Master of Social Work

Sept 2022 Entry
Programme code: 54047

Duration & Credit Requirement

Duration & Credit Requirement

Stream Code


Mode of Study
Normal Duration

3 years

Credits Required for Graduation

36 (including 8 clinical/field credits)

Fund Type
Initial Registration Credits

3 for local students
6 for non-local students

Tuition Fee

For local students
HK$256,800 per programme
(Taught subject: HK$5,800 per credit; Fieldwork: HK$11,800 per credit)

For non-local students
HK$330,200 per programme
(Taught subject: HK$7,150 per credit; Fieldwork: HK$16,250 per credit)

Targeted Taught Postgraduate Programmes Fellowships Scheme
A total of 6 fellowships shall be awarded to local students. Please click here for details.

PolyU reserves the right to change or withdraw the fellowship at any time. In case of any dispute/disagreement, PolyU’s decision is final.

Programme Leader(s)

Dr LI Chi-mei, Jessica

  • This programme is offered within the Postgraduate Scheme in Applied Social Sciences.
  • This programme adopts multi-method approaches in teaching and learning such as online, classroom, skill laboratory, or blended learning.
  • Applications are considered on a rolling basis. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend an interview in one of these two time periods: (i) 4-7 January 2022, or (ii) 6-8 April 2022. 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

Aims & Characteristics

Programme Aims

The overall aim of the MSW programme is to nurture students to become advanced generic social work practitioners, engaged in critical reflection of their work and with a strong commitment to pursuing scholarship in practice.



This programme is designed for Bachelor’s degree holders who would like to pursue a social work qualification on a part-time basis.


Students integrate theory and practice and generate new theoretical and practical insights to improve professional practice. The programme values the following principles:

  1. Contextual reflection: reflecting on the unique features of the social, cultural and political contexts of human service practice and their implications for both theory and practice.
  2. Relationship between theory and practice: testing and reflecting on theories and developing them into personalised “theories-in-use” in specific practice domains.
  3. The inter-connectedness of problems and issues: relating one’s knowledge and skills to the context of professional practice, the local community, the Chinese mainland and the international community as a whole, and appreciating the ethical and value considerations underlying professional practice.
  4. Personalised styles and frameworks of practice: continually reflecting on and integrating one’s professional self, personal values and life experiences, and hence transforming practice theories into new ideas and methods that are congruent with one’s personal style of practice and within the evolving practice context.


Special Features

  1. ​Interactive and innovative teaching and learning;
  2. Interdisciplinary exposure;
  3. Investigation of social problems from professional perspectives;
  4. Indigenisation of knowledge and skills in professional practice

Recognition & Prospects

Recognition & Prospects

Graduates are eligible to apply for registration as Registered Social Workers (RSW) in Hong Kong.


For registration as a RSW, please refer to the requirement and application procedure as stipulated by the Social Workers Registration Board (SWRB) by visiting the Board's official website.



Programme Structure

To be eligible for the award, students must complete 12 Required Subjects and 1 Elective Subject (for a total of 36 credits).


Core Areas of Study

Required Subjects

  • ​Advanced Human Behaviour & Social Environment
  • Advanced Social Work Theory & Practice I
  • Advanced Social Work Theory & Practice II
  • Critical Introduction to Social Work
  • Law & Social Work
  • Practice Research in Social Work
  • Principles & Methods of Social Service Administration
  • MSW Fieldwork I
  • MSW Fieldwork II
  • MSW Integrative Seminar in Social Work Studies
  • Social Problem, Policy Analysis & Accountability
  • Social Work Practice Workshop


Elective Subjects 

  • ​Advanced Macro Social Work Intervention
  • Brief Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioural Intervention
  • Delinquency & Family
  • Integrating Health and Social Care*
  • Integrative Project
  • Marriage, Separation, Divorce & Reconstituted Families
  • Mental Health Practice
  • Mental Health & the Aged
  • Mindfulness in Counselling
  • Narrative Therapy
  • Organisation Theories & Analysis
  • Social Context & Ethics
  • Supervision & Professional Development
  • Technology and Psychosocial Interventions*
  • Theories & Models of Counselling
  • Theory & Practice of Social Development
  • Violence in Intimate Relationships


* Subject to approval


Information on the subjects offered can be obtained at

Entrance Requirements

Entrance Requirements

  • ​A Bachelor's degree from a recognised university.


