Master of Social Work Programme


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“Bring New Value of social work practice through the integration of digital and interdisciplinary collaborative practice”


Director's Message

The Master of Social Work (MSW) programme aims to equip students with a comprehensive understanding of social work philosophy and epistemology while preparing them to integrate technologies and interdisciplinary professional collaborations with conventional social work practice. We strive to cultivate leaders who can leverage technology's potential, embrace diverse perspectives, and engage in collaborative problem-solving, ultimately contributing to the well-being and empowerment of individuals, families, and communities. We aim to create a more just, inclusive, and sustainable society.

At the core of the programme's philosophy is the belief that social work is a discipline grounded in a deep understanding of human behaviour, social systems, and the dynamics of power and privilege. The courses offered in the MSW programme provide students with a solid foundation in these areas, exploring theories and frameworks that inform social work practice. Students learn about various approaches to intervention, ethical considerations, and the importance of cultural competence in working with diverse populations.

The programme recognizes that technology has become an integral part of modern society and has the potential to enhance social work practice. To this end, it seeks to bridge the gap between conventional social work methods and technological advancements. It enables students to leverage digital tools, data analysis, and virtual platforms to advance service delivery, advocacy efforts, and community engagement and promote innovative solutions to societal problems. Courses within the programme may cover topics such as using digital platforms for client engagement, data analysis, and management, telehealth, and the ethical implications of technology in social work.

The programme believes addressing complex social issues requires collaborative efforts across diverse fields and professions. We aim to foster interdisciplinary collaborations, bringing together social work professionals, technologists, policymakers, educators, healthcare providers, and other stakeholders. Through multidisciplinary coursework, research opportunities, and field placements, we facilitate meaningful collaborations that transcend conventional boundaries, promoting holistic approaches to social change and resilience-building.

The MSW programme creates a synergistic learning environment that prepares students to integrate technology with conventional social work practice through courses, research projects, university labs, field placements, and supervision. Graduates of the programme will be imbued with the perspective of forward-thinking practitioners equipped with the knowledge, skills, and ethical foundations necessary to leverage technology in ways that positively impact their clients and transform the field of social work in the present and future.

Prof. Esther Chow Oi Wah
Programme Director
Master of Social Work


The Master of Social Work (MSW) Programme is a professional training programme leading to a professional qualification in social work. Graduates can apply for the Registered Social Worker (RSW) status with the Social Workers Registration Board (SWRB). Students who hold a first degree in any discipline and wish to pursue a professional career in social work can apply.

Important Dates

Open for Application: January 2024
Application Deadline: 30 April 2024
1st Round Admission Interview: March 2024
2nd Round Admission Interview: Early-May 2024

Programme Aims

  1. Equip non-social work degree holders with required professional social work knowledge, innovative technologies, and digital practice skills, enabling them to address the increasingly complicated socio-economic changes in the community.
  2. Develop students’ sense of social responsibility and integrity in upholding the core values and ethics of the social work profession.
  3. Enhance global and regional outlook and develop students’ management competencies to contribute to the sustainable development of society through the micro, mezzo, and macro levels of social work practice.
  4. Enable students to draw on their prior academic training to contribute to and apply interdisciplinary practices and research to serve people from diverse backgrounds and create social impact.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:

  1. Apply and elaborate advanced social work knowledge and skills as well as digital practice with informed professional judgment and ethical adherence to address and handle complex case situations and social issues.
  2. Develop and defend professional identity in executing the roles and responsibilities of a social worker with integrity and accountability, exercising professional values and ethics in all practices.
  3. Appraise leadership, management knowledge, and skills in problem-solving, communication, collaboration, and conflict resolution, leading to the well-being of service users and the advancement of social justice at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels.
  4. Design interdisciplinary research-based practice and make use of practice-based research to produce measurable impact and positive changes at individual and community levels.
  5. Analyze, criticize, and interpret complex social issues and policies that affect different sectors of society at local, regional, and global levels.

