Programme Requirements (JD2)

(a) All candidates must complete a total of 144 credits by the end of the two years of normal study period by taking:

  • 84 credits of compulsory courses;
  • 54 credits of elective courses; and
  • 6 credits of capstone course.

Each of the JD courses carries 6 credits unless otherwise stated.

This is summarised in Table 1:

Table 1Year 1Year 2 [i]Year 2 [ii]
Compulsory courses66 credits24 credits24 credits
Elective courses


PCLL pre-requisite courses
ICT elective (see Note 1)
Chinese Law (see Note 2)
Other law electives


6 credits
18 credits
6 credits

24 credits

6 credits

42 credits
Capstone courseDissertation/
International mooting competition/
Clinical legal education
6 credits6 credits
Total66 credits78 credits78 credits

Year 2 [i]: For students who plan to pursue PCLL.
Year 2 [ii]: For students who do not plan to pursue PCLL.

Year 1 compulsory courses: JDOC1001 & JDOC1002, JDOC1003 & JDOC1004, JDOC1005 & JDOC1006, JDOC1007, JDOC1009, JDOC1010, JDOC3093.
Year 2 compulsory courses: JDOC2001 & JDOC2002, JDOC2003 & JDOC2004.
PCLL pre-requisite courses: JDOC3015, JDOC3102, JDOC3105.

Note 1: All students must take one elective course listed under “International, Comparative and Theoretical Perspectives in Law (“ICT electives”)”.

Note 2: If you have no substantial background in Chinese Law, you must take one elective course listed under “Chinese electives”. If you have a substantial background in Chinese Law, you will not need to fulfil this requirement and may take an elective instead. You should check with Ms Jean Ko (jdstudent@hku.hk) if you are in doubt.

(b) The normal year study load for JD2 students is 78 credits (see Note 3). Table 2 shows the required number of credits you should study in this academic year:

Table 2
1st semester30-36 credits
January semester (Optional; see Note 4)0-6 credits
2nd semester24-36 credits
June semester6-18 credits
Total78 credits

Note 3: For students who completed 72 credits in the first year, you will only need to take 72 credits in your second year.

Note 4: January semester is an optional semester. Courses offered will have an intensive (compressed) class schedule. You may take zero or up to one course in January semester, and credits earned will count towards your total for 2nd semester.

(c)(i) Dr Alex Schwarlz will give a seminar on dissertation writing to all JD2 students on 6 September 2021 (Monday) at 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm. The attendance is compulsory for all JD2 students even if you have chosen to do a different capstone course. The seminar will help you prepare your dissertation.  There will be group sessions for JD2 students who chose to do a dissertation as capstone course. The group sessions are again compulsory and you may not be permitted to submit your dissertation if you miss any of them. 

(c)(ii) You will submit your dissertation title and name of your supervisor on Moodle before the start of the 2nd semester, and your dissertation in early July 2022.  When you get a chance, you should start thinking about your dissertation topic or at least narrow down on one area of law, and contact a potential supervisor as early as possible to discuss the proposed topic.

(c)(iii) It is your responsibility to find a full-time member of the academic staff to act as the supervisor of their dissertation. Different faculty members have different considerations and requirements on the decision to supervise a student, but it is typically expected that the student when approaching the faculty member should have a reasonably viable research topic/proposal that falls into the research/teaching interest of the faculty member.

(c)(iv) You should also note that your dissertation title will be printed on your official transcript, and you should not make any changes unless with the approval from the General Office.

(d) There are two clinical courses for the capstone course requirement: JDOC6205 Clinical legal education, and JDOC6232 Clinical legal education programme – refugee stream. Selection for JDOC6205 was completed in July 2021. Students who are interested in JDOC6232 should refer to the course profile for details.

(e) If you intend to participate in international mooting competition for the capstone course requirement, you should pay attention to the email announcement from the General Office in September. Different moot competitions have a different timeline. In general, the General Office will enrol the course for you only when the Mooting Director confirms your completion in the competition. ​