Master of Arts in International Affairs


Program Description

Leading with international vision - Master of Arts in International Affairs

Lingnan University’s new taught MA programme provides postgraduates with an understanding of key subjects including international and comparative politics

Brief programme outline

  • The 2019-20 MAIA programme will accept applications for admission from 1 October 2018.
  • The Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA) is hosted by the Department of Political Science: The MAIA programme aims to provide postgraduate education and training in international affairs with a political science emphasis.
  • Two modes of study will be offered under this MA programme:
    1) One-year, two terms, full-time degree
    2) Two-years, four terms, part-time degree
  • The MAIA programme requires the completion of a total of 24 credit hours, including 4 compulsory courses (12 credits) and 4 elective courses (12 credits).
  • The classes would be conducted in the form of a seminar with a high expectation of a close interaction between students and instructor. Students are expected to undertake responsible self-study, doing weekly required readings and making presentations in classes. A research term paper as part of the assessment is also a norm.
  • Tuition for 2019-20: full-time: HK$99,000; part-time: HK$49,500, with several student scholarships available in the forms of half-fee and/or quarter-fee tuition waiver to academic outstanding applicants.
  • For overseas and Mainland Chinese students who aim for high-quality English language Master degree education, our MAIA programme should be a very good choice with its high degree of internationalization and relatively low costs for tuition and living in Hong Kong. Our teaching staff all obtained Ph.D. degree at major universities in the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

Aims and objectives

The MAIA programme aims to:

  • design around a series of courses that cover both fundamental theoretical underpinnings as well as detailed analysis of important international and Asia Pacific issues;
  • provide students with a deeper understanding of international and regional affairs, helping students in upgrading their professional abilities and equipping necessary conceptual tools to comprehend the rapidly-changing global and regional forces that shape our world;
  • provide advanced training for students to strengthen their analytical abilities, help them develop the capacity to conduct original research, and bolster their presentation, debating and writing skills;
  • broaden students’ horizons and enhance their learning experiences from the programme;

On completing the MAIA programme, students will be able to:

  • understand and apply theories, methods, concepts and background knowledge in political science, particularly in international relations and comparative politics to the study of current issues and affairs;
  • describe and explain the motives and actions of key state and non-state actors in shaping contemporary world politics and domestic and foreign policies of countries;
  • critically synthesize and evaluate media or official reports, governmental and non-governmental policy statements, and academic literature on international politics and policymaking in contemplating solutions to problems;
  • comprehend and exercise our rights and duties as responsible national and global citizens in enhancing peace, stability, prosperity, and welfare.

Career Prospects

Possession of an MAIA degree would help one to develop a career in being a civil servant, journalist, corporation executive, diplomat, political and economic analyst, teacher and NGO worker, just to name a few among different careers that require a deeper understanding of international and regional affairs.

Others might want to further their studies with a Ph.D. degree after the MAIA.


The MAIA programme is primarily designed for degree holders in politics-related disciplines, other social sciences, humanities, law, communications, business or other relevant training who would like to prepare themselves for international related careers or advanced academic studies.

  1. To be eligible for entry into this programme, candidates should:

    a) hold a relevant bachelor’s degree with first or second class honors or at an equivalent standard awarded by a tertiary education institution recognized for this purpose by the University; or
    b) have obtained an equivalent qualification; or
    c) have provided satisfactory evidence of academic and professional attainment.

  2. For an applicant who applies for the Lingnan MAIA degree, he/she whose degree, or exceptionally, an alternative qualification deemed equivalent, is not from a tertiary institution in Hong Kong or an English-speaking country, should obtain proof of English proficiency through one of the following:

    a) a band score of 6.5 or above in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS); or
    b) a minimum score of 550 (paper-based test) or 213 (computer-based test) or 79 (internet-based test) in the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

    Apart from IELTS and TOEFL, we also consider the following alternatives on a case-by-case basis : a) a minimum score of 475 in the Chinese Mainland’s College English Test (CET) Band 6; or b) an equivalent score in a recognized test, or an equivalent qualification to prove his/her language proficiency.

3. Interviews may be conducted.

Application fee, tuition fees, and scholarships

Application fee: HK$400 will be charged upon completion of the online application

Tuition for 2019-20:

  • full-time: HK$99,000;
  • part-time: HK$49,500

Several student scholarships are available in the forms of half-fee and/or quarter-fee tuition waiver to academic outstanding applicants. Applicants should indicate in their applications that they would like to be considered for this tuition waiver. The deadline of the scholarship application is 15 February 2019. In addition to other application materails, scholarship applicants must also submit 2 academic recommendation letters. The decision of giving out scholarship is solely made by the Department of Political Science.

Overseas students, if admitted, will be expected to take care of additional expenses including accommodation, travel to and from Hong Kong and Hong Kong immigration visa charges (if applicable).


Tel: (852) 2616 8723; Email:

Last updated Sep 2020

About the School

Lingnan University is the liberal arts university in Hong Kong and we have the longest established tradition among the local institutions of higher education. Our history can be dated back to 1888, wh ... Read More

Lingnan University is the liberal arts university in Hong Kong and we have the longest established tradition among the local institutions of higher education. Our history can be dated back to 1888, when our forerunner, the Christian College in China, was founded in Guangzhou, and to 1967, when the institution, as Lingnan College, was re-established in Hong Kong. In 2015, Lingnan University was named as one of the “Top 10 Liberal Arts College in Asia” by Forbes. Read less