Faculty of Health and Social Sciences

Sept 2024 Entry

Mixed Mode

1 year (Full-time)
2 years (Part-time)



  • The selection process will begin on 15 January 2024, with offers being made in rounds on a rolling basis. We strongly encourage applicants to submit their applications as early as possible to ensure the best chance of being considered for admission.

  • Qualified candidates will be notified of their results via the eAdmission System. Once all vacancies are filled, the remaining qualified applicants will be put on a waiting list. 

  • Interviews may be required.

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 specialism in the Master of Applied Psychology programme targets in-service teachers, teaching support personnel, social workers, and related health-care professionals who aspire to support individuals with diverse learning needs. It aims to develop expertise in providing evidence-based support to individuals with diverse learning needs in school and community settings. The programme has the following specific objectives:

  1. To equip participants with key competencies to develop and implement evidence-based practices, as supported by psychological theories and principles, to address the multitude needs of individuals with diverse learning.

  2. To equip participants with the situated and multi-faceted knowledge of working with individuals with diverse learnings needs and their family members.

  3. To equip participants with the knowledge and skills to design and deliver adaptive assessments and interventions for individuals with diverse learning needs.

  4. To empower participants with the capacity to strategically incorporate multidisciplinary support in services for individuals with diverse learning needs.

  5. To equip participants with the necessary competencies and skills to conduct quality research and practice review to inform the development of interventional innovations.



  1. This specialism adopts a multidisciplinary approach that embraces close collaboration with professionals from psychology, education, social work and rehabilitation sciences.

  2. The professional development framework of the specialism facilitates participants to develop key competencies to examine prevailing and emerging issues in the field of diverse learning needs.

  3. The programme provides practice-based learning activities and attachments aiming to facilitate the development of competence in making evidence-based decisions in the processes to support individuals with diverse learning needs.

  4. The professional development framework of the specialism facilitates graduates to pursue a career in the field of diverse learning needs and further training to acquire other recognisable awards and qualifications.

Recognition & Prospects

In principle, the requirements for becoming a Registered Psychologist in Hong Kong are: (1) be a member of the Hong Kong Psychological Society (HKPS), (2) possess a Master's degree in Psychology, and (3) have a minimum of one year of post-master's relevant working experience. It should be noted that this programme is designed to help students in meeting the second requirement.  


On successful completion of the programme, students with a membership of HKPS may consider applying for registration upon obtaining at least one year of post-qualification experience in a discipline of psychology deemed acceptable by the HKPS. The final decision on registration is still maintained by the HKPS. All psychologists on the register must observe the Code of Professional Conduct maintained by the HKPS.


MAP Common Core Subjects (9 credits)

  • Foundational Competencies (a 6-credit course includes practice-based or research-based attachment)

  • Advanced Research Methods: Mixed Methods in Research


DLN Specialism Core Subjects (15 credits)

  • Nurturing the Gifted & Talented: Instructional Models & Professional Practices

  • Psychology of Exceptional Children

  • Advanced Practices in Learning Disorders & Language Minority

  • Attentional Control & Social Adaptation

  • Assessment & Instructional Strategies for Children & Youth with Specific Learning Disabilities


Elective Subjects (Any 2 subjects, 6 credits)

  • Cognitive Behavioural Intervention

  • Career Counselling: Theories & Practice

  • Psychometric Theory & Scale Construction

  • Psycho-socio-educational Program Development & Evaluation

  • Parenting & Parent Development

  • Cognitive Neuroscience Method in Applied Settings

  • Workplace Counselling

Credit Required for Graduation


Programme Leader(s)

Dr Herrick Wong
DEd (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
MPhil (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
BSc (University of Alberta)

Subject Area
Applied Psychology (Diverse Learning Needs)
Entrance Requirements
  • Prospective students are expected to have a recognised Bachelor's degree in Psychology or related disciplines. Preference will be given to those with substantial prior knowledge or work experience in educational settings.


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 4315
Email: sspg@polyu.edu.hk

Initial Registration Credits

3 for local students
6 for non-local students

Tuition Fee

HK$232,500 per programme (Taught subject: HK$7,250 per credit; Foundational Competencies: HK$9,750 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

Last year was a meaningful and fruitful year as all the hard work and effort finally paid off. During the learning journey, the teachers, practicum experiences and group discussions and interactions with classmates have inspired me greatly. The course has enriched my knowledge, covering a wide range of topics on learning disorders and other special learning needs. By integrating theories, knowledge and skills, I developed my competencies and can apply my knowledge to practical situations. I have gained a lot of insights that have influenced my attitudes, values and thinking. This course led and guided me to think about the directions for nurturing children with special educational needs and addressing other educational issues. Such valuable and constructive learning experiences have definitely enhanced my personal and career development.

