Press Releases

3 October 2011

CUHK New Four-year Science Curriculum
Nurtures All-Rounded Science Talents



The Faculty of Science of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) will introduce its new normative undergraduate curriculum to tie in with the implementation of the '3+3+4' academic structure in 2012. Eleven major programmes of the Faculty will admit students via the broad-based admission scheme and a flexible first-year curriculum with courses covering five major groups of science subjects will be provided, so that students will acquire a broader view of various science subjects and be able to tackle problems in a comprehensive and integrative manner as science professionals. The Faculty will also launch a new major programme, Earth System Science, and an advanced major programme, Enrichment Mathematics, to meet the needs of society. 

Broad-based Admission Scheme 

Under the broad-based admission scheme, no quota will be set for the 11 major programmes and enrolment according to students' choices is guaranteed. The 11 major programmes are Biochemistry; Biology; Cell and Molecular Biology; Chemistry; Earth System Science; Environmental Science; Food and Nutritional Sciences; Mathematics; Molecular Biotechnology; Physics; and Statistics. Students may select their major subjects at the time of entrance, or before advancing to Year 2 or Year 3. They will have sufficient time and opportunity to explore their interest and capability in various major programmes and make pertinent choices. Academic advice will be offered by the Faculty to assist students in selecting their majors. 

To cater to different science backgrounds and interests of students being admitted on the strength of the HKDSE, the Faculty has designed a flexible first-year curriculum with a Faculty Package of courses covering five key groups of science subjects (chemistry; life sciences; mathematics; physics; and statistics) to strengthen their foundation in science.  This Faculty Package will facilitate their pursuit of multiple science majors starting from their second year of studies, and create edges for their future career or further studies. 

There are five other major programmes offered by the Faculty which admit students via the programme-based admission scheme, namely Chinese Medicine; Risk Management Science; Quantitative Finance and Risk Management Science; Enrichment Mathematics; and Mathematics and Information Engineering (admitting via the Enrichment Mathematics Programme). 

Earth System Science and Enrichment Mathematics

The Earth System Science programme is interdisciplinary in nature, in which students will study how the Earth works as an integrated complex system and investigate the processes within its components such as the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, lithosphere and biosphere, and the interactions of the components as they affect the Earth. It will provide the knowledge base for understanding and solving important contemporary environmental issues such as climate change and carbon emission.  Students will also be introduced to the latest techniques to collect information in monitoring and analysing the Earth. The programme will encompass disciplines including chemistry, life sciences, mathematics, physics and statistics. Students will also be encouraged to take relevant courses offered by the Faculty of Engineering and the Department of Geography and Resource Management. The state-of-the-art facilities in the satellite ground stationat the Fok Ying Tung Remote Sensing Science Building at CUHK will provide valuable research opportunities for students.  

The Enrichment Mathematics programme is specially designed for students who wish to develop a deeper understanding of mathematical theories, and pursue academic research in mathematics or a career which requires strong knowledge and abilities in mathematics. The programme provides a wide range of courses in both pure mathematics and applied mathematics, e.g. number theory, abstract algebra, financial mathematics, and operations research and logistics. Upon graduation, students will have gained mathematical knowledge that is both wide and profound. The curriculum is highly flexible, allowing students to select their own minor programmes. Students demonstrating good performance may also switch to the double major programme in Mathematics and Information Engineering in their second year of study. 

The Science Student Exchange Programme

The Faculty has 13 partner institutions around the world in its exchange programme, including the University of Toronto (Canada); Peking University (China); the Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden); and the University of California, Berkeley, (U.S.A.). The Faculty will continue to extend the network and enhance various internship programmes for students to apply their subject-specific knowledge and acquire the soft skills needed to meet future challenges in their careers. 

Teaching Quality and Teachers Recruitment

The Faculty attaches great significance to the quality of teaching. It has been striving to enhance its major programmes through various assessment tools and means to collect students' views and suggestions. The Faculty is formulating a long-term consultation scheme for teachers and students to facilitate the collection of comments towards the new curriculum from the stakeholders. Teachers of the Faculty have formed close collaboration with research partners around the world to keep abreast of the latest knowledge and development in their fields. To meet the needs of the new curriculum, the Faculty is currently recruiting top-notch teachers and researchers globally, and encourages quality and innovative research to create new knowledge. 

For further details about the broad-based admission scheme and the first-year curriculum of the Faculty of Science, please visit the website: http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/sci/gb/admissions/ug_studies_4yr.html. Enquiries may be sent to sfo@cuhk.edu.hk.

Prof. Poon Wai-yin, Associate Dean (Education) (left) and Prof. Dickon Ng, Associate Dean (Student Affairs), Faculty of Science, CUHK
Prof. Poon Wai-yin, Associate Dean (Education) (left) and Prof. Dickon Ng, Associate Dean (Student Affairs), Faculty of Science, CUHK

(From left) Prof. Leung Kwok-nam, Assistant Dean, Faculty of Science; Prof. Leung Pui-lam, Programme Co-ordinator, Risk Management Science Programme; Prof. Poon Wai-yin, Associate Dean (Education), Faculty of Science; Prof. Phillip Yam, Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Major Programme in Quantitative Finance and Risk Management Science; Prof. Hui Pak-ming, Assistant Dean, Faculty of Science; Prof. Dickon Ng, Associate Dean (Student Affairs), Faculty of Science; and Prof. Thomas Au, Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics, CUHK
(From left) Prof. Leung Kwok-nam, Assistant Dean, Faculty of Science; Prof. Leung Pui-lam, Programme Co-ordinator, Risk Management Science Programme; Prof. Poon Wai-yin, Associate Dean (Education), Faculty of Science; Prof. Phillip Yam, Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Major Programme in Quantitative Finance and Risk Management Science; Prof. Hui Pak-ming, Assistant Dean, Faculty of Science; Prof. Dickon Ng, Associate Dean (Student Affairs), Faculty of Science; and Prof. Thomas Au, Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics, CUHK