Master of Social Sciences in the field of Clinical Psychology

Clinical Psychology is a scientific discipline that aims to understand, prevent, and relieve psychological distress and dysfunctions, as well as promote well-being and personal development. Clinical Psychologists are mostly employed in hospitals, government sectors, counseling services units and voluntary organisations. Common duties of clinical psychologists include conducting psychological assessment, psychological intervention and counseling, giving public educational talks and workshops, providing staff training and consultation, as well as conducting scientific research. The Department of Psychology of HKU offers three postgraduate programmes in clinical psychology, including the Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc) in the field of Clinical Psychology Programme, The Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) in the field of Clinical Psychology Programme and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) with Specialization in Clinical Psychology Programme.

The MSocSc in the field of Clinical Psychology Programme of The Department of Psychology is the first postgraduate programme offering training to meet the entry level of professional qualification for the practice of clinical psychology in Hong Kong. The programme is recognized by the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ) and the Division of Clinical Psychology of the Hong Kong Psychological Society (HKPS). The programme aims to train competent and professional clinical psychologists and has an emphasis on science-based practices. The programme admits a cohort of students every year. Since its inception in 1971, the programme has had over 290 graduates. Our graduates are eligible to become registered clinical psychologists of the HKPS.

Our graduates are represented in different professional settings, including the Hospital Authority, Social Welfare Department, Department of Health, Correctional Services Department, Hong Kong Police Force, Non-Government Organizations, Student Counselling Centres and private practice.

The curriculum of the Master of Social Sciences in the field of Clinical Psychology is a two-year (i.e., 24-month) full-time programme.  The curriculum consists of a total of 162 credits.  Candidates are required to complete 21 compulsory courses, including 15 taught courses (6 credits each)  (a total of 90 credits),  5 practicum courses, Practicum I to V with a total of 60 credits, and a dissertation research course given 12 credits (PSYC8006 Dissertation).  Each credit-unit is roughly equivalent to 20 hours of student learning activities (including both contact hours and all other forms of student learning activities) for the taught courses and the dissertation, or 30 hours of work for practicum, under supervision of a clinical supervisor.  Whereas the first year of the programme shall focus on the theoretical foundations and basic skills training in Clinical Psychology, the second year shall extend to include the application of the theories and assessment and treatment models to special populations in various clinical settings.

The courses are as follows:

First year
PSYC7024 – Induction Programme
PSYC7029 – Practicum I
PSYC7030 – Practicum II
PSYC7002 – Assessment of personality and psychopathology
PSYC7003 – Individual psychotherapy I
PSYC7004 – Individual psychotherapy II
PSYC7005 – Psychopathology I
PSYC7006 – Psychopathology II
PSYC7018 – Cognitive assessment
PSYC7019 – Research methods and statistics I
PSYC7020 – Research methods and statistics II
PSYC7009 – Clinical seminar I

Second year
PSYC8011 – Practicum III
PSYC8012 – Practicum IV
PSYC8013 – Practicum V
PSYC8001 – Clinical seminar II
PSYC8003 – Family and group therapy
PSYC8004 – Clinical neuropsychology

First and/or Second year
PSYC8002 – Community and health psychology
PSYC8005 – Ethics and professional issues

Capstone Experience Course
PSYC8006 – Dissertation

The courses listed above may be offered in a different year of study.

Please click here for the regulation and syllabus of the Master of Social Sciences in the field of Clinical Psychology programme.

To be eligible for admission to the Master of Social Sciences in the field of Clinical Psychology Programme, a candidate shall satisfy both the University admission requirements and the programme specific requirements as listed below:

  • shall comply with the General Regulations;
  • shall hold a Bachelor’s degree with a major in Psychology of this University or a qualification of equivalent standard from this University or another comparable institution accepted for this purpose;
  • shall have demonstrated empirical research experience in the form of a dissertation completed in the Bachelor’s degree programme or another equivalent programme in psychology, or first-authorship in published journal article;
  • shall be eligible for the Graduate Membership of the Hong Kong Psychological Society;
  • for a candidate who is seeking admission on the basis of a qualification from a university or comparable institution outside Hong Kong of which the language of teaching and/or examination is not English shall satisfy the following English language requirement applicable to higher degrees as prescribed under the General Regulation G2(b);
  • shall preferably have relevant working experience; and
  • shall satisfy the examiners in a qualifying examination if required.

Application for exemption from the above requirements shall be considered on a case by case basis.

The curriculum of the Master of Social Sciences in the field of Clinical Psychology is a two-year (i.e., 24-month) full-time programme. Candidates will spend a considerable amount of time during and between school terms in clinical practice.

The Master of Social Sciences in the field of Clinical Psychology Programme is offered on a government-funded basis. Tuition fee for the academic year 2022/23 is:

Local students:       HK$42,100 per annum (subject to approval)

Non-local students: HK$171,000 per annum (subject to approval)

For the details of composition fees for the taught postgraduate programmes, please visit http://www.aal.hku.hk/tpg/programme-fee-and-payment

Financial assistance is available for full-time postgraduate students. Enquiries should be made to the Student Financial Assistance Agency, 11/F & 12/F, Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices, 303 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Kowloon. (https://www.wfsfaa.gov.hk/sfo/en/index.htm).

