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Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in



The programme is suitable for those who wish to pursue further PhD studies in economics and related disciplines or seek professional positions in private and public sectors by demonstrating their ability to carry out original analyses of economic issues with an academic value and/or policy relevance.



The objective of the M.Phil. programme is to provide students with rigorous training in economic theory and quantitative analyses to enhance their ability to conduct independent academic research at master level.


All successful full-time M.Phil. applicants will be offered teaching assistantships. Assistantship holders are required to assist in teaching or research work. In recent years, the monthly stipend is about HK$18,025.


The normative study period for full-time M.Phil. students is 2 years. For details, please refer to the Graduate School website.

Tuition Waiver for
Local Students

Our Government would provide tuition waiver for all local students enrolled in this full-time programme. The waiver scheme will cover the tuition fees for the normative study period of this programme. For details, please refer to the University Grants Committee website.


The MPhil in Economics programme provides rigorous training in both mathematics and statistics. This helps students build a solid foundation in understanding more thoroughly about different economic theories and their applications. There are lots of chances to exchange ideas with the sophisticated and well-known scholars from various fields throughout the study. My advisor and thesis committee members are very patient in guiding me to construct my paper. Ultimately, it contributes to my further study and sets up my career roadmap.


PhD in Economics
University of Washington in St. Louis
M.Phil. 2018 Graduate


Coursework Requirement

Students admitted to the M.Phil. stream are required to complete a minimum of 21 units, which consists of 12 units from required courses and 9 units from elective courses. In addition to the lecture courses, M.Phil. students are required to register in the thesis research courses every term.

Required Courses*

[Total: 12 units ]

ECON 5010
Microeconomic Theory I
ECON 5010 - Microeconomic Theory I

This course provides an exposition of advanced microeconomic theory. It is the first part of a sequence of two courses on microeconomic theory for M.Phil and PhD students. Topics include preference and utility, consumer theory, expected utility theory, risk aversion, and general equilibrium.

ECON 5020
Macroeconomic Theory I
ECON 5020 - Macroeconomic Theory I

This course covers state-of-art core materials in dynamic macroeconomics at the entry graduate level. It is the first course of a sequence of two courses on macroeconomic theory for M.Phil and PhD students. The course is separated into two parts. In the first part of the course, essential mathematical tools for solving dynamic systems are introduced, including dynamic programming (for discrete time problems) and optimal control theory (for continuous time systems). In the second part of the course, work-horse macroeconomic models are covered including (but not limited to) neoclassical growth model, overlapping-generations model (OLG), and asset pricing model under complete markets.

ECON 5100
Review of Quantitative Methods
ECON 5100 - Review of Quantitative Methods

This course reviews mathematical methods frequently used in economic analysis. The following topics will be covered: elementary real analysis, matrix algebra and static analysis, multivariate differential calculus and comparative static analysis, optimizations with constraints, dynamic analysis of difference and differential equations, and dynamic optimization. We assume that students are familiar with basic calculus and elementary linear algebra.

ECON 5120
Econometric Theory & Applications
ECON 5120 - Econometric Theory & Applications

Econometrics offers quantitative methods to process and interpret economic data. This is an entry-level postgraduate econometrics course. Under the asymptotic framework, it covers estimation and inference of the regression models and the instrumental variable models. Probability and statistical theory is applied to systematically study the properties of these estimators.

Thesis Research Courses

ECON 8003
Thesis Research (3 units)
ECON 8003 - Thesis Research (3 units)

In this course, a student is required to meet with his/her supervisor regularly who provides necessary guidance and supervision to write up a thesis and monitors the student’s academic progress.

ECON 8006
Thesis Research (6 units)
ECON 8006 - Thesis Research (6 units)

In this course, a student is required to meet with his/her supervisor regularly who provides necessary guidance and supervision to write up a thesis and monitors the student’s academic progress.

