The programme is offered on a one-year full-time and two-year part-time basis. The curriculum will extend over one academic year of full-time study or two academic years of part-time study.   Part-time students will be required to attend lectures with the full-time students on weekday mornings or afternoons.  Hence, part-time students with full-time jobs are recommended to apply for day release to attend the lectures or compromise with their employers on a mutually agreed work schedule before applying for this programme.
Applicants will normally be required to hold a bachelor degree or its equivalent in an appropriate subject.
Candidates are required to complete not less than 60 credits in either the 'Dissertation option' or the 'Non-dissertation option':

Dissertation option: 
4 core courses (6 credits each) + 4 elective courses (6 credits each) + dissertation (equivalent to 12 credits) 

Non-dissertation option:
4 core courses (6 credits each) + 6 electives courses (6 credits each, and one must be "GEOG7136 Research Methods and Directed Project in China Development Studies")