May 2025 Entry

Full-time, Part-time
About Programme
How to Apply

Within The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the School of Design offers positions for candidates who wish to obtain doctoral degrees in design. Operating within a leading design school in Asia, the PhD programme aims to advance knowledge by producing high-quality research. Situated in Hong Kong, the School brings together Asian and Western knowledge to inform scholarly, technical and critical enquiry. As a centre for both design research and design education, the School of Design welcomes diverse approaches within each of these themes, with various methodologies, practices and theoretical positions, through hypothetico-deductive, interpretive, constructive and artistic research. The PhD programme draws together global scholars to generate, exchange and discuss knowledge and ideas on contemporary questions within the pursuit of advanced academic work.


The School research has gravitated towards exploring these social dimensions of design within three distinct realms: [a] Social Design, [b] Design Economy and [c] Design Making.


Please visit our website for more information about our research areas and programmes.

Research Area

Design Economy (設計經濟學)

Design Economy fosters research on collaborative design that enhances the role of design in innovation and value creation in the private sector.

Please refer to the school webpage for the information on the potential supervisor(s).

Design Making (設計製造學)

Design Making focuses on user-centred design investigations with communities and practices of making, such as the “maker movement,” with technological, organizational as well as sociological facets.

Please refer to the school webpage for the information on the potential supervisor(s).

Social Design (設計社會學)

Social Design facilitates collaborative design with communities to improve their lives through participatory, theoretical and critical approaches.

Please refer to the school webpage for the information on the potential supervisor(s).

Research Facilities

The following design laboratories summarise the various incentives and research facilities within the School of Design.

  1. The Asian Lifestyle Design Lab provides research services and generates critical knowledge for designers and industries to create innovative, sustainable products and services for the Asian lifestyle. It engages in fundamental and historical research, develops appropriate methodologies for fieldwork and analysis and seeks collaborations with industrial and academic partners.

  2. The Asian Ergonomics Design Lab focuses on Asian ergonomics and anthropometrics through a series of research projects dedicated to the Asian market.

  3. The Interaction Design Lab is an applied research and consultancy facility established in 2004 and endowed with the mission to promote the viability of interactive design in the field of design and in Hong Kong industries at large.

  4. The Information Design Lab is a research and consultancy unit dedicated to investigating what makes the design of information accessible and understandable. The work of the lab primarily focuses on the processes that underlie how humans recognise, make sense of, process, remember and learn various types of information in everyday life.

  5. The Public Design Lab builds on the assumption that public spaces should be accessible to all, including those who are disabled or disadvantaged. It promotes inclusive design to policy-makers, consults public organisations and the government and promotes interdisciplinary in public design.

  6. The Digital Entertainment Lab aims to bring people together to create new experiences in digital entertainment using artificial intelligence and consumer robotics.

  7. The Creativity and Design Education Lab considers creativity from multiple angles. Apart from examining the role of design education, the lab aims at improving creativity in the workplace and helping the creative industries in Hong Kong to increase their potential for economic growth.

Other Information

For full-time PhD admission, preference will be given to applicants who apply for the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme, for which the application period starts in early September each year.


All research postgraduate applicants are recommended to approach a potential supervisor who may give advice on the proposal.

Supporting Documents
Academic Referee's Report

Compulsory - Two Academic Referee's Reports are required

Curriculum Vitae


Personal Statement


Research Proposal

Compulsory - A standard form must be used for the submission of research proposal.  Please click here to download the form.

Transcript / Certificate


  • Certificate of the award of Bachelor's/Master’s degree

  • Applicants with academic qualifications from Mainland China must submit both the Degree Certificate (學位證書) and Graduation Certificate (畢業證書)
  • Transcript of studies containing all pages including the explanatory notes and the grading system


  • English language test result (For applicants who do not have a degree for which English was the language of instruction at a recognised university); OR

  • An official document (e.g. transcript) issued by the corresponding university to indicate that English was the language of the institution


  • Publication records, scholarships, awards/prizes and class rankings (with supporting documents)
  • Official documents proving that your master’s degree is a research postgraduate degree (with a dissertation/thesis as an award requirement)