Master of Philosophy in Social Science

The MPhil is a research degree that can be pursued either as an end in itself or as a preparation to the PhD degree at either HKUST or elsewhere. While we welcome students from a variety of disciplines to apply, as befits a research degree, we do expect applicants to have a strong background in a social science discipline, and, in addition, the ability to demonstrate promising research potential through a substantial research proposal.

Program Requirements

Students are required to:

a) Take a minimum of 15 credits of postgraduate courses offered by the Division, of which 9 credits must be chosen from the following research methodology courses:

SOSC 5090 Quantitative Methods for Social Science Research
SOSC 5110 Social Science Research Design and Methods
SOSC 5170 Qualitative Research Methods
SOSC 5340 Econometric Approaches to Social Science Research
SOSC 5500 Computational Social Science
SOSC 5800 Causal Inference in Social Sciences 
SOSC 5810 Introduction of Social Network


Subject to the approval of the supervisors and the PG Coordinator, students may also take MGCS courses offered by the Division for the MSc Program in Global China Studies to meet the coursework requirement.

b) Complete and pass PDEV 6770D Professional Development in Humanities and Social Science. The 1 credit earned from PDEV 6770D cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.

c) Complete and pass PDEV 6800I Introduction to Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

d) Complete and pass SOSC 6400 Research Postgraduate Students Seminar. The 1 credit earned from SOSC 6400 cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.

e) Students are also required to complete a thesis under the supervision of a faculty in the Division, and subsequently, present and defend the thesis before the Thesis Examination Committee.

“I chose HKUST’s Division of Social Science because it offers excellent training in research methodology and an atmosphere that encourages independent studies.”

MPhil in Social Science