Seminar Requirement

RPg students in the department are required to attend all department research seminars (these are occasional formal talks given by guest speakers, department teachers, and department RPg students). They are also required to present one seminar of their own at the end of their first year of RPg study and – for PhD students only – a second seminar at the conclusion of their studies. Students should prepare their seminar presentations in consultation with their primary supervisors.

Compulsory Courses

The Department requires all art history RPg students to complete and pass one Department course on research methods. Students may choose — with approval of the supervisor — to take either ARTH6002 or ARTH7001. Either of these courses will also fulfill the Graduate School’s requirement for a course on research methods. If a student has previously completed and passed either of these courses during the MA or MPhil programme, s/he will be exempt from this requirement.

The Graduate School also requires a number of short courses, which usually include Research Ethics, Research Methods, Transferrable Skills, and Thesis Writing. Check their website for the latest requirements and course listings. We encourage students to consider taking HIST6011 (Introduction to History Thesis Writing), which can replace the Graduate School courses on thesis writing.


All courses taken by RPg 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 Committee. A student who fails the second attempt may be required to discontinue his or her studies.


Students who have successfully completed the required course(s) or equivalent(s), at either HKU or a comparable institution, may apply for course exemption. Possessing full-time work experience for at least 6 months may fulfill the exemption criteria for the Transferable Skills requirement. Exemptions are subject to the approval of the Graduate School on a case-by-case basis. More information is available on the Graduate School website.

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, please see Guidelines for exemptions (CTLHE). This course should be completed before the semester of teaching duties if possible; but it can also be taken in the same semester as a student’s teaching work.