The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy Programs in Financial Technology (Part time)

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Course Information

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Course Overview

MPhil

  • Full-time : 2 years
  • Part-time : 4 years

PhD

  • Full-time: 3 years (with a relevant research master’s degree), 4 years (without a relevant research master’s degree)
  • Part-time : 6 years

Financial Technology (FinTech) is an important emerging area that has been developing rapidly in recent years. It refers to the application of cutting-edge technologies and advanced analytics on various financial services, such as mobile banking, peer-to-peer lending, digital payments, blockchain, and cryptocurrencies, aiming to improve service efficiency, promote financial innovations, and increase end-user satisfaction.

The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Programs in Financial Technology provide training and education for students to undertake advanced research and have a sound grasp of developments in FinTech. Students graduating from these programs should be able to conduct and apply high-quality research that makes an impact on FinTech research and practice in academia and/or industry. The programs focus on advanced research with an aim to place graduates in academia, research institutes, and industry jobs that appreciate research capability and quality.

What You’ll Learn

Minimum Credit Requirement

MPhil: 15 credits
PhD: 21 credits

Credit Transfer

Students who have taken equivalent courses at HKUST or other recognized universities may be granted credit transfer on a case-by-case basis, up to a maximum of 3 credits for MPhil students, and 6 credits for PhD students.

Cross-disciplinary Core Courses

2 credits

IIMP 6010Cross-disciplinary Research Methods I2 Credit(s)
IIMP 6020Cross-disciplinary Research Methods II2 Credit(s)
IIMP 6030Cross-disciplinary Design Thinking I2 Credit(s)
IIMP 6040Cross-disciplinary Design Thinking II2 Credit(s)

All students are required to complete either IIMP 6010 or IIMP 6030. Students may complete the remaining courses as part of the credit requirements, as requested by the Program Planning Committee.

Hub Core Courses
4 Credits

Students are required to complete at least one Hub core course (2 credits) from the Society Hub and at least one Hub core course (2 credits) from other Hubs.

Society Hub Core Course

SOCH 5000Technological Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship2 Credit(s)

Other Hub Core Courses

FUNH 5000Introduction to Function Hub for Sustainable Future2 Credit(s)
INFH 5000Information Science and Technology: Essentials and Trends2 Credit(s)
SYSH 5000Model-Based Systems Engineering2 Credit(s)

Courses on Domain Knowledge

MPhil: minimum 9 credits of coursework
PhD: minimum 15 credits of coursework

Under this requirement, each student is required to take a required course and other elective courses to form an individualized curriculum relevant to the cross-disciplinary thesis research. To ensure that students will take appropriate courses to equip them with needed domain knowledge, each student has a Program Planning Committee to approve the courses to be taken soonest after program commencement and no later than the end of the first year. Depending on the approved curriculum, individual students may be required to complete additional credits beyond the minimal credit requirements.

Required Course List

FTEC 5040Financial Technology Research3 Credit(s)

Sample Elective Course List

To meet individual needs, students will be taking courses in different areas, which may include but not limited to courses and areas listed below.

FTEC 5030Statistical Methods for Financial Technology3 Credit(s)
FTEC 5050Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence3 Credit(s)
FTEC 5100Research in Corporate Finance3 Credit(s)
FTEC 5110Research in Asset Pricing3 Credit(s)
FTEC 6000FinTech Attachment2-4 Credit(s)
ACCT 7720Doctoral Seminar - Research in Managerial Accounting, Auditing and Governance4 Credit(s)
ACCT 7730Doctoral Seminar - Research in Financial Accounting4 Credit(s)
ACCT 7740Empirical Research in Governance, Contracting and Auditing2-4 Credit(s)
COMP 5211Advanced Artificial Intelligence3 Credit(s)
COMP 5212Machine Learning3 Credit(s)
COMP 5221Natural Language Processing3 Credit(s)
COMP 5631Cryptography and Security3 Credit(s)
COMP 6211Advanced Topics in Artificial Intelligence3 Credit(s)
COMP 6613Topics in Applications of Computer Science and Engineering3 Credit(s)
ECON 5040Economics of Financial Technology2 Credit(s)
ECON 5130Microeconomic Analysis4 Credit(s)
ECON 5210Microeconomic Theory I4 Credit(s)
ECON 5300Econometrics4 Credit(s)
FINA 7900ATheoretical Corporate Finance3 Credit(s)
FINA 7900BTheoretical Asset Pricing3 Credit(s)
FINA 7900CEmpirical Corporate Finance3 Credit(s)
FINA 7900DEmpirical Asset Pricing3 Credit(s)
MATH 5470Statistical Machine Learning3 Credit(s)
MATH 5471Statistical Learning Models for Text and Graph Data3 Credit(s)
MATH 6510Topics in Financial Mathematics2-4 Credit(s)
MFIT 5001AI for FinTech2 Credit(s)
MFIT 5002Blockchain2 Credit(s)
MFIT 5003Data Analysis2 Credit(s)
MFIT 5004Financial Data Mining2 Credit(s)
MFIT 5005Foundations of FinTech2 Credit(s)
MFIT 5007Technology and Analytics of Alternative Finance3 Credit(s)
MFIT 5008Decision Analytics for FinTech3 Credit(s)

