Undergraduate

The Department offers a broad range of courses and is committed to designing the most appropriate learning experiences that suit students’ needs, sharing with them the exciting development in psychology, and helping them achieve the required level of academic competence. The undergraduate curricula prepare students for a career in business, management or education; sales and marketing; or for graduate study in any area of psychology (including training to be a clinical or educational psychologist).

Admission details and the major/minor requirements for the below curricula can be found in the Bachelor of Social Sciences [BSocSc] Syllabus under the Faculty of Social Sciences homepage.

Name of ProgrammePsychology ( Major / Minor )
Offered As:✔ Major          ✔ Minor
*Open to students of other Faculties:
What is it about?

This programme aims to:
♦ allow students to develop basic skills across all areas of Psychology, including the biological and cognitive bases of behavior, developmental changes, social influences, and psychopathology.
♦ provide students with training in statistical and research methods that are essential for the implementation and consumption of psychological research.
♦ develop skills in critical analysis, reasoning, and self-reflection.
♦ provide students opportunities for tackling novel problems, and give them experience of addressing issues that are ill-defined.
♦ be an internationally-recognized qualification in fundamental aspects of Psychology that allows students to pursue both professional training in applied aspects of Psychology (e.g., Clinical Psychology, Educational Psychology) and advanced research training in all areas of Psychology.

Further information:Psychology (Major/Minor) – For students admitted in or after 2013/2014

* Note: Students pursuing curricula with major / minor programme(s) must complete at least one major programme from their home Faculties upon graduation.

Name of ProgrammeCognitive Science ( Major / Minor )
Offered As:✔ Major          ✔ Minor
*Open to students of other Faculties:
What is it about?

Cognitive Science is the scientific study of the mind and mental phenomena. For example, what is consciousness? Do other animals have language? Could a computer ever think? What is mental imagery? Answering these questions relies upon an interdisciplinary perspective, and so Cognitive Science adopts methodologies from computer science, psychology, philosophy, linguistics, and neuroscience. Students who take this major will be exposed to research in all these disciplines, and will integrate results from across the different approaches in order to more fully understand the complexities of the mind and the brain. A core aspect of the programme is to ensure that students learn skills from different research traditions; for example, a Cognitive Science student could be expected to learn how to run psychological experiments, apply formal linguistic analysis, or critique a philosophical argument. In doing so, this program will develop students who have a variety of formal intellectual skills, and can bring those skills to bear on a range of issues in our increasingly technological world. Students with a Major in Cognitive Science will also be able to act as a bridge between those who are technically skilled and those who seek to understand technology, by placing formal computational analysis within the context of human thought and behaviour.

Further information:Cognitive Science (Major/Minor)

* Note: Students pursuing curricula with major / minor programme(s) must complete at least one major programme from their home Faculties upon graduation.

Name of ProgrammeNeuroscience ( Major/Minor )
Offered As:✔  Major          ✔  Minor
*Open to students of other Faculties:
What is it about?

Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary subject. It is the study of the processes of the brain and nervous system, and their behavioral outcomes. This programme combines breadth of exposure to different fields and depth of learning experience in neuroscience study, it provides a fertile academic ground and significant academic advantage for students to further their studies and research in the neuroscience area, and eventually to translate their research findings into practical applications.  Apart from the traditional neuroscience careers such as neuroscientist, neurologist, biological psychologist etc., there are other careers such as computer science, education, machine learning, artificial intelligence, public policy, medicine and pharmacology etc. benefit from a neuroscience perspective.The mission of this Neuroscience programme is to provide high quality undergraduate education in neuroscience using a multi-disciplinary approach. This programme combines basic science with more specialized courses in neuroscience and psychology. Students can take this neuroscience programme as a second major, or as a minor in addition to their declared primary major. The objectives of the programme are set out below:

  1. provide students with exposure to and a fundamental understanding of neuroscience and its related fields in a multi-disciplinary approach
  2. develop students’ ability to critically analyze scientific research
  3. equip students with basic theoretical and methodological training that enable their successful pursuit of further study at the postgraduate level in neuroscience or related disciplines
  4. enhance students’ awareness of social issues as the neuroscience training will equip them with the background to understand controversies  in neuroscience or related disciplines.
Further information:

Note: Students pursuing curricula with major / minor programme(s) must complete at least one major programme from their home Faculties upon graduation.

Name of ProgrammeHuman Resource Management ( Minor )
Offered As:✔ Minor
*Open to students of other Faculties:
What is it about?

