Bachelor of Social Sciences

Programme Overview

Social policy and social development strategies are key vehicles to actualize the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. This major/minor programme adopts an interdisciplinary and multidimensional approach introducing students to fundamental theories and current debates in global and local social policies and development strategies. SPSD investigates the global dimensions of social policy and development issues including the role of states, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), social enterprises, communities and citizens in both alleviating and exacerbating social inequalities. The programme also uniquely examines Asian perspectives on development and responses to increasingly complex societal challenges, and the conditions under which development strategies can be sustainable. The SPSD programme aims to train a new generation of passionate and innovative students in the knowledge and skills they need to address real world social development challenges and to improve the human condition.


Programme Objectives

By completing this programme, students will be equipped with:


Programme Structure

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

  • 6
  • 12

  • 6
  • -
b) Advanced courses
  • compulsory courses
  • disciplinary electives
  • capstone experience
  • Social Innovation and Global Citizenship#

  • 12
  • 36
  • 6
  • 24

  • 6
  • 24
  • -
  • -

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

#Candidates who opt to declare double majors in Geography, Politics and Public Administration, Psychology, Sociology and Social Work and Social Administration are allowed to undertake 24 credits of free electives, to fulfil the Faculty off-campus learning courses for the second major.

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

Course Roadmap

This course road map is a recommended plan of study for SPSD major and minor programmes. It is a guide to help students make informed decisions regarding their course selection, skills development as well as career path.

Programme Highlights


The programme adopts an interdisciplinary and multidimensional approach, and introduces students to fundamental theories, models and debates related to various social policy domains and development strategies adopted in Hong Kong, the Asia region and in the global context, thus also carrying an international focus. It also focuses on the intersectionality of the social and the development aspects of policy and planning practice. Courses draw on established strengths in the SWSA Department in such areas as social policy, population and migration studies, community development, social enterprise, and non-profit management.


With the incorporation of experiential learning (e.g. agency visits, study trips), students gain a wide latitude of perspectives on different issues, challenges and policy strategies related to social development at local, regional and international levels.


SOWK4011 Capstone Project in Social Policy and Social Development

The capstone project is a compulsory course that major students take in their final year of study. It provides a platform for students to integrate what they have learnt in the curriculum, engage in independent study on a specific issue related to social development, and develop innovative strategies for tackling such an issue. Students can demonstrate their experiential learning and teamwork through the creative output of a group project and presentation to instructors and peers. Our students are encouraged to conduct their projects across a range of topics including:

  • Community Development
  • Education
  • Housing
  • Medical and healthcare
  • Social enterprise
  • Social welfare services
  • Any other innovative projects


Career Prospects

This programme equips students with relevant and cutting-edge knowledge and skills in working across sectors: governments, communities, civil society, and the private sector, taking up such possible positions as government officials, policy researchers, analysts and advocates, NGO programme managers, social entrepreneurs, community organizers, journalists and more. A large selection of elective courses is provided for students to pursue their interested specialization in ‘Social Policy and Social Development’, ‘Social Entrepreneurship & Social Innovation’ and ‘Social Data and Research’. This flexibility allows students to design their own curriculum to suit their individual academic and career aspirations.


Specialization Career Prospects
Social Policy and Social Development

Students interested in the analysis, interpretation and communication of important social policy and social development topics such as poverty and inequality, housing and job security will gain valuable knowledge about interrelationships between government, private sector, civil society and the public and gain skills in working among the systems to promote social change.

  • Government Officer
  • Policy Researcher
  • Policy Analyst
  • Development Officer
  • Policy Advocate
  • Legislative Assistant
  • Assistant to Political Leaders
  • Project Manager
  • Community Organizer

Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation
This specialization targets students who are interested in pursuing careers in social enterprise or management of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Courses cover theories and concepts around change, leadership, creativity and sustainable intervention for bringing about desirable social change. Through multi-disciplinary, multi-sector civic engagement and innovation, students develop critical appreciation of needs and social problems in economic, political, and societal contexts.

  • Social Entrepreneur
  • Project Manager
  • Grantmaking Analyst
  • Innovation Researcher
  • Social Media Manager
  • Communications Officer
  • Business Development Manager
  • Marketing Manager

Social Data and Research
The knowledge and capacity to utilize research evidence to inform social actions are extraordinarily crucial today. Our series of courses on social data and research trains students to be competent consumers and producers of research evidence that informs social change.

  • Monitoring and Evaluation Officer
  • Social Data Analyst
  • Policy Analyst
  • Market Research Analyst

Online Forum “When Social Development Meets COVID-19: Problems and Solutions” - April 2, 2020 (Thu)

Topics and Speakers:

  • Dr. Elsie CHIEN - Social entrepreneurship and COVID-19
  • Dr. LUO Hao - Development of a real-time health information system for identifying at-risk individuals and communities in response to public health crisis
  • Dr. Cheryl CHUI - When Engineering Meets Social Development during Covid-19: A Social Innovation Approach toward Promoting Public Health
  • Dr. CHAN Yu - Gender responsive strategies and COVID19: revisit needs and policy making and NGOs' services
  • Dr. LU Shuang - The battle against COVID-19: How can civil society respond?
  • Dr. Lucy JORDAN - Health behaviours and migrants in China during COVID-19
  • Dr. Julia WANG - How COVID-19 affects low income households, and how can social policy help?
  • Dr. Yu-chih CHEN - From H1N1 to Covid-19: experiences and actions in long-term care settings


BSocSc Programme Coordinator
Name: Dr. Julia WANG
Tel: (852) 3917 1171
Programme Secretary
Name: Ms. Ariel POON
Tel: (852) 3917 2099