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Course Aims

The degree of Doctor of Legal Science is a doctoral research programme which comprises a research thesis with a coursework component. It is mainly intended for students who are interested in conducting research in the field of law and who would like to benefit from a more structured research programme to assist them in writing the doctoral thesis. It is modelled on new developments in Australian universities, which in turn were borrowed from US law schools. Students are required to take a one-module course on advanced research methodology, and other courses taken from the postgraduate Master of Laws courses on offer in the Faculty to the value of seven modules. A student may in exceptional circumstances be permitted to take some courses from the undergraduate courses taught in the Faculty, or from courses offered in other faculties of the University. A factor in course selection must be preparation for the student's area of research.

In the first instance, registration for this degree will be provisional. If the student obtains sufficiently high grades in his or her courses, registration for the degree will be confirmed. The student may then proceed to the dissertation, which is between 50,000 and 60,000 words long. This is shorter than normally expected for a doctorate degree by research alone, but is nonetheless required to be an original piece of research of publishable standard.

Mode of Attendance

FT: 3 Years or 4 Years 
PT: 4. 5 Years or 6 Years

Coursework

All our RPg students are required to satisfactorily complete the Graduate School courses as well as the Faculty courses prescribed for their respective fields of study/degrees, i.e. 1 compulsory and 7 elective law courses for the SJD programme.

Entrance Requirements

For 3-year full time programme (or 4.5-year part time programme), applicants should hold any one of the following qualifications;
(i) an LLB degree or equivalent from this or any other approved University with honours and a research Master degree in law from this or any other approved University; or
(ii) any other qualification accepted by the Senate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Law in an individual case;

For 4-year full time programme (or 6-year part-time programme), applicants should hold any one of the following qualifications:
(i) an LLB degree or equivalent from this or any other approved University with honours and a taught Masters degree in law from this or any other approved University; or 
(ii) an LLB degree or equivalent from this or any other approved University with normally First Class Honours or equivalent; or
(iii) any other qualification accepted by the Senate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Law in an individual case.

Applicants from institutions outside Hong Kong where the language of instruction and examination is not entirely in English are required to take either Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) as a proof of his/her English ability.

Application Form

Online Application: https://www.gradsch.hku.hk/gradsch/rola/online-application-for-mphil-phd-admission (The S.J.D. programme adopts the same online application system as M.Phil. and Ph.D. programmes.) 

A completed application includes:
- officially certified certificates and complete transcripts of undergraduate and postgraduate studies;
- research proposal; (suggested format of a research proposal)
- two academic referee's reports; and
- proof of payment of application fee (HK$150 per programme or US$20 per programme)

Application Dates

SJD programme (for admissions in 2020-2021)
Main round application: September 1 - December 2, 2019
1st Clearing Round : December 3, 2019 - April 30, 2020
2nd Clearing Round : May 1 - August 31, 2020

Programme Director

Professor He Xin
Director of Postgraduate Research

General Enquiries

Fax: (852) 2559 5690
Email: lawpgs@hku.hk