Faculty of Health and Social Sciences

Sept 2024 Entry

Mixed Mode

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



  • This programme is offered within the Postgraduate Scheme in Applied Social Sciences.
  • This programme adopts multi-method approaches in teaching and learning such as online, classroom, skill laboratory, or blended learning.

  • ​Applications are considered on a rolling basis. Shortlisted candidates may be invited to attend an interview. Qualified candidates will be notified of their results via the eAdmission. Once all vacancies are filled, the remaining qualified applicants will be put on a waiting list. Early applications are strongly encouraged. 

Application Deadline
Local - Mixed Mode
Sept 2024 Entry: Closed
Non-local - Mixed Mode
Sept 2024 Entry: Closed
About Programme
How to Apply
Aims & Characteristics

Programme Aims

The Master of Arts in Guidance and Counselling aims to train teachers, social workers, guidance and counselling practitioners, human resource management personnel and those who intend to offer counselling services to address the diverse needs of their clientele in Hong Kong.


The programme uniquely connects micro and macro perspectives in training guidance and counselling practitioners, who will then be able to design and implement a range of preventive, remedial and developmental programmes. Students can expect the opportunity to generate new theoretical and practical insights into improving current practices.


Upon completion of the programme, graduates can expect to have enhanced both their professional and personal growth and acquire advanced levels of counselling and guidance competencies.



We offer a flexible learning path. Students can choose their preferred subjects from a pool that is specially designed for guidance and counselling practitioners. They may complete this programme in 2 years, even on a part-time basis if they take additional subjects per semester. On completion of 21 credits (7 subjects), students can apply to graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma.

Recognition & Prospects

This programme has been fully accredited by the Hong Kong Professional Counselling Association (HKPCA). Graduates are eligible to apply for their membership.


Graduates having taken Practice Option will fulfil 62.5 supervised practice hours recognised by HKPCA as its partial requirement for Certified Counsellor.


Programme Structure

To be eligible for this award, students must complete 5 Required Core Subjects, 3 Elective Subjects, and pursue either the Practice Option or the Research Option.


Students who have successfully completed 21 credits including 5 Required Core Subjects and 2 Elective Subjects can exit the programme with a Postgraduate Diploma in Guidance and Counselling.


Core Areas of Study

Required Core Subjects (15 credits)

  • Advanced Human Behaviour & Social Environment
  • Counselling Assessment & Measurement
  • Individual & Group Counselling Skills Workshop
  • Social Context & Ethics
  • Theories & Models of Counselling

and then EITHER

Practice Option (6 credits)

  • Counselling Practicum


Research Option (6 credits)

  • Practice Research
  • Integrative Project


Elective Subjects (any 3 subjects - 9 credits)

  • Advanced Practice Methods: Brief Therapy
  • Advanced Practice Methods: Cognitive Behavioural Intervention
  • Career Counselling: Theories & Practice
  • Delinquency & Family
  • Evolution in Family Therapy: Structural & Systemic Approaches
  • Expressive Psychotherapy
  • Guidance & Counselling for Students with Special Needs
  • Information & Communication Technology for Psychosocial Interventions
  • Mindfulness-based Programme in Mental Health and Social Care

  • Narrative Therapy
  • Psychopathology: Holistic & Humanistic Orientations
  • Practice Research
  • Social Policy Analysis & Social Accountability
  • Workplace Counselling
  • Violence in Intimate Relationships


The subjects offered may be altered at the discretion of the Department.


Please refer to the "Other Information" page for the details of the "Counselling Practicum".

Credit Required for Graduation


Programme Leader(s)

Programme Leader

Dr Allen Dorcas
PhD, MPs, BSc

Subject Area
Guidance and Counselling
Entrance Requirements
  • A recognised Bachelor's degree or its equivalent.


Preference will be given to applicants who are teachers, social workers, counsellors or human resources management personnel and who are involved in guidance work or related areas.


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.


