MSocSc Counselling

Year of Entry


Application Deadline

Local : 31 May 2023
Non-local : Application Closed

Mode of Study


Mode of Funding


Intermediate Award

Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate in Counselling

Indicative Intake Target


Minimum No. of Credits Required

Master's Degree: 30; Postgraduate Diploma: 24; Postgraduate Certificate: 12

Class Schedule

Weekday evenings and Saturday afternoons/ evenings

Normal Study Period

Full-time: 1 year*
Part-time: 2 years*

Maximum Study Period

Full-time: 2.5 years*
Part-time: 5 years*

Mode of Processing

Applications are processed on a rolling basis. Review of applications will start before the deadline and continue until all places are filled. Early applications are therefore strongly encouraged.
Programme Leader
Dr FUNG Lai Chu Annis
MA (Keele), PhD (HKU)
Admissions Tutor
Mr CHAN Wai Man Raymond
M. Soc. Sci. (HKU)
General Enquiries
+852 3442 8991
Programme Aims and Objectives

The aim of the programme is to provide professional counsellor education for competent and thoughtful practice as counsellors in a variety of human services, school, and health care settings or in other professional/occupational fields wherein counselling training is an asset. Upon completion of the programme, graduates will be able to:

  • apply knowledge and skills in counselling and become increasingly autonomous and independent in practice;
  • reflect on their counselling practice and discover, construct, articulate and evaluate personal philosophy and implicit theories of counselling;
  • pursue evidence-based practice through researching on practice to discover new practice-based knowledge and connect such knowledge to practice; and
  • practice in a creative manner to respond to cultural variations and diversity.
Entrance Requirements

To be eligible for admission, you must:

  • hold a degree of one of the universities in Hong Kong or of any overseas institution recognized for this purpose by the University; or
  • have obtained an equivalent qualification, or provide evidence of academic and professional attainments acceptable for this purpose by the University; and
  • have preferably two years' working experience in social service, education, health, human services, human resources or related areas.

Applicants whose entrance qualification is obtained from an institution where the medium of instruction is not English should also fulfill the following minimum English proficiency requirement:

  • a score of 59 (revised paper-delivered test)^ or 79 (Internet-based test) in the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)@#; or
  • an overall band score of 6.5 in International English Language Testing System (IELTS)@; or
  • a score 450 in the new College English Test (CET-6) of Chinese mainland; or
  • other equivalent qualifications.

In view of the recent development of COVID-19, ‘TOEFL iBT Home Edition’ and ‘IELTS Indicator’, as indicated below, are accepted as equivalent qualifications for the fulfillment of the University’s minimum English proficiency requirement for admission to TPg programmes until further notice:

  • TOEFL iBT Home Edition: a score of 79; or
  • IELTS Indicator: an overall band score of 6.5

TOEFL and IELTS scores are considered valid for two years. Applicants are required to provide their English test results obtained within the two years preceding the commencement of the University's application period. 

# Applicants are required to arrange with the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to send their TOEFL results directly to the University. The TOEFL institution code for CityU is 3401.

^ Effective from 11 April 2021, the TOEFL revised paper-delivered test is no longer offered.

Course Description

The programme is designed to provide postgraduate counsellor education covering:

  • core concepts, major theories, professional and ethical issues, and contemporary development in the field of counselling;
  • basic counselling skills and techniques, and major approaches to counselling;
  • personal qualities and professional requirements of a counsellor;
  • research skills, and the integration of scientific research and counselling practice; and
  • reflexivity and cultural sensitivity in counselling.

Students may choose to exit the programme at the following levels of award:

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Counselling (PGCC)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling (PGDC)
  • Master of Social Sciences in Counselling (MSSC)

The PGCC award: Complete 12 credit units with credit transfer (if approved) up to a maximum of 3 credit units.

The PGDC award: Complete 24 credit units with credit transfer (if approved) up to a maximum of 6 credit units.

The MSSC award: Complete 30 credit units with credit transfer (if approved) up to a maximum of 9 credit units.

Programme curriculum is made up of (a) core courses; and (b) elective courses forming a “general electives” group, a “research methods” group and an elective group on specialized areas.

