Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Course Selection and Credit Transfer

  1. Can I take an introductory ENGL/LCOM course  if I got Level 4 in English Language HKDSE exam?
  2. Normally, minimum Level 5 in English Language HKDSE exam is required for admission to any of the introductory course(s). You can apply for special consideration if you have other equivalent qualification(s) such as IELTS, TOEFL, GCSE, etc.

  3. I’m a non-JUPAS applicant and didn’t sit for the HKDSE exam; can I still qualify to take an introductory course?
  4. Yes, you simply have to submit a copy of your equivalent qualification(s) such as IELTS, TOEFL, GCSE, IB Diploma, etc. to the School Office for consideration after you have made the course selection online.

  5. Can I take all the required advanced courses in English literary studies to fulfill my English Studies major?
  6. Yes, you are free to choose advanced courses from the syllabus according to your interest. We encourage you to define your interest with an open mind, however, and not to focus too narrowly on a small number of courses or a particular specialization in English Studies. Our curriculum offers you various attractive concentrations in the major and in order to make most of the programme, you do well to balance your interests between different aspects of English Studies, so as to explore interesting connections. You are advised to consult programme coordinators or any teacher in the School regarding your study plan in the major.

  7. How can I enroll in an extended essay course?
  8. Extended essay courses are primarily offered to outstanding third/fourth year students enrolled in the Undergraduate Research Fellowship Programme (URFP) to pursue an advanced research project under the guidance and instruction of a supervisor. The extended essay course can only be taken in conjunction with another advanced ENGL/LCOM course and students will be required to attend the classes for that course, as part of a 12-credit combination. Before making the course selection online, students enrolled in the URFP have to seek approval from a prospective supervisor, who will normally be the teacher of the conjoined course, to consider their intended admission to the course.

  9. What shall I do if I am unable to enroll in courses online via the University Student Information System?
  10. Please consult the School Office immediately whenever you encounter difficulties in making course selections. It is possible that you don’t meet a prerequisite to enroll in a particular course, which may require special consideration of your circumstances. Or it may be that there is a time clash with another course you have selected, which should be resolved by adjusting your course selection.

  11. Can I transfer the credits gained from exchange studies to the major in English Studies or Language and Communication?
  12. Yes, if the courses which you have taken on exchange are comparable to the introductory or advanced courses listed in the relevant syllabuses. Under the new Faculty cap policy on credit transfer, up to 50% of the transferred credits to HKU can be counted towards the declared Arts major/minor.  Transferred credits in excess of the cap will be counted as free electives for the undergraduate degree programme.

  13. What are the application procedures for credit transfer from exchange studies?
  14. Formal application for credit transfer has to be submitted via the Arts Faculty Office. However, you have to seek preliminary approval from the School Office before your departure, by submitting the relevant information on course(s) you wish to take at the host institution, such as the syllabus, total number of contact hours (for both lectures and tutorials), coursework requirement, breakdown of assessment, credit weighting, etc. so that we can assess the comparability. The finalized course enrollment has to be confirmed during exchange.




    Declaration of Majors/Minors

  1. What are the main characteristics of the majors offered by the School of English under the new curriculum?
  2. Under the new 4-year curriculum, our majors will offer students a stronger foundation in critical reading, analysis and writing and in historical and theoretical knowledge. This will enable a more effective progression through the four years. Students are required to take 3 introductory courses (at least one from both List A and List B) before taking the advanced courses. The majors also offer students a wide range of choices in various concentrations and a capstone experience in the senior year(s). A capstone experience focuses on the integration and application of knowledge, which may take the form of an advanced or research seminar, internship, overseas fieldtrip, etc.

  3. What do I need to do in order to declare a major or a minor in the School of English?
  4. Under the 4-year curriculum, you have to successfully complete one introductory ENGL or LCOM course from List A “Historical and theoretical foundations” (6 credits) as a prerequisite before you can declare a major or a minor in the School. If you complete the prerequisite in the first year, you can declare the major online during the course selection period at the beginning of the second year.  A major consists of 13 courses (78 credits) and a minor consists of 6 courses (36 credits).

  5. How many introductory courses do I have to take if I want to declare a major in the School of English or enroll in advanced courses offered by the School?
  6. You have to take at least one introductory course from List A in the first year (as a prerequisite) in order to declare a major. Altogether, you will have to complete 5 introductory courses (with at least 2 from each list) in the first two years in order to fulfill the requirement of the major. And you have to complete 3 introductory courses (with at least one from each list) before you can enroll in any advanced courses offered by the School of English.

  7. Is it possible to double-major or to take a major and a minor in the School of English?
  8. Yes, we offer 2 majors and 2 minors (English Studies, Language and Communication) at undergraduate level, which you can combine according to your interest. Declaring either a double major or a major with a minor in two of our programmes will allow you to gain a deeper knowledge in different areas of English literature and linguistics and to strengthen your academic record, especially if you are interested in pursuing postgraduate studies in English.




    Plagiarism and Undergraduate Research

  1. What is plagiarism and what happens if I am found to have committed plagiarism?
  2. The University defines plagiarism “direct copying of textual material or wilful use of other people’s data and ideas, and presenting them as one’s own without acknowledgement, whether or not such materials, data and ideas have been published”. In other words, you are committing plagiarism if you paraphrase or quote the work of another person without clearly identifying (according to academic conventions) the borrowed material and documenting its source. Plagiarism is a very serious offence and students found plagiarizing may be failed not only in the plagiarized oral or written assignment but in the course. Their case will also be considered by a School panel which may involve disclosure of the plagiarism committed to teachers of other courses within the School or lodging of a complaint with the University’s Disciplinary Committee.

  3. How can I join the Undergraduate Research Fellowship Programme (URFP)?
  4. The Faculty of Arts will invite academically outstanding third-year students to join the URFP which offers them an opportunity to undertake research under the guidance and supervision of academic staff who have a strong research record and experience in training research postgraduate students.  Students enrolled in the URFP are required to complete 12 credits in research-focused courses in the major (such as an extended essay course in conjunction with an advanced ENGL/LCOM course), admission to which is considered at the School level.  The fellowship will be recorded in the transcripts of students who have successfully completed the URFP in the third and fourth year.

  5. When do I have to apply for departmental ethics review?
  6. As stipulated in the University’s Policy for Ethical Practice in Research, undergraduate students who are undertaking a research project involving the consent of human participants must apply for ethics review. An application form for departmental ethics review of undergraduate research projects can be downloaded via and needs to be submitted to the Research Supervisor for endorsement.



Last updated: 19 July 2017