For further information on admission matters, please contact:
Tel: (852) 2766 5761
Email: sspg@polyu.edu.hk

Other Information

Practice Option

The Practicum

  • Is housed in the Professional Practice and Assessment Centre (the Centre) in our University and cases are recruited through the Counseling Net affiliated with the Centre;

  • Provides intensive training on establishing professional helping relationship with clients through offering individual and case counseling;

  • Provides learning opportunities to apply appropriate and effective intervention methods in working with individuals or families;

  • Recruits a wide range of clientele including students and parents from primary and secondary schools, university students, couples and working adults;

  • Provides “on-site, real-time” supervision during the 25-week practicum from our full-time teaching staff, counseling psychologists, clinical psychologists and experienced counselors from different professional sectors. 


Research Option

The Research Option requires students to take two subjects, Practice Research and Integrative Project, which provide them with the opportunity to undertake independent theoretical or empirical investigations on a self-selected topic related to guidance and counseling. This Option provides training in research methods, planning and implementing an investigation and academic writing. The research and literacy skills acquired strengthens the competence of students to pursue further research degrees.


Practice Research

This increases students’ competence in using appropriate research methods to analyse the processes and results of professional practice, to not only generate new knowledge for understanding the causes of human problems but also to improve professional practice.


Integrative Project

Integrative Project is the signpost learning activity in the MAGC programme. Students conduct independent research/reviews on the topics they select in guidance and counseling that suit their learning objectives and interests. They can then implement their projects under the guidance of their supervisors, thus developing their experience in integrating the knowledge and skills acquired from various subjects in the programme, so they can then advance their scholarship in counseling practice.

Initial Registration Credits

3 for local students
6 for non-local students

Tuition Fee

HK$207,000 per programme (HK$6,900 per credit) for local and non-local students

Entry Scholarships are available. Please click here for details. 

PolyU reserves the right to change or withdraw the scholarship at any time. In case of any dispute/disagreement, PolyU's decision is final.

Student Message

Having practiced as a family physician for more than 2 decades, I sought to expand my horizons by taking a master’s degree in counselling. However, this decision was not without hesitation: I had a busy and demanding career, it’s been a long time since I was a college student, and I don’t regard myself as an academically minded person.


Looking back, I am glad to have taken this course. The 3 years in MAGC has been a wonderful learning experience: the course in theories and models broadened my understanding of various counseling approaches; the immense debates in social context and ethics deepened my insight in ethical issues relevant to the counseling profession. The most attractive part of the course was the 25 weeks’ supervised practicum, in which we can attend real cases inside the campus, with our instructors observing and providing feedback on our minute to minute performance.


Taking this course has opened up countless opportunities. The competence and confidence I gained in counselling has driven me to transition my career from a medical practitioner to become a counselor. I owe a great debt of thanks to the instructors of this course.

Yeung Sau Ying



Two years of study has gone by so fast. From feeling uncertain of my path at the beginning to gradually finding my way at graduation, the journey has been full of surprises and has led me to study and understand many different personal and interpersonal issues. One cannot become a great counsellor in only two years; rather, it is just the starting point of basic counselling theories and skills. Being proactive in your learning is particularly important because the class schedule is usually packed, and it is not only covers knowledge from textbooks but also involves a self-review and self-understanding process. Counselling is no doubt a form of life-long learning.

Lam Ki

I am a frontline clinician in family medicine, with the mission of promoting whole person wellness to all of my patients. While most patients understand the need to maintain good physical health, psychosocial and spiritual health are often neglected.


The counselling skills I acquired in this Master’s course have:

a) polished all aspects of my doctor-patient communication skills through modified counselling skills that can fit into a busy clinic operation; and

b) strengthened my special interest in counselling so that apart from prescribing medications, I can also provide counselling to my patients suffering from common mood disorders such as depression, anxiety and sleep problems.


This course not only focuses on micro-level counselling skills, but also covers macroscopic aspects such as ethics and social policy, which shed light on some social phenomenon and lead to students’ self-reflection. The course has enlightened me to promote humanities in the predominantly “scientific” medical field. For any helping professional who echoes the following aphorism, I highly recommend this well-structured Master’s course full of love and passion:

“To cure sometimes, to relieve often, to comfort always.” 