Elective Courses*

[Total: 9 units]

Courses offered by M.Phil. – Ph.D. Programme

ECON 5030
Microeconomic Theory II
ECON 5030 - Microeconomic Theory II

This course is the second part of a sequence of two courses on microeconomic theory for M.Phil and PhD students. It covers applied game theory and its applications: principal-agent problems, economics of information, auctions, bargaining, public goods provision, mechanism design, and market design. This module aims to provide students rigorous and accessible explanations. The objective is to focus on classic results. If time permits, we will also take the students to the frontiers of research in selected areas.

ECON 5040
Macroeconomic Theory II
ECON 5040 - Macroeconomic Theory II

This course covers state-of-art core materials of modern macroeconomics including both theories and applications. It is the second course of a sequence of two courses on macroeconomic theory for M.Phil and PhD students. In the theory section, topics featured include: (1) Structural change and unified growth models, (2) Microfoundation of economic growth including misallocation, innovation and production network etc., and (3) Business cycle theories including Real Business Cycles and the New Keynesian frameworks. The application section of the course emphasizes the use of firm-level or aggregate data in the conduct of macroeconomic research using the above theories.

ECON 5150
Applied Econometrics
ECON 5150 - Applied Econometrics

This is a graduate level course in applied econometrics. Both microeconometric theory and empirical strategies for applied econometric research will be discussed. Modern causal inference including machine learning tools and big data analysis will be introduced. This course will discuss instrumental variable methods, treatment effect, matching, panel data models, differences-in-differences, regression discontinuity designs, binary response model, censored data, and modern causal inference topics including machine learning in causal inference, and so on. Students are advised to take ECON5120/ ECON5121/ ECON5122 before taking this course.

ECON 5160
Game Theory
ECON 5160 - Game Theory

This is an advanced course on game theory. We will cover topics in strategic games, extensive games of complete and incomplete information, epistemic foundations of game theory, repeated games, bargaining theory, coalitional games and matching theory. We will also discuss various applications of game theory in Economics.

ECON 5170
Computational Methods in Economics
ECON 5170 - Computational Methods in Economics

In modern economic research, computers enhance our capacity of solving complex problems. Computation is particularly important in fields involving massive data. The objective of this course is to introduce graduate students to computational approaches to solve economic models, with an emphasis on dynamic programming and simulation-based econometric methods. We will formulate economic problems in computationally tractable form and use techniques of numerical analysis to solve them. Substantive applications will cover a wide range of problems including labor, industrial organization, macroeconomics, and international trade.

ECON 5410
Monetary Economics
ECON 5410 - Monetary Economics

This graduate-level course studies advanced monetary economics. Its focus will be on models and theories of money and financial intermediation, but relevant empirical literature will be incorporated as well. The topics include ISLM model in open economies, OLG monetary model, flexible price monetary model, such as MIU and CIA model and new Keynesian sticky price model. China's monetary policies will also be discussed in the course.

ECON 5440
International Trade
ECON 5440 - International Trade

This course offers theoretical, empirical and current topics in international trade. It covers studies of positive issues, such as: Why do countries trade? What goods do countries trade? How does openness to trade shape countries' industrial structure and global production sharing? The course also concerns the normative issues, such as: Is trade beneficial to everyone, or are there winners and losers? What is the impact of trade on economic growth, wage inequality and poverty? All these issues will be discussed both from theories and empirics, as well as at country, industry and firm level. In particular, we will also discuss the ongoing US-China trade war.

ECON 5480
Industrial Organization
ECON 5480 - Industrial Organization

The course provides an overview of selected topics in industrial organization. Both theories and empirical approaches will be used. Court cases and legal materials will be used to illustrate the applications of various concepts in industrial organization.

