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Entrance Year Sept 2024

Programme Code 06001

Aims and 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

This professional doctoral degree is the first-ever such programme in Hong Kong. Unlike PhD programmes that focus primarily on research, our Doctor of Health Science (DHSc) programme concentrates on the practice of health sciences and care provision as well as research and is intended for experienced health care professionals who are looking to develop their analytical skills for leadership positions within a health care environment.

Students can choose to graduate with the generic award, i.e. Doctor of Health Science, or one of the following specialism awards:

  • 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)

*Applicants from the Mainland China from the occupational therapy profession may apply for the Cynthia Tang Memorial Scholarship.

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

Awards 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

This is a credit-based mixed mode programme with a normal duration of study of 3 years for full-time study and 4 years for part-time study. Students will have to seek approval to stay on the programme if they cannot complete the study within the normal duration of study.

The DHSc programme comprises a 24-credit coursework component (8 doctoral subjects: 4 compulsory and 4 elective) and a 24-credit equivalent thesis. Students have to complete a total of 48 credits in order to be eligible for an award.

To be eligible for an award in 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 or a master's degree in a relevant discipline or possess a professional qualification in a relevant discipline to fulfil the registration requirements of the profession.

Students should apply for graduation with a specialism award by following the declaration and confirmation procedures. Please click here for details. (Intranet Access only)

The compulsory subjects aim to provide students with a core foundation in health care concept analysis, research and knowledge translation within the reality of the ethical-political-economic contexts of health care provision.

The elective subjects and the doctoral thesis allow students to develop an individualized programme of study for acquiring, appraising, synthesizing and applying knowledge in a substantive specialized area.

Compulsory subjects

Students are required to complete 4 out of the following compulsory subjects.* If they complete more than 4 subjects, the extra subject(s) will be counted as Generic Elective(s).

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

*applicable from 2019 cohort onwards


Elective subjects

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

For the most updated information on the subjects offered, please refer to the programme pamphlet and the Programme Requirement Document, which can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.



The major component of the programme is the doctoral thesis. The thesis is expected to be a viable demonstration of the candidate's ability to apply theoretical and practical knowledge to the solution of a significant applied problem of relevance to health care services provision. Students are expected to apply state-of-the-art research methodology to investigate important issues arising from societal needs, and the thesis must make an important contribution to the existing body of knowledge in and/or provide innovative insights into health science. The work should be of a standard worthy of publication in a peer-reviewed professional outlet.

According to PolyU's regulations, for the elective subjects, no more than 6 credits (two 3-credit subjects) can be at the master's level, i.e., level 5.
  Students may be given credit for previous doctoral level study that have or have not already contributed to an award.
  Students may be given credit for previous master's level study that have not already contributed to an award.
  • A master's degree in a health-related discipline, or the equivalent; AND
  • At least 5 years of substantial professional health care experience

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

For more information on the DHSc programme, please click the links below:

The information seminar for September 2024 intake is scheduled for 8 Jan 2024 from 6:30pm to 7:30pm, which will be conducted online. If you are interested to join this seminar, please register here. Enrollees will receive the online meeting link by 4 Jan 2024.

For academic queries, please contact Prof. Marco Pang
(Tel: 2766 7156; Email:

For other matters, please contact Miss Cindy Yu (Tel: 2766 7774; Email: OR Miss Sharon Law (Tel: 3400 2662; Email:

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