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:

  • 90 credits of compulsory courses;
  • 48 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 / Common Law elective (see Note 2)
Other law electives



18 credits
6 credits
6 credits
18 credits

6 credits
6 credits
36 credits
Capstone courseDissertation6 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.

Note 1: All students must take one 6-credit elective course listed under “International, Comparative and Theoretical Perspectives in Law (“ICT electives”)”.

Note 2: If you have a substantial background in Chinese Law, you must take one elective course listed under ‘Common Law electives’.  You should also note that ‘Company law’ will be counted as either a ‘PCLL pre-requisite course’ or a ‘Common Law elective’. If you have no substantial background in Chinese Law, you must take one elective course listed under ‘Chinese electives’.  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 few seminars to help you prepare your dissertation. Attendance in the seminars are compulsory and you may not be permitted to submit your dissertation if you miss any of them.  The first seminar will take place via Zoom on 2 September 2020 (Wednesday) at 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm.

(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 2021.  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 member of the academic staff to act as the supervisor of your 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, to the extent possible, approach a full-time academic staff member for supervision. You must obtain prior approval from the General Office if you intend to invite a part-time academic staff member to be your supervisor. Please contact Ms Jean Ko (jdstudent@hku.hk) for further information on this matter before you get in touch with a part-time academic staff member.

(c)(v) 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.