Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Social Work

Sept 2019 Entry

Programme code: JS3662

Duration and Credit Requirement

Mode of Study
Normal Duration

4 years

Credit Required for Graduation

119 (plus 15 clinical/field credits)

Programme Intake
Fund Type
Programme Leader(s)

Dr Timothy Sim
BA, MSc, PhD


This programme is offered within the BA(Hons) Scheme in Applied Social Sciences.

Aims and Characteristics

Programme Aims & Learning Outcomes

We prepare our students to develop a solid foundation and discipline-specific knowledge in social sciences and social work, a repertoire of professional competence and skills, a firm commitment to social justice, ethical and social responsibilities and a humanitarian orientation. Our graduates are competent in flexibly and creatively using information, knowledge, theories and resources.


Programme Characteristics

A strong social science foundation strengthens students' analytical ability and familiarises them with the economic, social and cultural contexts of social problems and social work action. Theory is integrated with practice. We recognise the need to develop not just theoretical abilities and skills, but also the ability to feel, empathise and appreciate.


The Department offers placement opportunities both in the Chinese mainland and overseas.

Recognition and Prospects

Professional Recognition

Graduates are eligible for registration with the Social Workers Registration Board (SWRB) as Registered Social Workers (RSWs).


Career Prospects

Graduates are eligible for registration with the Social Workers Registration Board (SWRB) as Registered Social Workers (RSWs).


With this qualification, they are employable as Assistant Social Work Officers or the equivalent, and can be promoted to Social Work Officers, Senior Social Work Officers and Chief Social Work Officers.


They are also qualified for a variety of human service posts in other fields of the social services or in private organisations.


  • Year One – the theme is ‘becoming a social worker’, which aims to impart the necessary professional attitudes, knowledge and competence. Besides the University’s core curriculum, students will study the common underpinning subjects to strengthen their knowledge in social science discipline.
  • Years Two & Three – the theme is ‘becoming a social worker in context’, which aims to equip students with a wide range of social science and discipline-specific knowledge. Students will be exposed to various social issues and problems from a multi-dimensional perspective. Students will also be able to articulate the core values of social work and commit to ethical and responsible social work practices.
  • Year Four – the theme is ‘becoming a reflective social worker’, which aims to help students integrate theoretical learning, practical applications and metatheoretical reflection on direct practice. By completing a capstone project, students will be able to consolidate their undergraduate study in a project to conclude their overall learning of the programme and become a professional.


Information on the programme can be obtained at

Entrance Requirements and Subject Weightings

Satisfy the University's General Entrance Requirements.

All HKDSE subjects carry the same weighting in our admissions selection.

Other Information
Only Band A applicants will be considered for admission. Selected Band A applicants may be invited to interview upon release of HKDSE results.

Admission Score Calculation

Admission Score Calculation Mechanism for the Current Admission Exercise

4 Core + Best 2 Elective Subjects

(Click here for an explanation)

Average HKDSE Scores of Admittees

2016-17: 23.4 (4X + 1 Best Elective)

2017-18: 27.0 (4 Core + Best 2 Elective Subjects)

2018-19: 26.6 (4 Core + Best 2 Elective Subjects)


(Click here for an explanation)


For further programme information, please contact:
The General Office (tel: 2766 5867; email:

Student Message

The events of the last two years have proved that I made the right choice in studying at PolyU. The opportunities I have encountered have enabled me to become a well-rounded person. The tutors and professors responsible for the Social Work programme within the Applied Social Sciences Department are experienced and helpful. Some of them even maintain their roles as frontline social workers to keep themselves abreast of developments in service and ensure that their skills remain fresh. This has the added advantage of giving them real cases to share with their students for a better understanding of certain therapies or theories. 


The department offers overseas work placement opportunities in mainland China, Taiwan and Canada. International placements enable students to enrich their knowledge and look deeper into the social work practices in other countries. Through my overseas placement, I learned how to apply my skills in a real-life setting while reflecting on current social work practice in Hong Kong.

Chan Ting Ling, Selene

After four years of studying in APSS I have gained much knowledge about social sciences and the foundations of social work. I learnt to help people to help themselves, and to work with clients instead of working for them. The openness of my classmates and the enthusiasm of the teachers to strive for new and true knowledge have led to genuine and inspiring discussions in our seminars.


In addition to classroom learning, social work practicum is another important learning experience at PolyU. By taking a social perspective I am more able to analyse people’s needs, broadened to family, community and societal levels, rather than simply the individual level. Through regular supervision my practical competence has been enhanced, and I can now integrate theory and practice effectively. I have also come to better understand my own personal strengths, weaknesses and further educational needs.


PolyU provides many other valuable learning opportunities, such as exchange and study tours. I joined a study tour to GuiZhou and an inter-generational Singapore study trip. These experiences inspired me to reflect upon the current Hong Kong welfare system. From these trips I learnt how to think globally and work locally.

Lee Tsz Hing

Ken’s Recipe for Having Four Enjoyable Years in the Social Work Programme


Study hard. The academic staff are passionate in training you to be a competent and reflective social worker. Don’t hesitate to consult them, ask questions and acquire knowledge and wisdom from them. They are willing to offer help anytime and anywhere.


Play hard. Friends are the main ingredient. They share the same passions as you. They will stay up all night to help you prepare the presentation. They will sing a birthday song to you in the student canteen. They travel with you in the summer break. They support you when you are having tough time in the placement or in your love life. How could you survive without them?


Grasp every opportunity. There are plenty of resources and opportunities available for your growth. Go for the exchange. Go for the summer internships. Go for the courses you are interested in. They provide the seasonings for your U-life.


Don’t forget the sport facilities. Gym is my favourite. See you in the gym.

Lee Wan Cheung

Additional Documents Required

No information is available at present.

Interview Arrangement

Date: 23-24 July
Mode:Group interview

To evaluate the potential for and interest of applicants in the programme and the profession, and to test their language competence and skills in interpersonal communication and team work.

Medium:Cantonese and English

About 1 hour


Only Band A applicants will be considered for admission. Selected Band A applicants may be invited to interview upon release of HKDSE results.