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Youth and Social Services


Programme Code

  • HP001 Diploma in Foundation Studies (DFS)
  • HP203 Year 1 & 2, Associate Degree (AD)

DFS Application Code: HP 82-103

AD Application Code: HP 83-203

Hong Kong is a rapidly developing society and young people have always been our central focus. Government policies in education, health, social welfare and labour have been laid down to prepare for positive future development of adolescents. However, there are still many youth problems in the community. That is why we need trained personnel in youth work to assist our young people in an era of rapid changes.

Youth and social services in Hong Kong are delivered by a team of professionally trained personnel who help the needy to cope with life transitions and challenges, and this programme is specially designed to meet that need. Po Leung Kuk, with its well-established reputation and tradition in social service in Hong Kong, has much to offer in support of students’ practical training in the field.


Programme Aims and Features

The programme equips students with the basic competencies in understanding the characteriatics of social welfare services users and young persons, analyse their needs and problems and identify the appropriate strategies for delivering services and rendering support. Students will develop a professional understanding of the social welfare service sector while the programme will enhance their social awareness, analytical abilities, communication proficiency, and workplace performance. In addition, this programme provides students with a broad-based foundation in Social Sciences to prepare them for higher level studies in related disciplines.


Opportunities for Further Studies

Programmes offered by local universities

Graduates are eligible to apply for admission to Bachelor’s degree programmes in Social Sciences or other related disciplines offered by local (including HKU) universities. The list below shows the UGC-funded degree offers that our graduates/ students received in the past*:

  • The University of Hong Kong
    ​Bachelor of Social Sciences
  • The Chinese University of Hong Kong
    ​BSSc Gender Studies
  • City University of Hong Kong
    BSocSc Asian and International Studies
    BSocSc Criminology
    BSocSc Psychology
    BSocSc Public Policy and Politics
    ​BSocSc Social Work
  • The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
    BA (Hons) Social Policy and Administration
    ​Broad Discipline of Social Sciences
  • Hong Kong Baptist University
    Bachelor of Social Work (Hons)
    ​BSSc (Hons) Psychology
  • The Education University of Hong Kong
    BEd (Hons) (Primary) General Studies
    BEd (Hons) (Primary) Mathematics

*The above list is not exhaustive and only shows some of the examples.

Programmes offered by overseas universities

Graduates are also eligible to apply for admission to Bachelor’s degree programmes in Social Sciences or other related disciplines offered by overseas universities:

  • Full-time, Bachelor’s degree programmes offered locally by overseas universities in collaboration with HKU SPACE International College (IC):
    • 2-year, Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Criminology and Sociology, The University of Hull (UK);
    • 2-year, Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Sociology, The University of Hull (UK);
  • Part-time, 2-year (trimester) Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Social Sciences, offered locally by Edinburgh Napier University (UK) in collaboration with HKU SPACE.


Career Prospects

Graduates of this programme will be able to undertake a wide range of jobs in children and youth services, community services, family services, career guidance and social security services, in both the government and non-government organisations.

2-year Associate Degree Programme

  • Obtain Level 2 or above in 5 subjects* including English Language and Chinese Language# in the HKDSE Examination; OR
  • Hold a recognised Diploma in Foundation Studies programme; OR

  • Hold a Diploma Yi Jin; OR

  • Equivalent qualifications will be considered by the College.

Applicants whose HKDSE results do not meet the entry requirements of the 2-year Associate Degree programme should apply for admission to the Diploma in Foundation Studies (DFS) programme.


Diploma in Foundation Studies Programme

  • Obtain Level 1 or above in English Language and Chinese Language# in the HKDSE Examination, AND at least 6 points+ in the best 5 subjects*^; OR

  • Equivalent qualifications will be considered by the College.


Mature Students

Applicants who do not possess the above academic qualifications, but are aged 21 or above and with relevant work experience will be considered by the College.


*Applicants are allowed to use not more than 2 Applied Learning (ApL) subjects in the application. The recognition of the ApL subjects is as follows: 

“Attained with Distinction (II)” is deemed equivalent to Level 4 or above;
“Attained with Distinction (I)” is deemed equivalent to Level 3; and 
“Attained” is deemed equivalent to Level 2 in the HKDSE Examination.

#ApL Chinese (for non-Chinese speaking students) would be accepted as an alternative Chinese Language qualification.

^ If the candidate has attempted less than 5 subjects but obtained 6 points or above, the application will still be considered.

+ Level 5** = 7 points; Level 5* = 6 points; Level 5 = 5 points; Level 4 = 4 points; Level 3 = 3 points; Level 2 = 2 points; Level 1 = 1 point.

Diploma in Foundation Studies

  • General English I & II
  • College Speaking / Introduction to Intercultural Communication
  • College Writing / Foundation English
  • Foundation of Chinese Language* / The Science of Everyday Life
  • Chinese Language Enhancement / Western Images of China
  • General Mathematics
  • Elements of Business
  • Multiple Intelligences and Competencies
  • Understanding Hong Kong Popular Culture​​


Associate Degree Year 1

  • Introduction to Academic English
  • English for Academic Purposes I
  • Quantitative Analysis I / Mathematics with Applications
  • Information Technology and Applications
  • Advanced Chinese Language*
  • SELF-Exploration & Enrichment
  • Principles of Sociology
  • Foundation Psychology
  • Ideas that Shaped the Modern World
  • Applied Ethics

Associate Degree Year 2

  • English for Academic Purposes II
  • English for Arts and Humanities
  • Hong Kong and Chinese Societies in Transition
  • Politics, Peoples and Cultures: The Making of a Globalising World since 1945
  • Introduction to Social Welfare in Hong Kong
  • Introduction to Social Work
  • The Youth-at-risk and Delinquents
  • Counseling Skills
  • Adventure-based and Experiential Learning
  • Practicum - Youth and Social Services


* Non-Chinese speaking students or students who have not received sufficient training in the Chinese language may apply for exemption from the Chinese course(s), and alternative courses may be assigned.