The degree of Doctor of Legal Science is a doctoral research programme which comprises a research thesis with a coursework component. It is mainly intended for students who are interested in conducting research in the field of law and who would like to benefit from a more structured research programme to assist them in writing the doctoral thesis. It is modelled on new developments in Australian universities, which in turn were borrowed from US law schools. A student may in exceptional circumstances be permitted to take some courses from the undergraduate courses taught in the Faculty, or from courses offered in other faculties of the University. A factor in course selection must be preparation for the student’s area of research.
In the first instance, registration for this degree will be provisional. If the student obtains sufficiently high grades in his or her courses, registration for the degree will be confirmed. The student may then proceed to the dissertation, which is between 50,000 and 60,000 words long. This is shorter than normally expected for a doctorate degree by research alone, but is nonetheless required to be an original piece of research of publishable standard.
Mode of Attendance
FT: 3 Years or 4 Years
PT: 4. 5 Years or 6 Years
All SJD students are required to satisfactorily complete the Faculty courses prescribed for their respective fields of study/degrees, i.e. 1 compulsory and 7 elective law courses, with at least an average grade of B in the elective courses by the end of the probation period.
For 3-year full time programme (or 4.5-year part time programme), applicants should hold any one of the following qualifications;
(i) an LLB degree or equivalent from this or any other approved University with honours and a research Master degree in law from this or any other approved University; or
(ii) any other qualification accepted by the Senate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Law in an individual case;
For 4-year full time programme (or 6-year part-time programme), applicants should hold any one of the following qualifications:
(i) an LLB degree or equivalent from this or any other approved University with honours and a taught Masters degree in law from this or any other approved University; or
(ii) an LLB degree or equivalent from this or any other approved University with normally First Class Honours or equivalent; or
(iii) any other qualification accepted by the Senate on the recommendation of the Faculty of Law in an individual case.
For an applicant who is seeking admission on the basis of a qualification from a university or comparable institution outside Hong Kong of which the language of teaching and/or examination is not English, shall satisfy the University English language requirement. Preference will be given to those who obtain one of the following recognized English tests:
(i) Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (internet-based test) – a score of 97 or above; or
(ii) International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (Academic Module) – an overall band score of 7 or above with no subtest below 6.5;
in each case, for admissions purposes, the test score report is regarded as valid for two years.
SJD programme (adopts the same online application system as MPhil and PhD programmes): https://gradsch.hku.hk/prospective_students/application/how_to_apply/online_application_system
A completed application includes:
– officially certified certificates and complete transcripts of undergraduate and postgraduate studies;
– research proposal; (suggested format of a research proposal)
– two academic referee’s reports;
SJD programme (for admissions in 2023-2024)
Main round application: September 1 – December 1, 2022
1st Clearing Round: December 2, 2022 – April 30, 2023
2nd Clearing Round: May 1 – August 31, 2023
Click here to view our latest programme pamphlet.
Professor He Xin
Director of Postgraduate Research