Bachelor of Social Work (Hons)
(BSW)

Programme Structure

Programme duration and delivery

The BSW (Hons) is a four-year programme. The 4-year social work curriculum model is outlined as follows:

 

Major (including honours project) 72 units
Major Electives 6 units
University Core and General Education Programme 31 units
Social Sciences Common Core 4 units
Electives 15 units
TOTAL 128 units

 


Distribution of Study Units of BSW (Hons) Programme

Year Major University Core and General Education Programme Social Sciences Common Core Electives Total Units
1st 6 20 1 6 33
2nd 18 8 - 6 32
3rd 26 3 3 3 35
4th 28 - - - 28
Total 78 31 4 15 128

 

Students will take General Education and Electives courses in the first three years, which will equip them to have broad-based education for taking life-long learning challenges in social work.

 

Social Work Core Block Components
Four core blocks make up the basic components of the social work major: Human Behaviour & Social Environment, Social Work Theory & Practice, Social Policy, Research & Administration, and Fieldwork.

 

Courses within each block have been placed in a pedagogical sequence starting with basic theories and skills and moving progressively towards the acquisition of more advanced and specialized knowledge and practice to prepare students for social work service and graduate studies.

 


Social Work Major Courses (Total 72 units)

 

Core Block I: Human Behaviour and Social Environment (12units plus 6 units electives^)

SOWK 1017 Psychology of Positive Living 

The course is intended to introduce students' basic concepts and knowledge of psychology of positive living. It is concerned with the scientific study of different aspect of human functioning including behaviors, thoughts, emotions, learning and personality as well as factors that enable individuals to flourish and achieve positive living, with an aim to promoting students' self-understanding, knowledge and potentials in positive emotions, resilience, creativity and character strengths. The course is composed of two parts: (1) introduction of basic concepts and knowledge of psychological study on human functioning; and (2) introduction of the key concepts and knowledge of positive psychology, with the joint expertise of the Social Work Department and Counseling and Development Section, Office of Student Affairs.

3 units

SOWK 1015 Social Dimensions of Human Societies 

The course is intended to introduce students' basic concepts and knowledge of human societies with particular emphases placed on sociological perspectives and social issues situated within urban contexts. Insight into human societies comes from many different sources: agency versus structure, micro versus macro, local versus global, etc. This course is concerned with an introductory and interdisciplinary understanding of human societies where people live and experience in their everyday life. Acquiring a brief yet critical understanding of different aspects and processes of human societies including certain social issues can enable students to identify the nature of the relationship and dynamics between individuals/groups and society particularly with respect to urban and cosmopolitan contexts like Hong Kong.

3 units

SOWK 1006 Human Development through the Life Span 

This course provides a comprehensive understanding of the overall process of human development from a life span perspective. Growth and changes in the different developmental domains of individuals are addressed as the result of the interactive influences of biological, psychological, and socio-cultural factors across the life span. Students will appreciate the different major theories of human development in explaining the change processes of individuals and will critically evaluate their applicability in Hong Kong. Major developmental characteristics central to different phases of life, including the associated tasks and challenges, are examined particularly in our cultural context. Students will develop the cultural sensitivity in understanding their own developmental process.

3 units

SOWK 2005 Human Behaviour and Diversity 

This course aims to provide students with a multi-dimensional framework for assessing human behaviour and functioning; help students to understand and appreciate similarities and diversities relating to human behaviour; help students to understand the theoretical, conceptual and empirical foundations of human behaviour from a diversity perspective; help students to understand the dynamics of oppression, discrimination and privilege; and provide students with an introduction to the realities of practice with diverse population in the local context.

3 units

SOWK 3206 Social Dimensions of Health 

The course is intended to introduce students' basic concepts and knowledge of psychology of positive living. It is concerned with the scientific study of different aspect of human functioning including behaviors, thoughts, emotions, learning and personality as well as factors that enable individuals to flourish and achieve positive living, with an aim to promoting students' self-understanding, knowledge and potentials in positive emotions, resilience, creativity and character strengths. The course is composed of two parts: (1) introduction of basic concepts and knowledge of psychological study on human functioning; and (2) introduction of the key concepts and knowledge of positive psychology, with the joint expertise of the Social Work Department and Counseling and Development Section, Office of Student Affairs.

3 units
SOWK 4207 Social Work with People with Mental Health Problems 
The course is intended to introduce students' basic concepts and knowledge of psychology of positive living. It is concerned with the scientific study of different aspect of human functioning including behaviors, thoughts, emotions, learning and personality as well as factors that enable individuals to flourish and achieve positive living, with an aim to promoting students' self-understanding, knowledge and potentials in positive emotions, resilience, creativity and character strengths. The course is composed of two parts: (1) introduction of basic concepts and knowledge of psychological study on human functioning; and (2) introduction of the key concepts and knowledge of positive psychology, with the joint expertise of the Social Work Department and Counseling and Development Section, Office of Student Affairs.

