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Chow Yei Ching School of Graduate Studies

Programme Information - Taught Postgraduate Programmes (TPg)

Applications for Taught Postgraduate Programmes in 2017 entry are now closed. Applications for 2018 entry will start in mid-November 2017 tentatively and updated programme information will be available by that time. The programme information for 2017 entry listed below is for reference only.

MSocSc Applied Psychology


Year of Entry 2017
Mode of Funding Non-government-funded
Programme Code P21
Intermediate Award Postgraduate Certificate in Psychology
Mode of Programme Combined
Class Schedule Weekday evenings
Indicative Intake Target 70 (MSSAPSY)
Minimum No. of Credits Required Master's Degree: 38; Postgraduate Certificate: 27
Normal Duration of Programme Full-time: 1 year; Part-time: 2 years
Maximum Study Period Full-time: 2.5 years; Part-time/Combined mode: 5 years
Programme Leader
Dr YE Shengquan, Sam
BSc (ECNU), MPhil (ECNU), PhD (HKU)
+852 3442 8114
General Enquiries
† Combined mode: Local students taking programmes in combined mode can attend full-time (12-18 credit units per semester) or part-time (no more than 11 credit units per semester) study in different semesters without seeking approval from the University. For non-local students, they will be admitted to these programmes for either full-time or part-time studies. Non-local students must maintain the required credit load for their full-time or part-time studies and any changes will require approval from the University.

Programme Aims and Objectives

The Master of Social Sciences in Applied Psychology (MSSAPSY) aims at providing students with the required knowledge, skills, exposure, and insights to (1) analyze human behaviors from a psychological perspective, (2) develop research expertise in a specific area in psychology, and (3) pursue advanced professional training and a career in psychology. The program is an advanced and intensive conversion degree scheme that combines the award of a Master’s degree with eligibility for graduate membership with the Hong Kong Psychological Society and the British Psychological Society.

Upon successful completion of this Program, students should be able to:

  • critically evaluate major principles/theories in core areas of psychology
  • apply major psychological theories/principles to analyze the close connection between psychology and everyday experiences
  • evaluate research evidence documented in scientific publications and the media
  • design and carry out psychological research independently
  • take part in the debate on some of the most concerned issues in contemporary psychology

Entrance Requirements

To be eligible for admission, you must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements and:

  • have a recognized bachelor's degree from one of the universities in Hong Kong or from any overseas institution recognized for this purpose by the University, or
  • an equivalent qualification, or
  • have evidence of academic and professional attainments acceptable for this purpose by the University,
  • provide documentary evidence that they have completed a course of introductory psychology at a recognized university.

An introductory course in psychology is considered to be a course which is taught at the undergraduate level and (1) provides an overview of major topics in psychology such as biopsychology, perception, cognition, learning, motivation, emotion, intelligence, personality and social psychology, and (2) lasts at least for one semester.

Applicants who have not taken a similar course before will be required to obtain a satisfactory grade from a make-up course before they can be considered for admission. For more details about the make-up course (SS1101 Basic Psychology), please read the Enrollment information.  Applicants who plan to apply for admission to a particular academic year must enroll in the make-up course in the second semester of the preceding academic year or earlier.  Application for enrolment in the make-up course usually starts at the end of the first semester of the preceding academic year.

Applicants whose entrance qualification is obtained from an institution where the medium of instruction is not English should also fulfill the following minimum English proficiency requirement:

  • TOEFL score 550 (paper-based test) or 213 (computer-based test) or 79 (internet-based test); or
  • Overall band 6.5 in International English Language Testing System (IELTS); or
  • Score 450 in the new College English Test (CET-6) of Chinese mainland or a pass in the old CET-6 test; or
  • Other equivalent qualifications.

Course Description

The program falls into three main components --- theoretical basis of psychology (7 courses), research (3 courses), and specialist topics (1 course). These courses provide the necessary theoretical and practical knowledge and skills to enable students to read critically in the research literature and to carry out basic and applied research in psychology. They cover design of psychological research, methods of analysis, as well as an advanced topic in research. The course 'Psychology Research Paper' provides a culminating focus on theory and research in psychology at an intermediate level of scholarship.

  • The theoretical component covers the core knowledge of psychology. It forms the foundation of the academic discipline of psychology and helps students understand the major principles, models and research that explain behavior generally.
  • The research component comprises two year-long courses and one course in applied research methods. The latter is comprised of three electives, psychological testing, advanced research methods, and vocational counselling and assessment, of which students are allowed to choose one.
    • The three research courses are:
      • Psychology Research Paper (year-long)
      • Research Design and Analysis in Psychology (year-long)
      • Applied Research Methods
  • The specialist topics component comprises 3 electives, of which students are required to choose one. They include advanced health psychology, educational psychology, and psychopathology. These courses are designed to give students the required exposure and knowledge to appreciate how psychology is applied in specific settings.

*The offer of an elective is determined by a number of factors such as enrolment and manpower.  The department has the ultimate authority to decide whether an elective course is offered or not in any academic year.

Programme Structure and Courses

Students are required to earn 38 credits to obtain the award of MSSAP. The study plan of the MSSAP is provided in the following.

Programme Core (32 units)

Course   Level Credit Units Remark
SS5750 Perception and Cognition c P5 3  
SS5751 Learning and Behaviour c P5 3  
SS5752 Life Span Development c P5 3  
SS5753 Advanced Social Psychology c P5 3  
SS5755 Applying Psychology to Contemporary Issues c P5 3  
SS5756 Biological Basis of Behaviour c P5 3  
SS5757 Personality Theories and Assessment c P5 3  
SS5780 Research Design and Analysis in Psychology c P5 6  
SS5790 Psychology Research Paper P5 5  

Programme Electives (6 units)

Specialist Topics: (1 out of 4 courses)

Course   Level Credit Units Remark
SS5758 Educational Psychology P5 3  
SS5791 Advanced Health Psychology P5 3  
SS5792 Counselling Psychology P5 3  
SS5803 Psychopathology P5 3  

Applied Research Methods: (1 out of 3 courses)

Course   Level Credit Units Remark
SS5794 Psychological Testing P5 3  
SS5797 Advanced Research Methods in Psychology P5 3  
SS5814 Vocational Counselling and Assessment  P5 3  

C, Courses for the intermediate award of Postgraduate Certificate in Psychology.
Proposed Course Offering List (pdf format)

Professional Accreditation

Graduates will be qualified to apply for graduate membership of the Hong Kong Psychological Society and the British Psychological Society.