ECON 6810
Special Topics in Economics I
ECON 6810 - Special Topics in Economics I

This is a course on special topics in Economics. The topic may change from one year to another. Class Topic in the academic year 2022/23: Economics of Social Networks

ECON 6820
Special Topics in Economics II
ECON 6820 - Special Topics in Economics II

This is a course on special topics in Economics. The topic may change from one year to another. Class Topic in the academic year 2022/23: Advanced topics in Macroeconomics

And at most one course offered by M.Sc. Programme and Dual Master Degree Programme

ECON 5181
Machine Learning Methods for Economists
ECON 5181 - Machine Learning Methods for Economists

Large-scale data set has become increasingly available in many fields of economics. This presents challenges to statistical inference and even merely "understanding" the data. Meanwhile, it offers abundant opportunities for new inquiries and answers. In this course, we introduce the core statistical methods to work with big data (structured and unstructured) and show how these techniques can be combined with econometric tools in economics research. While we cover major machine learning tools, including supervised learning methods, unsupervised learning and dimensionality reduction, we will focus on their concrete applications in current empirical research. Examples will be drawn from various lines of research, including text as data, relevant prediction problems in economics, and causal inference.

ECON 5311
Analyis of China's Economy
ECON 5311 - Analyis of China's Economy

Using the Chinese economy as a context, the course is designed to guide and train students to think courageously, creatively, and critically. Students are required to find "puzzles" in the contemporary Chinese economy, to develop economic issues of general relevance from these "puzzles", to frame these issues into theoretical or empirical questions, and finally to draft papers based on these questions. The course relies heavily on class discussion. Students are required to present at each stage of their thinking process. Students are advised to take ECON5010/5011/5012, 5020/5021/5022 and 5120/5121/5122 before taking this course.

ECON 5421
Financial Economics
ECON 5421 - Financial Economics

This course provides the economic foundation of modern asset pricing theory. It serves as an introduction to the functioning of the financial market as an efficient venue for financing investment activities. Various issues on risk measurement, risk assessment, managing risk, investors' psychological attitudes towards risk, and its implications on consumption and portfolio decision making in an uncertain world will be introduced and discussed. In-depth treatment will be given to the classical Markowitz's mean-variance analysis, CAPM, multi-factor asset pricing theory and no-arbitrage asset pricing theory as cornerstones of modern finance.

ECON 5451
International Finance
ECON 5451 - International Finance

This is a graduate-level international finance course. It aims to provide students with a solid understanding of the modern theories and empirics of international finance. Topics covered in this course include: exchange rate determination theories, exchange rate regimes, capital flows, currency crises, international monetary policy spillovers and coordination, among others.

ECON 5461
Development Economics
ECON 5461 - Development Economics

The goal of this course is to understand the economic problems of developing countries by using economic theories and their applications. The course will cover both macroeconomic and microeconomic approaches to development economics. We will first overview the theories of growth and discuss their potential in explaining income differences across countries, and then study the different facets of human development: market, institution, and culture.

ECON 5471
Labour Economics
ECON 5471 - Labour Economics

The course provides a theoretical and empirical foundation for the analysis of labor market. Topics to be covered include: labor supply and demand, minimum wages, migration, human capital and education production, labor market incentives, efficiency wage, and skill investment. Students should preferably have finished graduate level Microeconomic theory and Econometric Theory and Applications before taking this course.

ECON 5491
Corporate Finance
ECON 5491 - Corporate Finance

This course addresses the economic theory and empirics of corporate finance and governance. The goal is to help students understand major research issues in the field and develop their skills to apply theory to corporate finance practices. The course focuses on important topics such as capital structure, ownership structure, capital budgeting and corporate governance institutions. The course extensively uses the tools of game theory, information economics and microeconometrics. Students are recommended to take ECON5010/5011/5012 and ECON5120/5121/5122 before taking this course.

ECON 5542
Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy in China
ECON 5542 - Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy in China

This graduate course includes two parts. The first part provides elementary theories of monetary policy and fiscal policy, providing students a general framework for policy analysis. The second part mainly discusses the development of Chinese monetary policy and fiscal policy in the past three decades, the potential policy reform and its implications to the Chinese economy. In addition, how monetary policy and fiscal policy respond to financial crises or public health crises will be widely analyzed and discussed in this course.

