Research Degree – PhD with a specialization in Clinical Psychology

General Office (Tel: 3917 2376, E-mail: rpsyc@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 PhD with a specialization in the field of Clinical Psychology is placed on a scientist-practitioner model of education to train professional clinical psychologists well prepared for research, university-level teaching, and clinical practice.​ We also offer a King’s College London and The University of Hong Kong joint PhD programme where high caliber PhD students are given opportunity to spend up to half of their time to be trained at each institution and be awarded PhD degrees from both universities on completion of this four-year programme

The curriculum extends over a minimum of four-year full-time, including two years of coursework & clinical practicum. The courses cover theoretical and applied aspects of clinical psychology. Students shall also complete a doctoral level research dissertation presenting an original scientific work in clinical psychology areas.

A) General coursework requirements by the Graduate School, please click here for details, and

B) Coursework requirements by the Department of Psychology

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For students admitted between 2012-2013 and 2015/16
Requirement: 4-year PhD students – 16 compulsory courses and 1 elective course.
(3-year PhD students are not required to take PSYC6010 and PSYC6011)

Course CodeCourse TitleCompulsory (C) / Elective (E)
PSYC6001PracticumC
PSYC7002Assessment of personality and psychopathologyC
PSYC7003Individual psychotherapy IC
PSYC7004Individual psychotherapy IIC
PSYC7005Psychopathology IC
PSYC7006Psychopathology IIC
PSYC7009Clinical seminar IC
PSYC7018Cognitive assessmentC
PSYC8001Clinical seminar IIC
PSYC8002Community and Health PsychologyC
PSYC8003Family and Group TherapyC
PSYC8004Clinical NeuropsychologyC
PSYC8005Ethics and Professional IssuesC
PSYC6010Conceptual and Methodological Issues in Psychological Research IC
PSYC6011Conceptual and Methodological Issues in Psychological Research IIC
PSYC6025Postgraduate Seminar in Scientific Writing for PsychologyC
PSYC7021Postgraduate Seminar in Cognitive PsychologyE
PSYC7022Postgraduate Seminar in Social PsychologyE
PSYC7023Postgraduate Seminar in Developmental PsychologyE

Candidate may be granted exemption of modules in recognition of studies completed in related areas. Exemption will only be considered in special circumstances and each application for exemption will be considered on its own merit.

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For students admitted in or after 2016-2017
Requirement: 4-year PhD students – 18 compulsory courses and 1 elective course.(3-year PhD students are not required to take PSYC6010 and PSYC6011)

Course CodeCourse TitleCompulsory (C) / Elective (E)
PSYC7024Induction ProgrammeC
PSYC7029Practicum IC
PSYC7030Practicum IIC
PSYC8011Practicum IIIC
PSYC8012Practicum IVC
PSYC8013Practicum VC
PSYC7002Assessment of personality and psychopathologyC
PSYC7003Individual psychotherapy IC
PSYC7004Individual psychotherapy IIC
PSYC7005Psychopathology IC
PSYC7006Psychopathology IIC
PSYC7009Clinical seminar IC
PSYC7018Cognitive assessmentC
PSYC8001Clinical seminar IIC
PSYC8002Community and Health PsychologyC
PSYC8003Family and Group TherapyC
PSYC8004Clinical NeuropsychologyC
PSYC8005Ethics and Professional IssuesC
PSYC6010Conceptual and Methodological Issues in Psychological Research IC
PSYC6011Conceptual and Methodological Issues in Psychological Research IIC
PSYC6025Postgraduate Seminar in Scientific Writing for PsychologyC
PSYC7021Postgraduate Seminar in Cognitive PsychologyE
PSYC7022Postgraduate Seminar in Social PsychologyE
PSYC7023Postgraduate Seminar in Developmental PsychologyE

PSYCxxxx – Practicum I
This course aims at engaging trainees in a number of orientation activities designed to provide them with a preliminary understanding of the theoretical and practical issues addressed in the programme and to prepare them for their first placement beginning in December of the year of training.
Assessment: 100% coursework

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PSYCxxxx – Practicum I
“Practicum I” consists of a minimum of 88 days of on-site clinical placement and a minimum of 12 days of in-house clinical activities with the Psychological Services Unit. Through the practica, students will have the opportunity to learn and work under the direct supervision of experienced clinical psychologists who are providing services in different settings such as public hospitals, social services agencies, and various government departments. They will gain practical experience in working with a variety of client groups with different problems across the life span. The training includes supervised practice in assessment, case formulation, and treatment. Involvement in case conferences, workshops, seminars, or projects within the placement settings may also form part of the training. Students will learn the work culture and rules in different settings, and how to function effectively in different teams or structures.
Assessment: 100% Practicum

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PSYCxxxx – Practicum II
“Practicum II”, as a progression of Practicum I, consists of a minimum of 132 days of on-site clinical placement and a minimum of 18 days of in-house clinical activities with the Psychological Services Unit. Through the practica, students will have the opportunity to learn and work under the direct supervision of experienced clinical psychologists in different settings such as public hospitals, social services agencies, and various government departments. They will gain practical experience in working with a variety of client groups with different problems across the life span. The training includes supervised practice in assessment, case formulation, and treatment. Involvement in case conferences, workshops, seminars, or projects within the placement settings may also form part of the training. Students will learn the work culture and rules in different settings, and how to function effectively in different teams or structures.
Assessment: 100% Practicum

