The Credit Unit System
The four-year (normative) curriculum is built on a credit unit system, with flexibility and choices both in the selection of courses and in the sequence and pace of electives.
Within the credit-unit system, students are categorised into year-levels based on their year of attendance (that is, a new student enters the University as a Year 1 student) at the University for administrative purposes. However, a student's 'year' does not indicate the actual stage of completion of his/her studies. This means that students may, based on individual circumstances and interest, tailor the progress of their studies.
Students who complete the required number of course units, and satisfy the graduation requirements of the Major Programme and of the University, will be considered for the award of a Bachelor's degree.
The University's Bachelor's degrees are classified as follows:
Degree classification is based on the students' grade point averages for Major courses and for all other courses.
With the exception of a few special programmes, the normative period of study is four years, and students have to complete 123 units and satisfy requirements under separate categories. The overall curriculum structure is as follows:
|Major (including Faculty Package)||51 – 72*|
|Minor (optional)||18 – 30|
|Free electives||remaining units|
For some professional programmes and programmes of more than four years' normative period of study, the maximum exceeds 72.
A University Core develops generic competencies in and through Chinese, English, General Education, Information Technology, and Physical Education. The Major Programme provides depth and where applicable training in a profession. Within the Major Programme, there is a Faculty Package requirement for all students within a Faculty to share a largely common experience and gain broad exposure to related disciplines. Appropriate to a curriculum that is informed and led by research, a feature of the Major Programme is a Capstone course or experience, in the form of research, internship or other learning activity that helps students synthesize their learning. Students may elect one or more Minor Programme, or even take a Double Major. There is also the opportunity to pursue a Double Degree.
Through the Major Programme in the subject of choice, each student gains specialised knowledge in a chosen discipline, to a level that enables the graduate to pursue relevant careers or postgraduate studies. The depth and focus of study is also an opportunity to develop high-level academic skills. The four-year curriculum allows the systematic inclusion of a capstone course in every Major Programme that provides the opportunity for research and/or internship, or final-year project that can lead to a dissertation.
To encourage students to gain exposure to knowledge outside their Major discipline, each Faculty, except the Faculty of Law which offers only one Major Programme, will provide a Faculty Package: this allows students to take courses normally worth up to 9 credit units outside their Major but within the Faculty, thus broadening their knowledge beyond their chosen fields of specialisation. Credit units thus earned will count towards students’ Major Requirements.
In the four-year curriculum, a coherent collection of 18 to 30 units in a discipline can constitute a Minor, and students can take one or more Minor according to their interest and orientation.
At CUHK there is a long-established tradition for students to pursue not only a specialised or professional discipline, but also to gain an educational experience that will serve to enhance their capacity for life-long learning and competitiveness in the working life. These core skills, comprising numeracy, critical thinking skills and IT literacy, as well as a high level of proficiency in Chinese and English, are developed through courses under the headings of Languages, General Education, Information Technology and Physical Education.
To ensure that students graduate with a high level of bilingual proficiency, students are required to fulfill the language requirements of 6 credit units in Chinese and 9 credit units in English.
The General Education programme, applicable to students in all programmes, comprises three components: 9 units under University General Education, 6 units under College General Education, and two General Education Foundation Courses totaling 6 units.
Students are required to complete a one-unit IT Foundation course which provides students with basic knowledge of information technology and develops their capability in handling and using digital information.
The Physical Education programme equips students with sports skills and enhances students' physical fitness, and cultivates students' generic skills and desirable personal attributes, so that they can attain a whole-person development. The 2-unit Physical Education requirement is to be satisfied by choosing two different term courses from a comprehensive offering of sports items.
For details of the four-year undergraduate curriculum, please refer to the University's website at www.cuhk.edu.hk/334/english/index.html.