MSocSc in Applied Psychology

Mode of study Combined Mode

Programme code P21
Minimum no. of credits required Postgraduate Certificate in  Psychology – 27; 
Master of Social Sciences in Applied Psychology – 38
Normal duration of programme Full-time 1 year; Part-time: 2 years
Programme leader Dr. Julian Lai
B.Sc. (Toronto)
Ph.D. (Hong Kong)

General Inquiry; Tel:34428991
Indicative intake target 70
Mode of Funding Non-government funded
Tuition fee HK$2,840 (local) / HK$3,350 (non-local) per credit (subject to yearly review)


Programme Aims and Objectives

The Master of Social Sciences in Applied Psychology (MSSAP) 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 applied 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 Masters degree with eligibility for graduate membership with the Hong Kong Psychological Society and the British Psychological Society.

Upon successful completion of this Programme, students should be able to

  • critically evaluate major principles/theories in different areas of psychology
  • apply major psychological theories/principles to analyze human behaviors in real life situations
  • 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 modern psychology

Career Prospects and Further Studies

The program is a conversion degree that enables graduates to pursue further training in psychology at the master or doctorate level. As such, the award allows graduates to become qualified for (1) applying for the graduate membership of the Hong Kong Psychological Society and the British Psychological Society, and thus (2) enrolling in psychology programs for advanced or professional training. The Mater of Social Sciences in Applied Psychology was designed to replace the Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology (PGDP) program which had been the only conversion program offered by the department. Different from the PGDP, the MSSAP carries a total of 38 credits (6 credits more than the PGDP) and has an intermediate award of Postgraduate Certificate in Psychology (PGCP) with only 27 credits. However, this intermediate award does not lead to eligibility of graduate membership in the aforementioned professional societies.

Many of the graduates of the PGDP have already obtained a promotion in their organizations and become leaders in their professions; some of them have gone for further studies and have become either researchers (e.g., college professors) or registered psychologists in professional areas such as clinical, educational, occupational and counselling psychology.

Admission 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, and
  • provide documentary evidence that you have completed a course of introductory psychology at a recognized university.

An introductory course in psychology is normally considered to be a course which is taught at the undergraduate level and provides an overview of topics in psychology such as biopsychology perception, thinking and language, learning, motivation, emotion, intelligence, personality and social psychology.

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 please read (SS2023 Basic Psychology I), for registration please go to the page "Visiting Student" in the Website of Admission Office.

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 of 550 (paper-based test) or 213 (computer-based test) or 79 (internet-based test); or
  • Overall band score of 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

Frequently asked questions

Professional & Career Development

Steps to Chartered Membership for those trained outside the UK



The application period for 2016 entry will begin in mid-November 2015.
Online Application