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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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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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PSYC7002 – Assessment of personality and psychopathology
This course focuses on the theoretical, practical, and cross-cultural issues related to the assessment of psychopathology and personality. Trainees will be exposed to a variety of clinical evaluation protocols in order to evaluate the level of functioning and symptomatology of an individual. They will also be exposed to the application of these techniques to a wide range of psychiatric problems as stipulated in DSM-5. These include mental state examination, test administration and interpretation, diagnostic decision making, integration of material derived from patient history and other relevant sources, and comprehensive case conceptualization.
Assessment: 100% coursework

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PSYC7003 – Individual psychotherapy I
This course introduces the common principles and skills of psychotherapies. In addition to reviewing the theoretical rationale and recent research and clinical literature, this course also focuses on the application of the empirically-supported therapeutic techniques to clinical and special populations.
Assessment: 100% coursework

PSYC7004 – Individual psychotherapy II
The course focuses on the application of evidence-based psychotherapeutic approaches to the treatment of specific psychological disorders in both adults and children. Cultural issues in the practice of psychotherapy will be discussed when appropriate. Experienced clinicians are invited to introduce common treatment approaches applied to different populations in Hong Kong. In addition, new developments and contemporary issues in psychotherapy will be critically examined.
Assessment: 100% coursework

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PSYC7005 – Psychopathology I
In this first course of Psychopathology, students will learn important theoretical concepts in the definition, aetiology, features and classification of mental disorders. Major disorders across the life span will be examined. Significant paradigms, such as biological, psychodynamic, cognitive – behavioural and relevant psychosocial theories will be discussed, together with special issues in the diagnosis and conceptualisation of specific mental disorders.
Assessment: 100% coursework

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PSYC7006 – Psychopathology II
This second course of Psychopathology uses a developmental psychopathology perspective to discuss major topics of mental health problems across the life span. It aims to enhance the conceptualisation and case formulation skills of trainees as scientist–practitioners. The topics will be examined in depth, with special emphasis on the integration of theoretical conceptualisation, research findings and clinical practice. Special attention will be given to current issues of concern in both the Eastern and Western contexts.
Assessment: 100% coursework

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PSYC7009 – Clinical seminar I
A series of skill-training workshops will be offered to prepare students for further practical training in clinical placements. The course is composed of two arms: Assessment and Intervention. The Assessment arm covers core principles and strategies for intake interview with both adult and children populations. Intellectual assessment in the local context will be covered and commonly used tools for assessing a broad range of cognitive, behavioural, emotional, and social functions in children will also be introduced. The Treatment arm covers basic attitude and skills in counselling and forming therapeutic alliance, as well as specific skills used in cognitive and behavioural therapies.
Assessment: 100% coursework

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PSYC7018 – Cognitive assessment
This course provides an introduction to the assessment of cognitive functioning. Students learn to administer, score, and interpret a number of commonly used cognitive tests. Students also learn to present test results in professional psychological reports. Related psychometric principles, professional ethics, and cultural issues will be discussed.
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

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PSYC8001 – Clinical seminar II
The seminar provides in-depth clinical case presentations and 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 effect implementation. Students will get the chance to learn advanced knowledge and skills in different 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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PSYC8002 – Community and health psychology
This course provides an overview of the history, context, and development of community psychology and health psychology. Students will be exposed to key concepts and values associated with the fields. They will also explore the application of community psychology and health psychology in the local context. The course provides ample opportunities for students to collectively develop and examine community-based initiatives to tackle mental health problems. Special emphasis is given to multicultural and diversity issues.
Assessment: 100% coursework

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PSYC8003 – Family and group therapy
This course provides an overview of the theories and practice of family and group interventions. For Family Intervention, it covers fundamental concepts, theories and frameworks in working with families and couples. Students will be able to develop basic knowledge and different theories of family therapy and how it can be applied in special populations. The course will be conducted in diadatic lectures with case illustrations, videos and/or exercises.

The Group Intervention component aims to familiarize the trainees with the major theories, principles and techniques of group interventions through reading, discussion, videos and role plays. Group development, dynamics and different stages in the group processes will be examined. The empirical basis for efficacy of group interventions and group interventions for different populations and different psychological disorders will be addressed.
Assessment: 100% coursework

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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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PSYC8005 – Ethics and professional issues
The focus of this course is on the process of ethical decision making in the professional practice of clinical psychology. Models of ethical decision making will be introduced, discussed, and applied. In addition to the Code of Professional Conduct published by the Hong Kong Psychological Society, a number of ethical codes, guidelines, and standards of practice will be reviewed.
Assessment: 100% coursework

TitleStaffE-mail
Chair Professor & HeadProf. Tatia Mei-chun LEEtmclee@hku.hk
Associate ProfessorDr. Christian CHANshaunlyn@hku.hk
Associate Professor of PracticeDr. Frendi Wing-sai LIfwsli@hku.hk
Assistant Professor

Dr. Wai Sze CHAN

chanwais@hku.hk
Assistant Professor

Dr. Frances Jingwen JIN

frances.jin@hku.hk
Assistant ProfessorDr. Shirley X. LIshirley.li@hku.hk
Principal LecturerDr. Diane Hai-yen HUANGdhuang@hku.hk
Senior LecturerDr. Carole Chi-kwan LIlickc@hku.hk
Lecturer

Mr. Daniel Chiu-wah NGAN

ngancwd@hku.hk
Adjunct ProfessorProf. Calais Kin-yuen CHANcalais@hku.hk

General Office (Tel: 3917 2376, E-mail: rpsyc@hku.hk)

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

Useful information from Graduate School for current RPg students
http://www.gradsch.hku.hk/gradsch/current-students

For admission information, please go to this web page
PhD with a specialization in Clinical Psychology

HKU Psychology