Master of Applied Psychology (Diverse Learning Needs)

Sept 2017 Entry
Programme code: 54057

Duration & Credit Requirement

Stream Code

LNF (Full-time)
LNP (Part-time)

Mode of Study
Mixed Mode
Normal Duration

1 year (Full-time)
2 years (Part-time)

Credits Required for Graduation


Fund Type
Initial Registration Credits

3 for local students
6 for non-local students

Tuition Fee

For local students
HK$127,500 per programme
(Taught subject: HK$3,950 per credit; Foundational Competencies: HK$5,450 per credit)

For non-local students
HK$147,420 per programme
(Taught subject: HK$4,780 per credit; Foundational Competencies: HK$5,450 per credit)

Programme Leader(s)

Programme Leader

Dr Allen Dorcas
BSc, MPs, PhD

Specialism Leader

Mr Herrick Wong
BSc, MPhil, EdD Candidate

Programme Professional Consultant

Dr Lai Cheng Cheng-Gea, Alice
BA, MA, PhD, C.Psychol.


Offers will be made on a rolling basis starting from the beginning of March 2017. Qualified candidates will be notified of their result via the eAdmission system.

Aims & Characteristics

Programme Aims

The specialism in the Master of Applied Psychology programme targets in-service teachers, teaching support personnel, social workers, and related health-care professionals who work with individuals with diverse learning needs in their work settings. It aims to develop graduates with expertise in providing adaptive and effective support to individuals with diverse learning needs across community settings. The programme has the following specific objectives.

  1. To equip participants with the competencies to develop and implement evidence-based practices, as supported by psychological theories and principles, to address the multitude needs of individuals with diverse learning needs in educational, social services and clinical settings.
  2. To equip participants with the situated and multi-faceted knowledge of working with individuals with diverse learnings needs and their family members.
  3. To equip participants with the knowledge and skills to design and deliver context-specific assessments and interventions for individuals with diverse learning needs.
  4. To empower participants with the capacity to deliver multidisciplinary support services and strategically activate collective efforts from different stakeholders in the processes.
  5. To equip participants with the ability to conduct quality research and critically review practice to inform the design of new interventional innovations.



  1. This specialism adopts a multidisciplinary approach that embraces close collaboration amongst professionals from psychology, social work, rehabilitation sciences, optometry and other health-care disciplines.
  2. Its content is closely connected with the Education Bureau's (EDB's) existing framework of professional development on this area, providing participants with a ladder to acquire a recognisable award and qualification in this area of expertise.
  3. The specialism empowers its participants, mostly in-service educational practitioners, social workers and health-care professionals, to work complementarily with psychologists in providing comprehensive support to individuals with diverse learning needs.

Recognition & Prospects

In principle, the requirements for becoming a Registered Psychologist in Hong Kong are: (1) be a member of the Hong Kong Psychological Society (HKPS) for which a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology is a prerequisite, (2) possess a Master’s degree in Psychology, and (3) have a minimum of one year of post-Master’s relevant work experience. It should be noted that this programme only helps in meeting the second requirement.


On successful completion of the programme, students with an undergraduate major in Psychology may consider applying for registration upon gaining one-year of post-Master’s work in Psychology. The final decision on registration is maintained by the Hong Kong Psychological Society (HKPS). All psychologists on the register must observe the Code of Professional Conduct maintained by the HKPS.


MAP Common Core Subjects (9 credits)

  • Foundational Competencies
  • Advanced Research Methods: Mixed Methods in Research


DLN Specialism Core Subjects (15 credits)

  • Nurturing the Gifted & Talented: Instructional Models & Professional Practices
  • Psychology of Exceptional Children
  • Advanced Practices in Learning Disorders & Language Minority
  • Attentional Control & Social Adaptation
  • Assessment & Instructional Strategies for Children & Youth with Specific Learning Disabilities


Elective Subjects (Any 2 subjects, 6 credits)

  • Cognitive Behavioural Intervention
  • Career Counselling: Theories & Practice
  • Psychometric Theory & Scale Construction
  • Psycho-socio-educational Program Development & Evaluation
  • Parenting & Parent Development
  • Cognitive Neuroscience Method in Applied Settings
  • Workplace Counselling

Entrance Requirements

  • Prospective students are expected to have a recognised Bachelor's degree in Psychology or related disciplines, and with substantial prior knowledge and work experience in educational settings.


