Research Degree – PhD with a specialization in Educational Psychology

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

The Department of Psychology of HKU offers three postgraduate programmes in educational psychology, including the Master of Social Sciences in the field of Educational Psychology, the Doctor of Psychology in the field of Educational Psychology, and the PhD with a specialization in Educational Psychology. All these programmes adopt scientist-practitioner model with the aim to prepare educational psychologists who are strong in both research and practice.

The PhD with a specialization in Educational Psychology programme is designed to train educational psychologists who are interested in academic career. The graduates from this programme are expected to be scientist-practitioners who are not only strong in research and practice but also well-prepared for university-level teaching.

The curriculum extends over a minimum of 4 years full-time, including two years of coursework & educational practicum. The courses cover the theoretical and applied aspects of educational psychology. Students shall also complete a doctoral level research dissertation presenting original scientific work in a chosen area of educational psychology.

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

B) Coursework requirements by the Department of Psychology

For students admitted in or after 2016-2017
Requirement: 4-year PhD students – 17 compulsory courses and 1 elective course.( 3-year PhD students are not required to take PSYC6010 and PSYC6011 )

Course CodeCourse TitleCompulsory (C) / Elective (E)
PSYC6004Curriculum and InstructionC
PSYC6008Practicum I-IIIC
PSYC6019Professional Ethics and Issues in Educational PsychologyC
PSYC7010Psychoeducational Assessment IC
PSYC7011Psychoeducational Assessment IIC
PSYC7026Children with special needs IC
PSYC7027Children with special needs IIC
PSYC7014Psychoeducational Intervention IC
PSYC7015Psychoeducational Intervention IIC
PSYC7016Skills Training Seminar IC
PSYC7017Skills Training Seminar IIC
PSYC8010Skills Training Seminar IIIC
PSYC8007Applied Developmental PsychologyC
PSYC8008Motivation and LearningC
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.

PSYC6004 – Curriculum and instruction
This course helps students understand and enact the principles of curriculum design, teaching, and assessment of learning, as they apply to the contexts and issues educational psychologists are likely to meet. A systemic view of children’s learning problems will be emphasized. Curriculum and instructional issues for both mainstream and special schools in Hong Kong will be reviewed.
Assessment: 100% coursework

___________________________________________________________________________

PSYC6008 – Practicum I-III
The programme considers field work placement an important and indispensable part of the training and whenever possible tries to integrate theories discussed at the University with that of fieldwork practice. All students are required to do fieldwork placement for a total of 180 days in three different settings.

PSYC6012 17 Practicum I
PSYC6013 18 Practicum II
PSYC6014 19 Practicum III

The average duration of each practicum is 60 days. Adjustment of the length will be made according to the specific requirements of the settings. Each practicum aims at providing the students with:

(a) exposures to a broad spectrum of work of an EP working in a particular setting;
(b) adequate hands-on experiences at different levels (such as individual casework, group work, consultations to parents and teachers, in-service training for teachers, etc.) in the development of the necessary practical knowledge and skills;
(c) knowledge of different types of provisions and systems accessible to children with special educational needs and referral procedures; and
(d) opportunities for collaborative work with other professionals.
Assessment: 100% practicum

___________________________________________________________________________

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

___________________________________________________________________________

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

___________________________________________________________________________

PSYC7010 – Psychoeducational assessment I
This course provides students with theoretical foundations of psychoeducational assessment and basic concepts in measurement. Starting with standards related to professional conduct and ethics in assessment, the course introduces students to formal and informal techniques and instruments used most frequently in the local setting. Focus will be put on the assessment of intelligence, achievement, and learning disabilities. The assessment of infants and young children is a special topic. The integration of assessment data into a comprehensive psychological report with associated recommendations for intervention is an essential component of this course.
Assessment: 100% coursework

___________________________________________________________________________

PSYC7011 – Psychoeducational assessment II
The focus of this course is on the assessment of behavioural and adjustment problems in children and adolescents. Using the problem-solving and systems approach as framework, students will be introduced to important concepts, procedures and instruments associated with the assessment of behaviour, personality, and social-emotional functioning in the school context.
Assessment: 100% coursework

___________________________________________________________________________

PSYC7012 – Children with special needs I: basic concepts
This course will introduce students with problems and issues related to children with special needs. The course will cover the following topics: Issues, definition and historical background; provisions for children with special needs; special education in Hong Kong; issues concerning integration of special needs children into mainstream settings; and effects of a handicapped child on family life. This course will also explore different types of special needs children including intellectually different students (the gifted and the mentally handicapped); children with learning disabilities, children with emotional and behavioural disorders, and those with communication disorders, sensory or health impairments.
Assessment: 100% coursework

___________________________________________________________________________

PSYC7013 – Children with special needs II: diagnostic and remedial procedures
This course will focus on diagnostic and remedial measures used with special needs students in mainstream and special educational settings. Topics include different classification systems, individualized educational programmes, general remediation strategies and specific training programmes for different types of special needs students.
Assessment: 100% coursework