*All courses carry 3 units, except the thesis research courses.

The availability of elective courses varies from year to year. Subject to the approval of the Division Head, up to 3 units of these 9 elective units can be taken from the Economics undergraduate courses or other related courses at the University.

Other Requirements

  • Students are required to submit a research thesis and pass an oral examination for graduation.
  • GPA Requirement : Apart from achieving the minimum grade C- for each individual course each term, M.Phil. students are also required to achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 (i.e. B-) every term. Students failing this will be put on academic probation or even discontinued from study upon consideration of the Graduate Panel.
  • Please refer to Clause 13.0 “Unsatisfactory Performance and Discontinuation of Studies” of the General Regulations Governing Postgraduate Studies which can be accessed from the Graduate School Homepage: http://www.gs.cuhk.edu.hk on details of academic probation.
  • To attend seminars organized by the Department of Economics.
  • To present a pre-graduation seminar on his/her research in March/April preceding his/her planned year of graduation.
  • Complete an Improving Postgraduate Learning (IPL) module on “Observing Intellectual Property and Copyright Law during Research” offered by the Centre for Learning Enhancement And Research. This will be an online module and relevant information can be accessed from the website: http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/clear/prodev/ipl.html .
  • Complete the Research Ethics Training (RET) module on “Publication Ethics” offered by the Office of Research and Knowledge Transfer Services (ORKTS). This will be an online module and relevant information can be accessed from the website: https://www.research-ethics.cuhk.edu.hk/web/.
  • The graduation requirements for students admitted in different years may be slightly different.
    Current students are advised to browse the full version of programme study scheme at http://rgsntl.rgs.cuhk.edu.hk/aqs_prd_applx/Public/tt_dsp_acad_prog.aspx for the correct version applicable to their admitted year.


  • Students in the full-time and part-time M.Phil. programmes attend the same classes scheduled on weekdays during day time, and they have to fulfill the same requirements, except that part-time students enroll in fewer courses each term and take a longer time to finish.



Students studying in our programmes have plenty of opportunities to interact with well-known scholars and professionals.

2017 Asian Meeting of the Econometric Society
Economic Forum “Outlook for the Global Macro- Economy and Hong Kong’s Asset Markets”
CUHK Workshop on Labor and Family Economics
China Economics Summer Institute 2019


Balanced Training in Theoretical Concepts and Real-world Applications

Looking back, my two years of M.Phil. studies at CUHK Economics Department were some of the most rewarding moments of my life. The dedicated teaching and excellent guidance given to me were instrumental to my personal growth and career development.

Inside the classroom, the teachers have not only guided me through many key theoretical concepts and quantitative methods but also inspired peer discussion on their real-world applications. Such a balanced approach has instilled me with essential analytical framework and toolkits, and kept me abreast with the latest development in global economic issues.

Outside the classroom, my supervisor, Prof. Terence Chong, and other teachers were always supportive, providing vital encouragement to my independent research. I feel truly thankful for their nurture throughout my studies at CUHK, which laid a solid foundation for cultivating my career as a professional economist.

Mr. LEUNG Pak Ho, Victor
Senior Economist
HKSAR Government
M.Phil. 2010 Graduate

Rigorous Training in Mathematics and Economics

As an economics student, I am always driven to pursue a lifetime career in economic research. The M.Phil. Economics Programme at CUHK helps to achieve my dream. The curriculum provides me with rigorous mathematical and economics training and enhances my abilities in conducting independent academic research. Here, we have access to strong faculty members with very credible research record and broad research areas. Thanks to the instructions of my supervisor, Prof. Matthew Shi, I have found my true passion in industrial organization and would like to accomplish my research in the field during my Ph.D. study.

Ms. TIAN Wen
Ph.D. in Economics
The Pennsylvania State University
M.Phil. 2019 Graduate

Road to be a Professional

If you get lost on the way to economic profession, CUHK M.Phil. (Economics) could be your guide map.

