Curriculum

Course list
For descriptions of all courses currently approved for MA instruction, see the MAAH syllabus here. The department will announce each January which of these courses will be available in the following academic year.

Course requirements
The MAAH is a one-year full-time programme consisting of 60 credits of work as follows:

  • 2 required core courses (9 credits each: FINE7001 on academic art history and FINE7002 on curatorial training; both are offered every year)
  • 2 dedicated MA electives (9 credits each: chosen from a group of four options, which change year to year)
  • 2 cross-listed UG electives (6 credits each: chosen from a group of four to six upper-level undergraduate courses, which change year to year)
  • 1 dissertation of 10,000 words (12 credits: on a topic developed by the student and executed under the guidance of a specialist supervisor)

Curriculum schedule
The normal work schedule is:

fall semester:          FINE7001; MA elective #1; UG elective #1
spring semester:     FINE7002; MA elective #2; UG elective #2; begin dissertation
June-July:               complete the dissertation

Semester dates
Classes for the fall semester usually meet weekly for twelve weeks, from about September 1 to November 30. Spring classes usually meet weekly for twelve weeks, from about January 15 to April 30 (no classes during the Chinese New Year break). Dissertations must normally be submitted by July 31 for assessment in August.

Dissertation supervision
Preparation for the dissertation begins in the fall semester, when students begin work on dissertation writing skills as part of the core course FINE7001. Students finalize a topic during the spring semester, in consultation with the MA Coordinator. Based on the student’s topic, the MA Coordinator arranges for an expert supervisor to supervise the student’s research and writing. The supervisor may be a full-time or part-time teacher in the Department of Fine Arts if that teacher has appropriate expertise. Alternatively, the supervisor may be a museum professional or art historian outside the university if s/he has appropriate expertise in the student’s chosen topic. All dissertations are examined by the supervisor and by a second examiner who may be a teacher in the department or an outside expert. (But in no case will the supervisor and second examiner both be from outside the department.)

Grades
All courses, including the dissertation, are assessed with letter grades that correspond to point values, as in HKU’s undergraduate curriculum (A=4.0, B=3.0, etc.). Passing grades range from a high of A+ (4.3 points) to a low of D (1.0). Students earning very high grades receive the MA degree “with distinction”.