Curriculum Highlights

Curriculum Highlights

Curriculum Highlights

(extracted from the documents “Implementation of the 2010 Curriculum” – document 78/810 (login required) and “Curriculum Structures and Credit Unit Statements of Undergraduate Curricula” – document 104/810)

A. Underlying rationale and principles of the enabling curriculum structure:

  1. To provide flexibility for students to pursue their own academic interests
  2. To broaden their knowledge base and develop generic skills to complement specialist knowledge and skills
  3. To optimize subject choice of students
  4. To allow room for students to engage in diverse learning experience, including research experience
  5. To encourage students to design their own programmes of study (under academic guidance/ monitoring)
  6. To provide opportunities for students to gain experience in academic exchange, internship, work placement or community service

B. Components of course requirements under the enabling curriculum structure:

  1. Common Core
  2. Chinese and English Enhancement Courses
  3. Disciplinary Studies (Majors, Minors, Professional Core)
  4. Electives (chosen from any Faculty)

C. 3-Year Curriculum in 2010:


Component Course No. of Credits* Proportion
Compulsory Courses Common Core
12 credits
6 credits
3 credits
Specialization Major 60-96 credits (incl all intra-faculty courses that may be required of a major of up to a quarter of the maximum credits for a major, i.e. 24 credits or 4 courses) 33.3% – 53.5%
  Minor 36-48 credits 20% – 26.7%
Electives Electives for all students Remainder to complete 180 credits 8.3% – 35%
Total no. of Required Credits   180 credits 100.0%

* 6 credits = 120 –180 student workload hours

D. 4-Year Curriculum in 2012:


Component Course No. of Credits* Proportion
Compulsory Courses Common Core
36 credits
12 credits
6 credits
Specialization Major 72-96 credits 30% – 40%
  Minor 36-48 credits 15% – 20%
Electives Electives for all students Remainder to complete 240 credits 17.5% – 32.5%
Total no. of Required Credits**   240 credits 100.0%

* 6 credits = 120 –180 student workload hours

** Students are allowed to take additional credits up to 6 credits per semester and graduate with a maximum of 288 credits

Advanced standing / exemption for double majors and double degrees:
Double majors
  • can double-count up to 24 credits of Faculty core & make up these credits by Free Electives
  • must complete 6 credits “English in the Discipline” (ED) of one major; the ED of the other major is optional
Double degrees
  • 24 Common Core course credits required (with one course being required from each of the four Areas of Inquiry)
  • General University English + Chinese courses waived for the 2nd degree
  • must complete 6 credits “English in the Discipline” (ED) of one major; the ED of the other major is optional

E. Credit Accumulation and Transfer Policy:

With the implementation of the new four-year undergraduate curriculum planned for 2012, the University has seized the opportunity to improve the existing credit unit system by stating more explicitly its expectation that all undergraduate degree curricula will adhere to a uniform policy of credit accumulation and transfer. In the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Policy (document 317/212) (login required) approved by the Senate on November 4, 2008, the curriculum study load, course credit weighting, and credit requirements of Majors and Minors are standardized.

F. Principles of course enrolments under an ‘Open’ curriculum:

  1. All compulsory as well as elective courses in major programmes of curricula that are offered as a second major should be made available to all students to enable them to declare a major or minor, if they so choose (subject to students’ being able to satisfy the prerequisite requirements set by individual Faculties)
  2. All curricula with a “professional core” component or with major programmes that are not open to students to choose as a second major (e.g. due to its professional nature) do not need to open up their courses to all students. Curricula and programmes that wish to be so designated should indicate that they will NOT accept students to choose their programmes as a second major
  3. Students registered for degree curricula which are not opened to other students should NOT be restricted from taking courses offered by other Faculties as a second major or minor or electives

G. Credit Unit Statements:

Every undergraduate degree curriculum and major and minor programme will provide a Credit Unit Statement for its courses in which the standard 6-credit course will be defined according to

  1. total student commitment of approximately 150 hours (but within the range of 120-180 hours)
  2. the output requirements for assessable coursework and examinations
  3. the number of contact hours of instruction required in order to achieve the stated learning outcomes of the courses within the curriculum or programme.

