Admission process overview

Which programmes are inviting applications?

The Master of Design (MDes) has four specialisms: Innovative Business Design (IBD), Intelligent Systems Design (ISD), Smart Service Design (SSD) and Transitional Environments Design (TED). All are inviting applications for September 2023 entry, but their focus and requirements differ somewhat. Please visit our website at http://PolyUMDes.Info for specific information.

When is the application period? When will be the applications reviewed?

PolyU accepts applications for MDes 2023 entry from September 22, 2022, to April 30, 2023. 

During the application period, the School reviews applications in several admissions rounds. Early Round: December 9, 2022; Round 1: February 3, 2023; Round 2: March 17, 2023; Round 3: April 30, 2023.

What defines an applicant as a non-local student?

Mainland Chinese and nationals of other countries may join study programmes in Hong Kong offered in a full-time mode of study. They are considered non-locals and will require a student visa.

Holders of dependant visas and IANG are considered non-locals. They do not need a student visa for full-time studies.

What is to be expected after submitting an application?

Once you submit your application, an application number and a bill number will be generated from eAdmission. Save these numbers for your records and quote them when making enquiries or settling application fees.

You may also check the application and fee payment status on eAdmission. After the payment status changes to "paid", PolyU's Academic Registry releases your application dossier to the School.

The Admission Team may periodically notify applicants if any required document is missing. However, the final responsibility lies with the applicants to ensure their application has all relevant fields filled out and all required support documents provided.

Incomplete applications will be held up and cannot be processed promptly. If you experience trouble submitting your required support documents, e-mail MDes Admission Team at 

Meeting entrance requirements determines whether an application is to be considered. Suppose you have submitted a complete application. You may expect a review to be conducted four weeks after the review deadline.

After the review, the Admission Panel decides on the shortlist. We'll send applicants on the shortlist an interview invitation at least two working days before the meeting. For others not on the shortlist, your application is shown as 'on waiting list' on eAdmission and may be revisited after the following review deadline.

What causes a delay in reviewing an application?

Incomplete applications or applications with a pending application fee cannot be processed timely. The decision to call for an interview will be delayed.

How much is the application fee and how can it be settled?

The application fee is HK$450 for local and non-local applicants. Fees paid are non-refundable. If you are not in Hong Kong, you can choose to settle the fee by Visa/ MasterCard (worldwide acceptance)/ UnionPay, Bank Draft, or Flywire.

Personal cheques and cash are not acceptable. 

For details, please refer to the Finance Office website at: (Students > Payment Methods > Application Fee)

When and how will applicants be informed about the interview arrangements?

All admissions must go through the interview process. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview either in-person or online. Invitations are usually sent at least two working days before the meeting.

When do I expect to get the result of my application after attending an interview?

Applicants can check their application status on eAdmission two weeks after their interview. Successful applicants will receive an e-mail/ SMS notification. Note that the e-mails from PolyU might be delivered to your spam folder due to the e-mail service setting.

The status "on waiting list" means that the Admission Panel has not decided on your admission, and your application is on the waitlist. We may re-evaluate all applications on the waitlist periodically.

When and how will the result be announced?

Admission offers for September 2023 entry will be announced via eAdmission and e-mail/ SMS starting mid-February 2023 and no later than June 2023. If you do not receive an admission offer by the end of June, you may assume your application is unsuccessful.

What is an "initial tuition fee"?

New students are required to pay an initial tuition fee (i.e. number of initial registration credits X tuition fee per credit) when they take up their offer. The "initial registration credits" is 6 credits for local students or 12 credits for non-local students. The "tuition fee per credit" is HK$5,600 for local students or HK$5,900 for non-local students. The initial tuition fee will be converted to form part of the tuition fee. 

Local students: 6 credits x HK$5,600 per credit = HK$33,600
Non-local students: 12 credits x HK$5,900 per credit = HK$70,800

Initial tuition fees paid are neither refundable nor transferable, except in the case of programme cancellation.

When and how to apply for a student visa?

