The Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours) in Counselling & Psychology has its roots in the original Diploma Programme in Counselling & Guidance which was established in 1977.
At that time, a substantial number of teachers from local primary and secondary schools were enrolled at Shue Yan’s evening college. These teachers faced problems both in the classroom and when dealing with parents. They sought opportunities to acquire skills to deal with such situations. The obvious choice then was to enroll in the Diploma Programme in Social Work, yet because of the fact that Social Work was offered only in the day college and there was an internship requirement, teachers holding full-time jobs were naturally disqualified. To fulfill their learning needs, SYC developed the Diploma Programme in Counselling & Guidance in 1977.
Gradually, as the programme gained a reputation in the community, its enrollment base extended from teachers to students from all walks of life. Since Counselling & Guidance involved the learning of practical skills, a non-compulsory internship module was set up in 1984 in an attempt to weld theory with practice. It was quickly embraced by 80% of the students. In 1992, the Diploma Programme in Counselling & Guidance began to be offered as a full-time day programme with a compulsory internship module.
Concomitant with the re-structuring of the programme and the addition of core courses in Psychology, the programme was renamed Honours Diploma in Counselling and Psychology in 1994. Under this programme, three streams were developed: the Double Major Stream in Counselling and Psychology; the Double Major Stream in Business and Psychology; and the Pure Psychology Stream. In 2001, the Double Major Stream in Business and Psychology ceased to be offered.
Since 1977, many modifications have been introduced to maintain its relevance in the changing times. In 2004, approval was given by the Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation (HKCAA) to offer a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours) programme in Counselling and Psychology, the first of its kind to be offered in Hong Kong. In 2007, approval was given by the Programme Validation and Review Committee (PVRC) of HKSYU to offer a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours) programme in Psychology, the fourth of its kind to be offered in Hong Kong.
In addition to the undergraduate programmes, the Master of Social Sciences in Counselling Psychology programme and Master of Social Sciences in Psychology programmes were successfully validated by HKCAAVQ in 2010 and 2014 respectively. In 2015, the Department started to offer the first Doctor of Psychology in Counselling Psychology programme in Hong Kong.