Master of Social Sciences in the field of Educational Psychology
Educational Psychology is a scientific discipline within psychology. It applies psychological theories and research findings about human behaviour, affect, cognition, development and personality to educational settings. Educational psychologists generate scientific knowledge and theory relevant to education and psychology. They are also practitioners whose services range from remediation to prevention, case work to systems work, and direct services to indirect services. They help teachers design curricula , improve teaching methods, and motivate students to learn. They also help students and their parents cope with various changes and difficulties in the course of learning and development. Most importantly, they work for the betterment of the learning environments in which students grow up. 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 a scientist-practitioner model with the aim of preparing educational psychologists who are strong in both research and practice.
The Master of Social Sciences in the field of Educational Psychology is the first postgraduate programme in Hong Kong that is designed to train professional educational psychologists in serving local communities. It is also the first programme in Asia accredited by the International School Psychology Association (ISPA). The programme admits a cohort of students every other year. Since its inception in 1981, the programme has had over 200 graduates.
The period of study extends over two years full‑time, commencing in September and including the intervening vacations. Throughout the programme, in both its theoretical and practical aspects, special attention is paid to the needs and issues concerning educational psychology in the local setting.
The full-time curriculum consists of a total of 156 credits. The quantitative value of a credit is equivalent to 20 hours of student learning activities (including both contact hours and all other forms of student learning activities) for taught course or 27 hours of work for practicum, under supervision of an experienced psychologist. Candidates are required to complete 19 compulsory courses, including 15 taught courses each given 6 credits (a total of 90 credits), 3 practicum courses each given 18 credits (a total of 54 credits for PSYC6012 Practicum I, PSYC6013 Practicum II and PSYC6014 Practicum III) and a 2-year dissertation research course given 12 credits (PSYC6007 Dissertation research). Ten of the taught courses are normally taken in the first year and the remaining five in the second year. Duration of each taught course is normally one semester and consists of three hours of weekly lectures, discussions, seminars or workshops. The courses are as follows:
First year courses (full-time)
PSYC6002 – Research methods & statistics I
PSYC6003 – Research methods & statistics II
PSYC7010 – Psychoeducational assessment I
PSYC7011 – Psychoeducational assessment II
PSYC7026 – Children with special needs I
PSYC7027 – Children with special needs II
PSYC7014 – Psychoeducational intervention I
PSYC7015 – Psychoeducational intervention II
PSYC7016 – Skills training seminar I
PSYC7017 – Skills training seminar II
Capstone Experience Course
PSYC7028 – Dissertation research
Second year courses (full-time)
PSYC6004 – Curriculum and instruction
PSYC6019 – Professional ethics and issues in educational psychology
PSYC8010 – Skills training seminar III
PSYC8007 – Applied developmental psychology
PSYC8008 – Motivation and learning
PSYC6012 – Practicum I
PSYC6013 – Practicum II
PSYC6014 – Practicum III
Capstone Experience Course
PSYC7028 – Dissertation research
For the course description of Educational Psychology programmes, please click here.
To be eligible for admission to the Master of Social Sciences in the field of Educational Psychology Programme, a candidate shall satisfy both the University admission requirements and the programme specific requirements as listed below:
- shall comply with the General Regulations;
- shall hold a Bachelor’s degree with a major in Psychology of this University or a qualification of equivalent standard from this University or another comparable institution accepted for this purpose;
- for a candidate who is seeking admission on the basis of a qualification from a university or comparable institution outside Hong Kong of which the language of teaching and/or examination is not English, shall satisfy the following English language requirement applicable to higher degrees as prescribed under the General Regulation G2(b);
- shall be eligible for the Graduate Membership of the Hong Kong Psychological Society;
- shall preferably have relevant working experience in educational or related settings; and
- shall pass a qualifying examination if required.
Application for exemption from the above requirements shall be considered on a case by case basis.
The curriculum of the Master of Social Sciences in the field of Educational Psychology Programme extends over two academic years of full-time study with a minimum of 180 days of practical training.