H. Requirements of Common Core under the new curriculum:

For (3-year) 2010 curriculum
  1. 12 credits of Common Core courses, chosen from two different Areas of Inquiry (AoIs), normally taken in the first year of study
  2. MBBS students admitted in 2010 are exceptionally approved to use the Special Study Module of the MBBS to satisfy 6 credits of the required 12 credits Common Core requirements (Not applicable to MBBS students admitted in 2011 who are required to take 12 credits of Common Core courses)
For (4-Year) 2012 Curriculum

Single degree curricula: 36 credits of Common Core courses
Double degree curricula: 24 credits of Common Core courses

  1. At least one course needs to be taken from each of the four Areas of Inquiry
  2. Common Core courses are normally completed within the first three years of study
  3. Up to 12 credits of comparable courses earned on exchange, of one semester or one year, can be applied for transfer

I. A general model# of progression of studies

2012 New Curriculum

# This is a general model and there may be slight variations in some curricula.

J. Study Load for both 2010 and 2012 Curricula:

  1. Maximum study load per year: 72 credits (comprising the norm of 60 credits + 12 credits which may be taken on the students’ own volition)
  2. Faculty Boards can require or permit students to exceed the maximum annual study load (72 credits) under the following circumstances:
    1. the total no. of credits taken does not exceed the maximum curriculum study load for the normative period of study (i.e., 216 (72 x 3) credits for the 2010 curriculum and 288 (72 x 4) for the 2012 curriculum), except as provided for under (2) below;
    2. when the student has to take more than 72 credits in a year to make up for failed credits, the total no. of credits taken does not exceed the max curriculum study load for the maximum period of registration* (i.e., 360 credits (72 x 5) for the 2010 curriculum and 432 (72 x 6) credits for the 2012 curriculum)

    * The ‘maximum period of registration’ is equivalent to a period which is 150% of the curriculum’s normative period of study as specified in the degree regulations. If this results in a residual fraction of an academic year, the fractional period shall be extended to one full academic year.

  3. Study Load Requirements Summary
2010 Curriculum
2012 Curriculum
  Normative Period of Study Maximum Period of Registration Normative Period of Study Maximum Period of Registration
  3 years 5 years 4 years 6 years
Maximum Study Load
(credits x years)
216 credits
(72 x 3)
360 credits
(72 x 5)
288 credits
(72 x 4)
432 credits
(72 x 6)

K. Advanced standing for double degrees (for both 2010 and 2012 curricula):

Advanced standing may be granted for the second curriculum of the double degree if the student has already successfully completed in the first curriculum.

2010 Curriculum
2012 Curriculum
Common Core 12 credits 24 credits
Chinese 3 credits 6 credits
English 6 credits 6 credits on General University English

L. Part-time Students

Part-time (self-funded) undergraduate curricula under both 2010 and 2012 curricula are exempt from the requirements of Common Core course and English and Chinese language enhancement courses.

M. Senior Year and other non-JUPAS students under the 2012 curriculum:

The following advanced standing may be granted by individual Faculty Board:

Common Core
(36 credits)
General University English
(6 credits)
English in the Discipline
(6 credits)
(6 credits)
(240 credits)
First degree holders 36 6 6 6 120
Associate degree holders OR undergraduate students transferred from other universities 24 6 - 6 120
Students with 7 years of secondary schooling 12 6 - 6 60
Mainland students under the “1+3″ scheme - - - 6 60

Note: If a student is granted the maximum number of advanced credits (i.e., 120 credits), it is very likely that he / she will not be able to select curriculum options which require heavier study load (such as double majors, double degrees and “professional” curricula), and can only choose a single-major degree in a “non-professional” discipline.