To graduate with the MSSC award, students must complete either the Counselling Practicum or the Project (both are two-semester courses) before the completion of the study.


Programme Structure & Courses (cohort 2018 and thereafter)

Programme Core Courses (24 credits)

Course   Level Credit Units Remark
SS5800 Counselling Theories and Practice P5 3 Pre-requisite for SS6806
SS5801 Counselling in Society and across Culture P5 3  
SS5802 Group Counselling and Therapy P5 3 Pre-requisite for SS6806
SS5803 Psychopathology P5 3  
SS5822 Family-based Service and Family Practice P5 3  
SS5841 Counselling Skills Laboratory and Pre-practicum P5 3 Pre-requisite for SS6806
SS6805/B Project P6 6 Remarks: 1 & 2 & 3
SS6806 Counselling Practicum P6 6 Remarks: 1 & 4 & 5 & 6


Programme Electives~ (6 credits)

Course   Level Credit Units Remark
General Electives
SS5208 Cognitive-behavioural Interventions P5 3  
SS5752 Life Span Development P5 3  
SS5757 Personality Theories and Assessment P5 3  
SS5805 Narrative-based Therapeutic Conversations: Theory and Practice P5 3  
Research Methods
SS5302 Research Methods in Social Sciences P5 3 Co-requisite for SS6805 / Pre-requisite for SS6805B
Specialized Electives
SS5110 Assessment and Interventions in Mental Health Counselling P5 3  
SS5316 Aggressive Behaviour and Homicide P5 3  
SS5814 Vocational Counselling and Assessment P5 3  
SS5821 Counselling Children and Youth P5 3  
SS5832 Counselling Older Adults P5 3  

~ All electives are subject to review 


Additional Notes

Level of Award Required Courses Total Credits
Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling (PGDC) 6 core courses and 2 elective courses SS5800, SS5801, SS5802, SS5803, SS5822, SS5841, and 2 Elective Courses 24
Postgraduate Certificate in Counselling (PGCC) 4 core courses SS5800, SS5802, SS5822, and SS5841 12



  1. Full-time students have to take SS6805B Project in Semester B and Summer Term at their first year of study, while part-time students may opt for SS6805 Project or SS6806 Counselling Practicum which is a two-semester mode and carries 3 credits each for Semester A & B of their second year of study.
  2. Part-time students opting for SS6805 Project should have taken at least 12 credits prior to taking the course and currently enrolling SS5302 as a co-requisite.
  3. Full-time students opting for SS6805B Project should have taken 12 credits prior to taking the course and completed SS5302 as pre-requisite.
  4. Students should have taken at least 18 credits including SS5800, SS5802 and SS5841, prior to undertaking SS6806 Counselling Practicum.
  5. Full time students cannot take SS6806 Counselling Practicum but SS6805B Project during their whole study period. They are eligible to apply for the full member at HKPCA after graduation, but could not pursue the status of Certified Counsellor at HKPCA.
  6. Our practicum liaison team will proactively search the practicum sites for part-time students who take the SS6806 Counselling Practicum.
Bonus Features

Professional Qualification 

The Hong Kong Professional Counselling Association (HKPCA) issued a confirmation letter of programme accreditation on 1st December 2011 certifying that graduates admitted to the MSSC programme in 2004 or after meet the following requirement to acquire the full membership status:

  • The programme is at Master level.
  • The total number of contact hours in the academic programme aggregates to 320 hours.
  • For graduates who have completed either SS6805/SS6805B Project or SS6806 Counselling Practicum.
  • For graduates taking the SS6806 Counselling Practicum, a total of 120 hours of client contact hours is accumulated in the programme. They could pursue the professional certification, ‘HKPCA Certified Counsellor’ after fulfilling the required post-master supervised practice.
  • A post-master training to facilitate the acquisition of ‘HKPCA Certified Counsellor’ status for MSSC graduates is currently under preparation.
* MSSC applicants are required to choose the study mode before starting the programme. The study mode cannot be changed throughout the study period.

* The programme operates in a combined mode of study. Part-time students have a choice to take either the counselling practicum or the (research) project earliest in the second year of study, after completing pre-requisite courses and a threshold number of credit units in the first year. Full-time students must take the (research) project earliest in the second semester through summer.