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

Other Information

No information is available at present.



For further information on admission matters, please contact:
Ms Lee (tel: (852) 2766 5714 or email:

Student Message

Student Message

I graduated from PolyU's Master of Social Work (MSW) programme nine years ago. Having a plan to immigrate to the USA, I was concerned about whether I would be qualified to practice there as a social worker. Similar programmes in the United States are designed in accordance with national competency standards, by which US social workers are expected to practice. As these programmes are designed differently from those in Hong Kong, I found that no Hong Kong social work programme here was accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), which is the official association representing social work education in the United States.


Last year, I started seeking recognition from the CSWE, which is an extensive step-by-step process. After submitting my transcripts, prospectus and all other necessary documents, I was required to complete the Alternative Social Work Competencies (Expected Outcomes) Assessment Form. I was required to prove equivalencies between the learning outcomes required by the CSWE and the outcomes of PolyU's MSW programme. With help from PolyU, particularly from the programme leader and administrative staff, I completed the form and had it endorsed. Finally, last month I received exciting news from the CSWE. I was informed that my PolyU MSW degree was viewed as “the equivalent of a master's degree in social work accredited by the Council on Social Work Education”. The quality of PolyU's MSW programme is strong enough to earn this recognition. I hope that other graduates from PolyU's MSW programme can also be recognised by the CSWE and even more accreditation bodies in the future.

Lai Kwun Fai

As an MSW student with a terminal illness and wheelchair bound, the programme was a mind-blowing transformation for me as I learnt to integrate my personal experience into my professional training as a social worker. I am deeply amazed at and grateful for how profoundly the MSW programme has constantly renewed, improved and deepened my understanding of the relationship between individuals, families and society. The teachers are experts in their fields and they always responded with very detailed answers to my questions. Our teachers broadened my view of social injustice and WHAT to do to make changes; most importantly, they inspired me to ask WHY we do that and HOW to empower my disabled peers. The programme provided me not only with a great chance to learn more about social work knowledge and practice with passion and gusto, but also with a diverse learning environment, caring teachers and passionate classmates from different fields and paths. My three years in the MSW programme were undoubtedly an unforgettable experience. I would strongly recommend the programme to anyone, as it has really made a significant difference to my life.

Yau Ka Man Carmen

If someone were to ask me, “What has impressed you the most about the MSW at PolyU?” I would reply that “the MSW is an invaluable learning experience because it has given me professional knowledge, practical experiences, noble values and genuine friendship!” What makes the MSW at PolyU distinct from other universities is that its approach is interdisciplinary, so it naturally creates a holistic view that develops our critical thinking.


As a training course for a helping profession, the MSW has provided me with extremely useful experiences both in class and in placements. The professors delivered insightful lectures and shared precious experiences. Placements were tailor-made for me to obtain relevant experiences for my service targets. “The MSW at PolyU will give you not only knowledge, but values as well!” a professor contended. Because social workers mainly help people in need and strive to address social problems, noble values are definitely critical.


Our professors equipped us with their expertise, demonstrated what they taught through their friendly companionship. In addition, various seminar classes have given me chances to build supportive friendships with my classmates. I would therefore highly recommend this MSW programme.