Academic Registry's Entry Visa Application Team assists non-local students in the process of applying for a student visa. As it may take 8 to 10 weeks for the Immigration Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to process your student visa application, you are strongly advised to submit it as soon as you have accepted an offer (conditional or firm) from PolyU and settled the initial tuition fee.

For details, please refer to "Notes to Self-financed Taught Postgraduate Non-local Students" at:

You may find the status of your visa application on eAdmission. Should you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact the Entry Visa Application Team by e-mail at

Is there a maximum number for student intake?

There is a limit to the number of admission places for each programme, so applying early is advantageous.

Application and entrance requirements

How to apply to the MDes Programmes? What are the supporting documents required for an application?

To apply to any MDes specialism, submit an application online via eAdmission at You may update your application data after you create an account and check the application status and result on eAdmission.

Here are the required documents to support your application: a personal statement, degree certificate(s)/diploma(s) and final official transcript(s), two letters of recommendation (related to academic/ work), portfolio, and IELTS/ TOEFL report (if applicable).

If you are in your final year of study, you should provide a transcript showing your academic records up to your most recent semester. Certification of your GPA/Average Score is needed if the information is not shown on your transcript.

Documents not issued in English must be accompanied by certified, literal English translations. We must have your transcripts and certificates in both the native language and English to evaluate your qualifications. We do not require applicants' original documents during the application stage. Readable scans of original documents would suffice.

What does a complete application include?

A complete application includes:
- Application form (via eAdmission)
- Personal statement
- Two Letters of Recommendation (related to academic and work experience) 
- Evidence of academic qualification, i.e. degree certificate(s)/diploma(s) and final official transcript(s)*
- Portfolio
- IELTS/ TOEFL report^

* For holders of academic qualifications from mainland China, the evidence must include your Academic Credential (毕业证书), Degree Certificate (学士学位证书), a certification letter of your GPA or average score and notes explaining the grading systems (课程绩点与等级换算关系表).

^ If you are not a native speaker of English, and the Bachelor's degree programme you attended was not entirely taught in English, you are expected to fulfil PolyU's minimum English language requirement for admission purpose. A Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 80 for the Internet-based test or 550 for the paper-based test; OR An overall Band Score of at least 6 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Be sure to fill out all relevant fields on eAdmission even if you have already provided your CV. Failure to do so will cause your application to be considered incomplete. We encourage applicants to provide full details of their post-secondary qualifications and previous and/or current employment. Information and corresponding evidence submitted via eAdmission will be used to assess whether an application meets the entrance requirements. Incomplete applications cannot be processed promptly.

Can I apply to more than one specialism?

You are allowed but not encouraged to apply to more than one MDes programme.

I took IELTS test last year. Is it still valid?

All English language test scores are considered valid for two years after the date of the test.

What is a personal statement?

A personal statement is like a cover letter for your application addressed to the admission committee. The purpose of this page long written statement is to convince the admission committee that you would be a good fit for the programme and the MDes community at large. You may provide an overview of your goals in applying, highlight your background, experience, research interests, career goals and aspirations.

Where do I upload PDFs of my letters of recommendation?

Letters of recommendation are to be uploaded to the corresponding sections on eAdmission.

Combine multiple PDFs of your academic recommendations, transcripts and certificates from the same institution you attended into one PDF document. Upload the file according to the specific academic qualification in the "Post-secondary Qualification" section.

On the other hand, work recommendations are to be uploaded according to the specific previous/ current employment in the "Employment" section.

How many letters of recommendation are required?

Two letters of recommendation are required, preferably one related to academic and the other to work experience. For those of you who are in your final year of study, you may consider asking your internship supervisor/team leader for a recommendation letter. In other cases, two academic recommendations are acceptable. 

Recommendations should be provided on official letterhead paper with the recommender's name, affiliation, contact details and bear their signature. 

Besides, certification of employment is not the same as the letter of recommendation. Recommendations focused specifically for admission are preferred over generic reference letters.

Your recommenders should be informed about the programme to which you are applying and your personal and professional goals. It is important for them to give qualifying evidence in the recommendation, providing an account of your strength.