Dr Edward Trudeau, in the 1800s

Dana Lo

When enrolling in this Master’s programme, my goal was to acquire sound knowledge and counselling skills. Now, coupled with my life experience, I can offer timely and empathic help to people in need.


In addition to my job as a human resources professional, I am a passionate and frequent volunteer. I am truly convinced that this programme has equipped me with the knowledge and value to effectively work with people to discover their strengths, overcome their challenges in life, and move forward.


My education has also benefitted my life outside of school. A year ago, I enabled my colleague to cope with grief. She said the counselling I provided was so powerful that it helped her through bereavement.  Another experience was when I was able to help my maid remedy her relationship with her father.


I am pleased that I made the decision to study this programme. I value the content and enjoy the learning process, in particular the practicum, because it gives me the opportunity to put theory into practice.

Kimmy Lau

As a foreigner living in Hong Kong, I began my search for counselling programmes online because it was the most accessible to compare the different programmes in English. After looking into several programmes, I was drawn to the PolyU MAGC programme because of what it offered, its mission and my own intuition.


My experience in the MAGC programme is confirmation that I made the right decision to study at PolyU – the classes are interesting, applicable and, most importantly, the department staff have a genuine passion for the programme, the community and students’ success. 


If you are considering joining the programme, make sure you have a real passion for the subject. A Master’s programme requires a lot of time and commitment but it is worth it. Also, have an open mind towards cultural diversity and make the most of the experience of living abroad and learning different perspectives.


In general, this is a very good, international programme. I appreciate the application to the local community of Hong Kong and also the global outlook. The programme is challenging, which is good because it prepares us for our careers. I also like the timeline set up, with the exams in the last semester taking place before the seminars instead of at the end of the semester.


I am very happy to be a part of the programme and I thoroughly enjoy my cohort and professors. I appreciate the genuine care the staff members show for the students and their availability when we need help.

Brittany Rice






Tony Mak

The two years I spent in the MAGC programme were highly rewarding and unforgettable. I not only learnt about the latest counselling theories and techniques that equipped me for my work as a career and guidance teacher, but I also built a strong support network. My classmates were passionate learners who constantly inspired me through our project learning and discussions, and our teachers whole-heartedly shared their personal clinical experiences and knowledge with us. My MAGC journey enabled me to better perform in my teaching and counselling role, and to become a more compassionate person.

Josephine Wong

I am a healthcare worker by profession and often needed to advise patients on healthy lifestyles without motivational skills. To rectify that, I decided to further my studies in counselling through supervised practice. When I searched through related programmes offered by different tertiary institutions, I found that the MAGC at PolyU was one of the very few that offered on-site supervised training, and I had no difficulty in choosing it.


Without previous training in social work or psychology, I at first felt that the going was tough in some of the sociology, ethics and psychology modules. Yet after taking several modules and a practicum, I realised how these areas were interconnected and were preparing me to be a professional counsellor instead of a “worker” counsellor. I would not have come to this realisation but for guidance and mentoring from a most dedicated and enthusiastic team of lecturers and supervisors. Though I have not yet graduated, I feel proud to be educated through this programme at PolyU.

Christopher Lum

Learning through the MAGC programme has helped me a lot in my career as a SEN student counselor in a local secondary school. In particular, it has strengthened my skills in counseling. The students who I work with come from diverse backgrounds and present diverse issues. The programme has provided me with both the conceptual and practical knowledge to be a caring, empathic, and competent counselor across a range of needs. I have been given the opportunity to interact with different types of clientele who I may not have come across in another work setting. It is challenging yet inspiring! If you want the same experience, just come and see!

Aster Chung
Additional Documents Required
Transcript / Certificate

Copies of graduation certificate and official academic transcript are required.

Employer's Recommendation



Applicant is required to submit, along with his/her application:

  1. A statement reflecting on his/her recent work experience; or

  2. A short piece of writing on a problem or issue that is of interest to him/her and on how he/she deals with the issue.

The above statement/write-up should be in English of not more than 1,000 words.

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