I am genuinely thankful to have been chosen to be part of the M.Phil. programme. Its rigorous training in economics and quantitative analysis develops my analytical mindsets and advanced toolkits. The programme puts my feet on the ground with solid training and I could learn and explore different career options. Here, I could take my steps to understand what I am capable of and I finally decided to pursue my current career as a professional economist.

The experience in postgraduate study is fruitful, as I could always exchange ideas with scholars, my supervisor Prof. Travis Ng in particular, in class or seminar. Support from buddies of class, who have the same aspiration to be a professional economist as myself, is also indispensable for my development.

Mr. WONG Ho Yeung
Assistant Economist
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority
M.Phil. 2019 Graduate

Stepping Stone for PhD Study

Studying the MPhil in Economics programme is a vital and indispensable decision for my academic career. The courses are meticulously designed with a balance of theories and applications. The programme provided me a formal and rigorous foundation of knowledge at the graduate level. Besides, there were fruitful opportunities for students to participate in seminars and workshops with prestigious scholars. Vast resources and proper workload here also enabled me to explore the academic world and acquire the essential skills and analytical tools. Together with my supportive and knowledgeable supervisor and thesis committee members, all these contribute to formulating my research idea and laying a straightforward pathway for pursuing further studies.

Mr. KAM, Yu Fai Geoffrey
Ph.D. in Economics
Washington University in St. Louis
2021 M.Phil. Graduate

A Licence of the Economic Research Profession

The M.Phil. Economics Programme offered by CUHK provides rigorous training to students who are determined to devote themselves to the economic research industry. During my two years in the M.Phil. Economics Programme, not only did I learn advanced economic theories and empirical research methods from the well-designed curriculum, but I also benefited from the programme’s distinguished alumni network. In fact, the cohort of the Programme is relatively small, so students could easily establish a supportive and harmonious bonding with each other. The alumni were always enthusiastic about sharing their study and work experiences, as well as their insights into real-world economic issues with us. The academic atmosphere in the CUHK graduate school has nurtured and motivated me in pursuing my career as a professional economist.

Mr. KA, Yiu Tung Stanley
Economist (Economic Research)
Hong Kong Monetary Authority
M.Phil. 2018 Graduate


Application Timeline

Applicants should submit applications through the online admission system from 1 September 2021. No application will be considered until required documents in printed copy are sent to our Division.

Application Deadline:

1st December 2022
Guaranteed Assistantship

All successful full-time M.Phil. applicants will be offered teaching assistantships. Assistantship holders are required to assist in teaching or research work. In recent years, the monthly stipend is HK$18,025.

Tuition Waiver for Local Students

The Government would provide tuition waiver for all local students enrolled in this full-time programme. The waiver scheme will cover the tuition fees for the normative study period of this programme. For details, please refer to the University Grants Committee website.

Annual Programme Fee

Full-time / Part-time: HK$42,100
*Tuition fee and other fees (e.g. application fee) are not refundable or transferable once paid.

Qualification for Admissions

Applicants shall:

  • have graduated from a recognized university and obtained a Bachelor’s degree, normally with honours not lower than Second Class (Upper Division) or with an average grade of not lower than “B”;
  • fulfill the English Language Proficiency Requirement as stipulated by the Graduate School before being considered for admission. To satisfy this requirement, applicants should

    i. obtain a degree from a university in Hong Kong; or

    ii. submit a certifying letter issued by the Registry of the university confirming the medium of instruction of your degree programme was English; or

    iii. submit one of the following ORIGINAL score reports/ certificates for assessment:
    – TOEFL* (normally not lower than 550 paper-based; and 79 internet-based) [Institution code: 0812; departmental code: 84];
    – IELTS* (Academic) (normally not lower than Band 6.5);
    – GMAT (Verbal, normally not lower than 21) [GMAT code: R9H-T1-86]

    * TOEFL and IELTS are considered valid for two years from the test date.


