The Department of Applied Social Sciences (APSS) is committed to serving the community through the dynamic integration of education, research and service through its applied social science research. APSS's position as a large social sciences department with diverse areas of interest and expertise under one roof, and its location within a health and social science faculty, offers an advantageous position in inter-disciplinary research networks and initiatives. APSS research is characterised by


  • A strong emphasis on social needs and policy relevant research;
  • A commitment to enhancing social betterment and improving the well-being of individuals, children, families and disadvantaged groups in our community;
  • A preference for collaborative work with partnering institutions in Hong Kong, China and the region; and
  • A commitment to developing theories of indigenous knowledge and practices.


Research Degree Programmes (MPhil/PhD)

The Department offers full-time and part-time research degree programmes, which covers


  • Family, Child, Youth, and Ageing Studies
  • Psychology, Mental Health, and Health
  • Social Work and Human Service Management
  • Social Policy, Social Welfare, and Community Development
  • Social Theory, China and Global Social Development


Normal Period of Study /  Admission Requirements

2-year full-time/ 4-year part-time MPhil programme /

at least hold a Bachelor's degree with second class honours or above (or equivalent qualification) conferred by a recognised university


3-year full-time / 6-year part-time PhD programme / 

normally hold an MPhil or equivalent (a research postgraduate degree with a dissertation as an award requirement) conferred by a recognised university


4-year full-time / 8-year part-time PhD programme / 

normally hold:

  1. a Bachelor's degree with First Class Honours (or equivalent qualification), conferred by a recognised university; OR
  2.  a Master's degree.


Application procedures & supporting documents

Submission of application form and documentary proof of academic qualification and English Language Proficiency:


Online application: 


Supporting Documents:

  • Compulsory: Academic transcripts/certificates, Research Degree Proposal Form, Curriculum Vitae, Personal Statement, Academic Referee's Report Form
  • Optional: Research publications


English language proficiency:

  • For those who have not obtained a degree from a recognized university of which the language of instruction is English, they have to satisfy the minimum English proficiency requirements specified by the University.


For further information of Research Postgraduate Studies, please visit research postgraduate e-Prospectus


Application period

Please refer to e-Prospectus



Please contact Ms Shirley HUI (shirley.sl.hui@polyu.edu.hk) or Ms Fanny CHENG (fanny.cheng@polyu.edu.hk) for enquiry of this programme.