Postgraduate Student Handbook 2019-20   (VII-K)

 

General Information for Thesis Preparation and Submission

– A Guide for Research Postgraduate and Taught Doctoral Students

 

 

1.

Appointment of supervisor(s)

 

 

1.1

The Graduate Panel has the responsibility and complete authority to appoint and to reassign academic staff to supervise your chosen topic or area of research.  There should be only one designated Supervisor.  A Co-supervisor is sometimes also designated to ensure continuity of supervision.  In the case of co-supervision, the Graduate Panel shall designate who will be the Supervisor.

 

 

1.2

If you wish to make a request to change your Supervisor/Co-supervisor, an application should be made to the Graduate Panel of the Graduate Division concerned by using the prescribed form.

 

 

2.

Time for Submission

 

 

2.1

Students are normally expected to submit their theses (note: in this document “thesis” shall include – for D.Mus., M.Mus., and M.F.A. students – the student’s portfolio) by the end of the normative study period, i.e., the normal time period allowed for completion of all programme requirements, as stipulated in the Annex of the General Regulations Governing Postgraduate Studies.

 

 

2.2

If you do not submit your thesis and complete your programme requirements within this time limit, or the submission is not passed, then you will be put on “continuing status” until your successful completion of the thesis or upon your reaching the maximum study period.  Continuing students shall pay a “continuation fee” per term unless they continue to take courses, in which case full tuition fees apply.

 

 

3.

Declaration of intention to submit thesis

 

 

3.1

You have to declare your intention to submit your thesis by completing and returning the “Declaration Form on Intention to Submit Thesis/Portfolio” (Form TAS-1) to the Graduate Division concerned.  Since the completed form together with the approval from the Supervisor and Head of the Graduate Division should reach the Graduate School four months before actual submission, please check with your Graduate Division and allow sufficient lead time when you submit Form TAS-1 to the Graduate Division.  The form includes the proposed date of submission and thesis title (with 1-2 pages of summary of thesis), for approval by the Supervisor and the Head of Graduate Division.  In case the Supervisor finds that the thesis is not suitable for submission, s/he will forward the thesis to the internal examiners for a decision.  If there is any disagreement among the internal examiners, the case will be referred to the Head of the Graduate Division.  You are not allowed to submit thesis if you are on leave or the External Examiner(s) has/have not yet accepted the invitation.

 

 

4.

Title of thesis

 

 

4.1

The thesis title should be written in either English or Chinese.  If you wish to change your thesis title, you must complete the form “Application for Change of Thesis/Portfolio Title” (Form TAS-2), for approval by the Supervisor and the Head of Graduate Division concerned, and forward it to the Graduate School for record.

 

 

5.

Deferment of thesis submission

 

 

5.1

If you wish to defer submission of thesis beyond your originally proposed date, you should complete and return the form “Application for Deferment of Submission of Thesis/Portfolio” (Form TAS-3) to the Graduate School via your Supervisor and the Head of Graduate Division.  Deferment in submission of thesis will result in delay in your graduation.

 

 

5.2

Deferment must NOT exceed your maximum study period.

 

 

6.

Thesis Assessment Committee

 

 

6.1

Upon approval of your thesis title and the proposed date for submission, your Graduate Division should proceed to nominate members of your Thesis Assessment Committee which shall be chaired by the Head of Graduate Division or his/her representative, and shall consist of at least three Internal Examiners (the student’s own Supervisor and Co-supervisor, if any, the Head of Graduate Division or his/her nominee, and a third Internal Examiner from within or without the Graduate Division) and an External Examiner.

 

 

6.2

The Internal Examiners must be academic staff of the University, except that within three months after his/her retirement/resignation, a teacher may continue to serve as Supervisor/Co-supervisor/Internal Examiner of the student.

 

 

6.3

The External Examiners must not be members of the academic staff of the University.  Anyone who has been on the teaching staff of the University and who has taken part in the teaching of the candidates, even in a visiting capacity, within three years and anyone expected to join before assessment is completed, is not eligible for appointment as External Examiner.  In addition, they must be at least Senior Lecturers in the Commonwealth system or Associate Professors in the American system, unless no other suitable academic of appropriate rank (world-wide) is available, taking into consideration the language used in the thesis.  Two External Examiners will be appointed to assess the thesis of a part-time doctoral student who is a full-time academic staff member of this University at the rank of Assistant Professor or above.  All nominations of External Examiners must be approved by the Senate and University Council.

