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Student-designed Major

What is student-designed major?

The student-designed major is open to outstanding students admitted to the Faculty of Arts who wish to pursue a unique combination of courses in order to gain a deep understanding of a particular theme or body of ideas from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.

Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the student-designed major will be able to:
a. devise and complete an independent research project;
b. analyze written texts;
c. construct an argument and support it with appropriate evidence;
d. successfully meet additional learning outcomes as agreed between student and supervisor.

Programme Structure

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A student is eligible to apply for a student-designed major if he/she has attained cGPA of 3.0 or above at the end of the first year of study.

Application Procedures

    1. A student who is interested in applying student-designed major should identify a supervisor who is willing to work with him/her on supervising the major. The supervisor’s role includes:

    2. a. ensuring that the proposed major has sufficient coherence (to this end, the supervisor may require the student to take one or more disciplinary foundational or methodological courses);

      b. liasioning with academic departments to ascertain course offerings and ensure the scheduling feasibility of the major;

      c. serving as the student’s academic advisor;

      d. monitoring the student’s progress;

      e. (normally) serving as the chief supervisor or second supervisor of the student’s Directed Research Project.

    3. The application process requires an essay of 600-1000 words explaining the rationale for the chosen theme and how the specific courses support that theme; the supervisor should provide guidance during this process. The application will be considered by the Associate Dean (Undergraduate Studies), the Arts Faculty Management Board (AFMB) and Academic Quality Assurance Committee (AQAC) for approval.

    4. The time frame for applying to declare a student-designed major during the first year is as follows:
      Time Event
      January to April Student meets with Faculty Academic Advisor and potential supervisors to explore interest in a student-designed major.
      April to June Student prepares application.
      By the end of June Student submits application to the Faculty Office and participates in the Major Allocation exercise.
      July Arts Faculty informs student the result of application.

Guidelines for Student-designed Major

    1. The 48-credit major will normally comprise courses offered by Arts Faculty departments. With approval of the Dean, up to 12 credit hours of the major may be taken outside the Arts Faculty.

    2. In the event that a course that is part of the approved major cannot be taken (e.g. because the offering Department is unable to offer it), courses may be substituted with the endorsement of the Associate Dean (Undergraduate Studies).

    3. The student-designed major is subject to the same credit-transfer rules as any other major. Accordingly, courses taken outside of Lingnan University (e.g. during student exchange) may count toward the student-designed major, subject to the normal approval process.

    4. A minimum of 24 credit hours should comprise courses at the 3000 or 4000 level.

    5. The major requires a two term, six-credit Directed Research Project that is supervised jointly by faculty from two Arts programmes, and employs appropriate disciplinary methodologies from each programme.

    6. The specific student-designed major will have an informative title that will appear on the student’s transcript in the following format (for example): “Major: British Studies (student-designed)”.