The Department of Public and International Affairs  The Department of Public and International Affairs


The Department of Public and International Affairs at CityU is one of the largest departments in Asia devoted to policy and politics, philosophy, and international affairs. We have leading scholars from all over the world who regularly publish in the top journals and academic presses. Our faculty members frequently appear in the local, Asian, and international media as recognised experts in their various fields. In PIA, our faculty make a real impact on the world and our PhD program is a key pillar of that impact.

PIA has the largest PhD program of its type in Hong Kong. We have over 60 PhD students studying with us from nearly every continent. PIA is a leading department for students winning the prestigious Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme awards offered by the Research Grants Council or PhD scholarships from CityU or other sources. Ours is a highly competitive program, with only 10-15 percent of applicants accepted each year. Successful applicants will receive generous studentships covering tuition and a stipend for a duration of four years. PIA and the University also offers additional financial aid for students to undertake fieldwork and to attend conferences.

Once admitted, PhD students spend the first year refining their thesis direction, drafting opening chapters, and taking coursework designed to expand their theoretical and empirical knowledge. The College now also hosts an international summer methods school that enables students to further deepen their knowledge of qualitative and quantitative approaches. In later years, students are also encouraged to attend overseas conferences and publish articles and chapters, so as to sharpen their thesis and improve their employment prospects.

From PIA our PhD students have gone on to academic positions in leading universities around the world. They have worked in business and in the policy world, for governments as well as for NGOs. We welcome applications from outstanding candidates who are not only committed to their studies but committed to excellence in all fields.

Our faculty members look forward to hearing from you and welcoming you onto our program.

Associate Professor Nicholas Thomas, SFHEA FRSPH
Research Degree Coordinator
Department of Public and International Affairs