We suggest that you contact your recommenders in advance to ask for a recommendation. Your recommenders can send the recommendations directly to us by e-mail if they prefer. Inform us in advance by e-mail so that we can match them up to your application.

My tutor needs a letter from your institution in order to issue a letter of recommendation. What should I do?

Due to the large number of applications we receive, we don’t usually contact recommenders for a recommendation on behalf of applicants.

We suggest that you share with your tutor evidence of your application so that they know you have a genuine need for this document.

Can I submit my application with a pending English test result?

Ideally, you should provide your English test result at the time when you submit an application. Otherwise, please indicate the date when your results will become available. Reviews for applications without a satisfactory English test score or availability date may be delayed.

What English tests are considered for meeting the PolyU's English Language Requirements?

A Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 80 for the Internet-based test or 550 for the paper-based test, or an overall Band Score of at least 6 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

What English tests are not considered for meeting the PolyU's English Language Requirements?

English tests other than TOEFL iBT, TOEFL paper-based test, or IELTS Academic tests. Tests such as TOEFL ITP, IELTS General Training, Test for English Majors-Band 8 (TEM8), PTE, and CET4 and CET6 are not considered.

Should I submit an official letter from my institution to prove English as a medium of instruction (EMI)?

Yes, especially when EMI is not indicated on your transcripts, or your programme or department uses a different language as a medium of instruction from its institution. The official letter must be issued by the office of international affairs, academic registry, or a related authority, provided on official letterhead paper with an authorised signature and an institution seal. 

What are the entrance requirements?

In terms of academic qualification, a Bachelor's degree or equivalent in design, STEM, business, humanities or a related discipline, e.g. communication, psychology, anthropology, environmental studies, ecology and urban studies, depending on which programme you are applying. 

Will my application be considered if I hold other tertiary qualifications with years of professional experience?

Applications from those who hold other tertiary qualifications complemented by substantial, relevant professional experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Applications considered on a case-by-case basis usually require additional documents for the evaluation and approval process, as a result, a longer process time may be expected.

Additional documents may include, but are not limited to: 
- For both local and non-local academic credentials: IELTS/ TOEFL test report;
- For local academic credentials: proof of course registration under Education Bureau's Qualification Framework; 
- For non-local academic credentials: evidence supporting the national recognition of the awarding institution of the academic qualification and qualification assessment by Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications. 

Documents not issued in English must be accompanied by certified, literal English translations. Readable scans of original documents in the native language must be provided as well.

We suggest that you contact the Admission Team before you apply. Please refer to the question on "What are the contacts for further information/ enquiries?"

Do I need to take Postgraduate Admission Exam in order to apply to MDes scheme?

No, we are independent from the postgraduate education system under the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China.


Which programme requires a portfolio for its application?

A portfolio is required for all applicants to all MDes Specialisms: Innovative Business Design (IBD), Intelligent Systems Design (ISD), Smart Service Design (SSD), and Transitional Environments Design (TED). Please read the below General Requirements and Specialism Specific Requirements.

What are the General Requirements?

The content of your portfolio may include the most advanced design work you have done. We are interested in the process of concept development in self-initiated, experimental and commercial work. Samples of work should be accompanied by succinct descriptions where needed.

Please include your CV, and a maximum of five (5) best projects in your portfolio.

The portfolio submission should be based on a high standard of undergraduate work (especially the final-year work or advanced professional work of an equivalent level) as reflected in your portfolio. Your work is required to demonstrate a level of maturity and readiness to undertake a higher degree in design.

Upon entry to any of the Master of Design (MDes) programmes, you should be able to demonstrate:
1. prior experience and knowledge indicating the potential to achieve the competency for the MDes;
2. the potential to benefit from and contribute to the programme to which you are applying; and
3. enthusiasm and aptitude to confront various challenges in your targeted Specialism or field. 

Indicate your project references (name and organisation) whenever possible. State the project type, i.e. individual or group projects. For group projects, you must clearly specify your role in the creative process.

The organisation and appearance of your portfolio should be of a professional standard.