    iv. possess a pass grade in English in one of the following examinations:
    – Hong Kong Advanced Level Exam (AS Level);
    – Hong Kong Higher Level Exam;
    – CUHK Matriculation Exam;
    – General Certificate of Education Examination (GCE) Advanced Level (A-Level)/ Advanced Subsidiary Level (AS-Level); or

    v. achieve Level 4 or above in the English Language subject of the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) Examination; or

    vi. obtain a recognized professional qualification, provided that the examination was conducted in English;

  • provide favourable recommendations from academic referees;
  • submit the ORIGINAL GRE General Test score report [Institution code: 3153; departmental code: 1801];
    No specific requirement for GRE scores. Those without the GRE score may still be considered, but they will be at a disadvantage. GMAT score report could not be used to replace the submission of GRE score report); Applicants who have a degree from any of the universities in Hong Kong are exempted from the submission of GRE score report.
Specific Admission Requirements
  • Applicants should possess a Bachelor’s degree in Economics or related disciplines, with a good background in Mathematics or Statistics.
  • An interview is normally required.
Supporting Documents Required

The following supporting documents together with a photocopy of the completed application form should reach our office by courier/post by Dec 7, 2022 (Wed).

Please quote the “Application No.” generated by the online application system on your documents sending to our division.

Address: Room 928, 9/F, Department of Economics, Esther Lee Building, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin (Attn.: M.Phil. in Economics)

    • Official Transcripts (with a complete record of courses attended and examination results) and grading scheme of all tertiary level studies*;
    • A copy of Degree Certificates (if applicable);
    • Original score report showing the applicant has fulfilled the Graduate School’s English Language Proficiency Requirement (if applicable)^;
    • Confidential Recommendations from two referees#;
      • Applicants are responible to remind their referees that the submission deadline of confidential recommendation letter to support your application is Dec 7, 2022, or the earlier date stated in the application system.
    • Application Fee Receipt (not necessary for credit card payment through online application);
    • A copy of Identity Card or Passport;
    • Resume
    i. CUHK qualifications (Bachelor’s or higher degrees):

    • Photocopies of transcripts issued by CUHK are accepted (not applicable to CUHK (Shenzhen) qualifications).
    • Applicants should first download the Transcript Submission Covering Sheet and attach it to the transcript copy. Please send the transcript copy to the relevant Graduate Division directly.
    • The University reserves the right to require applicants to submit original transcripts.
    ii.Other qualifications:

    • Photocopies will NOT be accepted. Applicants should download the Transcript Submission Covering Sheet and send it to the issuing universities to apply for official transcripts. Official transcripts should be sent directly to relevant Graduate Division in a sealed envelope from the issuing university.
    • Certificates and transcripts, which are not in English or Chinese, should be accompanied by an official certified translation in English.
    • Some universities may only issue electronic official transcripts to other institutions. In that event, official electronic transcripts should be sent to relevant Graduate Division directly from the issuing university.
    • Applicants who obtained degrees from universities in Mainland China are required to provide an Online Verification Report of Higher Education Qualification Certificate (教育部學歷證書電子註冊備案表) issued by the CHESICC (學信網).
    • The University may require applicants to provide verification reports of the qualification obtained. Applicants will be notified by the Graduate Division concerned/Graduate School separately.

If you are currently in the final year of your study, you are required to submit the final official transcript before starting your postgraduate study at CUHK.

^ For TOEFL/GMAT/IELTS, applicants must request the test organization to send their official score reports directly to the Graduate School. Student copy of score report will NOT be accepted.

# Hard copy of Confidential Recommendations must reach our office directly from the referees, or in sealed envelopes and send by the applicant with other supporting documents to our office. The referees can also choose to submit the Confidential Recommendations via the submission link included in the invitation email sent by our application system. Applicants can request our application system to send out invitation emails to your referees in the application system after they settled the application fee.

Please visit the Graduate School homepage for further information on general qualifications for admission, application periods, application procedures et cetera.