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Youth and Social Services


Programme Code

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



QF Level: 4
QR Registration No.: 07/001828/4
Registration Validity Period: 05/05/2008 to ongoing 
Successful completion of this programme leads to an award within The University of Hong Kong system through HKU SPACE

DFS Application Code: HPDFS-YSS

AD Application Code: ASSYSS

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. Thus, this programme equips the students to acquire the knowledge and skills to serve young people, in order to help the youth adapt to the changes in society.

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

  • Enables students to understand the characteristics of social welfare services users and young people, analyse their needs and problems, and identify the appropriate strategies for delivering services and rendering support;
  • Develops a professional understanding of social welfare service sector and enhances students' social awareness, analytical abilities, communication proficiency and workplace performances;
  • Attaches to social welfare agencies in Hong Kong to understand the needs of the community and work of social workers;
  • Explore students' career inclination so as to become workers in social services in the future;
  • Increases students' awareness of their identities and acquires interpersonal communication skills via adventure training;
  • Assigns experienced social workers as supervisors to guide students in their practicum training;
  • Provides opportunities (optional) for students to engage in intern programmes to acquire practical experience in social services;
  • Organises overseas social service tours (optional) to enrich students' understanding of social services delivery.


Opportunities for Further Studies

UGC-funded Universities

Graduates are eligible to apply for admission to Bachelor’s degree programmes in Social Sciences or other related disciplines offered by local universities (including HKU). 

The list below shows the degree offers that our graduates/ students received in the past*:

  • The University of Hong Kong
    Bachelor of Social Sciences
    Bachelor of Social Work​
  • The Chinese University of Hong Kong
    ​BSSc Gender Studies
    BSSc Global Studies
    BSSc Social Work
  • The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
    BA (Hons) ​Scheme in Applied Social Sciences
    BA (Hons) Social Policy and Social Entrepreneurship
  • City University of Hong Kong
    BSocSc Asian and International Studies
    BSocSc Criminology and Sociology
    BSocSc Psychology
    BSocSc Public Policy and Politics
    ​BSocSc Social Work
  • Hong Kong Baptist University
    Bachelor of Social Work (Hons)
  • 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.

Graduates are also eligible to apply for the below degree programmes offered by other institutions:

Other Local Institutions

    • Full-time, 2-year, Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Social Sciences, offered by Edinburgh Napier University (UK) in collaboration with HKU SPACE


Career Prospects

Graduates can take up positions in children and youth services, community services, family services, career guidance and social security services, in both the government and NGOs.

2-year Associate Degree Programme

  • Obtain Level 2 or above in 5 subjectsincluding 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
  • Hold a Diploma of Applied Education; 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 on individual merit.


*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 one of the five HKDSE subjects is Citizenship and Social Development, the requirement will be “Attained” for the subject.

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.

Effective from 2024-25 Academic Year:


Diploma in Foundation Studies

  • General English I & II
  • College Speaking / Introduction to Information Technology and AI
  • College Writing / Grammar for College Studies
  • Foundation of Chinese Language*
  • Chinese Language Enhancement*
  • Basic 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
  • Information Technology Fundamentals
  • Advanced Chinese Language*
  • Critical Analysis and Reasoning in Discipline-based Studies
  • Social Problems in Contemporary Societies
  • SELF-Exploration & Enrichment
  • Principles of Sociology
  • Foundation Psychology

Associate Degree Year 2

  • English for Academic Purposes II
  • English for Arts and Humanities
  • Health, Technology and Society
  • Histories, Societies and Identities: Connecting the Past to the Present
  • 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


The College reserves the right to make modifications to individual courses on a need basis.

* 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.