For Local Applicants

Master of Arts in Language Studies (MALS) is a programme jointly offered by the Department of English Language and Literature and the Language Centre at Hong Kong Baptist University under the Faculty of Arts. It has been running since 1992.


MALS graduates are recognized as degree holders who have fulfilled the Hong Kong Education Bureau’s (EDB) requirements for (1) English subject knowledge (encompassing an English Language major degree or the Postgraduate Diploma in Subject Knowledge - PGSK-ELT) and (2) the English Language Proficiency Requirement (Benchmark Test) for language teachers. Students who have successfully completed the programme may apply to EDB for a Professional Development Incentive Grant.


MALS provides comprehensive knowledge about language and prepares students for linguistic analysis of problems arising from the students’ particular interests, careers and concerns. It trains students to solve language-related problems and prepares graduates for a broad range of jobs which require good language skills, or for further studies in linguistics.

Mode of Study

There is a non-dissertation option that can be done in two years part-time or in one year fulltime. There is also a dissertation option that can be done in two years part-time or in one-and-a-half years of fulltime study.

The dissertation option is subject to the final approval by the Programme Director, depending on the student’s academic results and the merits of his/her preliminary proposal.

With the Programme Director’s approval, students can extend their study period to a maximum of three part-time years. Classes are conducted on weekday evenings and Saturdays, so that both part-time and full-time students can attend. We may offer a few courses in the daytime so that full-time students can be given more choices of elective courses.

Medium of Instruction


Tuition Fee

HK$103,950 (local students)

HK$114,750 (non-local students)

Admission Scholarship for Outstanding Students

A number of scholarships are offered to incoming MALS students who (1) obtained first or second upper honours classification from their first degrees, and which are relevant to language studies (linguistics, translation, English language & literature, etc.), or (2) are graduates of the UGC-funded HKBU Bachelor of Arts programmes, or (3) have an excellent academic record from a mainland university and good TEM8 (Test for English Majors – Band 8) result.

Service to Hong Kong Admission Scholarships

Scholarships are open to all applicants regardless of race, nationality, gender, political view, or any other irrelevant parameter. The requirements are strictly in relation to service to Hong Kong. Examples of service may include work at Hong Kong-related NGOs, charity bodies, extra-curricular societies like the boy scouts or girl guides, help given to minority or disadvantaged groups, service (not just membership) to political parties, service (not just membership) to professional bodies, etc. Acceptable evidence includes testimonies, references, certificates, and other materials that allow verification. The scholarship awards vary from 15% to 100% of the total tuition fee and will be deducted from the tuition fee upon admission. Applicants who wish to be considered for the award should include all relevant supporting materials at the point of application for admissions.

Dissertation Excellence Prize

A Dissertation Excellence Prize is now offered by MALS to encourage students’ progression from taught postgraduate programmes to research postgraduate programmes. The Dissertation Excellence Prize will be awarded to the best five MALS dissertations that score at or above “A-” each year. (The award for an “A” grade is HK$15,000, and for an “A-” grade is HK$10,000.)

Scholastic Award

The graduate attaining the highest cumulative GPA in the graduating class of the Programme and whose cumulative GPA is no less than 3.67 will be awarded the MALS Scholastic Award for that year.

Admission Requirements

Applicants should possess:

  • a Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university or comparable institution, or
  • a qualification deemed to be equivalent.


Applicants are expected to have advanced competence in spoken and written English. A good knowledge of other languages (including Chinese) would be an added advantage. If English was not the medium of instruction for the first degree, applicants are required to provide evidence of good English proficiency. At least one of the following minimum scores or standards has been achieved: (i) IELTS (Academic): Overall Band at 6.5; (ii) TOEFL: 550 (Paper-based), 79 (Internet-based); (iii) CET-6 (College English Test band 6): 500; (iv) Grade D in AS Use of English (HKALE); OR (v) Level 4 in English Language (HKDSE). For IELTS, TOEFL and CET6, the test result provided should be within two years from the date of issuance of the Admission Offer letter. Test result of TOEFL iBT Home Edition or IELTS Indicator is not accepted.


Transfer of units may be granted (i) if relevant and comparable course(s) have been previously taken from a recognised institution no more than eight years before the commencement of study at HKBU and (ii) if the relevant course result is equivalent to B- or above in the University’s grading system. Subject to programme requirements and panel approval, transfer may be granted for up to four courses for credits earned from an HKBU postgraduate diploma programme. Applications for credit transfer should be submitted to the admission panel, supported by relevant proof. Where appropriate, students may be required to sit for and achieve satisfactory results in the University’s proficiency test(s) or qualifying examination(s) before their application for transfer of units is approved. Where a transfer of credits is effected, the tuition fee will be adjusted accordingly.

Programme Structure

5 core courses + 4 electives, or

5 core courses + 2 electives + a dissertation

At least six elective courses are offered in each academic year


Course List

Teaching Staff

Dr. CHAN, Mable

BA (Hons) (CUHK), MPhil (CUHK)

PhD (Essex, UK)

Senior Lecturer, Language Centre


Dr. CHOR, Winnie O W

BA (Hons) (HKU), MPhil (HKU)

PhD (SydneyU)

Associate Professor, Department of English Language and Literature


Dr. LI, Mingxing

BA, MA (Tianjin Normal U)

MPhil (CUHK), PhD (Kansas)

Associate Professor, Department of English Language and Literature

Programme Director, MALS


Dr. LU, Dan Huai

Dip (Anhui), MA (Shanghai Int’l Stud), PhD (Alberta)

Honorary Associate / Part-time Lecturer, Language Centre


Dr. ROWLETT, Benedict

BA (Hons) (U of London), MSc (AstonU)

PhD (CityU HK)

Assistant Professor, Department of English Language and Literature

Associate Programme Director, MALS


Dr. SHAO, Jing

BA (Beijing Normal U), MA (Peking U)

PhD (CityU HK)

Research Assistant Professor, Department of English Language and Literature


Dr. WANG, Simon H

BA (Washington), MSc (Oxford)

PhD (CityU HK)

Lecturer, Language Centre


Prof. WEE, Lian Hee
BA (Hons) (Singapore), PhD (Rutgers)

Professor, Department of English Language and Literature


Dr. WONG, Janice W S

BA (Hons) (CUHK), MPhil (CUHK)


Senior Lecturer, Department of English Language and Literature

Application Period

Normally from January to April every year

Application Method

Online application through the website of the Taught Postgraduate Section of Academic Registry, Hong Kong Baptist University:

Application Hotline: (852) 3411 5127

Application Enquiries Email:

Programme Enquiries

MALS Programme Office

Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong

Telephone: 3411 7851      



Words from alumni