On the strength of its solid foundation which has been built over the years, the Faculty is well positioned to become a world leader in construction-related research and innovations. Our research degree programmes aim to provide rigorous training to students who aspire to become researchers or scholars capable of conducting independent and original research, as well as producing research findings that are relevant and significant to their chosen field of specialisation. Numerous opportunities for research studies leading to the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degrees are available.

Financial support is available from a number of sources including the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme. Applications from self-financed research students are also welcome. If you are contemplating such studies, you may find an exciting research area and your ideal supervisor here. You can either register full-time or part-time. Details of the research postgraduate studies at PolyU can be found here.

Research Areas

The Faculty is the largest contributor in Hong Kong to university-based research in construction and environment. Our research endeavours include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

Department of Building and Real Estate (BRE)

  • Construction and Real Estate Economics
  • Construction and Real Estate Management
  • Information and Construction Technology
  • Urban Sustainability Policy


Department of Building Services Engineering (BSE)

  • Building and Environment
  • Building Energy
  • Building Safety and Resilience
  • Electrical Services
  • Facility Management


Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE)

  • Coastal and Hydraulic Engineering
  • Construction and Transportation
  • Environmental Engineering and Science
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Structural Engineering


Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics (LSGI)

  • Geomatics
  • Urban Informatics and Smart City


For details of FCE’s academic staff, their research and expertise, please click here.


Curriculum Structure

Enrolment and Registration

A successful applicant is provisionally registered as a full-time or part-time research degree student. Within the first half of the normal period of study a research student is required to have his/her registration confirmed, subject to a formal assessment. If the progress of the research study is satisfactory, the student’s registration in the PhD or MPhil programme is confirmed. Registered MPhil students can apply for transfer to PhD programmes.


Study Period and Credit Requirements (before Thesis Submission)

Study modeNormal periodCredit requirements & courseworkDeadline for confirmation of registration
Full-time MPhil 2 years

9 credits

  • 1 credit from HTI60811
  • 2 credits from attending seminars2
  • 6 credits from other subjects4
At the end of the first 3 semesters/terms
Part-time MPhil 4 years At the end of the first 6 semesters/terms
Research Master Entry  
Full-time PhD 3 years

15 credits

  • 1 credit from HTI60811
  • 3 credits from attending seminars2
  • 2 credits from practicum3
  • 9 credits from other subjects4
    (≤ 6 credits from guided-study subjects)5
At the end of the first 5 semesters/terms
Part-time PhD 6 years At the end of the first 9 semesters/terms
Master or Bachelor Entry   
Full-time PhD 4 years   22 credits
  • 1 credit from HTI60811
  • 4 credits from attending seminars2
  • 2 credits from practicum3
  • 15 credits from other subjects4
    (≤ 9 credits from guided-study subjects)5
At the end of the first 6 semesters/terms

Part-time PhD

8 years At the end of the first 12 semesters/terms

1  HTI6081 is a University compulsory 1-credit subject entitled “Ethics: Research, Professional and Personal Perspectives”.

2  Students are required to attend at least 10 research seminars (per year for full-time students/ per 2 years for part-time students), and to submit a report of ≥1,500 words (every year for full-time students/ every 2 years for part-time students).

3  To earn 1 credit for practicum, students are required to engage in teaching/research supporting activities for 6 hours per week in any 13-week semester before thesis submission.

4  FCE research students are required to take 2 Faculty compulsory 3-credit subjects namely “CE603 Research Frontiers in Construction and Environment” and “CE620 Research Methods”.

Guided-study subjects are normally done without lecturing and students will be guided by the subject supervisor to read specified monographs and journal publications on the topic concerned.


Research Postgraduate Programmes Document

This Document serves as a guide for prospective and current students to plan their research studies.

This Document contains information known as June 2019. Contents of this publication are subject to review and changes.

2019 rpg programme handbook 20190710 01


Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme

The Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme offered by the Research Grants Council (RGC) of Hong Kong provides a monthly stipend of HK$25,800 (~US$3,300) and Conference and Research related travel allowance of HK$12,900 (~US$1,700) per year for PhD Fellowship awardees for a maximum period of 3 years. PolyU will award those with a 4-year normal study period the same provision during their fourth year of study. On top of that, each PhD Fellowship awardee will also be awarded a tuition scholarship for the entire normal study period. Hall accommodation in the first year of study will also be guaranteed.