 

 

6.4

The Supervisor(s)/Co-supervisor(s), Internal and External Examiners evaluate if the student’s thesis meets the requirement for the award of the degree sought and provide the student with an opportunity to defend the thesis.

 

 

7.

Submission of thesis

 

 

7.1

You must submit your thesis (bound in a temporary form) according to the proposed schedule, unless permission to defer has been obtained.  You are not allowed to submit thesis if you are on leave or the External Examiner(s) has/have not yet accepted the invitation.

 

 

7.2

You may refer to the Guide to Thesis Formatting of the “Research and Thesis Writing” (available at Graduate School Platform (Students)) for details on the format.

 

 

7.3

In submitting your thesis, please observe the following requirements:

 

 

(i)

Number of Copies

 

 

The number of copies to be submitted depends on the number of members of your Thesis Assessment Committee (please check with your Graduate Division).  Except for the copy/copies to External Examiner(s) to be submitted to the Graduate School, all other copies must be submitted directly to the Graduate Division.  You should submit a hardcopy/hardcopies of your thesis to the Graduate School which will be sent to the External Examiner(s) for assessment.

 

 

 

 

(ii)

Abstract of thesis

 

 

With each copy of thesis submitted, you must also enclose a short abstract, in both Chinese and English:

 

 

 

(a)

For Master’s thesis: 200-500 words

 

 

(b)

For doctoral thesis: Not more than 800 words (Chinese) or 500 words (English)

 

 

(iii)

Length of thesis

 

 

In science subjects, the length of the thesis should normally not exceed 75,000 characters in Chinese or 50,000 words in English.

 

 

 

 

 

In other subjects, the normal length is up to 150,000 characters in Chinese or 100,000 words in English.

 

 

 

 

(iv)

Documents

 

 

The following documents must accompany the thesis submitted to the Graduate School:

 

 

 

(a)

“Thesis Submission Form” (TAS-4)

 

 

(b)

“Approval Form for Submission of Thesis/Portfolio” (Form TAS-5) signed by the Supervisor and Head of the Graduate Division concerned.

 

 

(c)

Receipt for examination fee paid

 

 

 

Doctoral and Master’s students are required to pay a thesis examination fee of HK$2,400 and HK$2,000 respectively.

 

 

(d)

Receipt for microfilming fee of doctoral thesis paid (for doctoral students only)

 

 

 

Doctoral students are required to pay a fee of HK$550 for microfilming of doctoral thesis and postage.

 

 

(e)

“Checklist for Submission of Thesis/Portfolio” (Form TAS-6)

 

 

(f)

“Academic Honesty Declaration Statement” from VeriGuide

 

7.4

You may put the hardcopy of your thesis and relevant attachments into a brown envelope and deliver the package directly to the Graduate School.  You may refer to the Graduate School Homepage for the address and office hours.  After office hours, you may put your package in the drop box of the Graduate School Office.

 

 

8.

Dispatch of thesis and assessment report forms

 

 

8.1

The Graduate School will send its copy of the thesis to the External Examiner(s) that has/have been appointed to the Thesis Assessment Committee.

 

 

8.2

Normally, the thesis will be sent overseas by airmail.  To speed up delivery for earlier graduation, you may request the Graduate School to send your thesis by courier, provided the delivery charges are paid by you.

 

 

9.

Oral examination

 

 

9.1

After dispatch of the thesis to the examiners, an oral examination will be held by the Thesis Assessment Committee.  Normally, such an examination will be held within two months after the submission of the thesis for both doctoral and Master’s students.

 

 

9.2

Presence of an External Examiner at the oral examination is required for doctoral programmes only.  It is, however, not compulsory for Doctor of Education, Doctor of Nursing and Doctor of Psychology students.  Where the External Examiner is unable to be present at the oral examination, a second External Examiner who will attend the oral examination and have the same responsibilities as the first external examiner will be appointed.  Students should not contact the External Examiner(s) on matters related to thesis examination.

 

 

9.3

The Graduate Division will inform the student of the date and venue of the oral examination.

 

 

9.4

The oral examination covers not only the subject matter of the student’s thesis but also knowledge in related fields deemed essential to his/her field of specialization.

 

 

9.5

The Chairman of the Thesis Assessment Committee controls the conduct of the oral examination to ensure that questions are put fairly and that the student is given adequate opportunity to answer them.

 

 

9.6

Even if the examiners consider that a student’s thesis is not of sufficient standard for the award of the degree sought, a student may, at the discretion of the Thesis Assessment Committee, be given an oral examination to defend his/her thesis.

 

 

10.

Assessment result of thesis

 

 

10.1

Examiners are normally given a period of five weeks for assessment of thesis.  Students may check the progress of the assessment process via GS Platform (Students) at https://www.gradsch.cuhk.edu.hk/pgstudent/main.htm

 

 

10.2

The thesis grading system is as follows:

 

 

Grade

Status

Action

 

I

Pass

If revision is not required, the student will be recommended for award of degree. If revision is required, the Supervisor shall confirm that the revised thesis meets the revision requirements before the student is recommended for award of degree.

 

II

This submission NOT passed. Re-submission allowed and re-

examination required

Revised thesis/portfolio to be resubmitted to Thesis Assessment Committee for re-assessment.

 

III

Failure - no re-submission allowed

 

Student to discontinue studies. Graduate Division to submit recommendation for consideration by the Executive Committee of the Graduate Council.

 

IV

Recommended for award of research Master’s degree (for research doctoral programme) only

Research doctoral student recommended for award of research Master’s degree.  Graduate Division to provide justification for consideration of the Executive Committee of the Graduate Council.

 

11.

Follow-up actions on different final grades

 

 

11.1

Upon receipt of all examiners’ reports, the Thesis Assessment Committee Chairman will decide on a final grade within four weeks and, on the “Notification to Student on Results of Thesis/Portfolio Assessment” (Form TAD-6), inform the student of the final assessment result and the follow-up actions required.

 

 

11.2

Grade I (Pass)

 

 

11.2.1

If revision is not required, the student should submit the final version of thesis (for a doctoral student, also the completed ProQuest Publishing Agreement Form) to the Graduate School within two weeks by completing the “Form for Submission of Thesis/Portfolio (Final Version) for Archive/Microfilming” (Form TAS-7).

 

 

11.2.2

If revisions are required, the Supervisor(s) must ensure that corrections are made satisfactorily by a specified period, and no later than three months from the date of official notification of the examination result.  The student should submit Form TAS-7 and the “ProQuest Publishing Agreement Form” (for doctoral students) by the deadline.

 

 

11.2.3

Since the Congregation for conferment of higher degrees is usually held in November/December, students who submit theses by the end of May (for doctoral students) or the end of June (for Master’s students) would normally have the degree conferred with the same year.  If revision/re-writing is required, students who submit the final version of theses before August 31 of the same year would normally have the degree conferred within the same year as well.

 

 

11.2.4

A student who fails to submit the final version of thesis within one year from the date as specified by the Thesis Assessment Committee shall be required to discontinue studies at the University, unless otherwise approved by the Executive Committee of the Graduate Council.

 

 

11.3

Grade II (This submission NOT passed. Re-submission allowed and re-examination required)

 

 

11.3.1

If the thesis is given a final grade II by the Thesis Assessment Committee Chairman, the thesis is not passed.  A revised thesis has to be re-submitted to the whole Thesis Assessment Committee within 12 months from the date of the official notification of the result of the first examination and within the student’s maximum period of study.  If the student will have exceeded the maximum period of study, s/he should submit an application to extend the maximum study end date.

 

 

11.3.2

Apart from re-submitting the thesis, the Thesis Assessment Committee may decide whether or not the student should be re-assessed by oral examination.

 

 

11.3.3

Only one re-submission of thesis is allowed unless exceptional approval is granted by the Executive Committee of the Graduate Council on extension of re-submission deadline and/or further re-submission of thesis.

 

 

11.3.4

Doctoral and Master’s students have to pay a fee of HK$2,400 and HK$2,000 respectively for re-submission of thesis in a revised form.

 

 

11.4

Grade III (Failure - no re-submission allowed)

 

 

11.4.1

If the thesis is given a final grade III by the Thesis Assessment Committee Chairman, the student is required to discontinue studies at the University.