Those with a non-design background may present design-related projects with clear research and design processes or other projects related to making, innovation or even invention. The portfolio may include concepts, idea sketches, plans, experiments, testing data, and processes related to the above.

What are the Specialism Specific Requirements for IBD?

All applicants are required to submit a portfolio. Your portfolio is a compilation of your interests, beliefs, skills, qualifications, education, training, and experience. It provides us with insight into your personality and work ethic. 
For applicants with an academic qualification in the field of design, you should prepare a design portfolio with the following items:

- 3 most representative design/business/innovative projects;
- a maximum of 2 recent design or innovative projects from the past two years;
- indicating the process of defining the problems, concept development, final solutions, and any validation in each showcased project;
- evidence of your domain skills and knowledge, with the information about the date, nature and your role in the work; and
- any design-related awards or public/professional recognitions.

For applicants with an academic qualification in business, humanities, or a technological field, you should prepare a self-introduction presentation including the following items:

- your most relevant experiences to convey your organisational, communication, and tangible career-related skills;
- a work philosophy where you briefly describe your beliefs about yourself and the industry;
- your career goals for the next five years; and
- examples of work efforts and projects demonstrating your skills and work experience.

What are the Specialism Specific Requirements for ISD?

All applicants are required to submit a portfolio of work to be assessed by the ISD team. The portfolio should evidence: 

- the excellence of your current expertise, study area or professional activities in the fields of intelligent design and/or systemic design, including but not limited to, interaction design, experience design, product design (with intelligent components or systemic approach), or innovative design;
- your interest or ability in the fields of innovation, design, technology, and engineering; and
- your creative problem-solving abilities or relevant personal interests.

What are the Specialism Specific Requirements for SSD?

All applicants are required to submit a portfolio that showcases design-related works made up of images, videos or writing samples that will be assessed by the SSD team. The portfolio should show your ability, motivation, and potential capacity by including:

- a minimum of 3 most representative projects not limited to a single design domain but wide ranges from communication design, product design, experience design, business/ strategic design, as well as computing or other technological disciplines with services and service system design;
- clearly articulated process of problem framing, concept development, and final solution design that shows an intellectual engagement with the work;
- evidence of having both technical skills and knowledge with creativity and innovation; and
- personal motivations, interests or aspirations that are appropriate to the work.

What are the Specialism Specific Requirements for TED?

All applicants are required to submit a portfolio.

For applicants with an academic qualification in spatial design, your portfolio should include urban environments projects of multiple scales and typologies, demonstrating your conceptual and technical skills in analysing and designing hybrid and composite spaces.

For applicants with an academic qualification in other related disciplines, your portfolio may be supplemented with a presentation of your research and studies on transitional and environmental challenges in cities and sustainable futures.

How do I submit my portfolio?

Digital and online portfolios are acceptable and must be in English. We do not accept files saved on CDs, DVDs, USB flash drives, not to mention file transfer links and attachments sent through e-mails.

Portfolio file (in PDF format): 

- for files under 5 MB: upload to "Additional Document" on eAdmission. A maximum of one file is allowed.
- for files over 5 MB and below 15 MB: upload to the MDes submission platform []

To use this platform, be sure your application fee is settled and the payment status on eAdmission is updated to "paid". This allows the Academic Registry to release your application to the School. After that, we will set up your account manually during office hours, Monday to Friday.

Do not submit your application until you have provided all relevant information and documents on eAdmission. Once it is submitted, applicants can only make limited amendments by themselves.

Portfolio link:

- provide the URL to view your portfolio online on the MDes submission platform (under "Personal Website").

I have a bachelor's degree in a related, non-design discipline. What should I showcase in my portfolio?

It depends on which programme you are applying to. Please refer to the General Requirements and Specialism Specific Requirements.

Learning environments – about PolyU MDes and Hong Kong

What is the language of instruction?

All subjects and programmes are taught in English. 

What is the normal duration of study?

All our MDes specialisms take one year to complete.

What is the average size of a class?

It varies - some classes are large when various specialisms combine; some are small devoted to special topics. There are many tutorial opportunities.

What are the advantages of full-time mode of study?

