Doctor of Philosophy


 Research topics for PhD thesis research projects:

  • Issues in Metaethics

  • What Makes a Person Good? (Greek tragedies, Chinese philosophical perspectives, contemporary virtue ethics, changes in contemporary societies, etc.)

  • Moral Psychology in Xunzi (moral theories, cognitive psychology, knowledge and morality, etc.)

  • Contemporary Issues in Philosophy

  • Virtue and Character (Aristotle, Confucius, feminism, experimental psychology, challenges from contemporary times, etc.

  • Confucianism and Democracy (Western political theories, classic Confucian views, various democratic models in contemporary societies, etc.)

  • Classic Chinese Philosophy

  • The Dao of Laozi (traditional interpretations, new discovered texts, postmodernism, etc.)

  • Philosophy of Science

  • How is Scientific Inference Possible? (classic inference theory, statistics and probability theory, scientific modeling, etc.)

  • Philosophy of Space and Time (contemporary physics, classic theories, etc.)

Period of Candidature
Students may choose to pursue either on a full-time or part-time basis.

Full-time PhD candidates: minimum 2 years and maximum 5 years;

Part-time PhD candidates: minimum 2 years and maximum 7 years.

Admission Requirements

  • Applicants should have a Master's degree, or equivalent, in Philosophy or a relevant field from a recognised university.

  • For applicants whose mother tongue is not English, a good TOEFL or IELTS score is required.

  • Demonstrated ability to pursue research in the candidate's proposed field of advanced study. Candidates should include with their application either a research proposal (in which they outline what they intend to study, why they intend to do so, and how they plan to do it), or a writing sample in philosophy. Length: 3,000 – 5,000 words.

Programme Requirements


PhD students are required to take six (6) courses, including two required sequential graduate seminars which introduce research methodologies and key areas of philosophy. PhD students will be encouraged to take courses in natural sciences, social sciences, and other disciplines in the humanities. Students’ thesis projects must be alongside the strengths of the faculty; each PhD student will also be required to develop a secondary area of competency besides their thesis area. 

Upon completion of the coursework, and before writing the thesis, PhD students need to present both a thesis prospectus (approximately 5,000 words) and a secondary area research report (approximately 5,000 words) to a philosophy graduate studies committee for approval. The secondary area research report should demonstrate the student’s competency in an area of philosophy beside his or her thesis area. Both the thesis prospectus and the secondary area research report need to be completed within 18 months after entering the programme. The study is consummated with the submission of a thesis of between 30,000-85,000 words and a successful oral defense.