Master of Social Sciences
(Social Work – Family Work)

Director's Message

As a result of the rapid economic growth and modernization of China, Hong Kong has experienced dramatic social and demographic changes. The number of divorce decrees granted increased substantially from 2,062 in 1981 to 23,255 in 2012, which more than 10 times grow in about 30 years. The proportion of divorced individuals increased to 4.4% in 2011 from 2.7% in 2001. As a result, the number of children affected by divorce has risen significantly too. There is also an increasing trend of males from Hong Kong marrying females from Mainland China. The number increased from 15,776 in 1986 to 22,339 in 2009, which is 43.6% of the total number of marriages in 2009. There is data indicating that the phenomenon of females from Hong Kong marrying males from China may become a trend too, as the number has risen from 675 cases in 1986 to 4,194 cases in 2009. It is foreseeable that cross-border marriages, single-headed families, and step-families will come to represent a significant proportion of families in Hong Kong. As families are increasingly under great stress, more and more proactive family policies and services are required to meet the challenges ahead.

This programme is designed to equip professionals such as social workers, teachers, and psychologists with tools to offer effective interventions to individuals and families. In addition to theories and concepts of family, the graduates are expected to be familiar also with family related problems, policies and services in Hong Kong.

The characteristics of the programme include: (1) dual emphasis on working with families from both micro and macro perspectives; (2) small group learning to facilitate intensive coaching in micro practice and in-depth examination of macro policy; and (3) emphasis on creating a learning community among classmates so that they can become a close supporting network both during the study process and after graduation.

Dr. K.C. Yeung
Principle Lecturer


This programme aims at equipping professionals such as social workers, teachers, psychologists, pastors, and policy makers with tools to offer effective interventions to the families that they are working with.

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 family work
  • Application of knowledge in family work and research skills to practice or theoretical exploration, demonstrating originality and creativity
  • Tackling novel situations and ill-defined problems in family work
  • Collaboration and communication of management knowledge in family work to specialists in and the general public
  • Awareness of and adherence to personal and professional ethics in family work
  • Enhancement of leadership and advocacy skills in family policies

Who will benefit from the programme

The Master of Social Sciences in Mental Health is a self-funded two-year part-time postgraduate programme for professionals such as social workers, teachers, psychologists, pastors, and policy makers with tools to offer effective interventions to the families.