Curriculum Structure

Students are required to complete 58 credits, which include:

12 Core Courses: 36 Credits
  • Human Diversity, Behaviour and Social Environment
  • Interprofessional Collaboration in Social Work Practice
  • Agency, Community, Stakeholders, and Systems Engagement – Social Work Mezzo Practices
  • Sustainable Development and Social Work Macro Practices
  • Advanced Interviewing Skills and Modalities – Social Work Micro Practices
  • Globalisation and Regionalisation in Social Welfare and Social Policy
  • Law and Ethics in Social Work
  • Practice-based Research, Evaluation and Social Impact Assessment
  • Advanced Digital and Technological Applications in Social Work Practice
  • Integration and Consolidation in Interdisciplinary Social Work Practice I
  • Impact Creation and Leadership in Social Service Management
  • Integration and Consolidation in Interdisciplinary Social Work Practice II
2 Elective Courses: 6 Credits
  • Advanced Intervention in Mental Health and Wellness OR
  • Managing Crisis and Trauma OR
  • Professional Practice with Families and Complex Issues In Contemporary Society OR
  • Social Work in Public Health OR
  • Practice-based Research Project, and more

2 Fieldwork Placements: 16 Credits (Total: 800 hours)

Pre-placement Workshop (100 hours/ Non-credit bearing)

Special Features

  • Digital Social Work Practice: development and application of digital technology in social work practice
  • Interdisciplinary Collaboration: application of social work knowledge in interdisciplinary collaboration; arrangement of fieldwork placement in interdisciplinary service settings
  • Sustainable Development: Integration of United Nation’s 2030 Global Agenda for Sustainable Development in the curriculum
  • Global and Regional Outlook: Opportunities to contribute to global and regional research programme; overseas placement in Canada, New Zealand and Singapore
  • Leadership Training: Opportunities to shallow senior management of NGOs for leadership and management training
  • Small Class Teaching: about 70% of classes will adopt small class teaching mode

Mode of Study

  • 2-year Full Time (Classes will be arranged on weekday evenings and Saturdays in Year 1)
  • 3-year Part Time
Learning Arrangement for 2-year Full Time Mode
  Year 1 Year 2
Semester Sem 1 Sem 2 Sem 3 Sem 1 Sem 2
Core Course 4 4 - 2 2
Electives Course - - - 1 1
Fieldwork Placement - - Summer Block Placement Concurrent Placement


Learning Arrangement for 3-year Part Time Mode
  Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Semester  Sem 1 Sem 2 Sem 3 Sem 1 Sem 2 Sem 3 Sem 1 Sem 2
Core Course 3 3 2 - 1 1 1 1
Electives Course - - - 1 - 1 - -
Fieldwork Placement - - - Concurrent Placement - Concurrent Placement

Admission and Selection

A bachelor’s degree with first or second-class honors from a recognized local or overseas university. Preference will be given to applicants who have attained undergraduate training in a social science discipline. The minimum GPA for a non-honors degree should be 3.0 out of 4.0.

Admission interviews will be conducted to select suitable applicants for the programme. The interviewers will evaluate the applicants in terms of their language fluency, presentation skills, attitude, knowledge of current affairs, and basic knowledge of social work.

Eligible applicants must submit a personal statement form describing their motivation for applying for the MSW programme and outlining their future professional development plan. The personal statement should be uploaded to the online application system.

Applicants who graduated from a non-social science degree programme/ without a basic understanding of social work and social welfare will be required to attend a non-credit course, SW100, “Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare” at QF Level 4 in 1st semester of Year-1.

Applicants should provide two referees to support their application. The Confidential Recommendation should be completed by the referees and sent directly to or in a sealed envelope to the Department of Social Work, Hong Kong Shue Yan University, 10 Wai Tsui Crescent, Braemar Hill Road, North Point, Hong Kong.

Non-standard admission will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Language Requirement

Applicants whose entrance qualification is issued by an institution where the medium of instruction is not English should also fulfill the following minimum English proficiency requirement:

  1. Overall band score ≥ 6.0 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (Academic) test; or
  2. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 550 (Paper-based Test) or 79 (Internet-based Test) or 213 (Computer-based Test); or
  3. Other equivalent qualifications acceptable to the University (e.g., Duolingo English Test with a score of 95 or above).

The program includes a practicum component that requires interaction with local social service users, so proficiency in Cantonese is preferred.

Tuition Fees

$295,800 (@$5,100 x 58 credits)


Annual Scholarship
Scholarships are set up to complement HKSYU students on their excellent conduct, hard-working attitudes, strict observance of school regulations and outstanding performance in academic areas.

(a) Applicants must (a) be current full-time postgraduates who are studying Taught Postgraduate Programme;
(b) attain both Current GPA and Cumulative GPA of 3.30 or above in the first semester of this academic year and have no unapproved class absence records. 

Contact Us

General Enquiry:
Tel: 2804-8453

Office Hours:
Monday to Friday: 9:00am - 1:00pm, 2:00pm - 6:00pm

Other material

Transcript Request Form

Click here to download programme leaflet.