The Master of Social Sciences in the field of Clinical Psychology Programme is offered every year. The next class will commence in September 2022.

Applications can be made online at http://aal.hku.hk/tpg (only online applications are accepted). Programme information, regulations and syllabuses can also be obtained from this website. For application procedure and technical difficulties in completing the online application form, please contact the Academic Services Office at tpgadmissions@hku.hk.

The closing date of the application is 12:00noon, 20 January, 2022.

Upon the submission of the HKU online application, you will receive an application number via email.  Please upload the following supporting documents to Form A.  Transcripts, diplomas, certificates and other submitted documents which are not in English should be accompanied by a certified translation in English.  Certified translation may be provided by your home institution.  Please submit Form A by 23:59, 23 January 2022.

  • Complete official transcript of undergraduate studies (including studies undertaken in HKU)
  • Graduate certificate of undergraduate studies [Mainland China applicants should also provide “學士學位證書”]
  • Complete official transcript of postgraduate studies, if any
  • Graduate certificate of postgraduate studies, if any
  • TOEFL / IELTS / Overseas GCE / IGCSE / Cambridge Test of Proficiency in English Language official score report. [only required from those applicants with qualifications from institutions outside Hong Kong where the language of teaching and/or examination is not English]
  • Proof of application for graduate membership of the Hong Kong Psychological Society (must be a member by the start of semester in September 2022)
  • A personal statement of no more than 1,200 words, covering the following areas:

(a) your personal background;

(b) your understanding of clinical psychology as a profession;

(c) the current status of clinical psychology in Hong Kong;

(d) your considered reasons for studying clinical psychology;

(e) your suitability for pursuing a career in clinical psychology, including strengths and weaknesses;

(f) your academic and professional goals after graduation; and

(g) how you intend to finance your studies, including an estimation of the total costs.

[Transcripts, diplomas, certificates and other submitted documents which are not in English should be accompanied by a certified translation in English.  Certified translation may be provided by your home institution.]

[Form B] Applicants are required to answer additional questions in this online form by 23:59, 23 January 2022.

Upon applicants’ submission of the HKU online application, the academic/professional referees will receive an email invitation to complete an online referee’s report.  The referees can follow the instruction in the email and submit the referee’s report by the deadline.

Shortlisted applicants are required to submit original or certified true copiesNote of the supporting documents if they are shortlisted for interview.  Please note that all original copies will NOT be returned.  Photocopies and scanned copies are NOT accepted.  Shortlisted applicants will be informed by email on the details of submission

If you are an overseas applicant, the copies of documents can be certified by the appropriate officials of your home institution.

Note:

A certified true copy is a copy of a primary document that has on it an endorsement or certificate that it is a true copy of the primary document. It should bear the seals of the authorised party and be signed by an appropriate official. The name, status or position of the person certifying the copies must be clearly stated in English.

An authorised party includes the transcript and graduation certificate issuing authority/department of your institution (e.g. the Registry), a lawyer, a notary public, a Consulate General etc. However, a certified accountant is not an authorised party. 

In Hong Kong, a copy of document that has been duly declared as a true copy of the original document by the applicant before a Commissioner for Oaths at a Home Affairs Enquiry Centres in Hong Kong is also acceptable. You may find a declaration sample here. For details of declaration, please refers to the website of the Home Affairs Department.

We use multiple criteria in the selection of candidates.  Among the criteria are: academic records, personal maturity and motivation, understanding of clinical psychology, clarity in the formulation of goals, and relevant work experience in the broad field of applied psychology.  Decisions are based on multiple sources of information, including transcripts, test scores, and the personal statement.

Our programme encourages applications from all qualified students and refrains from systematically excluding students on the basis of race, ethnic origin, sex, age, religion, sexual orientation, or physical ability. Although proficiency in Cantonese and written Chinese and relevant working experiences are not entry requirements, they are highly preferred.

For further information about programme admissions, please read through the materials in the below hyperlinks which are also available for viewing at the homepage of Taught Postgraduate Admissions of The University of Hong Kong.

Clinical Psychologists enjoy a high level of professional prestige in Hong Kong. Most of our graduates are employed as clinical psychologists in hospitals, clinics, government departments and voluntary agencies. Significant professional growth of clinical psychology in Hong Kong is expected to continue in the foreseeable future. The typical activities of clinical psychologists include:

  • Psychological assessment
  • Psychotherapy and counselling (individual, family, and group)
  • Health and competence promotion
  • Scientific research
  • Consulting in programme development and evaluation

Useful information about the field of clinical psychology in Hong Kong can be found here.

