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PhD in Marine Environmental Science

PhD (ISCED 2011 level 8)


Cost Local student - HK$42,100/year, International student - HK$140,000/year

Doctor of Philosophy in Marine Environmental Science (PhD in MES)


This research-based program seeks to train students in original research in marine environmental science, and to cultivate independent and innovative thinking that is essential for a research career. A candidate for a PhD degree is expected to demonstrate mastery of knowledge in the chosen discipline, as well as to synthesize and contribute original knowledge to the discipline. Students have opportunities to work on projects that are at the cutting edge of new research initiatives.


Details about postgraduate admissions can be found at Office of Postgraduate Studies, HKUST.

Program Requirements (For intake 2019/20 or after)

Students must fulfill these requirements:

  • Completion of at least 12 credits of coursework, including:
    • 3 credits of core course OCES 5001 Introduction to Oceanography;
    • 6 credits of elective courses chosen from the elective course list;
    • 3 credits of approved PG course endorsed by the Program Director;
  • Completion of PDEV 6800 Introduction to Teaching and Learning in Higher Education;
    • All full-time RPg students are required to complete PDEV 6800. The course is composed of a 10-hour training offered by the Center for Education Innovation (CEI), and session(s) of instructional delivery to be assigned by the respective departments. Upon satisfactory completion of the training conducted by CEI, MPhil students are required to give at least one 30-minute session of instructional delivery in front of a group of students for one term. PhD students are required to give at least one such session each in two different terms. The instructional delivery will be formally assessed;
  • Completion of and passing PDEV 6770 Professional Development for Research Postgraduate Students:
    • The 1 credit earned from this course cannot be counted toward the credit requirements;
    • Students who are HKUST MPhil (MES) graduates and have completed this course or other professional development courses offered by the University before may be exempted from this requirement, subject to prior approval from the School;
  • Completion of and passing OCES 6770 Professional Development in Marine Science;
    • The 1 credit earned from this course cannot be counted toward the credit requirements;
  • Completion of and passing LANG 5010 Postgraduate English for Science Studies, which should be taken in the first year of study:
    • The 1 credit earned from this course cannot be counted toward the credit requirements;
    • HKUST MPhil graduates may be considered for exemption from this requirement, subject to prior approval from the Program Director and PG Coordinator;
  • Taking and passing ENVS 6011 Postgraduate Seminar whenever it is offered:
    • A maximum of 4 credits to be earned from this course;
    • Students who have taken the HKUST MPhil (MES) Program will be granted credit transfer from ENVS 6011 to the PhD program, with up to 1 credit;
  • Submission of a thesis proposal to the Qualifying Examination Committee who will examine the student’s general background knowledge and knowledge related to the topic of the research proposal:
    • Students must pass the qualifying examination;
  • Registration in ENVS 7990 Doctoral Thesis Research; and
  • Presentation and oral defense of the PhD thesis.

Elective Courses

ENVR 5210Environmental Microbiology

ENVS 6012Special Topics in Environmental Science

EVSM 6070Environmental Impact Assessment

MATH 5311Advanced Numerical Methods I

MATH 5350Computational Fluid Dynamics of Inviscid Flows

OCES 5320Ecotoxicology

PHYS 5110Mathematical Methods in Physics

Structurele componenten
Laboratory training
Practical/Field work
Language training
Research Project

ISCED Categories

Persoonlijke vaardigheden en communicatie
Conservatie en milieumanagement
Fysische en chemische oceanografie