Doctor of Psychology in the field of Clinical Psychology

General Office (Tel: 3917 5866, E-mail: cwfung@hku.hk)

The Department of Psychology of HKU offers three postgraduate programmes in clinical psychology, including the Master of Social Science in the field of Clinical Psychology Programme, The Doctor of Psychology in the field of Clinical Psychology Programme and the PhD with Specialization in Clinical Psychology Programme.

The emphasis of the Doctor of Psychology in the field of Clinical Psychology Programme is placed on a scientist-practitioner model of education. In consequence, holders of this degree shall be equipped to function competently as specialist practitioners and leaders in local clinical psychology field.

The curriculum of Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) in the field of Clinical Psychology extends over a minimum of twenty-four months of full-time study or thirty-six months of part-time study. Students are expected to complete satisfactorily the required courses and a thesis as set out below. The courses cover theoretical and applied aspects of clinical psychology.

Examination of the courses followed by a student may be either by a written paper in the examination held in December or May of the academic year of study, or by continuous assessment of the candidates’ performance in completing the requirements of these courses, or by a combination of these methods.

Candidates admitted in or after  2014-2015 should attend all courses in List A and at least 1 course in List B:

List A     

  1. PSYC6100. Supervised reading in clinical specialty
  2. PSYC6010. Conceptual and methodological issues in psychological research I
  3. PSYC6011. Conceptual and methodological issues in psychological research II
  4. PSYC6101.  Thesis
  5. PSYC6102.  Clinical specialty training
  6. GRSC6029. Research Ethics for Graduate Students

List B

  1. PSYC8004. Clinical neuropsychology
  2. PSYC8002. Community and health psychology
  3. PSYC8001. Clinical seminar II
  4. PSYC8007. Applied developmental psychology
  5. PSYC6020. Clinical seminar III
  6. PPSYC6025. Postgraduate seminar in scientific writing for psychology
  7. PSYC7021.  Postgraduate seminar in cognitive psychology
  8. PSYC7022.  Postgraduate seminar in social psychology
  9. PSYC7023.  Postgraduate seminar in developmental psychology

Candidates admitted in or after 2018-2019 should attend all courses in List A and at least 1 course in List B:

List A     

  1. PSYC6100. Supervised reading in clinical specialty
  2. PSYC6010. Conceptual and methodological issues in psychological research I
  3. PSYC6011. Conceptual and methodological issues in psychological research II
  4. PSYC6101.  Thesis
  5. PSYC6102.  Clinical specialty training
  6. GRSC6029. Research Ethics for Graduate Students

List B

  1. PSYC8002. Community and health psychology
  2. PSYC8001. Clinical seminar II
  3. PSYC8007. Applied developmental psychology
  4. PSYC6020. Clinical seminar III
  5. PSYC6026. Seminar in neuroscience
  6. PSYC6027. Developmental neuroscience
  7. PSYC6028. Neurobiological basis of psychological issues
  8. PSYC6025. Postgraduate seminar in scientific writing for psychology
  9. PSYC7021.  Postgraduate seminar in cognitive psychology
  10. PSYC7022. Postgraduate seminar in social psychology
  11. PSYC7023. Postgraduate seminar in developmental psychology

Regulations and syllabus of the degree of Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), please click:
http://www.socsc.hku.hk/syl/2019-20/PsyD.pdf

List A


PSYC6100 – Supervised reading in clinical specialty

Candidates are required to attend, during the first year, research seminars relevant to a chosen area of specialization. A literature review and conceptual analysis of the thesis area is due at the end of the second semester.
Assessment: 100% coursework

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PSYC6010 – Conceptual and methodological issues in psychological research I
First semester course, put on especially for 1st year postgraduate students, covering the basic research techniques used in psychological research. Topics include various data collection and data analysis techniques. Students in this course will learn how to design, conduct, analyze and report psychological research; and to evaluate other people’s research critically.
Assessment: 100% coursework

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PSYC6011 – Conceptual and methodological issues in psychological research II
Second semester problem-based (i.e., PBL) course put on jointly for 1st year research postgraduate students and advanced undergraduates. The course is a follow-up of PSYC6010. It adopts a problem-based approach to further students’ knowledge of the techniques used in psychological research. Students will be asked to solve various problems and complete different tasks related to psychological research. They will have a chance to develop their ability to work and learn independently. The problems and tasks will also require them to learn the more advanced research designs and data analysis techniques.
Prerequisite: PSYC6010
Assessment: 100% coursework

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PSYC6101 – Thesis
Candidates will complete a thesis that embodies a critical study within the field of clinical psychology, including an empirical element, and represents an original contribution to knowledge deserving publication. Candidates may commence their work early in candidature concurrently with Supervised Reading in Clinical Specialty Candidates will also participate in research seminars commencing after confirmation of candidature which will contribute to their research programmes and will serve as forums for presenting their work in progress on a regular basis.
Assessment: 100% coursework

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PSYC6102 – Clinical specialty training
Students should complete about 250 days of clinical specialty training (e.g. supervision and consultation, forensic psychology, health psychology, neuropsychology, rehabilitation psychology, or specific intervention approaches) that includes research and clinical work, the plan of which is agreed by the students and the respective supervisors, and endorsed by the Programme Director. Students will attend regular in-house case conferences where a forum is provided for students to present, discuss and reflect on the clinical work they are undertaking during their clinical specialty training. Students will also be provided with training on supervision, consultation and leadership skills for their professional development. The work of students is under continuous assessment (e.g. submission of logbook, case reports/presentation, research reports) by supervisors of the specialty training.
Assessment: 100% practicum

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GRSC6029 – Research Ethics for Graduate Students
In this course, students will learn essential vocabulary, principles, and practices conducive to the promotion of research integrity in general and in their relevant disciplines. Students will encounter terminology, texts, and tenets that relate to good conduct in teaching and research professions. The course covers the international standards associated with the conduct of human-subject research. Topics that will also be covered include issues of authorship, mentorship and professional ethics for academics in the university. To complete the course, students must pass the web-based learning modules and an examination, and attend 2/3 of the course.

