Main content start


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 2024-25 academic year, local students enrolling and being offered the subsidised places of this programme under the SSSDP will receive a subsidy up to HK$39,890. After deduction of the subsidy, the annual tuition fee is HK$22,410.



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. Learning exposures in real healthcare settings not only provide students with an eyeopening experience to understand 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.

The lists below show the offers our graduates and students received in the past years*:

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

*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

  • Tung Wah College
    Bachelor of Health Science (Honours) in Nursing
  • PolyU-SPEED
    BSc (Hons) Applied Sciences (Health Studies)
  • Hong Kong Metropolitan University
    BSocSc (Hons) Applied Social Studies
    Bachelor of Nursing (Hons) General Health Care
    Bachelor of Nursing (Hons)
  • Saint Francis University
    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 publicly funded organisations and privately owned companies of the health-related industry 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
  • 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 non-government 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
  • 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 Higher Diploma 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 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
  • Foundations of Chinese Language*
  • Chinese Language Enhancement*
  • 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 Professionals
  • 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 


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.