To be able to manage a culturally and psychologically diverse workforce, one must not only possess the requisite management skills but also be culturally sensitive. To prepare our students for this, the revamped inter-disciplinary minor in Human Resource Management will include courses that contain elements on wellness, global citizenship, and cultural sensitivity.

Further information:Human Resource Management Minor – FSS

* Note: Students pursuing curricula with major / minor programme(s) must complete at least one major programme from their home Faculties upon graduation.

1. What do I learn studying psychology? If I study psychology, will I know what other people think privately?

Psychology is the scientific study of mind and behavior. Psychology explores the human mind; it unravels the mystery of how we sense and make sense of the world; it gives us insights about who we are and why we act, think, and feel the way we do; it helps us understand others. But understanding others better is not the same as knowing precisely what other people think privately.

All these areas in Psychology, at their best, are fascinating in their own right. As a bonus, they can help make the world a better place when applied to real-world problems wisely.


2. Why should I choose to study psychology at HKU?

Like most world-class universities, HKU students majoring in Psychology have a broad education – a hallmark of excellent undergraduate education internationally.

Career & Further Education
Employers value such broad education. This may well be one reason why HKU graduates have the lowest unemployment rate of any university in Hong Kong, and many HKU alumni are leaders in their professions.

Graduates have obtained post-graduate scholarships and post-doctoral fellowships in Hong Kong, the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Australia. Our graduates teach at universities in Hong Kong, Mainland China, and the region (e.g. Singapore and Australia), as well as in Europe and North America.

Many talented students are attracted to our popular specialties in clinical psychology and educational psychology. Others want to explore how the mind works, to gain insights about who we are and why we act, think, and feel as the way we do, and to learn to understand other. All these areas are fascinating in their own right. As a bonus, they can help make the world a better place when applied wisely to real world problems.

HKU graduates make up a sizable percentage of students in all top masters and doctoral psychology programs in Hong Kong. As a graduate from HKU’s Psychology Department, you may – like others before you – be very successful in getting into top programs for Masters or Doctoral degree in Psychology (e.g., clinical psychology, educational psychology, academic psychology) in Hong Kong and overseas (e.g., Columbia, Illinois, Oxford, Waterloo, York).

Many of our graduates gain the opportunity to study for a semester or a year at universities such as Singapore, UBC, UCLA, McGill, Yale, Toronto, Lund (Sweden), Beijing and Tsinghua. The Department also provides scholarships every year for one year of study at Oxford University and at Cambridge University.


3. Is psychology more suitable for Arts students than Science students?

Students from both the Arts and Science stream in secondary school have done well in Psychology. Scientific reasoning is naturally useful in psychological science. Mastery of written and oral language is useful for study any social science subjects including Psychology.


4. I would like to enter HKU through JUPAS to study psychology, but I cannot find a choice for Bachelor of Psychology in the prospectus. How can I make my choice?

Choose Bachelor of Social Sciences [BSocSc]. All students in BSocSc can major in Psychology.


5. I am a HKU student and would like to major in Psychology. Are there any courses that I have to take?

For undergraduates, after an introduction to psychology, you will learn about research methods and core areas of psychology including:
– Cognitive psychology
– Biological psychology
– Neuropsychology
– Perception
– Clinical psychology
– Personality
– Social psychology
– Developmental psychology

There are also many more specialized courses for you to choose as elective courses. You may also have chance to do an independent research project in your final year.


6. What are the career prospects for HKU Psychology students?

Some of our graduates become clinical, education, and industrial/organizational psychologists. Others have joined various professions including education, business, and administration.

Because our programs are both broad and flexible, many Psychology students double major or do a minor in business & economics, statistics, politics & public administration, etc. Our broad and rigorous training can help talented students like you become attractive candidates for many jobs.

At HKU, English is the language of instruction. Many informal conversations are also conducted in English because we have many international students on campus. HKU graduates have the best English skills among university graduates in Hong Kong. This can also give you an important advantage in your careers


7. I am interested in becoming a Clinical Psychologist or Educational Psychologist. Is it a must to have a bachelor degree in Psychology before studying the course?

Either a Bachelor degree in Psychology or a postgraduate certificate or diploma in Psychology or Master in Social Sciences in the field of Psychology will do.


8. I heard that all students attend psychology tutorials. What are they?

Tutorials are occasions for small-class teaching. Students take an active part in thinking through important questions, make presentations, and lead discussions. Conducted in English, tutorials provide a valuable opportunity for you to prepare yourself for a successful career.

Admission details and the major/minor requirements for the above programmes can be found in the Bachelor of Social Sciences [BSocSc] Syllabus under the Faculty of Social Sciences homepage.

HKU Psychology