Master of Social Sciences (Counselling)

Director's Message

Thank you for browsing our Master of Social Sciences (Counselling) website and for spending your precious time getting to know us better. It is such a pleasure to share our vision with you. Our teaching team is passionately dedicated to bringing counselling to the wider community so that we can have a caring, compassionate, equitable, harmonic, and inclusive global city.
For me personally, I count having the knowledge, skills, and opportunity to work with vulnerable people as one of the greatest blessings of my life. Having the privilege of listening to people's innermost voices and learning from troubled minds has been the most treasured experience of my existence. In addition, being able to bring happiness and solace to the wider community in Hong Kong and elsewhere is an astonishing journey for us as allied health professionals.

Our teachers are all believers in building a “Community of Inquiry” in the learning of counselling (ref). With the tremendous efforts of the previous programme directors, lecturers, supervisors, graduates, and administrative colleagues, we have developed a community of inquiry in counselling and community care. Our community creates a learning ecology that allows us to match and tackle the needs of people living in this complex society.

Since 2002, our student population has ranged from social workers and teachers to administrative and medical personnel such as executive officers, human resource managers, doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, and occupational and speech therapists. Apart from the diversity in our students' backgrounds, our teachers are also multidisciplinary, consisting of clinical psychologists, educational psychologists, family therapists, clinical social workers, play therapists, and hypnotherapists, all of whom are practitioners in the field of counselling.

If you are prepared to take up these challenges wholeheartedly and passionately, and are committed to join with us on the journey to start becoming a more self-compassionate person gradually gaining more compassion for your families, friends, and social networks, we welcome you to enlist in our community of inquiry in counselling. We need you when you are ready!

Assoc. Prof. Paul W.C. WONG D.Psyc.(Clinical), Reg.Clin.Psyc (Australia)., RCP(HKPS), Ccoun&ACounS(HKPCA), FHKPsS, FHKPCS, MAPS


To equip students for acting as the first line of help, both at work and in their personal lives, for people in need of support before they develop more severe mental health problems.

To add to the resources of practitioners in human services who find themselves in need of further training in the counselling process.

Learning Outcomes

After successful completion of this programme, students should be able to

  1. Value and attitude

    • respect the dignity and civil rights of individuals with whom they interact in their professional practice
    • demonstrate their interest, enthusiasm and ongoing commitment to practice, research and continued education in counselling and related fields

  2. Ethics

    • consider and adhere to the code of ethics for counsellors regarding delivery of direct counselling services and research practice
    • recognize the limit of their own practices and provide only those counselling services for which they are competent by training and/or experience
    • raise the level of self-awareness and personal development, and gradually develop a personal style of counselling within the boundaries of professional and ethical practice

  3. Professional knowledge

    • demonstrate a clear understanding of important concepts, theories and principles that constitute the discipline of counselling
    • integrate counselling theories and models into practice and develop counselling skills
    • use a range of research and learning strategies to acquire and apply new knowledge and skills to improve practice
    • use the professionally derived knowledge and the most effective interventions for those with whom they are working

  4. Professional practice

    • select appropriate assessment procedures and justify their application and interpretation
    • explain and begin to apply the up-to-date interventions learnt from specialist practitioners in areas of studies of their own choice
    • critically evaluate the consequences of interventions and if necessary, develop alternative courses of action in consultation with the client, professional colleague or supervisor

Students' Profiles - Who will benefit from the programme

The Master of Social Sciences in Counselling is a self-funded two / three year part-time postgraduate programme for professionals in the human services, such as social workers, teachers, managers, human resources personnel, medical personnel like doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and other related professionals who are interested in counselling.


Over the years, some of our graduates from the present programme have become members of the Hong Kong Professional Counselling Association.

The MSocSc (Counselling) completed at HKU has been evaluated and recognised by the World Education Services as equivalent to a Master's degree in the United States.

Depending on individual circumstance (e.g., major in psychology, clinical experience), graduates are able to obtain professional registration or membership in several overseas countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia.