Message from the Programme Director 

prof dai hai jing

Prof. Dai Haijing

Programme Director
MA Programme in Social Policy

The Master of Arts in Social Policy (MASP) Programme is a one-year full-time programme which aims at providing high quality postgraduate education to those who already are, or plan to be, social workers, policy analysts or practitioners. The programme is designed for students who have a good bachelor’s degree in any discipline and want to develop a career in social policy, social services, and public services.

The one-year training course of the Programme is intensive and rigorous. It has a curriculum that covers areas and contents which are both theoretical and practical, and that is essential to the academic study of social policy and policy making activities that promote the well-being of society. The Programme has a comparative perspective. Apart from referring to international social policy experience in general, it also looks at social policy practice in the Chinese societies of Hong Kong and mainland China in particular. This comparative perspective enables students to integrate the need to understand the broad and theoretical picture of social policy on the one hand with the need to be based on specific cultural, social and developmental contexts on the other hand, in order to design social policies appropriate to the local scene.

Prof. Dai Haijing
Programme Director
Master of Arts in Social Policy



In recent years, both Hong Kong and the Mainland have experienced phenomenal economic growth. However, economic prosperity is usually accompanied by acute social problems, and potential concerns are there to be dealt with. Both governments, aiming at building a harmonious society, pay much attention to social problems, and have formulated and implemented various social development policies to address those problems. In Hong Kong, the government has started to encourage more public participation in policy discussion, formulation and implementation. A lot of professionals including social workers, educators, policy analysts, and scholars are being invited to join various governmental advisory bodies to give their views. In addition, various pressure groups and think-tanks are keen to voice their opinions on social policies. All of the above heighten the training needs of social policy professionals in Hong Kong.

In view of the situation, the Department offers a full-time one-year Master of Arts in Social Policy (MASP) Programme. This Programme aims at providing high quality postgraduate education to those who either are or plan to be social work educators or practitioners. The ultimate aim of the Programme is to raise the standards of research, formulation, and implementation as well as the evaluation of social policies; and to cultivate a group of social workers who possess the ability to critically analyse social policies.


Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Programme, students are expected to demonstrate the following abilities:

1) Be able to analyse, formulate, implement and evaluate theoretical and practical knowledge regarding social policy;

2) Be able apply scientific research methods to investigate and examine issues related to social policy;

3) Be able to understand current social policies in East Asia (including Hong Kong and China) with a focus on characteristics and the reform of social welfare; and

4) Be able to integrate the theories of social policy with practical experience.


Programme of Study

Study mode available
Full-time: 1 year

The Programme consists of 6 required courses, and 2 elective courses to be completed in one academic year of study beginning in September. The courses are usually taught in the daytime. The courses offered are as follows:

Required Courses
Required Courses Units
Fundamental Theories of Social Policy
Social Policy and Social Welfare in China
Social Policy and Social Welfare in Hong Kong and East Asia
Social Policy Research I
Social Policy Dissertation
Social Policy Research II
Elective Courses
Elective Courses* Units
Macro Social Work Practice: Strategic Planning
Human Resource Development in Social Services
Comparative Social Security Systems
Seminar on Selected Topics: Special Topics (I)
Youth Culture & Youth Work
Current Issues in Welfare Services and Welfare Administration
Urban Social Work in Chinese Context
Use of Information Technology in Social Services
Budgeting and Financial Planning in Social Service Organisations


Download programme outline (2014 Intake)

MASP Outstanding Dissertation Repository



The following scholarships are available to students of the MASP Programme:

1) Admission Scholarship: Master of Arts in Social Policy Scholarship

2) Distinguished Academic Scholarship for MA in Social Policy Students