ProgrammesMPhil / PhD



Research Postgraduate Programmes are a combination of coursework and independent research leading to the MPhil or the PhD degree. Research postgraduate students are expected to present a written thesis and a body of work which demonstrate an advanced level of knowledge and understanding in the visual arts and which describes and summarizes the research undertakings and findings. The thesis and the body of work, which should make a contribution to knowledge in the visual arts, must be completed within three years’ time for PhD students and two years’ time for MPhil students. Students would work largely on their own with the guidance of supervisors, and complete all coursework requirements.

The creative practice-led MPhil and PhD is based on identifying, understanding and developing creative practice as a specialized field of knowledge production. It is particularly focused on practice-led research strategies and methodologies in the visual arts with the intention of supporting the development of the individual artist’s creative works and research. The programme is studio-based, enabling the production of new bodies of work within a programme of tutorials, seminars, and lectures that requires research candidates to evaluate and reflect on a range of conceptual, philosophical, material and theoretical frameworks, and demonstrate their understanding of contemporary critical thinking and visual art practice.

AVA is able to offer supervision in a variety of fields in visual arts studies. It includes any field that aligns with the expertise of the Academy, which encompasses but is not limited to: Body Aesthetics and Performance Art, Chinese Art, Modern and Contemporary Art, Design, Folk Art and Culture, Hong Kong Art, Interactive Media, Time-based Media, Theories of Material Culture, Museum and Curatorial Studies, Public Art and Community, and Visual Culture Studies.

Information on admissions procedures, regulations, and financial support can be obtained from the Graduate School. Applications are accepted year-round and should be sent directly to the Graduate School.  Most research postgraduate places are fully-funded and are awarded on a competitive basis according to academic excellence.

Successful applicants for funded full-time study are normally offered a monthly studentship, which is intended to cover their tuition and living expenses during the two years of study.  PhD applicants are normally expected to have a master’s degree with substantial research achievement/experience. MPhil applicants are normally expected to have a bachelor’s degree with first or second class honours with research experience. Applicants with background in other related disciplines who demonstrate capability of undertaking research are also encouraged to apply. Applicants should have a high standard of English, as well as proficiency in whatever language or languages they need for their proposed research.

Applicants of the research postgraduate programmes are required to submit a formal research proposal for admission. The length of the proposal is expected to be about 10 to 15 pages and should include a well-defined research topic, current scholarship in the field, expected research results, methodologies, and a detailed research plan. An applicant should have a clear idea of the area in which he or she wishes to do research. All applicants should have ascertained the availability of resources to conduct their proposed research, and should have basic ideas of what their main research questions and plan of work would be.

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