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Health and Social Care

HIGHER DIPLOMA IN Health and Social Care

Programme Code

  • HP001 Diploma in Foundation Studies (DFS)
  • HP800 Year 1 & 2, Higher Diploma (HD)




QF Level: 4
QR Registration No.: 13/000239/L4
Registration Validity Period: 02/05/2013 to ongoing 
Successful completion of this programme leads to an award within The University of Hong Kong system through HKU SPACE

Study Subsidy Scheme for Designated Professions/Sectors (SSSDP)

In 2023-24 academic year, local students enroll and being offered the subsidised places of this programme under the SSSDP will receive a subsidy up to HK$39,140. After deduction of the subsidy, the annual tuition fee is HK$22,000.



DFS Application Code: HPDFS-HSC

HD Application Code: HDHSC

This programme aims to provide students with fundamental but essential knowledge in health and social care. Coupled with practical learning in community settings, the curriculum design also takes reference of the basic curriculum contents of some major healthcare professionals.

Subsequently the students will be equipped with healthcare knowledge and skills to become competent community healthcare workers and prospective students of health science as well as social science programmes.


Programme Aims and Features

The programme covers general healthcare knowledge from principles and theories, practical health and social needs assessment skills to programme planning and evaluation activities. It allows students to communicate within a multidisciplinary team in community settings utilising counselling and communication skills. Local and overseas learning exposures in real healthcare settings not only provide students with an eye-opening experience to understand different cultures and community perspectives, these also enhance and broaden their interests in global health issues. Graduates can develop their career in areas such as the operations of private healthcare groups, frontline services of medical specialist centres and programme administration of community health sector.


Opportunities for Further Studies

UGC-funded Universities

Graduates may apply for admission to Bachelor’s degree programmes of local universities (including HKU). 

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

  • The University of Hong Kong
    Bachelor of Nursing
  • The Chinese University of Hong Kong
    Bachelor of Nursing
    BSc Community Health Practice
    BSc Gerontology
    BSc Public Health
  • City University of Hong Kong
    BSocSc Applied Sociology
    BSocSc Public Policy and Politics
  • The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
    BA (Hons) Applied Ageing Studies and Service Management
    BSc (Hons) Environmental and Occupational Safety and Health
    BSc (Hons) Nursing
  • Lingnan University
    Bachelor of Social Sciences (Hons)
  • The Education University of Hong Kong
    Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Special Education

*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

  • The Education University of Hong Kong (Top-up Degree)
    Bachelor of Health Education (Honours)
  • Tung Wah College
    Bachelor of Health Science (Honours) in Nursing
  • PolyU-SPEED
    BSc (Hons) Applied Social Sciences (Health Studies)
  • Hong Kong Metropolitan University
    BSocSc (Hons) Applied Social Studies
  • Caritas Institute of Higher Eduacation
    BSocsc (Hons) Social Work

Overseas Universities

Graduates are eligible to apply for Bachelor’s degree programmes in Nursing, Community Care, Social and Public Policy or other health-related disciplines offered by overseas universities.


Community Placement

A 165-hour local and overseas exposure in real healthcare settings can benefit students in understanding of respective health disciplines. Moreover, visits to health-related industry of publicly funded organisations and privately owned companies will enhance students in their studies as well as broaden their vision in career choices.

Participating organisations and enterprises:

  • Residential homes and day care centres under Social Welfare Department
  • Service units and Expos participating in active ageing
  • Non-government organisations for elderly care
  • Private medical groups / healthcare enterprises
  • Overseas healthcare and community care sectors
  • Mental wellness service / district health centre


Career Prospects

The government advocates primary healthcare and community care. Graduates can practise in health related industries such as nongovernment sector, private medical or healthcare groups. Furthermore, they can also join the business development team of health technology companies contributing in smart healthcare and gerontech services; or become a health promotion personnel in health related sector.


Press Interview

Topick, 4 July 2019

Topick News 2019 (HSC)


2-year Higher Diploma 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.


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
  • Have completed at least Secondary 5 and have gained in International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) or General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) Grade C (or Grade 4) or above in a minimum of 5 subjects including English Language and another language subject; 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 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 2023-24 Academic Year:


Diploma in Foundation Studies

  • General English I & II
  • College Speaking / Youth and Culture
  • College Writing / Foundation English
  • Foundations of Chinese Language* / How Things in Everyday Life Work
  • Chinese Language Enhancement* / Western Images of China
  • Basic Mathematics
  • Elements of Business
  • Multiple Intelligences and Competencies
  • Understanding Hong Kong Popular Culture


Higher Diploma Year 1

  • Introduction to Academic English
  • English for Academic Purposes I
  • Elementary Statistics
  • Information Technology Fundamentals 
  • Basic Understanding of Human Biology 
  • Introduction to Food and Nutrition
  • Counseling and Communication Skills in Community Care I
  • Understanding Child and Adolescent Development
  • Health and Illness
  • Community Health Needs Assessment I


Higher Diploma Year 2

  • English for Academic Purposes II
  • English for Healthcare Professional
  • Practical Chinese*
  • Counseling and Communication Skills in Community Care II
  • Health Promotion and Health Education 
  • Community Health Needs Assessment II
  • Introduction to Social Gerontology
  • Introduction to Social Welfare in Hong Kong
  • Approaches to Programme Evaluation
  • Community Placement 


* 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.