Text Area

Study Commitment

Students admitted to a full-time program are expected to study full-time for their programs, and are cautioned that outside work commitments may impede their academic performance.

Full-time research postgraduate (RPg) students are provided with Postgraduate Studentships to ensure that they do not need to be concerned with looking for other sources of income to support themselves. Although study-related work or internship may be desirable experiences to have, they may not be critical to the studies being pursued. Full-time RPg students should devote full efforts to their studies.


Internship and Employment During Study

All full-time MPhil and PhD students should not take up any employment outside their research studies regardless of whether or not they are receiving Postgraduate Studentship (PGS) awards.

During the Fall and Spring Terms, full-time research postgraduate (RPg) students, both local and non-local, are not allowed to engage in any full-time or part-time employment with the University or any other employer. The only exception is that full-time RPg students who are not receiving PGS may apply for taking up no more than 10 hours per week of on-campus part-time work, subject to the prior approval of their thesis supervisors, the departmental PG Coordinator, the Associate Dean (PG) of the School, and the HKUST Fok Ying Tung Graduate School (FYTGS).

During the Winter or Summer Terms, with the prior approval of the thesis supervisor, the departmental PG Coordinator, the Associate Dean (PG) of the School, and FYTGS, RPg students may engage in full-time research assistantship (RA) work within the University. In such cases, the PGS will be temporarily suspended during the period of employment as research assistants. Students who wish to take up an RA appointment should seek the prior approval of FYTGS via their Department before they commit themselves for Winter or Summer RA work. In addition, non-local RPg students must satisfy the conditions of their stay laid down by the Hong Kong Immigration Department.

Full-time RPg students, both local and non-local, wishing to engage in study-related internship are required to obtain prior approval. The thesis supervisor and the departmental PG Coordinator may approve internship of no more than 40 hours per week. For exceptional cases involving internship work of more than 40 hours per week, with strong justifications, case-by-case approval has to be obtained from the thesis supervisor, the departmental PG Coordinator, Associate Dean (PG) of the School, and FYTGS. For non-local students, the approval of study-related internship is further subject to the specific Hong Kong Immigration Department restrictions.

Further details can be found here.


Annual Leave

With the prior approval of the Department, full-time research postgraduate students may have up to 21 calendar days’ leave in an academic year (1 September to 31 August). This leave is inclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays that lie within the leave period. Those who arrive late will have their annual leave pro-rated.

Unused leave for one year cannot be carried forward to the next academic year. The decision on whether or not a leave request should be granted rests jointly with the thesis supervisor of the student and the departmental PG Coordinator.