLHE).

This course should be done in the first semester of study.