To non-local students, our intensive one year full-time programmes are popular due to the fact that their financial and career considerations are addressed – the tuition fee is the most competitive among the top d-schools list; the one year study period will make a sabbatical plan possible when professionals only have a short period of time to be taken out of their career to seek a different experience or to broaden their horizons away from home. 

Some local students choose to study full-time as they see it as potential rapid career advancement or they prefer learning in a studio-based study programme.

Overall, the strong social learning context is very much appreciated by our full-time MDes students. They enjoy the intensive experience throughout the learning and interaction process.

What kind of facilities are available for students?

PolyU Design has relocated to the Jockey Club Innovation Tower in 2013, which is built to further drive the development of Hong Kong as a design hub in Asia and provide additional space to facilitate multi-disciplinary collaboration. The home of PolyU Design provides advanced facilities for teaching and learning, as well as ample exhibition and collaboration spaces that are positioned to attract deserved attention to our students' work. The Innovation Tower is the first permanent architectural work in Hong Kong of Zaha Hadid, one of the most influential figures in the world of modern architecture.

Workshops and studios are where design students study and nurture their creativity. The School has fully equipped modelling workshops that allow students to have conceptual and physical space to investigate and experiment with materials, tools, processes and ideas. 

School of design's workshops and labs: Digital Print Shop (Large-format Poster Printing, Book Printing/Binding, Colour/ B&W Copying, Paper Cutting), Production Workshop (Wood Workshop, Metal Workshop, Computer Numerical Control, 3D Prototyping, Fused Deposition Modeling, Laser Cutting), Audio Video Workshop (Editing Lab, Audio Mixing Room, Audio Recording Booth, Stop Motion Lab, Hand-drawing Lab and the Production Studio), Sound Studio, and Photographic Studio.

Full-time students have their dedicated studio space.  The studios feature custom-built hardware that accommodates high-end graphics and multimedia content development. 

The Material Resource Centre (MRC) is central to the School's learning infrastructure. As a place for leading trends in design, material research and production, MRC brings together thousands of new and innovative materials from all over the world. 

Apart from PolyU's academic library, Pao Yue-kong Library, which is linked with all public and university library services in Hong Kong and PolyU's technical library Industrial Centre, students have access to several sports and communal student facilities: Outdoor swimming pool, 25-metre all-weather indoor swimming pool, 5-a-side indoor football pitch, Indoor gymnasium, Sports Complex (sports hall, tennis courts, table tennis rooms, golf practice room, fitness room, activity rooms) and Sports Centre (sports hall, squash courts, activity rooms).

What are the differences between MDes, MFA, MSc, and MPhil programmes?

All of these are postgraduate programmes vary somewhat. MDes is a taught professional degree in design. MFA is a terminal graduate degree in an area of performing arts requiring at least two years of study for completion. MSc is a basic degree type in most subjects. MPhil is a research degree requiring the completion of a thesis; it is also considered the gateway for the PhD.

What are the contacts for further information/ enquiries?

Prospective applicants reaching out to us at an early stage is important. This way, we can better support you to navigate the application procedures and learn more about your personal and professional development needs. Feel free to contact us should you have further questions on applications or academic matters.

You can first get in touch with the MDes Admission Team by tel. at +852 3400 3440/ 2766 5474, or by e-mail at

Tuition, fees payment and financing your study

What is the tuition fee for MDes studies?

Tuition fees are calculated based on the number of credits required for graduation (36 credits for all MDes specialisms). The tuition fee per credit is HK$5,600 (local) / HK$5,900 (non-local) and the programme tuition fee is HK$201,600 (local) / HK$212,400 (non-local).

What is the tuition payment schedule?

The initial tuition fee (6 credits for local students or 12 credits for non-local students) is to be paid when accepting an admission offer within two weeks from the date of the Notice of Offer.

The initial tuition fee is to be offset against the tuition fee of your study. So, the remaining fee is to be paid after the Add/ Drop Period of Semester 1, Semester 2 and Summer Term, based on the number of credits you enrol.

