Tertiary education for nurses in Hong Kong is in its early development. With many overseas universities competing to secure Asian students, the need for locally developed programmes to meet Hong Kong's needs can be overlooked. In this survey 705 nurses with degree level qualifications working for the major public and private employing agencies completed a questionnaire designed to obtain details of postgraduate study plans and preferences for the type, focus and mode of postgraduate programmes. Analysis of responses showed 50% of the graduates surveyed intended to pursue further study in the next two years with a clear preference for course work masters, degree programmes (55%), studies with a specialist (71%) rather than a generalist focus, and programmes offered locally (85%) on a part-time basis (86%). Future educational needs were also found to vary according to gender, marital status, place of employment and nursing post. The findings from this survey have considerable implications for educational and professional nursing developments and planning to meet the future health care needs of Hong Kong. In addition, the information may inform the planning of other countries newly embarked on tertiary education for nurses.