Pang Shun Keung Daniel

轉眼間快要畢業了,這段難得的學習經歷對我來說真是獲益良多及影響深遠。回想起初入讀MSW時,我所想的只是如何盡快完成課業,早日取得註冊社工銜頭做自己想做的輔導工作。然而,在偶然的機會下我有幸由兼讀生變為全職學生,自此我比其他兼讀同學有更多時間去學習和體驗,因而令我改變初衷,決定全心全意並認真地學習做一個「真正」的稱職社工。 在老師的引領下,我積極參加不同類型的工作坊、關注社會民生的論壇及倡導運動。其中印象最深刻的一次是我參加了一個老人福利規劃論壇,一群我們認為是社會弱勢的公公婆婆,可以對著政黨人士有條理地說出自己的需求,並且為政黨評分。在那一刻,只屬於理論層面的「充權」、「社會公義」、「社群工作」等活生生的示例逐一呈現在我眼前,令我深切地領悟到社工的價值所在,以及老師所說社工的三把劍—社群、小組及個人工作的重要性。這些體驗令我更加肯定及持守社工價值,希望把它應用在我日後工作及服務的使用者當中。 另外,我更要衷心感謝每位MSW的老師,因為他們是用「心」去教導學生及讓同學通過感悟去實踐社工價值的。尤其感謝各位師長對我們循循善誘的啟蒙、溫情包容的支持、還有當頭棒喝的忠告及盡心盡力的教導。最後我還要特別感謝那些在往日曾經彼此互相扶持的同學,正因為大家的互勵互勉,才可讓我們共同度過這段既辛苦又充實的美好時光。


This programme not only prepares students to be competent social workers, but also to nurture their critical thinking, self-reflection and ethics. The topics of self-reflection and ethical issues inspired me to think further about the “use of self” in social work, which I believe is a challenging but rewarding career. The seminars and lectures have expanded my knowledge and broadened my view of the social system in Hong Kong and elsewhere. The APSS faculty and administrative staff have been enthusiastic in guiding and helping us in the process of learning. I am looking forward to applying the knowledge I have received in the coming year.

Tam Siu Wah

While completing my  of Social Work degree, I was deeply impressed by the Social Policy and Social Accountability course, which led students to see things from a different perspective. I now have a better understanding of peoples’ difficulties in relation to their environments. My fieldwork was a very rewarding experience and taught me a lot. I learned how to integrate theories and effectively implement them into practice. There were good opportunities for me to apply what I had learnt – such as social work theories and skills from the skills workshop – in practice. I appreciated the opportunities to learn and reflect with the guidance of my dedicated supervisor.


I would like to thank our professors, who stimulated students’ investigative abilities and curiosity. Regardless of how busy they were, they always found time for us. Whenever I encountered a problem understanding something during my studies, I could always count on my professor to give me a detailed explanation. I strongly believe that the programme enhanced my appreciation of human services and helped me to become more passionate.

Lo Fung Yiu, Dorinda

修讀社會工作碩士課程,除了令自己在知識層面上更見豐贍外,我在了解和思考個人服務對象的需要及分析社會問題方面的能力,也得益於這個課程而有所提升。社會工作服務的對象,不單止是individual的,也是某些minority group,甚至community的。因此在學習上需要更廣泛及全面地了解當前社會的狀況。課堂上,老師無私地將過往從事前線工作所累積的寶貴經驗與同學分享,加上任教不同專業科目的老師會邀請社會上多個不同服務對象與同學對話,以及安排同學到訪不同的社群及機構,讓同學有機會直接感受及通過實踐了解不同服務對象的處境與需要,藉以使同學可將理論與實際全面地結合並靈活應用。這個課程理論與實踐並重,講求處事情理兼備,令同學獲益良多。


I believe that learning should be an enjoyable and rewarding process. This belief turned into a reality while studying the Social Work programme at PolyU.


Thanks to the dedicated lecturers and their guidance, I advanced my knowledge of the theory and practice of social work. Their interactive and thought-provoking teaching inspired me to find out more about social phenomena, think outside the box, reflect on my thinking and, above all, broaden my horizons. Thanks to the curriculum, which is industry-based and up to date with the latest social issues and developments in the social work profession, my commitment to helping people has been enhanced, and I feel empowered to face the challenges that lie ahead in my career as a social worker. To the lecturers who have served as my role models and assisted me throughout the course of my study, I am forever grateful.

Lo Ka Man

Additional Documents Required

Additional Documents Required

Employer's Recommendation


Personal Statement

1-page Personal Statement in English

Transcript / Certificate

Academic transcripts and graduation certificates are required

Info Seminar

Info Seminar

No information is available at present.

Programme Leaflet

Programme Leaflet

Please click here to download.