Students typically take 12 or 15 credits in Semester 1 and Semester 2, or vice versa (HK$5,600 per credit for local students/ HK$5,900 per credit for non-local students), and 9 credits in Summer Term.

What are the means of payment?

Local payments: ATM, PPS, Internet Banking (incl. credit card), cheque or cash
Cross-border payments: Bank Draft (in HKD) and Telegraphic Transfer, Flywire

Depending on your remitting country, Flywire offers multiple payment options which currently include: Domestic Bank Transfer, UnionPay, Alipay, ebanking, Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Paypal. Though PolyU and Flywire do not charge a fee for this service, students are reminded to note the cost differences in their local currency under different payment options before confirming your payment. 

For details, please refer to the Finance Office website at: (Students > Payment Methods > Application Fee)

What should I know when settling the payment for the initial tuition fee?

Don't forget to quote your bill number in the remittance/ payment information. Make the payment at least 3 working days in advance to allow enough time for respective local and cross-border payments to be fully processed. 

The payment status should be updated on eAdmission after 3 working days. If you have any enquiry regarding payment status, please contact the Finance Office by e-mail at

What will happen if I make a payment after the payment deadline?

It is probable that the payment would not be processed successfully. The offer would go lapsed, meaning that your offer will become invalid and PolyU has the right to offer your admission place to other candidates.

What is a financial proof?

When applying for a student visa, financial proof is one of the supporting documents. It is a financial resource statement issued by your bank which confirms your bank account balance. The purpose is to prove that you have enough funds to cover the tuition fees and living expenses for your study in Hong Kong.

If the financial proof is not under your name, your sponsor is required to provide the "Declaration of Sponsor" and a copy of his/ her personal identity document or passport.

What are the issues to check with my bank if I am considering to apply for an education loan?

Some students consider the option to finance their studies through an education loan. Upon approval, the bank may only disburse the fees under specific arrangements. It might be a good idea to check with your bank on this and seek advice from PolyU's Finance Office whether specific arrangement is acceptable in advance. Do not settle the initial tuition fee before your issues are addressed as the fee is strictly non-refundable.

Are there scholarships for non-local students?

PolyU MDes offers two entry scholarship schemes for the 2023 entry to outstanding non-local creative talent to further their studies in Hong Kong. The scholarship programmes are part of the MDes' new vision to develop proactive leaders and game changers for the future of industries. International Excellence Scholarship (IES) and Top Universities Scheme (TUS) are the two scholarship programmes, with 50% and 15% tuition scholarships valued at HK$106,200 and HK$31,860, respectively.

Can I seek other funding from other sponsors?

Non-local students may seek external sources of funding from legitimate government sponsors (e.g. ministry of education, national agencies), businesses or non-profit organisations that support aspiring individuals to study internationally.

Can I obtain a letter of acceptance for applying funding from these sponsors?

Some sponsors may require a letter of acceptance to certify the tuition fees and living expenses for study abroad. We are able to issue this letter after you receive a Notice of Offer. Notice of Offer from the Early Round will be available around mid-February.

What financial assistance is available for local students?

Extended Non-means-tested Loan Scheme (ENLS), administered by Student Finance Office (SFO) of the HK Governments, offers interest-bearing loans to eligible local residents (who have the right of abode in the Hong Kong or have resided or have had their homes in Hong Kong continuously for three complete years prior to the commencement of the programme) to settle tuition fees. An administrative fee and a relatively higher interest rate are charged once the loan is drawn down until it is fully repaid. Applications are non-means tested, which means that there is no assessment of the family's income and assets. For details of the scheme, eligibility and application, please refer to SFO's website at

PolyU MDes is an eligible programme of the Targeted Taught Postgraduate Programmes Fellowships Scheme (the Fellowship Scheme) in 2023/24 academic year. It has been allocated 26 fellowship places. Each fellowship subsidises HK$120,000 of the programme tuition. For information on eligibility, assessment criteria, and application procedure, visit PolyU eProspectus. It is expected that local applicants are informed of their MDes admission and Fellowship application results at the same time.

What are the financial considerations when non-local students planning the year abroad?