The Master of Social Sciences in the field of Educational Psychology Programme is offered on a government-funded basis. Tuition fee for the academic year 2016/17 is:
Local students: HK$42,100 per annum
Non-local students: HK$146,000 per annum
For the details of composition fees for the taught postgraduate programmes, please visit http://www.aal.hku.hk/tpg/programme-fee-and-payment
Financial assistance is available for full-time postgraduate students. Enquiries should be made to the Student Financial Assistance Agency, 11/F & 12/F, Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices, 303 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Kowloon (http://www.sfaa.gov.hk /).
The Master of Social Sciences in the field of Educational Psychology Programme is offered in alternate years. The next class will commence in September of 2018.
Applications can be made online at http://www.als.hku.hk/admission/tpg from DEC 2017 / JAN 2018 (only on-line applications are accepted). Programme information, regulations and syllabuses can also be obtained from this website. For application procedure and technical difficulties in completing the on-line application form, please contact the Academic Services Office at email@example.com
The closing date of application to be announced.
A personal statement of intent should be sent to the Admissions Advisor, Educational Psychology Programme, Department of Psychology, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong. The statement is about 1000 words, covering the following areas:
- a description of your personal and family background considered relevant to your application;
- a description of what you think constitutes the nature of educational psychology and the work of educational psychologists in Hong Kong;
- a discussion of the reasons why you wish to take up educational psychology as a career;
- a brief description of how you envisage your academic and personal life over the next two years, if you were admitted into the programme;
- a brief description of how you intend to finance your studies, including an estimation of the total cost.
Each applicant is also required to request two academic referees to write a report and forward the report direct in a sealed envelope to the Admissions Advisor, Educational Psychology Programme, Department of Psychology, The University of Hong Kong. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the referees’ reports reach the University not later than one week after the closing date of application. (Download referee’s report PDF /Doc).
Admission interviews will be conducted during March and April 2018. The required Supporting Documents shall be posted, as appropriate, directly to the Department of Psychology, Room 627, 6/F, The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong before the application deadline. Your application number should be marked on each document. Transcripts, diplomas, certificates and other submitted documents which are not in English should be accompanied by a certified translation in English. Certified translation may be provided by your home institution.
For further information about programme admissions, please read through the materials in the below hyperlinks which are also available for viewing at the homepage of Taught Postgraduate Admissions of the University of Hong Kong.
Educational psychologists (EPs) were first introduced to Hong Kong by the Special Education Section of the Education Department in the late 1960’s. Since then the scope of work of EPs has gradually permeated to the broader education system. Now most EPs are employed by the Education Bureau of the Hong Kong government and voluntary agencies running special and mainstream schools. The main activities of EPs include:
- to handle the more difficult cases with learning and/or behavioural-emotional problems that require intellectual/personality assessment and treatment;
- to advise teachers on the planning and implementation of educational/remedial programmes for pupils with learning difficulties;
- to advise teachers on the general strategies of management for pupils with behavioural-emotional programmes;
- to advise school staff in the planning and implementation of preventive/developmental programmes;
- to plan, organise and conduct school-based staff development programmes for teachers
- to plan, organise and conduct parent training programmes;
- to conduct research and experimental projects related to educational psychology;
- to participate in case conferences and discussions with teachers and related professionals so as to co-ordinate efforts in assisting pupils.
For further information about the EP profession, please visit
Graduates from the Master of Social Sciences in the field of Educational Psychology Programme can also choose to pursue further study in higher degree programmes. The Department of Psychology offers two doctoral level degrees in educational psychology, i.e. the Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) in the field of Educational Psychology Programme and PhD with a specialization in Educational Psychology Programme. The PsyD Programme in Educational Psychology, established in 2008, is the only-of-its kind programme offered in Hong Kong. Its primary aim is to provide further and specialized training for experienced educational psychologists. The PhD with Specialization in Educational Psychology, started in 2007, 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.
