Bachelor of Social Sciences

Programme Overview

We aim to train students who major/minor in counselling to be (1) effective in communication skills; (2) able to strike a balance between knowledge, skills and personal awareness, enabling them to work in a wide variety of people-orientated careers; (3) ethically mindful in their primary role with counselling knowledge and skills to facilitate problem solving with others. Across the majority of work settings in a busy and cosmopolitan city like Hong Kong, the significance of effective counselling skills has been growing; its application is much appreciated as an impactful tool for communication and problem solving among all walks of life.

This programme is designed to offer students from diverse disciplines a more practical approach to counselling, to equip with not just basic knowledge but practical skills. It enables them to help people facing emotional distress in contexts not only confined to a mental health setting, but also in schools, hospitals, and business organizations. Although this is not a professional degree, it certainly will provide a good foundation for further professional training in counselling or counselling related career.


Programme Objectives

By completing this programme, students will be equipped with:


Programme Structure

For students admitted in academic year 2015-16 and thereafter

No. of credits
Components Major Minor
a) Introductory courses
  • disciplinary
  • pre-requisites*

  • 6
  • 12

  • 6
  • -
b) Advanced courses
  • compulsory courses
  • disciplinary electives
  • capstone experience

  • 18
  • 30
  • 6

  • 18
  • 12
  • -

*Candidates who opt to declare two major programmes offered by the Faculty of Social Sciences should avoid selecting overlapping pre-requisites.

BSocSc Regulations and Syllabuses can be found at Faculty of Social Sciences homepage.


Course Roadmap (for 2015-16 intake and thereafter)

This course road map is a recommended plan of study for Counselling major/minor programme. It is a guide to help students make intelligent decisions regarding their course selection, skills development as well as career path.

Programme Highlights


SOWK1012 Communication and Counselling Skills in Everyday Life

This course was badged as ‘communication intensive’ in the University. At the end of the course, students will have developed the following qualities of an effective communicator and a potential counselor: showing empathy, being intrinsically motivated, being an effective listener, genuineness, understanding and attending to the needs of clients, being selfaware and reflective, demonstrating analytical abilities in report writing, being sensitive to ethical, multicultural and confidentiality issues in counselling and documentation, and possessing integrity and professionalism. The completion of ‘C-I’ courses will be visible on the student’s Academic Attainment Profile (AAP).


SOWK4010 Experiential Learning through the Client’s Lens

This course aims to provide a first-person experience of being the client in a counselling session in order to promote a deep understanding of the counselling process in an interactive and genuine way, for students to become a better practitioner. Students will be the clients/participants in both individual session and group session with other classmates. A counsellor will be conducting the sessions; a teacher will facilitate the application and integration of counselling concepts and theories in class discussion.


SOWK4009 Capstone Project in Counselling

The capstone project is a compulsory course that major students take in their final year of study. It provides a platform for students to review their work over the courses of counselling major, reflect and analyse their work in relation to key communication and counselling concepts, and articulate their learning experiences through a group or paper, or other creative output and a presentation to instructor and peers. In the project, students are also given the chance to engage the community and to disseminate their experiential learning in diverse contexts. Our students have conducted their projects across a range of topics including:

  • LGBT Christians: Sexual Orientation and Religious Integration
  • Uncover the Myths about Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Caregiving to People with Mental Illness
  • Improving Daily Communication with Family

Career Prospects

The Counselling programme is intended for students who want to apply effective counselling and communication skills for problem solving among all walks of like. A large selection of elective courses introduce theoretical and practical skills and competencies to enable graduates to engage effectively in the work of counselling in a range of professional fields. The flexibility allows students to gain a strong understanding of their selves, the community, society and ethical practice.

A wide range of jobs for you to choose from because you will be equipped with transferable skills which are valued by employers such as great observation and listening skills; effective communication skill; efficient problem solving skills; an empathic attitude; and, most importantly, a high sensitivity and non-judgmental outlook that have an influence on people and make people from all walks of life more willing to work with you.


Student Voice

Dots could be connected only when you look backward.” Career-wise, soft skills learnt from the courses under the counselling programme are the most-practiced skill sets in my everyday work. Most careers require strong inter-personal skills. We are bound to becoming a team player and hence a problem solver. On top of that, the counselling programme helped me rebuild myself by consolidating my past experiences. You probably will not realize how the self-growth could aid your development until you look backward one day. The counselling programme is definitely an important anchor “dot” when I look backward and has connected me to a lot more opportunities.

Ronald LING

(BSocSc Graduate 2012, Administrative Officer of the HKSAR Government)

Earning a Counselling minor let me learn about the possible use of alternative therapies that benefit clients. Of course evidence is the most important; yet we must stay open-minded towards budding types of potentially beneficial interventions with emerging evidence, so as to offer clients with more options and to serve their diverse needs. Human touch comes from connecting with others, regardless of what discipline you are in.


(BSocSc Graduate 2012, currently studying in Master of Social Science in Clinical Psychology)

It was through the Counselling programme that I realized social work values are perfectly in line with my own ones, and how meaningful it is to foster positive changes within an individual via various counselling approaches. Having learnt several counseling courses greatly facilitated my study in Master in Social Work, and I am glad to be able to apply the knowledge and skills I learnt in particular courses, such as Adventure-Base Counselling and the Use of Creative Arts, in my current job at a children and youth centre. A Self-Reflective Journey was one of the most unforgettable HKU courses I attended. It was a course that helped me to understand more about myself, slowly heal my inner wounds, and offered me a chance to re-connect with my mother. The Counselling programme at HKU brought about significant changes to my life.

Charlene CHAN

(BSocSc Graduate 2012, MSW Graduate 2014, Social Worker in NGO)



BSocSc Counselling Programme Coordinator
Name: Dr. Paul WONG
Tel: (852) 3917 5029
Programme Secretary
Name: Ms. Ariel POON
Tel: (852) 3917 2099