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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; and


Normal Period of Study

MPhil Stream
Full-time: 2 years
Part-time: 4 years

PhD Stream
Full-time: 3 years (or 4 years for students admitted with a Bachelor’s degree)
Part-time: 6 years (or 8 years for students admitted with a Bachelor’s degree)


General qualifications for admission

The basic requirements for the MPhil and PhD programmes are:

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
A Bachelor’s degree with first or second class honours from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University or from another recognized university; or other academic qualifications which are deemed to be equivalent.


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
A postgraduate degree containing a significant research component, such as a dissertation, conferred by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University or another recognized university.


Application procedures & supporting documents

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

  • Online application: 

Application has to be submitted online at the PolyU eAdmission system

  • 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.


Application period

1st September 2020 to 2nd December 2020



Please contact Ms Shirley HUI ( or Ms Fanny CHENG ( for enquiry of this programme.