Employment situations of our MSocSc (EP) graduates from 2012 to 2016:
Primary/Secondary Schools 41%
Tertiary Institutes 3%
Special Schools 10%
Education Bureau 19%
1. If I do not have a Bachelor’s degree with a major in Psychology, can I apply for the Master of Social Sciences in the field of Educational Psychology Programme?
No. This is a basic requirement. Applicants who do not have a Bachelor’s degree with a major in Psychology may consider taking a conversion course to fulfill such requirement. There are many conversion courses in Hong Kong for the people whose Bachelor’s degree is not in psychology. Here are some of these courses. The completion of any of these conversion courses is considered as an equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree with a major in psychology.
Master of Social Sciences in Psychology at the University of Hong Kong
Master of Social Sciences in in Psychology (Schools and Community Settings) at the Hong Kong Institute of Education
Master of Art in Psychology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong
Master of Social Sciences in Applied Psychology at the City University of Hong Kong
2. If I am not a member of the Hong Kong Psychological Society, can I apply for the Master of Social Sciences in the field of Educational Psychology Programme?
Applicants must be eligible for graduate membership of the Hong Kong Psychological Society (HKPS). Educational psychologists in Hong Kong are required to be members of the Division of Educational Psychology, HKPS if they want to be employed in public sector or to be registered users of important assessment tools. Therefore, it is important for applicants to ensure prior to application that they have HKPS graduate membership.
3. I am a final year psychology undergraduate student and I will be graduating at the end of this semester. But I will not be able to submit the certificate of graduation and the membership certificate of the HKPS before the application deadline in February. Will my application be considered?
We will consider such an application. A conditional offer may be given to applicants pending their graduation from an undergraduate program in Psychology and their membership status at the HKPS. All relevant documents must be submitted before the commencement of the program in September. Otherwise, the conditional offer will be withdrawn.
4. As a substitution for the Hong Kong Psychological Society Membership Certificate, can I submit a print-out of my membership status from my HKPS account instead?
Yes. Any proof of eligibility for membership from the HKPS will suffice for application purpose.
5. Where can I obtain certified true copies of my transcripts and graduation certificates?
Applicants can have their documents duly declared as true copies before a notary public (e.g. a Commissioner for Oaths at District Offices of the Home Affairs Department.
Copies of documents maybe certified by the appropriate officials of your home institute if you are an overseas applicant.
6. Do I need to complete the Postgraduate Diploma in Education to apply for this programme?
No. This is not an entry requirement.
7. Besides submitting the application form online, do I need to submit any supporting documents, e.g. examination results, transcripts or certificates to support my application?
Yes. The required Supporting Documents shall be posted, as appropriate, directly to the Department of Psychology, Room 627, 6/F, The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong before the application deadline (please don’t upload the supporting documents online). Your application number should be marked on each document. Transcripts, diplomas, certificates and other submitted documents which are not in English should be accompanied by a certified translation in English. Certified translation may be provided by your home institution.
The University only accepts originals or certified true copies, photocopies and scanned copies are NOT accepted. All documents once submitted will NOT be returned. They will be destroyed if the application is unsuccessful.
Information Seminar for Potential Applicants
Master of Social Sciences in Educational Psychology
Date: January 13, 2018 (SAT)
Time: 2:30pm – 5:00pm
Venue: KB223, Knowles Building, The University of Hong Kong
(No registration required)
The seminar will be conducted in English and Cantonese.
The next class will commence their studies in September of 2018. The closing date of application is February 9, 2018.
Application procedure and admission-related enquiries:
Ms. Doris Fung (Tel: (852) 3917 5866; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Programme and profession-related enquiries:
Dr. Kathy Shum, Admissions Coordinator (Email: email@example.com )
Answers to frequently asked questions about admissions into postgraduate programmes at The University of Hong Kong can be found here as well as the FAQ webpage of the MSocSc programme at the Department of Psychology. Please read through the materials in the above-mentioned webpages THOROUGHLY FIRST. Oftentimes, information requested can readily be found in these webpages.