Graduates can also choose to pursue further study in higher degree programmes. The Department of Psychology offers two doctoral level degrees in clinical psychology, i.e. the Doctor of Psychology in the field of Clinical Psychology (PsyD) Programme and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) with Specialization in Clinical Psychology Programme. The PsyD in Clinical Psychology programme, established in 2004, is a first-of-its-kind programme offered in Hong Kong. Its primary aim is to provide further specialized training for experienced clinicians who hold a MSocSc degree in Clinical Psychology or equivalent. Our PhD in Clinical Psychology is designed to train clinical scientists who are interested in an academic career.

MSocSc (CP) Advisory Panel

NameOrganization
Dr. Judy Shuk Han HUI (Chairperson)Correctional Services Department
Dr. Amos CHEUNGDivision of Clinical Psychology, Hong Kong Psychological Society
Dr. George Heung Chuen CHONGClinical Psychology Service Unit, Kwai Chung Hospital
Dr. Edmond Kam Lun LAUPsychological Services Group, Hong Kong Police Force
Dr. Ellen Yee Man MASocial Welfare Department
Dr. Amanda Kin Yin MAKMacLehose Medical Rehabilitation Center
Queen Mary Hospital
Dr. Lucia Yee Ha TSANGChild Assessment Centre, Department of Health

Adjunct Professors

Dr. Chan, Becky Mei Yin (Adjunct Associate Professor)

Dr. Chan, Chung Ming Anthony (Adjunct Associate Professor)

Dr. Cheung, Chuen Yih Amos (Adjunct Assistant Professor)

Dr. Chong, George Heung Chuen (Adjunct Associate Professor)

Dr. Hui, Shuk Han (Adjunct Associate Professor)

Dr. Kwok, Alice Wai Yee (Adjunct Associate Professor)

Dr. Lau, Edmond Kam Lun (Adjunct Associate Professor)

Dr. Ma, Ellen Yee Man (Adjunct Associate Professor)

Dr. Tsang, Lucia Yee Ha (Adjunct Associate Professor)

Dr. Wong, Chee Wing  (Adjunct Associate Professor)

1. If I do not have a Bachelor’s degree with a major in Psychology, can I apply for the Master of Social Sciences in the field of Clinical Psychology Programme?

No. This is a basic requirement. Applicants who do not have a Bachelor’s degree with a major in Psychology may consider taking a conversion programme to fulfill such requirement. There are many conversion programmes in Hong Kong for the people whose Bachelor’s degree is not in psychology. The completion of any of these conversion programmes is considered as an equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree with a major in psychology. In HKU, our conversion programme is Master of Social Science in the field of Psychology.

Applicants shall have had an empirical research dissertation completed in the Bachelor’s degree programme or another equivalent programme in psychology, or first-authorship in published journal article;


2. When and how can I apply for this programme, does the application open every year?

The Programme is offered every year. The next admission exercise will take place in 2022. Online applications can be submitted at https://aal.hku.hk/tpg/ during the application period from November 2021 . Classes commence in early September.


3. Do I need to take IELTS or TOFEL?

A candidate who is seeking admission on the basis of a qualification from a university or comparable institution outside Hong Kong of which the language of teaching and/or examination is not English shall satisfy the English language requirement applicable to higher degrees as prescribed under the General Regulation G2(b).


4. Is Cantonese a must prior to admission? How do I prove my Cantonese skills?

Being able to communicate in Cantonese and knowledge of written Chinese are preferred because students in this programme are expected to complete clinical placements in the local services in Hong Kong as part of their training and most of the clients in Hong Kong speak Cantonese. The language ability of the candidates will be tested during the selection interviews.


5. Will the Department provide feedback to individual applicants?

Due to the large number of applications received, unfortunately we are unable to provide individual application status updates or feedback to unsuccessful applicants.

For more details, please visit the programme’s admission websites:

Admission events

Live chat with our Faculty members and Current Students:
https://www.psychology.hku.hk/cpinfo2022/admissionevent.html

Admission tutorial recordings: 
https://www.psychology.hku.hk/cpinfo2022/admissionevent.html

Doctor of Psychology in the field of Clinical Psychology:
https://psychology.hku.hk/admission-doctor-of-psychology-in-the-field-of-clinical-psychology/

Master of Social Sciences in the field of Clinical Psychology:
https://psychology.hku.hk/admission-master-of-social-sciences-in-the-field-of-clinical-psychology/

Application procedure and admission-related enquiries:
Ms. Doris FUNG (Tel: (852) 3917 5866; Email: cwfung@hku.hk).

Programme and profession-related enquiries:
Dr. Shirley X. LI Admissions Coordinator (Email: msscp@hku.hk )

Dr. W.S. CHAN Deputy Admissions Coordinator (Email: msscp@hku.hk )

Answers to frequently asked questions about admissions into postgraduate programmes at The University of Hong Kong can be found here as well as the FAQ webpage of the MSocSc programme at the Department of Psychology. Please read through the materials in the above-mentioned webpages THOROUGHLY FIRST. Oftentimes, information requested can readily be found in these webpages.

HKU Psychology