Li Nga Tak

I worked as a behavioural therapist for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder before taking this course. Although I specialised in this area, one of many special education needs, I was constrained. I joined this programme aiming to broaden my knowledge and understanding of the field of SEN and the current situation in Hong Kong, and my expectations were met. This course allowed me to touch on areas I was less familiar with, such as SpLD, ADHD, giftedness and language minority. I was also able to revisit my research skills through the coursework and expose myself to different sectors via the practicum. I not only gained text-book knowledge, but also invaluable work experience with schools, teachers and students. Moreover, the discussions with professors and lecturers were precious and inspiring. I am certain that the programme has better equipped me to become a registered psychologist and I believe that graduates of the programme – professionals in diverse learning needs – will be great assets in the fields of education and psychology.

Cheng Vergo Kwong Yin

What I liked about the Master of Applied Psychology (Diverse Learning Needs) programme at PolyU was that it encouraged us to interact with students with learning difficulties in practicums. I gained a better understanding of my client’s specific needs, and was equipped with important skills and knowledge related to working with individuals with special educational needs.


After my one year of full-time study, I deeply appreciated the efforts of the teaching and support staff in the programme. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to them all for helping me to complete the journey.

Chan On Han

I very much enjoyed my learning experience in the programme, which enriched my knowledge and understanding of students with special educational needs. By learning the theories, principles and evidence-based practices, I gained a better understanding of effective interventions. The programme also allowed me to gain practical experience in working with students throughout the process of conducting assessments, planning and evaluating interventions. Moreover, I enjoyed the learning opportunities with the professors and lecturers. Discussions and sharing with them were inspiring and encouraged me to think about the attitude needed in working with students with special educational needs. Studying in the programme was a valuable learning experience for me that allowed me to better equip myself to work as a practitioner, and developed my competencies in providing comprehensive support for students.

Poon Ka Ying

The year I studied in the DLN programme was highly memorable. The programme covered various topics including the general characteristics of children with diverse learning needs, cognitive-behavioral Intervention and innovative strategies to help children learn. It widened my appreciation of psychology and enhanced my skills in helping children with diverse learning needs. The programme allowed me to explore different areas in psychology and gain a better understanding of my strengths and weaknesses.


The practice-based learning  project provided me with opportunities to work with children with diverse learning needs, and I could apply theories learnt in lectures when delivering interventions. Sometimes, the coursework was challenging, but it was meaningful and inspired me to think critically about issues related to children. I believe that this programme will assist me in becoming a more advanced scientist-practitioner.

Li Yi Chun, Ernest

This programme not only focuses on equipping students with theoretical knowledge, but also on the application of theories in real-life situations. In the practicum, I gained an opportunity to handle a potentially dyslexic child under the guidance of a supervisor. With support from the Manulife Centre for Children with Specific Learning Disabilities, I was able to gain access to various assessment materials. That was an awesome experience for me as it was my first time using the materials, designing and implementing an individualised education programme for the child. In addition, the child’s progress was closely monitored and I kept revising the plans after evaluations throughout the year. Over the practicum period, feedback from the parents regarding the child’s social and academic improvement encouraged me to work harder.


Most importantly, this programme has highlighted a very significant message for me – everyone, including children with diverse learning needs, has their own strengths. I also gained insight into the true value and meaning of education. The programme is inspiring me to go further and giving me courage to get ready for all the upcoming challenges in the educational field.

So Fei Hung, Joyce

This programme has provided me with comprehensive knowledge of students with diverse learning needs. As a school teacher, I encountered students with various special educational needs (SEN) through the implementation of inclusive education. However, without adequate support, some teachers become frustrated when teaching difficult SEN students. The programme fills the knowledge and skills gap by providing students with evidence-based suggestions and practices based on theories and findings from applied psychology. Therefore, I highly recommend the programme to any education-related professional, including school teachers, school social workers, occupational therapists, speech therapists, etc. It is also worth mentioning the valuable experience to be gained from the practice-based learning project. As a result of the close supervision and case discussion, my ability to handle case work is greatly enhanced. I also want to take this opportunity to thank all the teaching and supporting staff in the programme. They were always helpful during my studies. 

Lo Dick Chung

My two years of part-time study in the MAP-DLN programme provided me with memorable and interesting experiences. The programme offered macro- and micro-level curriculum components that helped us to understand children with diverse learning needs. Different professionals, including an educational psychologist, clinical psychologist, occupational therapist and even a music therapist, were invited to deliver sessions that expanded my horizon and understanding of diverse learning needs, and provided updated information and techniques to strengthen my knowledge in this domain. The practice-based attachment was a highly practical experience for me. I could apply my new knowledge when working with my mentees with learning difficulties during career counselling. I also applied the assessment and analytic skills from the workplace counselling course. These skills were useful and helped me to understand the needs of the mentees better and design suitable tasks to support their career planning. Moreover, the exchanges and discussions among instructors and classmates in the attachment were important in helping me match my work with the developmental needs of the mentees. I think the programme has given me confidence to be a professional practitioner in DLN and motivated me to further study in related domains in the future.

Chan Yu Yan Flora
Additional Documents Required
Transcript / Certificate

Copies of graduation certificate and official academic transcript are required.

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