Sept 2024 Entry


2 years


A minimum of 66 academic credits plus 3 training credits

  • The curriculum of this programme, including the credit requirements, is subject to review. Students not meeting the equivalent standard of the Undergraduate Degree Language Communication Requirement (LCR) will be required to take the default LCR replacement subjects.
  • Medium of Instruction of the programme: English and Chinese (Putonghua and Cantonese)

    English is the medium of instruction for most subjects. However, for certain subjects with a dominant Chinese content, Putonghua and/or Cantonese may be used as the medium of instruction, such as Structure of Modern Chinese (CBS3403) and Varieties of Written Chinese (CBS4940). There is also an elective subject named Analysis of Cantonese (CBS4941) which deals with Cantonese and consequently Cantonese will also be used as the medium of instruction.​​​

  • Online Admission Talk of BA (Hons) in Language and Speech Sciences (BALSS)

    Date and time: 22 Feb 2022, 2pm

    Video link:


Application Deadline
Non-JUPAS Local Senior Year Admissions
About Programme
Specific Notes
How to Apply
Aims & Characteristics

Programme Aims

BA (Hons) in Language and Speech Sciences (BALSS) is a government-funded, interdisciplinary, two-year full-time honours top-up programme that admits Senior Year students holding an Associate Degree or Higher Diploma qualification.


The programme aims to equip graduates with (1) good foundation knowledge to understand human communication and its disorders, including (a) linguistic knowledge, (b) cognitive theories and (c) biological basis; (2) knowledge and basic skills in analysing human communication disorders; (3) good communication skills to interact with people from various social and cultural backgrounds as well as individuals with communication disorders; and (4) functional work-related skills nurtures students as all-round individuals who are ready to work and to be an ethical leader in numerous allied health and/or education settings, research fields and other business and industry sectors.




The programme provides students with solid training in areas related to language and speech sciences, including linguistics, biology, cognition and communication disorders. With a balanced curriculum of both skills-based and knowledge-based courses, the programme produces graduates who can pursue a variety of careers, including positions related to allied health, education, research fields and other business and industry sectors.

Recognition & Prospects

The career prospects of graduates from this programme depend on how they select their study pathways. Students have the option of focusing on areas related to communication disorders, and they will be able to serve in junior positions in different allied health sectors such as speech therapy departments under the Hospital Authority, NGOs and other private healthcare sectors. They will also be able to work in research labs in cognitive and/or communication sciences. Graduates who opt for postgraduate studies via the Master of Speech Therapy programme or education will further expand their career prospects to speech therapy and special education. Besides these study pathways, students can plan their studies by focusing on broader areas in language and communication. With solid training in multilingual communication and problem solving skills, graduates are expected to be capable of pursuing careers in business and industry sectors.


The curriculum of this programme, including the credit requirements, is subject to review:

Total credits requirement for BALSS is 66 credits# + 3 training credits (WIE):

Students are required to take at least 30 credits of Level-4 subjects

1. General University Requirement (GUR)

  a. Cluster Areas Requirement (CAR) (6 credits)

  • 3 credits from CAR (M) “Chinese History and Culture” 
  • 3 credits from a specially-designed CAR (A) “Human Nature, Relations and Development” – English language with English Reading and Writing Requirements​​ (ER/EW)
  • Students are required to fulfil the English and Chinese Reading & Writing Requirements (ER/EW & CR/CW).   Students are suggested taking a CAR M subject with CR/CW.

  b. Service-Learning (3 credits)

  • CBS3S01 Service Learning through Helping Primary Students with Specific Reading Difficulties; OR
  • Students can register any service learning subjects offered by CBS or other departments of the University.


  c. General Education​​ (GE) [Non-credit-bearing]

  •   4 Essential Components of General Education (GE) E-modules​​:
  1. Academic Integrity (AI)
  2. Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics (AIDA)
  3. Innovation and Entrepreneurship​​ (IE)
  4. National Education (NE)


2. Work-Integrated Education (WIE)

  a. CBS4946 Work-Integrated Education (3 training credits)


3. Discipline-Specific Requirement (DSR)

  a. Capstone project (6 credits): CBS4999 Project in Language and Speech Sciences

  b. BALSS discipline-specific subjects (51 credits)


BALSS discipline-specific subjects (51 credits)

Compulsory Subjects* (30 credits)

Subject title


Year of study

Linguistic Knowledge Foundation    
Structure of Modern Chinese



Language, Cognition and Brain



Language Acquisition



Sounds of Language



Contrastive Analysis of Chinese and English



Foundation Knowledge of Communication Disorder    
Analysis of Language Samples: Clinical Implications



 Child Communication Disorders and Special Eduation Needs (DSLR English)



Communication Disorders Across the Life Span



Language and Speech Production: Anatomical and Physiological Perspectives



Language Skills    
Chinese Academic Writing in Language and Speech Sciences (DSLR Chinese)





Elective Subjects (21 credits)

Students are required to take at least two subjects under "Professional Skills".

