Master of Arts in Social Policy and Social Development

Programme Code


Mode of Study


Normal Duration

1 years (Full-time) with Summer Term / 2 years (Part-time) with Summer Terms

Credits Required For Award


Programme Leader

Dr Kaxton Siu





Programme Aims

The MA in social Policy and Social Development Programme aims to prepare students to develop the necessary core professional and personal competence required to work in the field of social policy and to engage in professional practices in social development. This involves gaining critical knowledge and skills in analysing and appreciating local and global policy issues and the ability to formulate and assess policy options that ensure effective, appropriate and sustainable outcomes, uphold social justice and improve social well-being. To these ends, the programme is designed to bring together theory and practice that enables participants in the programme to meet challenges in social development ethically and imaginatively.


Special Features

Unlike most other postgraduate programmes in social policy, this MASPSD is designed for those who are either to embark on a career in Social Policy and Social Development or those who are already mid-career practitioners seeking to improve their knowledge about public and non-government sectors specialising in social policy and planning for social development. It is structured to offer rigorous, interdisciplinary and hands-on training across a number of academic, managerial and professional disciplines that prepare participants to transfer knowledge into action to bring about social development, especially through responsible policy analysis, formulation, impact assessment and evaluation.

The programme will provide students with a solid foundation in social policy analysis that can be adapted and applied in many fields of human service provision and practice in social development. Graduates are expected to gain the competence necessary to participate effectively in social policy processes, conduct needs assessments, evaluate policy impacts and develop appropriate and relevant policy options that respond responsibly to new challenges in social development.


Entrance Requirements

  1. A recognized Bachelor’s Degree;
  2. Preference will be given to applicants with a background in social sciences or work experiences relevant to social policy and social development.


Programme Structure

MA  : to be eligible for the award, students are required to take 30 credits (6 Required Subjects including the Integrative Project and 4 Elective Subjects).
PgD : Students who have successfully completed 21 credits (5 Required Subjects and 2 Elective Subjects) can exit that programme with a Postgraduate Diploma.
PgC : Students who have successfully completed 12 credits  (2 Required Subjects and 2 Elective Subjects) can exit the programme with a Postgraduate Certificate.


Professional Recognition

Graduates of this programme may apply for membership of the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA).


Core Areas of Study

Required Subjects

  • Policy Research Method
  • Social Context and ethics
  • Social Policy Analysis and Social Accountability
  • Social Planning and the Policy Process
  • Theory and Practice of Social Development
  • Integrative Project


Elective Subjects

  • Assessing Globalization and Social Development
  • Contemporary Issues in Social Policy
  • Comparative Social Policy and Social Development
  • Digital Technologies and Social Development
  • Emerging Issues of Social Policy in Asia
  • Quantitative Methods for Policy Research and Evaluation
  • Social Impact Assessment
  • Social Policy and Social Development in China
  • Social Policy Evaluation
  • Organization Theories and Analysis



Application period and submission of application
Applicants can obtain the application material and submit online application via Study@PolyU during Application Period.


Application Period  > Postgraduate Programmes > Select a Programme 

Late applications will be considered subject to availability of places.


Submit an Application



Please contact Mr. Ken WAN at 2766 5784 or e-mail to Ms Angel SHING at for enquiry