Master of Arts in Social Policy and Social Development
Sept 2020 Entry
Programme code: 54055
Duration & Credit Requirement
1 year (Full-time) with summer term
2 years (Part-time) with summer terms
3 for local students
6 for non-local students
HK$5,000 per credit for local students
HK$6,100 per credit for non-local students
Dr Kaxton Yu-kwan Siu
PhD (Sociology), MPhil (Social Sciences), BSc (Mathematics)
Applications are considered on a rolling basis. Shortlisted candidates may be invited to attend an interview. Qualified candidates will be notified of their results via the eAdmission. Once all vacancies are filled, the remaining qualified applicants will be put on a waiting list. Early applications are strongly encouraged.
Aims & Characteristics
The MA in Social Policy and Social Development programme aims to prepare students to develop the necessary core professional and personal competence required to work in the field of social policy and to engage in professional practices in social development. This involves gaining critical knowledge and skills in analysing and appreciating local and global policy issues and the ability to formulate and assess policy options that ensure effective, appropriate and sustainable outcomes, uphold social justice and improve social well-being. To these ends, the programme is designed to bring together theory and practice that enables participants in the programme to meet challenges in social development ethically and imaginatively.
Unlike most other postgraduate programmes in social policy, this MASPSD is designed for those who are either thinking to embark on a career in Social Policy or Social Development or those who are already mid-career practitioners seeking to improve their knowledge about public and non-government sectors specialising in social policy and planning for social development. It is structured to offer rigorous, interdisciplinary and hands-on training across a number of academic, managerial and professional disciplines that prepare participants to translate knowledge into action to bring about social development, especially through responsible policy analysis, formulation, impact assessment and evaluation.
The programme provides students with a solid foundation in social policy analysis that can be adapted and applied to many fields of human service provision and practice in social development. Graduates are expected to gain the competence necessary to participate effectively in social policy processes, conduct needs assessments, evaluate policy impacts and develop appropriate and relevant policy options that respond responsibly to new challenges in social development.
Recognition & Prospects
Graduates of this programme with relevant work experience may apply for membership of the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA).
To be eligible for the award, students are required to take 30 credits (6 Required Subjects including the Integrative Project and 4 Elective Subjects).
Students who have successfully completed 21 credits (4 Required Subjects and 3 Elective Subjects) can exit the programme with a Postgraduate Diploma.
Students who have successfully completed 12 credits (2 Required Subjects and 2 Elective Subjects) can exit the programme with a Postgraduate Certificate.
Core Areas of Study
- Policy Research Method
- Social Context & Ethics
- Social Policy Analysis & Social Accountability
- Social Planning & the Policy Process
- Theory & Practice of Social Development
- Integrative Project
- Assessing Globalization & Social Development
- Comparative Social Policy & Social Development
- Contemporary Issues in Social Policy
- Digital Technologies & Social Development
- Emerging Issues of Social Policy in Asia
- Gender, Social Policy & Social Development
- Organisation Theories & Analysis
- Social Impact Assessment
- Social Policy & Social Development in China
- Social Policy Evaluation
- Special Seminars on Social Policy & Social Development
- Quantitative Methods for Policy Research & Evaluation
Information on the subjects offered can be obtained at www.polyu.edu.hk/apss.
- A recognised Bachelor's degree;
- Preference will be given to applicants with a background in social sciences and work experience relevant to social policy and social development.
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.
Prospective Career Pathways
There are four possible major career paths for graduates of this programme:
- as Administrative or Executive Officers in various departments of the government responsible for planning and conducting policy research, public consultation, community engagement, policy analysis and policy option development; and as research and administrative officers or assistants assisting elected Councillors in Legislative or District Councils;
- as policy, research and administrative personnel in the non-government sector, including those NGOs working for social development and advocating better social policy making;
- as managers in private businesses and social enterprises responsible for developing, implementing and managing corporate social responsibility policies and programmes and activities;
- as research associates, officers and assistants for academics and key research centres in tertiary education institutions locally and overseas in charge of or supervising policy research and evaluation.
Graduates can also work for local think tanks whose number and importance are expected to grow during the next few years as the Hong Kong government's plan to implement a public vote for the office of the Chief Executive is gathering pace. These positions and employment opportunities reflect a growing need for training and education in social policy and social development, particularly with a professional outlook and at a postgraduate level to meet the increasing demands for policy personnel with appropriate knowledge and competence.
Tang Kwong Leung Memorial Merit Award is to give recognition to the outstanding graduates from the MASPSD programme. The award is based on a holistic review of students’ academic performance. Two one-off prize of HK$5,000 are granted to the best two graduates in each academic year.
International Exchange Programme
The Winter Institute is an exchange programme that provides an opportunity for postgraduate students to participate in a 2-week intensive workshop to be recognised as part of the assessment components in their future integrative project.
This programme is sponsored by the Collaborative Exchange Programme among The Department of Applied Social Sciences (APSS) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, The University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration (SSA) and The Department of Sociology, Peking University (PKU).
The aim of the programme is to provide students with an intensive introduction to how poverty and migration are viewed and responded in China and the United States via lectures, seminars discussion, and site visits. By interrogating and comparing these dynamics internationally, it provides the opportunity for regional comparison within China (Hong Kong, Guangdong and Yunnan), including a focus on rural-to-urban and west-to-east migration.
Collaborative Study Programme
The PolyU - Washington University in St. Louis Collaborative Study Programme provides an opportunity for MASPSD graduates to complete a second Master's degree in 1 year full-time. Graduates of this programme who are admitted to the Master of Social Policy (MSP) programme at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis and are granted a maximum transfer of 12 credits can complete the MSP programme in 1 year.
Additional Documents Required
Transcript / Certificate
Copies of Transcripts and Graduation Certificates are required