Subject title Credits Year of study
Academic Knowledge Foundation    
Psycholinguistics 3 1/2
Varieties of Written Chinese 3 2
Analysis of Cantonese 3 2
Language and Society 3 2
Professional Skills    
Programming and Data Analysis for Language Studies 3 1/2
Therapeutic Processes of Language Intervention 3 2
Techniques in Language Sciences 3 2
Statistics for Language Studies 3 2
Deafness and Sign Language 3 1/2
Language and Communication    
Symbolic Communication across Languages 3 1/2
Bilingual Workshop for Verbal and Non-verbal Communication 3 1/2
Functions of Corporate Communication 3 1/2
Bilingual Workshop for Internal Corporate Communication 3


Bilingual Workshop for External Corporate Communication 3 1/2
Introduction to Translation 3 1/2
Introduction to Interpreting 3 1/2
Translation for Business & Commerce 3 1/2
Translation for the Media 3 1/2
Consecutive Interpreting 3 1/2
Media Languages and Communication 3 1/2
Persuasive Communication in Greater China 3 1/2
Cultural Signs and Corporate Communication 3 1/2
Intercultural Communication 3 1/2
Translation Studies 3 1/2
Translation for Science and Technology 3 1/2
Translation for Legal Work 3 1/2
Introduction to Literary Translation 3 1/2
Simultaneous Interpreting 3 1/2
Machine Aided Translation 3 1/2
Corpus and Language Technology for Language Studies 3 1/2


# The Language and Communication Requirements (LCR) is normally not required.  Only those students not meeting the equivalent standard of the Undergraduate Degree LCR (based on their previous studies in AD/HD programmes and their academic performance) will be required to take LCR subjects on top of the normal curriculum requirement.  CBS will refer to the guidelines provided by the Language Centres (ELC and CLC) to determine whether a new student has met the equivalent standard, with special reference to academic writing ability.


(a)  ENGL2000 English for Effective Communication (3 credits)

(b)  ENGL2001 English for Professional Communication (3 credits)

(c)  CBS2901 Chinese for Language Professionals (3 credits)


*Under normal circumstances, there is no prerequisite for the Compulsory Subjects. However, for students who have no formal training in language sciences, "Introduction to Language (3 credits)" is required.


The above subject list is subject to revision. Offering of subjects is subject to the availability of teaching staff and viable enrolment number. The Department has the discretion on the offering semester and class quota, which is limited by classroom capacity.

Credit Required for Graduation

A minimum of 66 academic credits plus 3 training credits

Scheme/Programme Leader(s)

Programme Leader

Dr KWONG Yee Lan Elaine

PhD, BSc (Speech and Hearing)

Entrance Requirements

A Higher Diploma or an Associate Degree from a recognised institution in relevant disciplines such as language studies, psychology, allied health care, biological sciences, social sciences or other communication related fields.

Preference will be given to applicants with good command of English and Chinese.


For academic/admission matters, please contact:

Programme Leader:

Dr KWONG Yee Lan Elaine


Deputy Programme Leader:

Dr WONG Min Ney 


For general information, please contact:

CBS General Office

Tel: (852) 3400 3268


Student Message

I enjoyed my study at PolyU. It provides a good environment and lots of resources for learning. The teaching staff are friendly and supportive. They gave high-quality teaching and supported us by giving advice on our studies and careers. The BALSS curriculum is well-designed. It gave me a more diverse understanding of both language structures and different kinds of communication disorders. The programme equipped me with systematic training in linguistics, communication disorders, language intervention, anatomy and physiology in language/speech production. I also gained valuable experiences from the service learning subject, as I got the chance to participate in treatments of dyslexia, which enabled me to learn in detail about the disorder and its treatment processes. It also strengthened my determination to become a speech therapist.

Li Yun Lam
Additional Documents Required
Transcript / Certificate


Programme Leaflet

Click here

Interview Arrangement

To evaluate the potential of applicants for admission to the programme.

Date of Interview
Between December and August

15 minutes

English and Chinese (Putonghua and Cantonese)
Individual interview and/or group interview

Shortlisted applicants may be invited for an interview. Conditional offers may be directly granted to applicants with excellent academic performance in their Associate Degree or Higher Diploma studies.