Studying Asia in Asia

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 studies. 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). Seventeen 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 eighteen different countries, including seven recipients of the prestigious Hong Kong PhD Fellowship, and over twenty other holders of scholarships and awards. AIS operates a selective process in choosing new PhD students based on the applicants record and the fit of the thesis topic to faculty members research areas of expertise.

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, Asian International Relations, Southeast Asian Politics and Society, and Cultural Studies.

There are currently two umbrella 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.

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

Dr Nicholas THOMAS

Applications of Research Degree programmes are accepted throughout the year and will initially be considered during September to November proceeding the admission year; although late applications are welcome.

For admissions procedures, please visit

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