Financial Assistantship and Awards

The University offers Research Studentships to full-time PhD students on the basis of academic merit. (The 2019/20 Studentship carries a stipend of HK$17,400/ ~US$2,200 per month). In addition, FCE has established the ‘FCE Awards for Outstanding PhD Theses’ that come with a cash prize of HK$10,000(~US$1,300) and a certificate signed by the Faculty Dean.


Assistantship under the Teaching Postgraduate Studentship (TPS) Scheme

The main purpose of the Assistantship for Research Postgraduate (RPg) students under the Teaching Postgraduate Studentship (TPS) Scheme is twofold:

  • to grant, on a merit basis, financial support to eligible full‐time RPg students with a view to allowing them to fully focus on their studies; and
  • to provide more teaching experience and training opportunity to interested RPg students in order to widen their exposure for the development of their academic career.


Only full‐time RPg students who are not receiving a stipend will be eligible for receiving assistantship under TPS. Selected students for an assistantship under the TPS will be appointed as part‐time Teaching Assistants (TA) at the University on terms and conditions in accordance with the University’s policies on part‐time appointment.


The Hong Kong Polytechnic University International Postgraduate Scholarships for PhD Studies

The Scholarships will be awarded to academically strong applicants who can contribute to the internationalisation of the PolyU and bring cultural diversity to the University through open competition. Subject to satisfactory progress in students' studies, the scholarship will cover the cost of tuition during the study period.


Associated Money and Conference Attendance Grant

All RPg students, irrespective of the funding source, will be provided with Associated Money during the normal study period (with a reference amount of $20,000/year for full‐time students and $10,000/year for part‐time students).

A maximum amount of Conference Attendance Grant of $15,000 may be granted per student during the normal study period.


Application and Admission

Admission Requirements

To register for the degree of MPhil, a student shall hold:

  • a Bachelor’s degree with first or second class honours of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University or a recognised university; or
  • other academic qualifications which are deemed to be equivalent.


To register for the degree of PhD, a student shall normally hold a postgraduate degree containing a significant research component, such as a dissertation conferred by a recognised university.

In exceptional circumstances students other than those stipulated above may be permitted to register. For example, students with a Bachelor’s degree with First Class Honours, or the equivalent, may be admitted directly to the PhD programme. Such applicants may be required to pass an examination.


English Language Requirement

For those who do not have a degree from a recognised university where English is the language of instruction, they are required to have attained:

  • an overall score of at least 6.5 (with score for the writing component at 6.0 or above) in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS); or
  • for TOEFL, 550 or above in paper-based test (with a score of at least 4 in the Test of Written English); or 80 or above in internet-based test (with a writing score of 23 or above)


Alternatively, consideration will be given to acceptable scores in other internationally-recognised public examinations, such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).

Note: All English language test scores are considered valid for 5 years.


Student Halls of Residence

For details about university-managed accommodation, please click here.


Programme Application

Application Fee: HK$200 (non-refundable)

Please refer to the most up-to-date information on the Web Application System for Research Postgraduate Studies at www.polyu.edu.hk/rowas


Tuition Fees

The fees, which are non-refundable and subject to revision, for new students admitted to our research programmes are as follows.

  UGC-funded students Non-UGC-funded students Non-UGC-funded students
Annual tuition fee HK$42,100 HK$84,200 HK$42,100
Continuation fee for each semester beyond the normal study period HK$7,017
Examination fee HK$1,900 (for PhD)
HK$1,500 (for MPhil)


Registration Fee

On acceptance of an offer of admission to the MPhil/PhD programme, the applicant will be required to pay a non-refundable and non-transferrable registration fee, irrespective of his/her mode of study. The amount of registration fee is HK$5,000.

This registration fee will be credited towards the tuition fee payable upon admission to the University. Scholarship recipients and students eligible for the tuition waiver scheme for local research students offered by the Hong Kong SAR Government who are not required to pay a tuition fee will be refunded the registration fee after admission.

Requests for waiver or deferral of registration fee payment will not be entertained. Applicants failing to settle the registration fee payment by the stipulated deadline will have their admission offer relinquished.

Details of the Tuition Waiver Scheme for Local Research Students can be obtained at the University Grants Committee's website: http://www.ugc.edu.hk/eng/rgc/funding_opport/tws.html.


Enquiries on Application and Admission

Academic Secretariat
Room M101, Li Ka Shing Tower
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Telephone: (852) 2333 0600

Information is subject to change without notice.