Programme Objective
The Master of Social Sciences in Counselling Psychology is a professional degree that qualifies graduates for registration with professional associations. The programme is designed to create a distinct professional identity for Counselling Psychologists, and to contribution toward meeting the currently psychological needs within the community. ​​​​​​
Title of Award: Master of Social Sciences in Counselling Psychology
Mode of Attendance: Full time/Part time
Intake Quota per Annum: 30
Duration of Programme: Full time: 2 years (4 semesters & 1 summer term) 
Part time: 4 years  (8 semesters & 2 summer terms)
Programme Director: Dr. Muriel LIN
The total number of credits required for graduation: 63
Total Tuition Fees: $163,800 (i.e. $2,600 for one credit) 
The First Semester  
Code Course Credits
CP514 Psychotherapy I 3
CP516 Research Methods in Counselling Psychology 3
CP519 Assessment and Evaluation for Counselling Psychology I 3
CP522 Professional Practice and Ethical Issues in Counselling Psychology 3
  Subtotal 12
The Second Semester  
Code Course Credits
CP515 Psychotherapy II 3
CP520 Assessment and Evaluation for Counselling Psychology II 3
CP517 Cultural and Individual Diversity 3
CP524 Internship 3
Clinical Practicum I (Take one of the following laboratory courses) 3
CP500 Play Therapy  
CP501 Solution Focused Brief Therapy  
CP502 Client-Centred Therapy  
CP503 Cognitive Behaviour Therapy  
CP504 Psychodynamic Psychotherapy  
  Subtotal 15
Code Course Credits
CP518 Research Workshops and Seminars in Counselling Psychology 3
CP525 Externship I** 3
CP540 Dissertation (Part I of III) 3
  Subtotal 9
The Third Semester  
Code Course Credits
CP534 Specific Issues in Developmental Psychology 3
CP526 Externship II** 3
CP541 Dissertation (Part II of III) 3
Clinical Practicum II (Take one of the following laboratory courses) 3
CP500 Play Therapy  
CP501 Solution Focused Brief Therapy  
CP502 Client-Centred Therapy  
CP503 Cognitive Behaviour Therapy  
CP504 Psychodynamic Psychotherapy  
Clinical Seminar I (Take one of the following seminars)* 3
CP505 Mental Health Counselling  
CP507 School Psychology and Counselling  
CP509 Vocational Psychology and Counselling  
CP511 Couple and Family Counselling  
  Subtotal 15
The Fourth Semester  
Code Course Credits
Clinical Seminar II (Take one of the following seminars)* 3
CP505 Mental Health Counselling  
CP507 School Psychology and Counselling  
CP509 Vocational Psychology and Counselling  
CP511 Couple and Family Counselling  
CP527 Externship III** 3
CP542 Dissertation (Part III of III) 6
  Subtotal 12


Programme structure (Remarks)

Clinical Seminars*

The four clinical seminars provide specialty knowledge on how to work in different settings. It is a unique opportunity to learn more advanced clinical techniques and interventions as applied to specific populations. They combine both conceptual and practical understanding of how to put counselling psychology techniques into practice according to the different contextual needs.

Internship and Externships**

Students are required to work two full weekdays per week (Monday to Saturday) in both Internship and Externships.

Skills Labs

Skills labs are offered for those who want to enhance their practical skills in using counselling psychology techniques. This is an almost entirely practice-based experience conducted in a small group setting to provide hands-on guidance, direction, and demonstration.


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General Requirements

Applicants for admission to the Master of Social Sciences (Counselling Psychology) Programme MUST either

1. be in possession of a Bachelor's degree with first or second class honours in Psychology from a recognized local or overseas university OR
2. be in possession of a Bachelor's degree with first or second class honours in fields other than Psychology, AND have completed a post- graduate conversion programme in Psychology (e.g. Master of Social Sciences in Psychology etc)

Applicants are subject to psychological tests, English writing tests, and are required to attend individual and group interviews.

Specific Requirement

Successful applicants who meet the general requirements stated above are conditionally admitted into the programme, subject to completion of an introductory course in Counselling Psychology offered between end of May and early July.

Language Requirement

As the primary language of instruction in the programme is English, applicants whose entrance qualification is issued by an institution where the medium of instruction is not English should also fulfil the following minimum English proficiency requirement:

  1. Overall score ≥ 6.5 in International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (academic); or
  2. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 600 (paper-based test) or 100 (internet-based test) or 250 (computer-based test); or
  3. Other equivalent qualifications that are acceptable to the university, including degrees from a recognised English medium institution in good standing. 
*Fluency in English and Chinese, in both oral and written forms, is required of all applicants. Those with honours degree from local universities or overseas universities where the medium of instruction is English, will be assumed to have met this requirement.

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Information Seminar 

The information seminar had been held at 19:30 (HKT) on 12 January 2024 (Friday) in Hong Kong Shue Yan University. Please click HERE for the powerpoint of the information seminar.

Important Dates (For September 2024 Cohort) 

Deadline for Application: 22 February 2024
Interview and test day: 9 March 2024
Release of results: mid to end of April 2024

Application Procedures
Online Application
Click HERE to access the online application. 
- Official transcripts are to be sent from post-secondary institutions/universities attended Please send this form (Transcript Request Form (pdf version/ doc version) to your appropriate officer of institution from which the transcript is requested. SYU graduates need not request transcripts from the Registry, copies of past results will suffice.
- 2 signed and sealed Referee Reports (pdf version/doc version)
Postgraduate Admission Office
Master of Social Sciences in Counselling Psychology programme
Department of Counselling and Psychology
Hong Kong Shue Yan University
10 Wai Tsui Crescent, Braemar Hill Road, North Point, Hong Kong

Tel: 2104 8270

Scholarship & Fellowship

1. Postgraduate Research Scholarship:
- The “Postgraduate Research Scholarship” aims to attract students with strong academic backgrounds who have an avid interest in refining their research skills. Each year, a total of 15 scholarships @HKD20,000 will be allocated to this category. Awardees are expected to commit 200 hours to research activities as assigned by the Programme Director during their period of study at HKSYU.

2. Fellowship for Postgraduate Studies:
- The “Fellowship for Postgraduate Studies” aims to support outstanding final year undergraduate students in HKSYU to pursue postgraduate studies. Those successfully admitted into local full-time postgraduate programmes may be considered for this category. Each year, 10 scholarships @HKD10,000 will be allocated to this category.

For further scholarship and fellowship details, please click HERE 


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Benchmarking local and international associations' requirements for post-graduate degree completion

1) Council of Counseling Psychology Training Programs (CCPTP), USA
2) American Psychological Association (APA) (Doctoral Level), USA
3) Australian Psychological Society (APS), AUS.
4) British Psychological Society (BPS), U.K.
5) Asian Professional Counselling and Psychology Association (APCPA)
6) Hong Kong Professional Counselling Association (HKPCA)
7) Hong Kong Psychological Society (HKPS)

Counselling Psychologist

Upon completion of our MSS Counselling Psychology Programme, members of Hong Kong Psychological Society will be eligible to apply for full membership of the Division of Counselling Psychology of Hong Kong Psychological Society. 

To register as Registered Counselling Psychologist in Hong Kong, graduate membership of Hong Kong Psychological Society, full membership of Division of Counselling Psychology, as well as one year of post qualification experience in counselling psychology as accepted by HKPS are required.


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  • Computer-Assisted Data Analysis Laboratory (LG303)
  • Cognitive Psychology and Vision Laboratory (LG215-6)
  • Practice-Based Evidence Laboratory (LG301)
  • Neuropsychology Laboratory (Neuromodulation Section) (LG304)
  • Playroom (LG314)
  • Child Development Laboratory (RLG303)
  • Positive Technology and Virtual Reality Laboratory (RLG307)
  • Neuropsychology Laboratory (Psychological Assessment Room) (RLG308B)
  • Psychological Lab Studio of Art & Creativity (RLG309)
  • Psychological Test Library (LG102)
  • Student Learning and Development Laboratory (RLG305)
  • Positive and Social Psychology Lab (RLG304)
  • Neuropsychology Laboratory (High-Density Electroencephalography Section) (RLG308)
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Lab (RLG308A)
  • Play Therapy Research and Practice Laboratory (RLG306)
  • Office for Postgraduate Interns (LG315B)
  • Counselling Rooms (Lib105, LG211-214, LG315A, LG315C)
  • Counselling and Research Centre Staff Office (CRC; LG233-235)
  • Multifunctional Room (Lib101) and the Seminar Rooms (Lib103)
Hong Kong Shue Yan University Virtual Campus Tour (HERE)

Dr. LIN, Muriel
Assistant Professor
Programme Director
Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology, Alliant International University) 

Areas of Research Interests: 
Schema Therapy related issues
Psychological intervention
Multicultural issues
Online counseling related issues




