This is a concentration under Ph.D. in Communication programme administered by the Faculty of Social Science CSS Lab. Please visit CSS Ph.D. Fellowship Scheme @ CUHK homepage for more information.



Requirements for Admission

Applicants who would like to study in the Computational Social Science (CSS) Concentration under the Ph.D. in Communication programme should apply before commencing their studies at CUHK. For details, please visit CSS Lab website at



1) Coursework Requirement


2) Qualifying Examination

    1. Qualifying examination
      Advancement to Ph.D. candidature is conditional upon passing qualifying examinations. The examinations consist of two parts. Part I is on Theory and Quantitative Methodology, Part II is a Proposal Defense.
    2. Every year we have a fixed timetable for Ph.D. students to take qualifying examinations. The examinations time cannot be changed unless for specific reasons.
    3. A student will be discontinued from studies if s/he cannot pass the qualifying examination within 36 months. However, in special cases, the Graduate Council may on the recommendation of the Graduate Division concerned grant a student extension beyond the above maximum period.


3) Study plan

Students must submit a study plan, with the advice of the supervisor, for the approval of the Graduate Panel of the Board of School of Journalism and Communication within six months after registration. The Division Head will help students search for a supervisor within the first semester of study.


4) Thesis

    1. Thesis proposal
      Students must submit a thesis proposal by the end of the 1st term of the 4th year. Students are NOT allowed to change their thesis topic after the proposal defense. (unless under special circumstances)
    2. Thesis supervisors
      Students are NOT encouraged to change their supervisors after the 2nd academic year begins. (unless under special circumstances)
    3. Students are required to submit a research thesis and pass an oral examination for graduation.
    4. Thesis Monitoring Courses is listed below: COMM 8200.

5) Other Requirements

    1. Students must fulfill the Term Assessment Requirement of the Graduate School. For details, please refer to Section 13.0 “Unsatisfactory Performance and Discontinuation of Studies” of the General Regulations Governing Postgraduate Studies which can be accessed from the Graduate School Homepage:
    2. A student must achieve a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0 in order to fulfill the graduation requirement, unless special approval is granted by the Graduate Council.
    3. Complete an Improving Postgraduate Learning (IPL) module on “Observing Intellectual Property and Copyright Law during Research”. This will be an online module and relevant information can be accessed from the website:
    4. Complete an IPL module on “Research Data Management Training”. This is an online module and relevant information can be accessed from the website: Students are required to complete and pass the module in their first year of studies, with effect from the 2022-23 intake.
    5. Students are required to complete an online Research Ethics Training (RET) module on “Publication Ethics” and obtain a valid Publication Ethics Certificate for graduation. Relevant information can be accessed from the RET website at
    6. Students should at least have one refereed international conference presentation that requires submission of full paper (e.g. Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, Annual Conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, National Communication Association Annual Convention or other equivalent conferences) and one single-authored or coauthored refereed Chinese or English-language journal article of any tier accepted/published before their graduation.


6) Unsatisfactory Performance

A student whose thesis/portfolio is not passed but re-submission is allowed and re-examination is required must re-write and re-submit the thesis/portfolio to the satisfaction of the Thesis/Assessment Committee before being recommended for the award of degree. Such re-submission must be made within twelve months from the date of the official notification of the result of the first examination and within the student’s prescribed maximum period of study. Only one re-submission of thesis/portfolio is allowed.


7) Additional Requirements

PhD students in Computational Social Science concentration must fulfill additional requirements listed below. Failure to do so, students will be put on academic probation.

  1. Completion of the equivalent of a publishable research paper, a first or solo authored manuscript by the 1st term of the 3rd year, accepted by the supervisor and endorsed by the Graduate Division Head.
  2. Completion of a Computational Social Science concentration examination by the end of the 3rd academic year. This examination is similar to the qualifying examination, except that its focus has to be complementary to the qualifying examination and the topic should be approved by the student’s supervisor. The procedure, format and evaluation will be similar to a qualifying examination.


8) Remarks

With the approval of the Division Head, in lieu of the courses on the elective course list, students can take other courses within and/or outside the Division of Communication.


Tuition Fee, Studentships, Scholarships & Grants

For details, please visit CSS Lab website at


Honesty in Academic Work

  A Guide for Students and Teachers The Chinese University of Hong Kong places very high importance on honesty in academic work submitted by students, and adopts a policy of zero tolerance on academic dishonesty. While “academic dishonesty” is the overall name, there are several sub-categories as follows: 

Impersonation fraud in tests and examinations (including violation of rule 19 of the University’s Examination Rules or rule 15 of the University’s Online Examination Rules)

(i) Plagiarism
(ii) Undeclared multiple submissions
(iii) Employing or using services provided by a third party to undertake ones’ submitted work, or providing services as a third party
(iv) Distribution/ Sharing/ Copying of teaching materials without the consent of the course teachers to gain unfair academic advantage in the courses
(v) Violating rules 15 or 16 of the University’s Examination Rules (Annex 1) or rule 9 or 10 of the University’s Online Examination Rules (Annex 2)
(vi) Cheating in tests and examinations (including violation of rules 17 or 18 of the University’s Examination Rules or rule 11, 12, 13, 14 or 16 of the University’s Online Examination Rules)
(vii) Impersonation fraud in tests and examinations (including violation of rule 19 of the University’s Examination Rules or rule 15 of the University’s Online Examination Rules)
(viii) All other acts of academic dishonesty

Any related offence will lead to disciplinary action including termination of studies at the University.

Everyone should make himself/herself familiar with the content of this website and thereby help avoid any practice that would not be acceptable.