HKU HKU Dept of Statistics & Actuarial Science, HKU

Research Postgraduate Programmes

The Department offers higher degrees in Statistics, Probability and Actuarial Science. These subjects are of a diverse character, ranging from abstract mathematical theory, through statistical methodology to practical application in many other fields including actuarial science. As a result, students with diverse backgrounds and aims approach the Department seeking a higher degree. Two higher research degrees are offered, namely Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Master of Philosohy (MPhil). To cater for this we have devised the following programmes. They allow study by coursework or research.


 Research Programmes

These subjects are of a diverse character, ranging from abstract mathematics theory, through statistics methodology to practical application in almost all the fields.


Time series analysis: linear and nonlinear time series, time series with conditional heteroscedasticity; financial time series; cointegration and unit root testing; financial econometrics and statistics; outliers and influential observations; asymptotic techniques; resampling methods; bootstrap methods; Monte Carlo methods; semiparametric and non-parametric modelling; goodness-of-fit test and model checking; survival analysis; statistical genetics; DNA profiling; forensic statistics; ranking methods; generalized linear models and generalised linear mixed models; stochastic processes; distribution theory; actuarial and financial risk; applications of asymptotic theory; high-dimensional statistics; random matrix theory; Bayesian analysis; MCMC computation; Bayesian adaptive design; clinical trial methodologies; bioinformatics; biostatistics; machine learning; statistical learning; big data; data mining.

Actuarial science

Actuarial applications of financial economic theory; actuarial mathematics; analysis of correlated aggregate claims in insurance business; asset allocation; analysis of heavy-tailed claims; credibility theory; credit risk; graduation methods for mortality data; insurance risk models; stochastic interest rate models; option pricing theory; retirement income arrangement; risk management; risk measure; stochastic investment models; ruin theory; value at risk; valuation and risk management of equity-linked insurance products; comonotonicity, stochastic order and applications in insurance and finance; study of dependent risks; optimization problems in insurance and finance.

  • List of RPG Supervisors

     Doctor of Philosophy

    This degree, which requires a thesis and original research, is designed for students seeking an academic or research career. It is a programme of 3 or 4 years, for students with or without research Master degrees in relevant areas. Full-time students are eligible for financial support in the form of a Post-graduate Studentship (PGS) or part-time Demonstratorship, which carries with it some duties of conducting tutorials. For most students, there is a coursework requirement for students. At the commencement, a tentative supervisor will be appointed, though changes in supervision may occur during the early coursework phase. Direct entry to the Ph.D. degree will normally be considered for students with (a) first class honours or a high honours 2A degree in Statistics or Mathematics from HKU or an equivalent institution, or (b) a research master's degree in Statistics, Probability and Actuarial Science. Indirect entry can also arise when a student in our M.Phil. programme is performing well and displaying originality in his/her research (see below). For many students admitted under (b), the coursework requirement may be reduced or waived.

    Part-time Ph.D. enrolment will be considered for students entering under (a) or (b) but this will generally be impractical for those with a higher coursework requirement with good academic background.


     Master of Philosophy

    This is a guided research programme of 2 years leading to a thesis. It is not required that the research be publishable in international journals. If however the candidate performs well, contributes originality which is publishable and demonstrates the ability to work independently, consideration will be given for a transfer to the Ph.D. programme. A common outcome is, however, that the student works on an interesting project in collaboration with his/her supervisor, whilst learning research skills and further statistical techniques. This culminates in a thesis, the writing of which is also good training. Sometimes a publication, jointly written with the supervisor, also results. Prescribed coursework rounds off the training programme. Full-time students are eligible for financial support. They also assist the Department and reinforce their own knowledge by conducting tutorials. The programme is also open to part-time students.


     Information for Research Postgraduate Admissions



      Professor Guodong Li, Postgraduate Admissions Advisor
      Department of Statistics & Actuarial Science
      Room 303, Run Run Shaw Building,
      The University of Hong Kong,
      Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong
      Tel: (852) 3917 2467
      Fax: (852) 2858 9041