 

3 units
^ Students are strongly advised to take SOWK1015 and SOWK 1017 as Elective courses.  

 

Core Block II: Social Work Theory & Practice (21 units)
SOWK 2018-9 Skills for Social Work Practice This course aims to facilitate students' self-understanding and awareness of own behavior and attitude related to the role of a social worker. It helps students to reflect on values and identify value conflict, if any, in the application of the Hong Kong Social Work Code of Ethics to practice. Students will also be equipped with basic knowledge and skills of interpersonal relationships, interviewing skills, community work skills and presentation and recording skills.
4 units
SOWK 2006 Social Work Intervention and Processes
This course is an introduction to the integrated model as a conceptual framework for the study of social work theory and practice. Students take this courses will examine processes, skills, and generic knowledge common to social work practice in three modes of intervention, i.e. individual, group and community. A variety of structured exercises based on case, group and community studies will be used to develop students' practical and analytical skills. A skills laboratory will run concurrently, in which students will be given the opportunity to develop the basic skills and knowledge of communication and experience the application of skills in experimental exercises. Self-awareness of one's own behaviour, attitudes, understanding, and acceptance of the behaviour of others is a major focus of this section.
2 units
SOWK 3028-9 Theory & Practice in Social Work
(Community Development)
Students will examine and evaluate the major theoretical perspectives and practice approaches of community development. Problems and Issues in the application of community development will be analysed. Students will participate in a variety of simulate situations and exercises to develop their skills.
4 units
SOWK 3038-9 Theory and Practice in Social Work (Group)
Students will examine and evaluate the major theoretical perspectives and practice approaches of social group work. Problems and issues in the application of group work will be analysed. Students will participate in variety of situations and exercises to develop their skills.
4 units
SOWK 3048-9 Theory & Practice in Social Work
(Individual)
Students who study this course will examine and evaluate the major theoretical perspectives and practice approaches of social case work. Problems and issues in the application of case work will be analysed. Students will participate in a variety of simulated situations and exercises to develop their skills.
4 units
SOWK 4007 Social Work with Families
This course builds on the foundation of theoretical knowledge and practical skills for working with families as provided in earlier theory and skill courses. The students will examine the development stages of families and problems that families may encounter. The role of social workers in family services will be examined and family policies and services will be analysed with particular reference to the local context.
3 units
* Six practice tutorials will be organized through the year across individual work, group work and community development.  

 

Core Block III: Social Policy, Research and Administration (16 units)
SOWK 1005 Social Work in Contemporary Society 
This course enables students to understand the emergence of social welfare and social work in Western as well as Hong Kong societies. The basic elements of social work, including its philosophical foundations, values and knowledge base, will be introduced. Students will have a basic understanding of the nature and practice of social work in different local settings, with discussion about some controversial issues in current social work practice in Hong Kong. Field trips and visits to welfare agencies may be required.
3 units
SOWK 2028-9 Social Policy
This course aims at providing students with a theoretical as well as an analytical framework in understanding social policy in Hong Kong as well as in the Western world. Students will first examine the theoretical underpinnings of social policy, followed by a critical examination of the dimensions and issues of social policy which affect the distribution of resources in the society. Case examples of social policy in Hong Kong will be used as illustrations throughout the course.
4 units
SOWK 3018-9 Social Work Research
This course aims at providing students with a solid knowledge base in social work research and also for the development of basic skills of designing and implementing research projects. By the end of the course, students should be able to identify the basic principles of social work research and are prepared to carry out social work practices through research.
4 units
SOWK 3006 Law and Society
This course provides a general understanding of the nature and function of law in society. The philosophy, structure and administration of the Hong Kong legal machinery will be studied. Specific ordinances will be examined and the implication for social work practice highlighted.
2 units
SOWK 4005 Administration in Human Service Organizations
The focus is on studying selective organizational theories with the aim of fostering a general understanding of human service organizations. Another objective is to help students to comprehend the process, function and skills of management in these agencies. Case studies are used to illustrate the application of administration in social welfare agencies especially in the Hong Kong context.
3 units

 

Core Block IV: Fieldwork (20 units)

Through fieldwork placements in their Year 3 and Year 4 studies, students are provided with supervised, structured, practice opportunities as part of their preparation for professional social work employment subsequent to graduation. Students may also apply for taking their placement outside Hong Kong (subject to Department's approval).

20 units

 

Social Work Honours Project
SOWK 4898-9 Social Work Honours Project
The objectives of the Honours Project are to provide an opportunity for students to work independently on an area of their discipline, to demonstrate original, creative, analytical and problem solving competence, and to apply their knowledge and fieldwork experiences to a specific area in the field of social work. Grading is based on student performance in assessment tasks/ activities. Standardized assessment forms are used both for the proposal and the final Honours Project report.
3 units

 

Social Work Electives (6 units)

 

Social Work Electives (6 units)

SOWK 3205 Love and Human Sexuality

The discussions on love and human sexuality have been evolving in the contemporary world. This course starts with theoretical conceptions and discussions on love and human sexuality. The general aims of this course also include a critical examination of the discourses of myths related to human sexuality; the enhancement of awareness of the diversity, complexity and range of human sexuality expression, the sensitivity to equity and equality in a diversified society; as well as the reflection of the challenges, issues of human development from a social, psychological perspective based on current scientifically based researches.