 

 

11.5

Grade IV (Recommended for award of research Master’s degree (for research doctoral programmes only))

 

 

11.5.1

If the research doctoral thesis is given a final grade IV by the Thesis Assessment Committee Chairman, award of a research Master’s degree may be recommended by the Graduate Division by giving justification for consideration by the Executive Committee of the Graduate Council.

 

 

12.

Recommendation for award of degree

 

 

12.1

You may be recommended for award of the degree sought after:

  

(i)

you have completed the coursework and other requirements of the programme, if any, and

 

(ii)

your thesis is deemed satisfactory without any revision or amendment, or

 

(iii)

amendments have been made to the examiners’ satisfaction, and

 

(iv)

the final version of your thesis has been submitted to the Graduate School.

 

12.2

The Head of Graduate Division, on the basis of the assessment of the student’s thesis and the coursework completed by the student, recommends the student to the Graduate Council and the Senate for award of degree.  After the endorsement by the Executive Committee of the Graduate Council, the Graduate School will issue letters of certification to students who have been recommended to the Senate for award of degree.

 

 

13.

Submission of final version of thesis for archive/microfilming

 

 

13.1

Copies of thesis submitted to the examiners for assessment will be returned to you by the Graduate Division.  Subsequently, electronic copy of the final version of thesis (with all amendments properly made, if necessary) should be saved in a CD-Rom according to the guidelines provided by the University Library and submitted to the Graduate School for archive/microfilming.  Students should also submit a printout of the thesis abstract (both in English and Chinese), title page and separate page on composition of Thesis Assessment Committee (if applicable), together with the completed “Form for Submission of Thesis/Portfolio (Final Version) for Archive/Microfilming” (Form TAS-7) to the Graduate School by the time of submission of final version.

 

 

13.2

Doctoral students should submit two electronic copies of the final version of the thesis, and ProQuest Publishing Agreement Form where the doctoral thesis will be microfilmed and published online.

 

 

13.3

Any income from sales of manuscripts of theses through the above company will go to the graduates.  The company must therefore be informed of any change of address.

 

 

14.

Copyright of thesis

 

 

14.1

The University decided in 2007-08 that students should hold the copyright ownership of their theses.  However, to provide a wider accessibility of the theses for scholastic and academic purposes, students are requested to sign an agreement to grant the University a worldwide irrevocable, non-exclusive right in respect of the copyright in the theses for the purpose of making copies, abstracts, reproducing or otherwise dealing with the theses by whatever means, including but not limited to, digitizing, storing, reproducing, and distributing the theses in any media and in any format, provided that any and all such acts are only for scholastic and academic purpose and with proper acknowledgement of authorship.

 

 

14.2

For theses submitted before the effective year, the University retains the copyright of each of the theses submitted.  A request may be made to the Dean of the Graduate School to grant permission to release this copyright to anyone intending to use a part or whole of the materials in any thesis in a proposed publication.  The students/graduates are expected to give due acknowledgement of their Supervisors’ guidance (in case of a translation, students should seek the approval of the original author).  Photocopying of theses may be made for “fair use” for the purposes of research or private study, with the express permission of the Dean of the Graduate School, in accordance with the prevailing guidelines for copyrighted works.

 

 

15.

Confidentiality of thesis

 

 

15.1

Normally, requests for keeping theses confidential will not be approved.

 

 

15.2

Students and Supervisors who wish to protect potential patent rights (which would belong to the University if the work is done as part of normal duties) should exercise care to exclude sensitive material from the theses.

 

 

15.3

With effect from December 2014, a one-year “restricted access” is granted automatically to the final version of thesis submitted by a postgraduate student.  Access to the abstract, table of contents and full text of the thesis will be blocked during this period after which the thesis will be open for public access unless approval from the Executive Committee of the Graduate Council is granted.  Students may opt out from “restricted access” if they wish to release their theses immediately for open access.

 

 

15.4

Approval for confidentiality for theses for reasons other than patent application may be granted only in exceptional circumstances, normally up to two years.  Each case will have to be submitted to the Executive Committee of the Graduate Council for consideration.

 

 

 

 (revised in September 2018)