Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours) in Social Policy

Programme Director: Dr SU Xiqing Susan

The Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours) in Social Policy is a four-year full-time programme primarily for associate degree graduates who wish to acquire necessary knowledge, values and skills in policy studies. We believe that the state has the basic, essential obligations to plan, finance and provide goods, services and opportunities to fulfil social and national needs, enhance social qualities, social justice and equity. Social policies are therefore not merely responses to claims of partisans or interest groups, nor should be alternatives solutions to problems or challenges with structural factors. Social policies can champion for the long-term wellness and development for individuals, cohesion and mutual support among social groups and for a balance of development in the society. Administrators or managers of public and community services, other than efficient and effective operators, can also be advocates for positive changes, as well as the change agents for informal, decentralised, distributive and integrated process with due respect to citizen participation and empowerment.

More specifically, this programme aims to:

  1. Develop students’ understanding and ability to participate in the making and evaluation of social policies in local, regional and international contexts. Emphases will be placed on understanding problems of social injustice and the unequal distribution of social resources in the Greater China Region;
  2. Develop students’ understanding of diverse needs and the significance of social development through the studies of interface and relationships between social policies and other social science disciplines;
  3. Develop students’ appreciation of and the ability to utilise social research as an integral component of social policy studies;
  4. Develop students’ appreciation of and ability to utilise macro-intervention methods and knowledge to critically analyse the changing relationship between individual and the state in the local, regional and international contexts;
  5. Develop students’ sensitivity to social injustice and inequality as a result of specific social structures, emergences of social changes and the promotion of general wellness of human beings in the contemporary society; and
  6. Develop the understanding of the contents and impacts of specific social policies as well as the rights and needs of disadvantged groups such as ethnic minorities and senior citizens in the society.

Most of courses are taught by a combination of lecture-discussions with relevant field experiences such as site-visits, observations, and case studies.

The structure of the curriculum is as follows:

I) Major Courses 57 units
II) Honours Project 6 units
III) University Core Courses 13 units
IV) General Education Courses 18 units
V) Free Electives 34 units
    128 units


The four-year degree programm require students to complete a total of 128 units. As the programme is designed for Associate Degree/Higher Diploma graduates, they will be admitted directly into the third year of study. The number of courses/units that students are required to complete will depend on the number of courses/units for which exemption and/or credit transfer will be granted. All credit transfer or course exemption shall be considered on a case-by-case basis upon admission.

Specifically, students are required to complete 66 units for graduation, including 42 units of major required courses, 15 units of major elective courses, 3 units of GE Capstone course, and 6 units of Honours Project. Associate Degree or Higher Diploma graduates who have not taken relevant social science subjects in their prior studies may be required to take an additional course “Social Policy” from the Associate Degree programme at CIE.

The programme structure is set out as follows:

I. Major Courses 57 units
  Major Required Courses (42 units)  
  SOPY3005 Diversity and Social Structure of Modern States 3 units
  SOPY3025 Principles and Theories of Social Policy 3 units
  SOPY3035 Social Justice and Social Movements 3 units
  SOPY3045 Social Research 3 units
  SOPY3055 Communications and Networking of the Non-profit Making Organizations 3 units
  SOPY3065 Culture and Social Policy 3 units
  SOPY3075 Globalization and Social Policy 3 units
  SOPY3085 Policy Processes and Politics 3 units
  SOPY3095 Social Policy in Chinese Societies 3 units
  SOPY4005 Policy Analysis and Evaluation 3 units
  SOPY4015 Social Enterprises and the Third Sector 3 units
  SOPY4045 Administration in Non-profit Making Organizations 3 units
  SOPY4055 Challenges of Sustainable Development 3 units
  SOPY4065 Comparative Social Policy 3 units
  Major Elective Courses (15 units)  
  SOPY3105 Community Development and Community Economic Practices 3 units
  SOPY3115 Secondary Data Analysis, Mixed Method Research and Programme Evaluation 3 units
  SOPY4105 Youth and Citizenship 3 units
  SOPY4115 Youth in Transition, Employment and Education 3 units
  SOPY4125 Gender, Identity and Young People 3 units
  SOPY4205 Poverty and Social Exclusion 3 units
  SOPY4215 Pension and Retirement Protection 3 units
  SOPY4225 Public Health Care Systems 3 units
II. Honours Project 6 units
  SOPY4008 Honours Project 3 units
  SOPY4009 Honours Project 3 units
III. University Core Courses 13 units
IV. General Education Courses 18 units
V. Free Electives 34 units
    128 units
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