3 units

SOWK3207 Creativity, Wellness and Art Therapy

This course introduces the key components of art therapy that includes an overview of the historical developmental of art from Impressionism to modern art, essential elements of creative art making, fundamental concepts of art therapy, and the interrelationships of art and health. The difference between art therapy and use of art in social work practice would be differentiated throughout the course. Via various art experientials, students will comprehend the language of art, creative process of art making and its benefits to wellbeing. Through the different parts of the course, students will identify various ways to facilitate creative art expressions in social work context and gradually develop critical thinking about how creative art can enhance wellbeing for different populations in the contemporary society.
3 units
SOWK 4006 Social Welfare in Chinese Societies

The objectives of this course are to help students to gain an overview of the social development of contemporary Chinese societies, to develop an understanding of the institutional structure of China, to explore the current social work and social welfare issues and challenges, and to examine the actual social work and social welfare implementation.

3 units
SOWK 4205 Social Work with Disadvantaged Groups
This course aims to enable students to examine the social structure and social processes which contribute to the construction of disadvantages and oppression in the society, critically appreciate different theoretical explanation of social disadvantages, develop understanding of the experiences of selected legislation, and develop sensitivity to and understanding of anti-oppressive practice with the socially disadvantaged groups.
3 units
SOWK 4206 Social Work with Older People
This course provides students with an understanding of the ageing process and its implications for social work practice. Social deprivation and difficulties faced by the elderly will be explored especially in the local context. The existing social welfare, medical, housing and employment policy and services for the elderly in Hong Kong will be critically examined, together with consideration of alternatives in social service delivery.
3 units
SOWK 4215 Social Work with Youth
The basic objective of this course are to review contemporary theories and perspectives for understanding youth with particular reference to the socio-economic and political context Hong Kong, critically examine the discourses on specific dimensions of youth in Hong Kong, and examine and evaluate selected youth services and approaches to youth work with a review to promoting positive changes.
3 units
SOWK 4216 Special Topics in Social Work (Disability and Society/ Gender and Social Work)
This subject aims to provide students with a gender perspective in practicing social work. Basic concepts of gender, gender inequality and theories of feminism will be introduced. Gender issues in social work and social welfare development will be critically examined. Emphasis will also be placed on understanding principles and strategies of feminist social work and their application in the local context. Students will be equipped with knowledge and skills in dealing with gender issues and working with women and men.
3 units
SOWK 4217 Globalization and Community Development Practice

The aims of this course are to: 1) Explore concepts, theories and practice models in community development under current global context; 2) Develop competencies in appreciating work approaches with disadvantaged communities of different nature and settings; 3) Critically evaluate problems  and issues in the application of community approaches in the local context characterized by global changes; 4) Cultivate value awareness of and commitment for collective welfare for  disadvantaged communities; and 5) Appreciate the significance of developing community practice confronting global challenges.

3 units

SOWK 4225 Data Methodology in Social Sciences Research 

This course covers the basic concepts, approaches and methods in social science using linear modeling methods. The course comprise of seminar and lab sessions. Each class will start with a seminar when the instructor to discuss related concepts and students will be required to participate in discussion. Then, the class will move into the lab session when students are either required to present their own research ideas or practice statistical skills using the software SPSS. Students will have to complete weekly lab assignments. Final paper involves the generation of a publishable manuscript based on students’ research area of interests. In the first part of the course, student will learn how to construct their own conceptual model and specify hypotheses based on existing theories and literatures. In the second part of the course, students will identify a secondary data set related to their conceptual models and learn about data management skills. In the third part, students will learn about the concepts and lab skills of bivariate analysis. The fourth part of the course covers introductory concepts and lab skills of multiple regression. Last, students will have the opportunity to learn about manuscript writing and consult the instructors regarding their paper.
3 units

SOWK 4226 Career Facilitation and Counseling

This course is designed to equip students with knowledge and skills to facilitate individuals to engage in life and career development, and enhance with career counselling competencies in helping relationship building, application of career counselling concepts, assessment in career planning, working with diverse populations, and utilization of technology in career planning, and work-life integration. The course also facilitates students to develop holistic perspective in career development of people at different stages of life and navigate the complex life and work environment.

3 units

General Education (31 units)

 

English Language 6 units
Chinese Language 3 units
The Art of Persuasion 2 units
Quantitative Reasoning 3 units
Healthy Lifestyle 2 units
History and Civilization 3 units
Values & the Meaning of Life 3 units
Interdisciplinary Thematic Courses 6 units
GE Capstone 3 units
TOTAL 31 units

 

Social Sciences Common Core 4 units)

 

Electives 15 units