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Doctor of Health Science

Sept 2022 Entry
Programme code: 06001

Faculty of Health and Social Sciences

Stream Code

FTD (Full-time)
PT (Part-time)

Mode of Study Mixed Mode

Normal Duration

3 years (Full-time)
4 years (Part-time)

Credits Required for Graduation


Initial Registration Credits


Fund Type Self-Financed

Tuition Fee

HK$6,600 per credit for local and non-local students

Programme Leader(s)

Prof. Marco Pang
BSc, PhD


  • We have a quota for admissions. Early applications are strongly encouraged. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interviews. Offers will be made on a rolling-basis.
  • An incomplete application cannot be processed promptly and may reduce your chance of admission. Please complete all relevant fields on the application form and upload all necessary documents.

Aims & Characteristics

Programme Aims

We aim to prepare healthcare professionals to contribute to the science and practical development of healthcare services. Graduates are expected to be able to:

  • Synthesise knowledge from the health sciences and other academic disciplines for application in a substantive specialised practice area of a healthcare profession;
  • Design, conduct and direct research studies;
  • Analyse and evaluate concepts, theories and models that are related to health practices;
  • Disseminate knowledge through scholarly publication, formal teaching and the provision of expert mentoring and vision on future healthcare development;  
  • Integrate knowledge and use evidence to influence health policy and decision-making through collaborative, interdisciplinary efforts at local and international levels; and
  • Exercise leadership skill at all levels and different aspects of health services delivery.



PolyU is the first local university to initiate this professional doctoral programme, which is at the highest level of healthcare education. Unlike many traditional PhD programmes that focus on research, the Doctor of Health Science (DHSc) is a professional doctoral programme with a primary focus on the practice of the profession. The programme prepares experienced healthcare professionals to further develop their competence for leadership roles in advanced professional practice or for clinical-track faculty membership. The DHSc is recognised as a terminal professional degree for the healthcare discipline, and graduates have earned the right to use the title of 'Dr' before their names. The mixed-mode study pattern provides flexibility for students to engage in a full- or part-time study load.

Recognition & Prospects

The following specialism awards are listed quotable qualifications under their respective Supplementary Medical Professions Boards:


Supplementary Medical Professions Boards (SMP Boards)

Doctor of Health Science (Medical Imaging and Radiation Science)

Radiographers Board

Doctor of Health Science (Medical Laboratory Science)

Medical Laboratory Technologists Board

Doctor of Health Science (Occupational Therapy)

Occupational Therapists Board

Doctor of Health Science (Optometry)

Optometrists Board

Doctor of Health Science (Physiotherapy)

Physiotherapists Board


Programme Structure

The programme covers 8 Doctoral Subjects, including 4 Compulsory Subjects and 4 Elective Subjects, and a Doctoral Thesis. The Compulsory Subjects aim to provide students with a core foundation in healthcare concept analysis, research and knowledge translation within the reality of the ethical-sociological-economic context of healthcare provision.


The Elective options and the Doctoral Thesis allow students to develop an individualised programme of study for acquiring, appraising, synthesising and applying knowledge in a substantive specialised area. The mentored research experience serves to strengthen students' skills in the conduct of disciplinary enquiry.


Candidates are required to complete the coursework requirement with a minimum GPA of 2.70 or above and a Doctoral Thesis to be eligible for the award of Doctor of Health Science.


Students can choose to graduate with the following generic or specialism awards:

  • Doctor of Health Science (generic award)
  • Doctor of Health Science (Medical Imaging and Radiation Science) 
  • Doctor of Health Science (Medical Laboratory Science)
  • Doctor of Health Science (Nursing)
  • Doctor of Health Science (Occupational Therapy)
  • Doctor of Health Science (Optometry) 
  • Doctor of Health Science (Physiotherapy)
  • Doctor of Health Science (Prosthetics and Orthotics)


To be eligible for the specialism concerned, students should complete a thesis related to that specialism plus a 3-credit specialty subject. Furthermore, they should hold a Bachelor's degree or a Master's degree in a relevant discipline or possess professional qualification in a relevant discipline to fulfil the registration requirements of certain professions.


Core Areas of Study

Compulsory Subjects

Students are required to complete 4 out of the following subjects to fulfil the requirement. If they complete more than 4 subjects, the extra subjects will be counted as Generic Electives.

  • Advanced Quantitative Methods
  • Evidence Based Practice
  • Health Care Ethics
  • Health Economics
  • Health Systems: Management and Organisation
  • Issues in Health Sociology 


Elective Subjects

Students are required to complete 4 Elective Subjects to fulfil the requirement. The Electives can be Generic Electives or Specialty Subjects. 

A. Generic Electives

  • Advanced Statistics in Health Care Research
  • Advanced Methods in Qualitative Health Care Research
  • Concept Analysis in Health Care
  • Health and Social Policy Analysis
  • Independent Study in a Substantive Specialty*
  • Information Technology in Health Care
  • Innovations in Learning and Teaching for Healthcare Education^
  • Project Management


* Can be counted as a Specialty Subject

^ Can be taken as a Generic Elective for students who do not intend to pursue for the nursing specialism award. 


B. Specialty Subjects

Students should complete at least 1 Specialty Subject to fulfil the specialism requirement. Please refer to this website for the most updated subject information.


Other Elective Options (e.g. subjects offered by PolyU's other professional doctoral and postgraduate programmes subject to the approval of the Programme Leader)


The above subject list will be updated from time to time. 

Entrance Requirements

  • A Master's degree in a health-related discipline or the equivalent; 
  • At least 5 years of substantial professional health care experience.


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.


Remarks: Candidates possessing a recognised first degree in a health-related discipline with substantial professional experience may also be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Other Information

The Academic Year consists of Semesters One and Two and the Summer Semester. Normally, Semester One runs from September to December (13 weeks). Semester Two runs from January to May (13 weeks). Summer Semester runs from June to July (7 weeks). Students can enrol for most of the Coursework subjects in Semesters One and Two, and decide if they will have a break or take the only Generic Elective offered in Summer Term. The timetabling information will be released to students one to two months before the class begins.


For further information on academic matters, please contact: 
Prof. Marco Pang (tel: (852) 2766 7156; email: marco.pang@polyu.edu.hk).


For further information on admission matters, please contact:
Miss Cindy Yu (tel: (852) 2766 7774; email: cindy.sy.yu@polyu.edu.hk);
or Ms Stepheny Wong (tel: (852) 3400 3994; email: stepheny.wong@polyu.edu.hk).