What is the "Graduate Studies Unit (GSU)" that has been mentioned in this website?
This refers to the graduate studies administrative team in the Division of Research and Graduate Studies (DRGS), Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences (FASS) Dean's Office. It is the unit within the FASS Dean's Office that looks after all graduate matters in the Faculty.
Can I have more information about the admissions process for Sociology and CSA-PhD please?
Completed applications should reach the graduate division by the stipulated deadline
(i.e. 1 November for the August intake).
The GSU will take time to do preliminary processing of the applications before forwarding them in batches to us at the Department.
When we receive the complete set of applications for the intake, our general office will commence more detailed administrative processing, before arranging for our graduate studies committee to convene and review applications. For CSA-PhD applications, these will be reviewed by the programme director.
Shortlisting of applicants will then commence, followed by interviews.
Once the committee/CSA-PhD programme director has come to a final decision about the applicants selected for admission, recommendations of these applicants will be sent to the GSU for its final approval.
The GSU may conduct further interviews for selected applicants.
All offers of admission will be made by the GSU, not the Department.
How many rounds of interviews are there?
If you are shortlisted, you will undergo an interview with a member of the Department's graduate studies committee. If you are applying for the CSA-PhD programme, the interview will be done by the programme director.
If you are selected for admission, the GSU itself may conduct another round of interviews, depending on its discretion.
All applicants selected for admission must have undergone at least one interview, at the Department level.
I have sent in an online application but have not received an offer of admission.
Only completed applications will be forwarded to the Department.
Therefore, please check that your online submission is completed, meaning it should still be printed out and mailed with supporting documents plus application fee to the GSU. Instructions are available in the online system.
Please ensure that you have not missed the stipulated deadline, otherwise your application will be considered for the next intake. If you are applying for the August 2012 intake, you may not hear from us or the graduate division until after 1 November 2011.
Please also note that admissions is highly competitive -- meeting minimum requirements does not imply automatic acceptance into any of the Department's postgraduate programmes.
What does the Department look for in a postgraduate applicant?
Generally, we look for applicants with potential to succeed in our postgraduate programmes.
There is no "formula" or set criteria for this.
As no two individuals are the same, we treat each applicant as a unique individual with potential strengths.
If you feel you have what it takes to achieve a Masters or PhD from us, do apply for our programmes.
I was rejected for PhD admission. May I appeal to be re-considered as a Masters applicant instead?
The Department's selection committee makes the final decision based on very thorough considerations of each application.
Both PhD and Masters applications for admission into the Sociology/Anthropology postgraduate programme are reviewed at the same time, so a second review will not alter the outcome.
More information can be found in the Faculty's website. If you have further enquiries about the admissions process, please email the Graduate Studies Unit (GSU) at
For other matters concerning the programmes, please email our Department at