___________________________________________________________________________

PSYC7014 – Psychoeducational intervention I
The nature and basic principles of psychoeducational intervention are introduced. The first half of the course will cover the fundamentals of counselling and guidance. If focuses on the process and stages of counselling in a pan-theoretical way. The second half o the course will cover some of the major approaches in counselling and intervention (e.g., person-centred therapy and behaviour modification). It aims at equipping the students with specific and useful techniques and procedures derived from these approaches. Students are expected to master both theories and practical skills. Practical training is an indispensable component of this course.
Assessment: 100% coursework

___________________________________________________________________________

PSYC7015 – Psychoeducational intervention II
Major approaches and different levels of psychoeducational intervention are covered. The course emphasizes both direct and indirect intervention. Students are encouraged to go beyond the remedial model and are expected to work as an active agent with broader perspective in preventive intervention. Practical training is an indispensable component of this course. The students are expected to apply the acquired knowledge and practical skills to their work in educational settings. Topics include cognitive-behavioural intervention, systems and ecological approaches, school consultation, family work, psychodynamic approaches, alternative forms of therapy with children and adolescent, and career and vocational counselling.
Assessment: 100% coursework

___________________________________________________________________________

PSYC7016 – Skills training seminar I
This course provides an initial orientation programme immersing students into settings related to roles and functions of educational psychologists. Subsequently more intensive discussion and hands-on practice of assessment skills and intervention programmes are provided. Students observe and practise skills related to consultation and interviewing, observational techniques, testing procedures, reporting test results and recommending interventions. They also engage in practice related to intervention techniques such as stress management.
Assessment: 100% coursework

___________________________________________________________________________

PSYC7017 – Skills training seminar II
This course is the second in a series of practical skills training. It is offered when the students start their first practicum.   It provides a platform for the students to polish the micro-skills that are required in their first practicum. These are the skills in assessment, counselling, consultation, inter-disciplinary collaboration, and systems-intervention. This course also provides a forum in which experienced educational psychologists from the field can share their specialities and expertise with the students.
Assessment: 100% coursework

___________________________________________________________________________

PSYCxxxx – Skills training seminar III
This course is the last in a series of practical skills training seminars. It is offered in the second year when the students are immersed in practicums. It provides a platform for them to further polish the micro-skills that are required in field work. It also provides them with opportunities to seek support and guidance for the challenges they come across in practicum. In addition, it is a forum in which educational psychologists and allied professionals from the field can share with the students their experience in difficult cases and latest development in intervention.
Assessment: 100% coursework

___________________________________________________________________________

PSYC6019 – Professional ethics and issues in educational psychology
This course prepares students for professional practice in educational psychology by examining the organizational, ethical, and legal considerations as well as current issues related to such practice in Hong Kong. Ethical and legal guidelines pertinent to the delivery of school psychological services will be introduced to enable students to make well-informed choices in resolving professional problems and ethical dilemmas when they occur. Students will also engage in discussion and analysis of contemporary issues related to educational psychology practice. Topics covered are broad and diversified and are highly relevant to the local context.
Assessment: 100% coursework

___________________________________________________________________________

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.

___________________________________________________________________________

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

___________________________________________________________________________

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

___________________________________________________________________________

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

___________________________________________________________________________

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

___________________________________________________________________________

PSYC8008 – Motivation and learning
This course aims at familiarizing students with theories, research, and practices in the field of motivation and learning. It focuses on how educational psychologists can use existing knowledge in motivation and learning to enhance teachers’ instruction and students’ learning. Topics include theories of motivation and learning; their application in educational settings; effects of social cognitions on motivation; instructional environment that fosters motivation; and biological, cultural and contextual factors of learning.
Assessment: 100% coursework

___________________________________________________________________________

PSYCxxxx – Children with special needs I
This course introduces some basic concepts and issues on educating students with special educational needs with focus on the characteristics, identification and intervention strategies for students with intellectual and learning related disabilities. The course covers the following topics: Historical background; inclusive education; early identification and early intervention; provisions for students with intellectual disability and learning disability.

___________________________________________________________________________

PSYCxxxx – Children with special needs II
This course focuses on the basic characteristics, identification and intervention measures for students with emotional and behavioural related disabilities. Topics include different classification systems, general remediation strategies and specific training programmes in mainstream and special educational settings for students with emotional and behavioural problems.
Assessment: 100% coursework

TitleStaffE-mail
ProfessorProf. Connie Suk-han HOshhoc@hku.hk
Assistant ProfessorDr. Winnie Wai-lan CHANwlwinnie@hku.hk
Assistant ProfessorDr. Kathy Kar-man SHUMkkmshum@hku.hk
Assistant ProfessorDr. Terry Tin-yau WONGterrytyw@hku.hk
Assistant Professor of PracticeDr. Alice Yuen-ching KEUNGayckeung@hku.hk
Principal LecturerDr. Kathy WONGkawong@hku.hk
LecturerDr. May Ching-king CHANchanmay@hku.hk
LecturerDr. Matthew Ho-tat CHUmatchu@hku.hk
LecturerMs. Kitty Kit-yu YEUNGkykyeung@hku.hk

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

Programme Director of Doctor of Psychology in the field of Educational Psychology programme:
Prof. Connie Suk-han HO (shhoc@hku.hk)

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

HKU Psychology