Arrangements for Research Postgraduate (RPg) Students due to COVID-19

Arising from the latest development of the COVID-19 pandemic, I would like to update you on the teaching and supervision arrangements for RPg students for Semester 1, 2020-21.

Graduate School (GS) Courses
Throughout Semester 1, 2020-21, except for large classes with classroom constraints, all GS courses will be offered in hybrid mode (online + face-to-face) unless special circumstances emerge (e.g. a spike of covid-19 cases in Hong Kong) that prevent students from coming to campus. However, all courses will always be available online throughout the semester, and for the first three weeks of September, only online mode of the courses will be offered. 

Specifically, the two GS courses (namely Transferable Skills and Thesis Writing), as well as the Intensive English course, will be run online from September 1 – 21, 2020, and will be offered in both face-to-face and online modes from September 22, 2020 onwards. The two other courses (namely Research Ethics and Research Methods) will be offered online only in Semester 1 due to classroom constraints. Should there be any enquiries about the GS courses, please contact our Programme Director, Dr. Wai Lan Tsang, at

For Faculty courses, Faculties may make reference to the GS teaching arrangements, and there may be variation within Faculties/Departments at their discretion.

RPg Supervision
Current RPg Students
Students should discuss with their supervisor on the best mode of supervision. Supervision may take place mixed-mode, depending on the nature of the research.

If the research work requires laboratory attendance and/or the use of campus facilities, students are expected to return to the University as far as is practically possible. 

Students who are in Hong Kong and whose research requires them to work on campus should follow all precautions when working on campus (taking temperature, wearing mask, social distancing, etc.).  

Students who are not in town at the moment should discuss with their supervisors on whether, when and how to return to Hong Kong, depending on the nature of their research.  

New RPg Students
New RPg students have to report to the Faculty Office in person before they can start their candidature. At present, PhD students can start their studies on the first day of any calendar month, while MPhil students have to start their studies on either September 1, 2020 or January 1, 2021. However, given the current special situation, the GS is prepared to exercise flexibility in accommodating requests from MPhil students for deferring their registration to the start of any month, other than September 1, 2020 and January 1, 2021, if there is a genuine need.

All new students, especially non-local students, should discuss with their supervisor when is the most suitable time to start their studies. If they have difficulties to travel to HK, they can defer their registration date. Following the existing practice, request for deferment of registration date will be approved by Faculties, with the support of the supervisor and Department. The relevant parties are advised to process such requests favourably.  

Entry and Quarantine Requirements
All students are reminded to pay attention to the HKSAR Government’s restriction on entering HK, if any, and quarantine requirements. Please note that the GS has sent emails to non-local current students and non-local new RPg students respectively in early July about the quarantine arrangements offered by the University. 

Please do not hesitate to contact the Graduate School if you have any questions. Please stay vigilant and healthy. 

Professor Frederick K.S. Leung
Graduate School