Department of English
Established in 1988, the Department of English is a leader in applied English language studies. Our internationally-recognised academic staff will help you acquire the high levels of English skills needed to succeed professionally, and provide a comprehensive and critical understanding of English communication in multicultural professional contexts.
Our team of experts has a wide range of research interests in language and professional communication; media and communication; language teaching and learning; linguistics, English language and systemic functional linguistics; and intercultural communication. Our postgraduate students go on to work in a number of exciting and international contexts around the world.
The MA in English Studies for the Professions (MAESP) programme provides students with an understanding of the theory and practice of English in educational and professional contexts. The MAESP enables students to become innovative and reflective professionals in a range of institutional settings.
Meeting the needs of professionals
The MAESP has four specialisms: English Language Arts (ELA), English Language Studies (ELS), English Language Teaching (ELT), and English for the Professions (EP).
• ELA – for those who wish to receive in-depth training in the study of language arts, such as plays, poems, and literature.
• ELS – for those who wish to study applied linguistics, and develop their understanding of the systems and uses of English.
• ELT – for those who wish to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to design and deliver English-language courses.
• EP – for those with an undergraduate degree other than in English. It is intended for professionals of all disciplines who wish to upgrade their ability and qualifications in English.
ELA, ELS, and ELT mainly serve professionals who intend to enter the teaching profession. Preference will be given to applicants who have majored in English or a communication-related field. EP is designed primarily for middle-level managerial staff who need to demonstrate a high level of communicative competence in English.
New and serving English language teachers who do not hold a degree in English, but who have successfully completed the MAESP (ELA), MAESP (ELS) or MAESP (ELT) programme, are regarded by the Education Bureau (EDB) as having a degree with relevant language major. The MAESP (ELA), MAESP (ELS) and MAESP (ELT), but not MAESP (EP), meet the EDB’s Subject Knowledge Requirement (SKR). All four specialisms meet the Language Proficiency Requirement (LPR) provided that on graduation students meet the training requirement for language teachers.
Selection of specialism
• Applicants should indicate their chosen specialism when applying.
• Students admitted to the programme may switch to another specialism after completing the four core MAESP subjects.
The MAESP requires completing 30 credits of subjects. Alternatively, students may elect to complete an MA dissertation, which is worth 6 credits of the total 30.
Core subjects (12 credits)
- Introduction to the Sound System of English
- Discourse Analysis
- English Semantics and Lexis
- Analytical Perspectives in English Grammar
Specialism-related core subjects*
- ELA: Second Language Learning, Language Development and Use, English Literature and Language Arts
- ELS: Language Development and Use, English Literature and Language Arts
- ELT: Second Language Learning, Second Language Teaching
- EP: Practical Communication Strategies I, Practical Communication Strategies II
- ELA: Popular Culture and English, Oral Language Arts, Second Language Teaching, Drama for Language Learning, Critical Language and Cultural Studies, Research Design and Methods
- ELS: Pragmatic Disorders, Communication, Multimodality and Semiotic Studies, Popular Culture and English, The Sociology of Language: Social and Economic Perspectives, Intercultural Communication in Business, Research Design and Methods
- ELT: Syllabus Planning and Materials Design, Testing and Assessment, Drama for Language Learning, Oral Language Arts, Critical Language and Cultural Studies, Popular Culture and English, Research Design and Methods
- EP: Pragmatic Disorders, Intercultural Communication in Business, Communication, Multimodality and Semiotic Studies, The Sociology of Language: Social and Economic Perspectives, Critical Language and Cultural Studies, Research Design and Methods
* Core and elective subjects are worth 3 credits each; however, the Research Project (6 credits) involves conducting an independent piece of research and writing a 10,000-word dissertation.
- Postgraduate Certificate in English Studies for the Professions (12 credits): students should complete the four core subjects.
- Postgraduate Diploma in English Studies for the Professions (18 credits): students should complete the four core subjects (12 credits) and two other subjects from the lists of specialism-related core subjects (6 credits).
- Master of Arts in English Studies for the Professions (English Language Studies / English Language Teaching / English for the Professions)* (30 credits): students should complete the four core subjects (12 credits); two specialism-related core subjects (6 credits); and either four specialism-specific electives (12 credits) or by taking the Research Project (6 credits) and associated research methods subject (3 credits) as well as one specialism-specific elective (3 credits).
- Master of Arts in English Studies for the Professions (English Language Arts)* (30 credits): students should complete the four core subjects (12 credits); three specialism-related core subjects (9 credits); and either three specialism-specific electives (9 credits) or by taking the Research Project (6 credits) and associated research methods subject (3 credits).
* The title of the relevant specialism will appear in brackets on the degree certificate, e.g. Master of Arts in English Studies for the Professions (English Language Teaching).
• HK$3,200 per credit (for local students)
• HK$4,500 per credit (for non-local students)
• A Bachelor’s degree in any subject or the equivalent from a recognised institution.
• In the case of applicants intending to specialise in English Language Arts, English Language Studies or English Language Teaching, preference will be given to those who majored in English or a communication-related field.
• Applicants wishing to specialise in English for the Professions are not expected to have majored in English or a communication-related field.
• Applicants are expected to meet ONE of the following requirements:
- A Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 96 or above for the internet-based test; or 590 or above for the paper-based test; OR
- An International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of at least 7.0 for the listening and reading sections and at least 6.5 for the speaking and writing sections; OR
- A level of competence in English as demonstrated in the admission interview and written test set by the Department of English, which indicates that the applicant* is capable of studying successfully at the taught MA level.
*This only applies to either native English speakers or non-native English applicants with a Bachelor’s degree from a university using English as the medium of instruction (EMI). Non-native speakers or applicants without a Bachelor’s degree from an EMI university still have to fulfil the University-wide minimum language requirements. Exceptional cases shall be considered individually.
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