When you budget your expenses, it is important to clarify your funding at an early stage and for the entire period of study. Also, consider to make your budget flexible by reserving a fund set aside for any unforeseen circumstances, such as possible fluctuations in currency value, price inflation, emergencies, travel, etc.

When applying for the student visa after obtaining an admission offer, you are required to produce a financial resource statement issued by your bank which prove the availability of enough funds to cover the tuition and living expenses for your first year of study in Hong Kong.

Can holders of student visa work in Hong Kong while studying?

Holders of student visa are permitted to take up part-time on-campus employment for not more than 20 hours per week during the semester; and employment during the summer months (1 Jun to 30 Aug) without any limit in relation to nature of work, work hours and location. Please refer to Immigration Department of HK SAR for detail:

On-campus employment opportunities include Work-on-Campus Scheme through University's Office of Careers and Placement Services (CAPS) (Job board: and PolyU research/ project posts (Listing:

Student visa

Do I need a student visa if I stay/ work in Hong Kong under IANG Scheme (Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates)?

If you are staying in Hong Kong under the "Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates" (IANG), you do not need to apply for a student visa to study in Hong Kong. When your IANG expires, you need a student visa to study in Hong Kong. In both cases, you will be applying as non-locals.

What are the eligibility criteria for applying student visa?

In general, an application for a visa/entry permit to enter the HKSAR for study may be favourably considered if: the applicant holds a school acceptance letter to confirm that he or she has been accepted to a full-time programme; and he or she is able to meet the fees for the programme, the living expenses for his/her maintenance and accommodation without working and without recourse to public funds. 

For details, please refer to the Immigration Department’s website at:

My passport will expire before the completion of my study next year. What should I do?

Renew your passport first and provide a copy of your new passport in your visa application. Make sure your passport is valid until end of August next year.

Do I wait for the admission condition to be met to apply for student visa?

You are strongly advised to submit an application for student visa as soon as you have accepted an offer (conditional or firm) from PolyU and settled the initial tuition fee.

Once your condition status is changed to "conditions have been met", the Entry Visa Application Team will inform Immigration Department and they will release the visa to PolyU who will send the visa to your designated mailing address.

Living in Hong Kong - non-locals

What are the living costs like in Hong Kong?

The living costs will depend on one's lifestyle. These costs involve the following major expenses: accommodation, food, local transport, telecommunications, books, etc. Accommodation makes the biggest expenses. 

As PolyU is located in the city centre and very accessible by public transport, accommodation options are off-campus and non-hall housing: private properties, hostels/ guesthouse, serviced apartment, short-term accommodation. Based on their priorities, some students choose to live in a student accommodation offered by accommodation service providers; some prefer first to group together and then rent a privately-owned flat or service apartment, while others prefer to live on their own.

An estimate of around HK$120,000 - HK$140,000 a year per person would be basic for students sharing a flat with one or two students.

You may get an idea of the living costs in Hong Kong if you visit related sites on cost of living, for example, Numbeo (, Expatism (, or online supermarkets (, etc.

What is the culture of Hong Kong like?

Hong Kong is a vibrant international city and yet one of the safest cities in the world. Given its very cosmopolitan outlook, its unique blend of Chinese and Western cultures, students from around the world can easily adapt to the new environment. Its highly quoted “East-meets-West” is the best term to describe the city – where religion, food, architecture, population, entertainment, festivals, etc. span the globe. 

The proximity of Hong Kong to the Chinese mainland and Southeast Asia also attracts many international students from design and business fields to explore these emerging markets. With increasing socioeconomic integration of Hong Kong with the Chinese mainland, efficient cross boundary transportation network enables “1-hour living circle” and that connects the fast growing Pearl River Delta region. This region is the world’s most important manufacturing location that is also emerging as an R&D hub of ICT, automotive, steel and petrochemical industries. This provides ample opportunities to cultivate students’ intercultural awareness and perspective.

The city hosts all kinds of international events around the year for arts and culture, music, films, sports, and food enthusiast. Visit the following sites for more information about Hong Kong culture - and

What are the accommodation arrangements for non-local students?