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List B


PSYC8004 – Clinical neuropsychology

This course aims to provide an overview of basic functional neuroanatomy and clinical neuropathology. Literature in neuroscience and clinical neuropsychology will be reviewed and discussed. Neuropsychological assessment approaches will be introduced.
Assessment: 100% coursework

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PSYC8002 – Community and health psychology
This course overviews key theoretical concepts in community and health psychology. The course critically examines mainstream medical model of mental health and explores alternative ones from the lens of community and critical psychology. Another objective is to examine the role of psychologists in medical and health settings and psychological aspects of medical problems. The application of community and health psychology in the local context will be discussed.
Assessment: 100% coursework

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PSYC8001 – Clinical seminar II
This seminar provides in-depth clinical case discussions, with a focus on contemporary approaches to case conceptualization and treatment planning for a range of complex psychological problems. Emphasis is placed on integration of psychological theories and clinical practice, as well as training on therapeutic skills and treatment strategies for effective implementation.  Students will get the chance to learn advanced knowledge and skills in specialist areas of psychological practice.  Experienced clinicians and scholars will  be invited to share their expertise on specialized topics.
Assessment: 100% coursework

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PSYC8007 – Applied developmental psychology
This course focuses on an integrated study of human development across the life span with implications for educational psychology. It aims at familiarizing students with current state of knowledge and major theories of human development with particular emphasis on childhood and adolescence. The interrelationship among biological, cognitive, social and educational factors that influence human development will be examined. In particular the influence of Chinese culture and context on development during the childhood and adolescence will be discussed.
Assessment: 100% coursework

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PSYC6020 – Clinical seminar III
This seminar covers recent development of theories and the related practice in clinical psychology. Special emphasis will be placed on the integration of research, clinical formulation and intervention for evidence-based clinical decisions.
Assessment: 100% coursework

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PSYC6026 – Seminar in neuroscience
This course is a tutorial-based reading course in specialist areas of cognitive and behavioral neuroscience. It will include group presentations, in the context of organized formal debates, and in-depth group discussions of individual journal articles, providing an opportunity for students to examine critically the neuroscientific approach to understanding mind and behavior.
Assessment: 100% coursework

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PSYC6027 – Developmental neuroscience
Developmental neuroscience is an interdisciplinary research topic that integrates neuroscience, cognitive science and developmental science. It aims to uncover the brain and neural mechanisms that underlie social, affective and cognitive development across the life span. Specific topics will include the introduction of theories and methods in developmental neuroscience, neuroplasticity, neural mechanisms that underlie the development of attention and perception processes, motor learning, memory, cognitive control, social-emotional processes. This course will examine these processes at different developmental stages, including infants, toddlers, adolescence and ageing population. This course will also cover the neural mechanisms underlying atypical development such as the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Assessment: 100% coursework

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PSYC6028 – Neurobiological basis of psychological issues
Human behavior is generated by complex psychophysiological mechanisms of the brain. This course is designed to provide a broad introduction to the biological basis of stress, emotion, and regulation of cognitive-affective processes affecting psychological health. The neurobiological basis of psychopathologies e.g. depression, anxiety, will be examined as examples to demonstrate the complex relationships between brain, behavior, and psychopathology.
Assessment: 100% coursework

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PSYC6025 – Postgraduate seminar in scientific writing for psychology
This seminar course addresses writing skills in relation Psychological research. Students will engage in a series of assignments designed to improve the fluency and quality of their writing. Particular efforts will be focused on improving the conceptual clarity of writing. Regular feedback will help students improve upon their writing skills.
Assessment: 100% coursework.

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PSYC7021 – Postgraduate seminar in cognitive psychology
This seminar course will cover recent developments in the field of Cognitive Psychology, concentrating particularly on theoretical debates and empirical results that are likely to have considerable impact on the field. Theoretical and empirical articles will be read each week, and discussed in class. Discussions will be led by both the instructor and students in the class.
Assessment: 100% coursework

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PSYC7022 – Postgraduate seminar in social psychology
This seminar course will cover recent developments in the field of Social Psychology, concentrating particularly on theoretical debates and empirical results that are likely to have considerable impact on the field. Theoretical and empirical articles will be read each week, and discussed in class. Discussions will be led by both the instructor and students in the class.
Assessment: 100% coursework

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PSYC7023 – Postgraduate seminar in developmental psychology
This seminar course will cover recent developments in the field of Developmental Psychology, concentrating particularly on theoretical debates and empirical results that are likely to have considerable impact on the field. Theoretical and empirical articles will be read each week, and discussed in class. Discussions will be led by both the instructor and students in the class.
Assessment: 100% coursework

Ms. Doris FUNG (General Office)
Tel: (852) 3917 5866
Email:  cwfung@hku.hk

Programme Director (Doctor of Psychology in the field of Clinical Psychology Programme)
Dr. Wai Sze CHAN (E-mail: chanwais@hku.hk )

For admission information, please go to this web page
Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology

HKU Psychology