Dr. CHEUNG, Yim Yen
Assistant Director
Externship Coordinator
Doctor of Psychology in Counselling Psychology (HKSYU) 

Areas of Research Interests: 
Cultural Values and Family Relationship
Adolescent Development
Cultural Adjustment
Personality and Psychotherapy





Dr. LI, Wang-On Alex 
Associate Academic Vice President (University Research)
Associate Professor
Research Coordinator
Ph.D. (Psychology, U of Hong Kong) 

Areas of Research Interests: 
Counselling as a Profession
Efficacy of Intervention Model


Dr. CONNOLLY, Patrick
Assistant Professor
Practicum Coordinator, MSS in Play Therapy Programme
Ph.D. (Psychology, University of South Africa)

Area of Research Interests: 
Psychotherapy and Counselling
Systems Theory
Psychosis and Schizophrenia
Post-traumatic Stress






Dr. FU, Wai 
Associate Professor
Dissertation Coordinator
Ph.D. (Psychology, U of Hong Kong) 

Areas of Research Interests: 
Psychoanalysis Related Issues
Drug Addiction
Pathological Gambling
Program Evaluation
Qualitative Inquiries 



Dr. CHEUNG, Raysen
Associate Professor
Programme Director, PsyD in Counselling Psychology programme  
Ph.D. (Vocational Psychology, Loughborough University) 

Areas of Research Interests: 
Career Counseling and Development
Cross Cultural Counseling
Industrial-Organization Psychology
Assessments of Counseling Interventions



Dr. THOMPSON, Nigel 
Assistant Professor
Internship Coordinator
Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology, Yeshiva University) 

Areas of Research Interests:
Dissertation Research: Caregiver Dispositional Mindfulness and Health Outcomes in Pediatric Asthma - Pathways of Effect
Other Research: - The effects of differences in symptom perception among Caucasian, Puerto Rican, and African-American children and caregivers on asthma-related health behaviors
- The impact of panic disorder on health-relared quality of life in comorbid asthma-panic disorder patients.









Dr. YUEN, Wing Yan Winnie
Assistant Professor
Assistant Director, BSS(Hons) in Counselling and Psychology Programme
Ph.D. (The University of Hong Kong)

Areas of Research Interests: 
Positive Psychology
Health Psychology
Recovery-focused Mental Health Services
Strengths-based Intervention
Stigma towards People with Mental Illness and other Vulnerable Groups
Trauma-informed Care


Dr. NGAI, Tsz-kin Joe
Assistant Professor
Coordinator of Case Record, MSS in Counselling Psychology Programme
Ph.D. in Social Science (The University of Hong Kong)

Areas of Research Interests:
Animal Assisted Intervention
Human-Animal Interaction

One Health
Humane Education
Child Education
Positive Psychology




Assistant Professor
Ed.D. in Developmental and Educational Psychology (The Education University of Hong Kong)
School Counselling
Wellbeing in Schools


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What are the differences between "Clinical Psychology" and "Counselling Psychology"? 
The core difference between Clinical and Counselling Psychology lies in the practice orientation of the two disciplines. Clinical Psychology is based on the pathology model of human behavior. It utilizes the scientific study and application of Psychology for the purpose of understanding, preventing, and relieving psychologically-based distress or dysfunction and to promote subjective well-being and personal development. On the other hand, Counselling Psychology is based on the wellness model of human behaviour.

Graduates from Clinical Psychology tend to deal with more severely disturbed patients, and in fact are trained to work in psychiatric settings. However, graduates in Counselling Psychology work with healthier and less pathological clients, and usually conduct more career and vocational counselling.

Do I need to find the placement myself for Internship? 
No. Internship training is provided at the Counselling & Research Centre (CRC) of the University. CRC provides counselling services for students in the undergraduate programmes who are required to seek counsellee experience. CRC is also open to the public, and its services are used by several rehabilitative and mental health agencies.
How should we conduct the Externship?

Externships are arranged with students' choice of concentration and availability of places in mind. Students are advised to complete their three externships in two different settings so as to gain some variety in their learning experiences. However, in certain cases, students may be permitted to complete three externships in one setting, subject to the approval of their advisors and the Programme Director.

Can I apply if I only have an Honours Diploma in Counselling & Psychology?

Consideration will be given on a case-by-case basis to mature students with an Honours Diploma in Counselling & Psychology who have worked in the field of counselling for five years or over.



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