Information Services Office   19.3.2012


A total of 4,658 Master’s degrees are conferred at the 69th Congregation.
From left: Prof. Zhang Yuanting, Prof. Zuo Zhong Joan, Prof. Wong Wing-shing, Dean of Graduate School, Prof. Chu Chiu-wing Winnie, Prof. Ng Wai-ming Benjamin, and Prof. Ho Puay-peng
Newsletter No. 394 > Features > New Postgraduate Programmes: Vision and Solution

New Postgraduate Programmes: Vision and Solution


The University first introduced programmes at the postgraduate level with the establishment of the School of Education in 1965. In the following year, the Graduate School was formally founded to undertake research training of postgraduate studies in five Master’s degree programmes in Chinese language and literature, business administration, geography, history and philosophy. Since then, the Graduate School has been developing both horizontally and vertically. The first doctoral programme was launched in 1980. In 2011–12, over 12,000 students were enrolled in taught or research postgraduate programmes and about 42,000 graduates had been conferred higher degrees by 2011.

More and more young people nowadays are opting to pursue further studies upon graduation or after working for a period of time to deepen and broaden their knowledge. At the same time, knowledge development is advancing at an astonishing rate. Professionals in specialized subjects and interdisciplinary fields are in huge demand. In recent years, many postgraduate programmes have overtaken their undergraduate counterparts in terms of numbers and types. In 2012–13, the CUHK Graduate School is offering a total of 234 progammes—seven newly launched, including research and taught programmes. Some of the latter provide both full-time and part-time modes. The new trends in academic and research development are reflected in the curriculum design and mode of study, which also echo the needs of society and the demand for expertise in different industries.

MA Programme in Japanese Studies

The Department of Japanese Studies had been offering an MA programme in Japanese language and teaching for six years to Japanese language teachers who have passed the Japanese Proficiency Test (Level 1). The programme has fulfilled its mission, and the Department of Japanese Studies is offering a new MA programme in Japanese studies. Prof. Ng Wai-ming Benjamin, head, Division of Japanese Studies, said, ‘The new programme is designed mainly for local people who may or may not have had Japanese language training but who would like to deepen their understanding of Japanese culture.’ Features include using English as the medium of instruction; a flexible course structure with over 14 elective courses covering Japanese management systems, history, popular culture, film, literature, anthropology, linguistics, Japanese teaching, as well as Chinese-Japanese interpretation.

MPhil–PhD Programme in Biomedical Engineering

The development of biomedical engineering, a new interdisciplinary study at the interface of engineering, medicine and biology, is remarkable. Prof. Zhang Yuanting, head, Division of Biomedical Engineering, pointed out that as the number of elderly suffering from common chronic illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes has been increasing due to an ageing population, new technology and equipment for home care are in high demand for early detection and treatment. Funded by the HKSAR Government, the programme is aimed at producing professional engineers with advanced knowledge in the field. A selection of research areas, including biological materials, biomechanics and biological tissue engineering, are offered.

MSc Programme in Diagnostic Ultrasonography

Prof. Chu Chiu-wing Winnie of the Department of Imaging and Interventional Radiology explained that due to the exodus of radiologists in recent years, the department introduced this programme, the first of its kind in Hong Kong, in support of the profession in general. Applicants should be locally registered in-service medical or health care professionals with a Bachelor’s degree in medical or health care science. The two-year part-time programme is aimed at enhancing students with sonography skills in general abdominal and vascular examinations. The programme activities comprise lectures, clinical attachment, as well as research and a thesis.

MSc Programme in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Quality

The regulation of pharmaceutical products plays a crucial role in ensuring the effectiveness of the medical system, maintaining community health as well as saving lives. In view of the announcement of recommendations to review the regulatory regime of pharmaceutical products in Hong Kong in 2009 by the HKSAR Government, the School of Pharmacy began planning a part-time programme for 20 students in its first year. Prof. Zuo Zhong Joan, associate director (research and graduate affairs) of the school, said that, the programme is aimed at developing professionals in quality assurance of pharmaceutical products for the government, academia and industry. It is suitable for those who have assumed or are aspiring to assume the roles of authorized persons in local pharmaceutical manufacturing companies, and have a recognized Bachelor’s honours degree in pharmacy, or related disciplines such as biochemistry, chemistry, or chemical engineering. They will be equipped with knowledge in formulation design and manufacture, facilities and process design, quality standards of products, and risk evaluation and management.

MSc Programme in Architectural Conservation and Design

Architectural conservation has become increasingly important. Expertise in conservation and architectural design is required to preserve and restore historic buildings. The School of Architecture launched a newly-designed programme covering the areas of conservation and archiving, strategic planning, reading and interpretation of historic buildings, and congruence of new and old buildings. Prof. Ho Puay-peng, director of the School, said the existing Master programmes also have some of these components while the new one will place emphasis on encouraging students’ innovative pursuit of theory and practice in the conservation of and design with historic buildings. The programme will also seek exchange opportunities with mainland and overseas institutions.

MSc Programme in Urban Design

Urban design plays a key role in creating liveable and sustainable cities. Prof. Ho Puay-peng said that Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta were the best places to study and research on contemporary urban planning. Through a combination of design studios and focused modules, students develop design skills while integrating new knowledge about essential areas for urban design, such as community participation, ecosystems and transport networks. Courses in urban history and environmental economy provide a deeper understanding of the forces of urbanism and the impact of urban design on the environment and society. Admission requirement is the same as that of the MSc programme in architectural conservation and design. After accumulating working experience, graduates can register as chartered urban designers.

MSc Programme in Neurological Sciences

Taught in English, this one-year full-time or two-year part-time programme targets medical graduates from mainland China, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. The first of its kind in Hong Kong, it gives new medical graduates a strong background in both the clinical and laboratory aspects of the neurological sciences and prepares them for residency training in neurosurgery, neurology, neuropathology or basic neuroscience research. The curriculum is designed specifically to meet the needs of society and the medical market.

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