PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

As Asia moves to the centre of the world stage, AIS’s mission is to explore its new reality in broader international context, conducting research and teaching at the highest international levels. Our faculty cover the full spectrum of disciplines from political economy, politics, international relations and sociology to anthropology, history, literature, culture and film. We have expertise across the whole region, including Northeast Asia (China, Japan, Korea), Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and South Asia (India). Twenty-two languages are spoken in the department, with most academic staff conducting research in more than one language.

Our research degree programme now features a large and successful group of students from fifteen different countries, including five recipients of the prestigious Hong Kong PhD Fellowship, and over twenty other holders of scholarships and awards. We aim to recruit from six to ten new PhD students per year. Given the inter-disciplinary nature of our approach, we welcome all applications from excellent prospective students in the humanities and social sciences. Areas of study and research popular with our doctoral students include Political Economy, Development Studies, the International Relations of Northeast Asia, Southeast Asian Politics and Society, Energy and the Environment, and Cultural Studies.

There are currently two areas of approved research degree studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences: 1) Policy and Administration; and 2) Language, Communication, and Creativity. Most students in the Department of Asian and International Studies pursue their degrees in the area of Policy and Administration. Our programme provides advanced training allowing students to develop the capacity to design, conduct, and disseminate original research: engage in sophisticated and innovating theorizing, collect and analyze empirical evidence through state-of-the-art qualitative and quantitative techniques, and acquire the writing skills necessary for the successful publication of research findings.

All of our students spend considerable time conducting fieldwork in their countries of interest, collecting evidence of both a qualitative and quantitative nature. By the time they are awarded their doctoral degrees, most have acquired at least three semesters of teaching experience, while some have one or more publications in indexed refereed journals. Recent graduates have found employment at academic institutions throughout the region and beyond.

For consultation and discussion, please contact Departmental Research Degree Programmes Coordinator,

Dr Nicholas THOMAS

Applications of Research Degree programmes are accepted throughout the year and will normally be considered during January to March of the admission year.

For admissions procedures, please visit

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