Non-local postgraduate students have to arrange their own accommodation in Hong Kong. Given the central location of our University, students living off campus can still travel to the campus conveniently. Details on visa applications, immigration regulations, health care, cost of living and other non-academic matters of concern to non-local students will be provided to you separately if you are offered admission to our programmes. A brief guide has been prepared by the Non-local Student Services Team (NLSST) to help you make the best use of the opportunities and facilities available during your stay at PolyU and in Hong Kong. For self-arranged accommodation, you can contact NLSST at +852 2766 5408 for advice.

What is the student life in Hong Kong like?

You can read about students’ firsthand experiences through their blogs at:

Arrival, registration and settling-in

When should students arrive in Hong Kong?

The academic year 2023/24 will begin on 4 September 2023. Students should arrive around mid-August.

Allow two to three weeks for searching and identifying suitable accommodation. Before securing a place live, you are suggested to arrange for your temporary accommodation.

What do I need to prepare for Programme Registration?

Since academic year 2020/21, Programme Registration has been conducted online. 

You are required to arrange documents required for verification to be sent directly by the awarding bodies to the Academic Registry of PolyU at your earliest time (at least 10-14 working days before the first day of programme registration). Upon completion of the verification process, the Academic Registry will arrange to verify your qualification(s) before the scheduled online programme registration period.

If you hold qualifications awarded by institutions in mainland China, you should ask your institutions to send PolyU the official copy of final transcript for verification. The transcript should include results of all the coursework and project(s) required for the degree award, a final GPA/ grade /score together with an explanation of the grading system. 

Also input the certificate number (证书编号) of your Degree Certificate (学位证书) and Academic Credential (毕业证书), as well as the Online Verification Code (在线验证码) issued by the CHESICC (学信⽹) on eAdmission. Since the Online Verification Code (在线验证码) will expire 180 days after it is sent to you, please ensure that the code is still valid at least 14 days before the first day of your online programme registration period and extend the validity period of your code (, if deemed necessary.

For holders of qualifications awarded by other institutions, you should ask your awarding institution to send us the official copies of degree certificates/ diplomas and official final transcript. The transcript should include results of all the coursework and project(s), a final GPA / grade / score together with an explanation of the grading system.

What are the arrangements I should be aware of when planning my arrival in Hong Kong during the Covid-19 pandemic?

Please visit PolyU's Non-local Student Services Team (NLSST) website for details at

What kind of insurance and health care are provided for full-time students?

PolyU's University Health Service (UHS) provides a comprehensive range of primary health care for all full-time students (URL: For emergency consultation when the clinic is closed, you may reach the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the nearest public hospital, for assistance. 

PolyU has already prepared a basic insurance coverage (Group Personal Accident Insurance) for students joining PolyU activities during their stay in Hong Kong. However, students are strongly encouraged to arrange for appropriate insurance scheme (e.g. insurance coverage against illnesses, accidents and public liability) for better protection that covers their entire study period. If students have trouble getting insurance coverage in their hometown, they may also consider to getting it in Hong Kong via local banks or insurance brokers. You should compare plan features, coverage, major exclusions, policy terms and condition before making a decision.

Non-local students may also enrol the optional Group Medical (GM) and/or Public Liability (PL) Insurance Scheme(s) in the 2023/24 academic year. The GM insurance covers hospitalisation medical expenses due to accidental bodily injuries but out-patient consultations will not be covered. The PL insurance covers legal liability for accidental third-party property damage (tangible property) and/or accidental third-party bodily injury in connection with the Insured’s business. 

Information will be sent to non-local students for reference by email in mid-August/ early September 2023.

If you intend to travel outside Hong Kong during your study at PolyU for personal activities, you are strongly recommended to purchase a travel insurance plan.

For details, please visit Non-local Student Services web-site at

What are the banking services available on campus?

There are two banks in the Shaw Amenities Building on campus: Hang Seng Bank and Bank of East Asia. Their business hours are from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm (Mondays to Fridays). Automated Teller Machines (ATM) are also available there and you will find it convenient to use an ATM card to withdraw money, pay bills, transfer funds at any time.