If you are not a native speaker of English, and your Bachelor's degree or equivalent qualification is awarded by institutions where the medium of instruction is not English, you are expected to fulfil the University’s minimum English language requirement for admission purpose. Please refer to the "Admission Requirements" section for details.

Other Information

Interviews may be required.


For enquiries about this programme, please contact:
Miss Helen Chow (tel: (852) 2766 4314);
or Ms Florence Liu (email:

Student Message

Last year was a meaningful and fruitful year as all the hard work and effort finally paid off. During the learning journey, the teachers, practicum experiences and group discussions and interactions with classmates have inspired me greatly. The course has enriched my knowledge, covering a wide range of topics on learning disorders and other special learning needs. By integrating theories, knowledge and skills, I developed my competencies and can apply my knowledge to practical situations. I have gained a lot of insights that have influenced my attitudes, values and thinking. This course led and guided me to think about the directions for nurturing children with special educational needs and addressing other educational issues. Such valuable and constructive learning experiences have definitely enhanced my personal and career development.

Li Nga Tak

I worked as a behavioural therapist for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder before taking this course. Although I specialised in this area, one of many special education needs, I was constrained. I joined this programme aiming to broaden my knowledge and understanding of the field of SEN and the current situation in Hong Kong, and my expectations were met. This course allowed me to touch on areas I was less familiar with, such as SpLD, ADHD, giftedness and language minority. I was also able to revisit my research skills through the coursework and expose myself to different sectors via the practicum. I not only gained text-book knowledge, but also invaluable work experience with schools, teachers and students. Moreover, the discussions with professors and lecturers were precious and inspiring. I am certain that the programme has better equipped me to become a registered psychologist and I believe that graduates of the programme – professionals in diverse learning needs – will be great assets in the fields of education and psychology.

Cheng Vergo Kwong Yin

What I liked about the Master of Applied Psychology (Diverse Learning Needs) programme at PolyU was that it encouraged us to interact with students with learning difficulties in practicums. I gained a better understanding of my client’s specific needs, and was equipped with important skills and knowledge related to working with individuals with special educational needs.

After my one year of full-time study, I deeply appreciated the efforts of the teaching and support staff in the programme. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to them all for helping me to complete the journey.

Chan On Han

I very much enjoyed my learning experience in the programme, which enriched my knowledge and understanding of students with special educational needs. By learning the theories, principles and evidence-based practices, I gained a better understanding of effective interventions. The programme also allowed me to gain practical experience in working with students throughout the process of conducting assessments, planning and evaluating interventions. Moreover, I enjoyed the learning opportunities with the professors and lecturers. Discussions and sharing with them were inspiring and encouraged me to think about the attitude needed in working with students with special educational needs. Studying in the programme was a valuable learning experience for me that allowed me to better equip myself to work as a practitioner, and developed my competencies in providing comprehensive support for students.

Poon Ka Ying

The year I studied in the DLN programme was highly memorable. The programme covered various topics including the general characteristics of children with diverse learning needs, cognitive-behavioral Intervention and innovative strategies to help children learn. It widened my appreciation of psychology and enhanced my skills in helping children with diverse learning needs. The programme allowed me to explore different areas in psychology and gain a better understanding of my strengths and weaknesses.

The practice-based learning  project provided me with opportunities to work with children with diverse learning needs, and I could apply theories learnt in lectures when delivering interventions. Sometimes, the coursework was challenging, but it was meaningful and inspired me to think critically about issues related to children. I believe that this programme will assist me in becoming a more advanced scientist-practitioner.

Li Yi Chun, Ernest

This programme not only focuses on equipping students with theoretical knowledge, but also on the application of theories in real-life situations. In the practicum, I gained an opportunity to handle a potentially dyslexic child under the guidance of a supervisor. With support from the Manulife Centre for Children with Specific Learning Disabilities, I was able to gain access to various assessment materials. That was an awesome experience for me as it was my first time using the materials, designing and implementing an individualised education programme for the child. In addition, the child’s progress was closely monitored and I kept revising the plans after evaluations throughout the year. Over the practicum period, feedback from the parents regarding the child’s social and academic improvement encouraged me to work harder.

Most importantly, this programme has highlighted a very significant message for me – everyone, including children with diverse learning needs, has their own strengths. I also gained insight into the true value and meaning of education. The programme is inspiring me to go further and giving me courage to get ready for all the upcoming challenges in the educational field.

So Fei Hung, Joyce

Additional Documents Required

Programme Leaflet


Transcript / Certificate


Info Seminar

No information is available at present.