Additional Foundation Courses
Individual students may be required to take foundation courses to strengthen their academic background and research capacity in related areas, which will be specified by the Program Planning Committee. The credits earned cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.

Students who need to acquire a stronger quantitative background may be required to take relevant fundamental course(s) in probability and statistics, and software packages in the first regular term of study. The following are examples of such courses:

FTEC 5010Mathematics for Financial Technology2 Credit(s)
FTEC 5020Coding3 Credit(s)
ISOM 5540Introduction to Probability3 Credit(s)

Graduate Teaching Assistant Training

PDEV 6800Introduction to Teaching and Learning in Higher Education0 Credit(s)

All full-time RPg students are required to complete PDEV 6800. The course is composed of a 10-hour training offered by the Center for Education Innovation (CEI), and session(s) of instructional delivery to be assigned by the respective departments. Upon satisfactory completion of the training conducted by CEI, MPhil students are required to give at least one 30-minute session of instructional delivery in front of a group of students for one term. PhD students are required to give at least one such session each in two different terms. The instructional delivery will be formally assessed.

Professional Development Course Requirement
PDEV 6770Professional Development for Research Postgraduate Students1 Credit(s)

Students are required to complete PDEV 6770. The 1 credit earned from PDEV 6770 cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.

PhD students who are HKUST MPhil graduates and have completed PDEV 6770 or other professional development courses offered by the University before may be exempted from taking PDEV 6770, subject to prior approval of the Program Planning Committee.

SOCH 6780Professional Development in Innovation, Technology, and Social Responsibility1 Credit(s)

Students are required to complete SOCH 6780. The 1 credit earned from SOCH 6780 cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.

PhD students who are HKUST MPhil graduates and have completed SOCH 6780 or other professional development courses offered by the University before may be exempted from taking SOCH 6780, subject to prior approval of the Program Planning Committee.

English Language Requirement
LANG 5000Foundation in Listening & Speaking for Postgraduate Students1 Credit(s)

Full-time RPg students are required to take an English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA) Speaking Test administered by the Center for Language Education before the start of their first term of study. Students whose ELPA Speaking Test score is below Level 4, or who failed to take the test in their first term of study, are required to take LANG 5000 until they pass the course by attaining at least Level 4 in the ELPA Speaking Test before graduation. The 1 credit earned from LANG 5000 cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.

LANG 5001Postgraduate English for Engineering Research Studies1 Credit(s)
LANG 5002Postgraduate English for Business and Social Science Studies1 Credit(s)
LANG 5010Postgraduate English for Science Studies1 Credit(s)

Students are required to take one of the above three courses. The credit earned cannot be counted toward the credit requirements. Students can be exempted from taking this course with the approval of the Program Planning Committee.

Postgraduate Seminar
FTEC 6101FinTech Program Seminar1 Credit(s)

Students are required to complete FTEC 6101 or its equivalent. The credit earned cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.

PhD Qualifying Examination
PhD students are required to pass a qualifying examination to obtain PhD candidacy following established policy.

Thesis Research
FTEC 6990MPhil Thesis Research0 Credit(s)
FTEC 7990Doctoral Thesis Research0 Credit(s)

MPhil:

Registration in FTEC 6990; and
Presentation and oral defense of the MPhil thesis.
PhD:

Registration in FTEC 7990; and
Presentation and oral defense of the PhD thesis.



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