Peer Tips

Here you will find advice from current and past students on selecting and completing your Common Core courses, tips for completing assignments, and engaging in Common Core’s extra-curricular activities.

General Advice

Read the information on the course page, look at the readings, and watch course trailers. Don’t pick courses you are not interested in because you heard the teachers give good grades.

You may want to earn a minor (or cluster) by picking courses from certain thematic clusters.

Remember you may only select six (6) Common Core courses. Therefore, you should carefully make your course selection to ensure that you meet the necessary minor requirements.

Getting the best out of university entails catering your learning experience towards your career, yes. Also remember, education is a component of personal development — being a good person with the tools, attitudes and creative reflexes to adapt to uncertainty, new processes and phenomena in our societies and to adversity.

Make sure that you find meaningful learning experiences, in courses, study groups, friendships and the many activities of the university, as well as the Common Core!

Teachers appreciate students that are willing to experiment and be creative in their assignment tasks.

Academic rigor does not equal boring! The best academic writing communicates data, information, theory and beyond in a way that communicates human relevance and interest much like any visual or written narrative. The possibilities of story are endless when the subject is real life. After all, truth is stranger than fiction…

HKU provides many online and face-to-face services to help you improve your planning and writing! The go-to department for this is HKU’s Centre for Applied English Studies (CAES). The Centre has student mentors and teachers that can provide personalised individual support for your assignments. There you may book sessions at the Writing Centre, Speaking Studio, Digital Literacy Hub or English Language Advising. For a comprehensive list of general writing tips, you my refer to the ‘Communication resources’ in the resources section of their website.

Don’t hesitate to reach out for support when you encounter a roadblock or preferably early in the writing process!

The service is FREE for HKU students.

What do students say?

Common Core is a playground that brings all students together, giving everyone the opportunity to have a taste of topics outside of our degrees. Being a law and business student, I also see Common Core courses as this irresistible dessert that I always have enough room for after a big meal. I hope all HKU students can realize the true value of taking Common Core courses – enjoy the courses and learn passionately.

Natalie Fung (BBA (Law) & LLB)

The Common Core gives us the opportunity to better understand issues affecting the world at both a societal and global scale so that we could do well and do good. As a Common Core Student Consultant, I aspire to contribute to this fruitful multi-disciplinary program by generating ideas in shaping students to be a global thinker.

Vincci Chan (BEcon & Fin)

Common Core courses helped me learn about a varied list of subjects that were very interesting, while also being different from the topics in my major and minor. Moreover, the best part was how these courses encouraged teamwork and communication among students.

Vyshnav Shabu Nair (BEng(ME))

The Common Core at the University of Hong Kong encourages the creation of a learning environment that will induce youngsters to be curious, to question, and to explore. This in turn gives students the chance to engage their abilities in independent and creative thinking, and eventually nurtures more innovative talent. The subject undeniably enriches students’ understanding of the real world. If they can have a better sense of how the world functions, there is less chance they will be deceived, either by power or by privilege.

Adrian Lam (BA 2018)

I was inspired by Common Core courses which talked about animal rights, LGBT rights, gender equality and environmental issues. I wish to use what I have learned to inspire people around me or bring about some little changes to others’ lives. I hope everyone could enjoy studying Common Core courses, learn more on different kinds of issues and get inspired. I also hope that everyone could be free from the constraints by workload and grades to study what they are really interested in.

Leung Siu Nga (BBioMed 2019)

I am excited by both global vision and local solutions, on the issues we can take into our hands and look to change—hence my experience so far with the Common Core has been very positive because the Common Core encourages me to appreciate the complexity of the challenges facing the world today by viewing them from multiple perspectives and thinking of innovative ways to solve them.

Taneja Milind (BEcon&Fin 2020)

Academic Honesty

Students should comply with policies around academic honesty at all time. This means undertaking work without plagiarism, cheating, or receiving unauthorised assistance from others.

For all works unless specified otherwise, please ensure you reference or cite al sources of information that is not common knowledge.

If you have any questions or concerns, you may talk with any member of the academic staff at HKU.

Co-curricular Activities @ Common Core

If you are interested in venturing beyond just the curriculum, Common Core offers a range of voluntary co-curricular programmes and activities that you may be interested in participating in. These opportunities include competitions, seminars, global exchanges, internships, and research projects. Some activities may include the payment of prize monies, honorarium, and student fellowships. You also have the chance to earn out-of-classroom academic credits by successfully completing the programmes.

The co-curricular activities are aimed at helping you build capacities to enhance your future professional lives.