Master of Social Sciences
(Social Service Management)

Director's Message

While the implementation of the Lump Sum Grant (LSG) subvention system in social welfare has aroused considerable controversies within the social welfare sector, the system has created substantial challenges to the management of social service organizations in Hong Kong. Many staff grievances towards the LSG system reflect the various management practices, or questionable management practices, occurring in a number of NGOs. As the LSG gives more flexibility to NGOs receiving subvention from the Social Welfare Department to manage their financial and human resources, managers of social service agencies are required to take on more responsibilities in financial and human resource management. Knowledge and skills in these areas are the key competence of social service managers today.

Changes in our society, social service system and social policy is occurring at a faster. pace contemporaneously, the policy formulation and budgeting process of the HKSAR government has a significant impact on the development of social welfare in Hong Kong. Knowledge social policies and the strategic management enables managers to better position their organizations to meet the various challenges arising from these rapid changes in our society and welfare system, as well as being able to participate effectively in the development of social services in Hong Kong.

While competitive bidding in social service allocation under the subvention of government departments is also a controversial topic, managers of NGOs have to face the fact that there is growing competitiveness in providing quality services and in obtaining resources to accomplish the mission of an NGO. The development of new financial resources, the building of community relationships with various strategic partners, and the establishment of enterprising activities, such as social enterprises, have hence become important functions of managers of NGOs.

This programme prepares social service managers to meet the challenges faced by NGOs today and in the future.

Dr. C.K. Law
Associate Professor


The social service sector demands the managerial staff to embody a host of management knowledge in various areas including human resources, finance, fund raising, marketing, organizational management, strategic management, social policy and administration, research and evaluation, information technology in service delivery, etc. This programme prepares the social service managers to meet the challenges faced by human service organizations today and in the future.

Salient features

The social service sector demands managerial staff to take responsibility for particular tasks. These include launching fund raising campaign, promoting community relations and the application of information and communication technology etc. The programme’s curriculum has been enriched for meeting these professional demands since 2005. Apart from the following popular elective courses, students are offered plenty of choices in selecting elective courses in various disciplines.

  1. Fund raising and proposal development Securing funds for social services have become more and more competitive. Reducing reliance on any single source of income, NGOs have attempted to diversify sources of funding. Raising funds and writing proposals have been regular activities of NGOs. This course covers topics such as the concepts of philanthropy, the understanding of giving behaviour (including annual giving and capital giving), cost-effectiveness of various fund raising activities, use of volunteers, building prospect relationships, stewardship (accountability and reporting), ethical issues of fund raising, making a business case for new initiatives, obtaining grant, and project support, etc.

  2. Marketing social welfare programmes and promoting community relations As social welfare organizations increasingly adopt the business model of practice, they have to significantly promote their relationship and communication with their “customers” or service users through marketing their “products” and to improve community relations. This course provides students with some basic techniques in marketing and community relations with special emphasis on the social service sector.

  3. Information and communication technology for human service organizations Information and communication technology is becoming an indispensable machinery in any organization. This course examines the utilization of information technology and computers in social service agencies. Major areas of study include (1) a review of the trends in the use of computerized information in human service agencies; (2) an exploration of software frequently used in the human services; and (3) the ethics of using information technology and computers in the human services.

  4. Economics for social welfare This course aims at helping students examine the use of concepts and theories from the economics discipline in analyzing social policies. As working knowledge of economic concepts and theories is essential for most professional roles in social administration, this course seeks both to convey the framework and concepts with which economists approach issues and to increase the likelihood that students will incorporate these in their own thinking about policy. Topics discussed will include the relationship between economic growth and social development, the role of the public sector in human services, the financing of social services, and the economic effects of social spending. Current topics such as the economics of aging will also be examined.

Learning Outcomes

After the completion of this programme, students should be able to:

  • Critical intellectual enquiry and acquiring up-to-date knowledge and research skills in management of social service organizations
  • Application of social service management knowledge and research skills to practice or theoretical exploration, demonstrating originality and creativity
  • Tackling novel situations and ill-defined problems in management of social service organizations
  • Collaboration and communication of social service management knowledge to specialists in social services and the general public
  • Awareness of and adherence to personal and social service professional ethics
  • Enhancement of leadership and advocacy skills in social services and social policy