Master of Social Science Education in Greater China Studies


Leading the Way Forward

The Master of Social Science Education in Greater China Studies [MSocScEd(GCS)] encourages students to explore the Greater China region - Hong Kong, Macau, Mainland China, Taiwan and beyond. It arms students with solid but wide-range knowledge on politics, culture, economics and development about the region. Engaging in vibrant academic discussions and hands-on experience in research, students are able to analyze social issues critically and empirically upon graduation. Past graduates have advanced as analysts, government officials, and executives in business corporations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Given our strong academic training, some students also pursue further studies locally as well as abroad.

A Vibrant Academic Life: Learning by Doing; Learning by Reaching Out - Comparative Educational Field Visit

We don’t just teach; we also do. In addition to conventional classroom teaching, students can also choose elective to join the field visit to Taiwan for a comparative study. Through dialogues with senior media practitioners, policy makers, NGOs and government leaders, case study workshops, field visits, election observation tours, simulation and role play, and conference participation, we help students prepare for the task ahead in applying their knowledge in real-world settings.

Love is all Around - Impeccable Pastoral Care

Students who are admitted to our Programme will be looked after by academic tutors. We organize orientation programmes for the freshmen so that they can adapt to the University and the Programme. Students also receive trainings before they are sent for educational visits. On a daily basis, our academic staff engage students in their research work and their projects. Through working with the students, academic staff develop close and personal relationship that hopes to transform students into confident and independent individuals, ready to take on the world with steely will.

Great and Bright Future - Impressive Statistics on Job Acquisition and Further Studies

Our employment statistics have been consistently promising. Most of our students obtained employment or furthered their studies within three months to six months upon graduation. Their earning power is one of the highest in our University. Our students work in a wide spectrum of industries including: the government, NGOs, media and banks. Students who study abroad have been admitted to or received offers from top universities such as University of York and University of Cambridge.


1-Year Full-time Study Mode

Year Semester Taught Courses Credit Point (cps)
1 1 & 2 Common Core Courses 6
Programme Core Courses 9
Elective Courses 9
Total Credit Point: 24

2-Year Part-time Study Mode

Year Semester Taught Courses Credit Point (cps)
1 & 2 1 & 2 Common Core Courses 6
Programme Core Courses 9
Elective Courses 9
Total Credit Point: 24


Click here for the Programme Handbook


Click here for the Student Handbook


* Programme Curriculum: Any aspect of the course (including, without limitation, the content of the Course and the manner in which the Course is taught) may be subject to change at any time at the sole discretion of the University. Without limiting the right of the University to amend the course, it is envisaged that changes may be required due to factors such as staffing, enrolment levels, logistical arrangements and curriculum changes.


This course aims to equip students with the essentials to investigate social science and social science education. Using a multi-perspective approach, this course uses different social sectors (agriculture, industry, education, the media, technology and innovation et al.) as cases on the exercise of social power and investigates that through a hard-soft power matrix (Kounalakis & Simonyi, 2011; Wilson, 2008). The investigation will consist of each sector’s own exercise of power as well as its interplays with other sectors. The topics will also include neo-liberalism and globalization.
This course reviews the literature, tools, and strategies that inform qualitative, quantitative, and blended methods of research in social sciences. It engages students in the analysis and critique of published research from a variety of scholarly sources, with the expectation that students develop the ability to apply critical and interdisciplinary thinking in social sciences to the methodological investigation of issues of concern to their individual specializations. With this foundation, students will develop the skill of devising appropriate methods for answering scientific research questions within their areas of interest. The philosophy and ethics of research will be discussed as well.
This foundation course aims to introduce key concepts, institutions and approaches to students with regard to politics and public policy of the Greater China region. It starts with a brief overview of foundation knowledge in political science and public policy respectively in order to provide a common ground for study and inquiry. In the course, students will be able to learn: (i) the government structure and major political institutions of mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan; (ii) critical political issues of Greater China; (iii) policy-making and policy process of mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan; and (iv) prominent public policy challenges and reforms of the region. The teaching of this course will be a combination of 2-hour lecture and 1-hour discussion. Students need to read the readings before class and actively participate in class discussion.
This course aims to introduce students to the major developments and challenges of the political economy of Greater China. The political and economic developments in Greater China followed very different historical trajectories. The economies of Hong Kong and Taiwan took off during 1980s along with other Tiger economies in East Asian, and Mainland China began to catch up with phenomenal growth during the past three decades and is becoming the centre of gravity in the regional economic order. Governments assume different roles in the economic development in these regions, and the situation is complicated by their different pace of political liberalization. The development experiences in Greater China provide valuable insights for us to critically re-examine some of the existing perspectives on political economy; and with the growing importance of Greater China, these experiences will have significant implications on the regional and global economy.
In this course, we will focus on the following questions: 1) What are the different assumption on the roles of government in the economic developments in Greater China? 2) Could these different approaches be reconciled with closer economic integration? 3) How the development experiences in Greater China contribute our understanding of political economy more broadly? To address these questions, the course will first introduce the basic conceptual understandings of the role of government and market in modern political economy. The course will then discuss the various development experiences and the problems encountered in different regions in Greater China. The last part of the course will examine the theoretical and empirical implications of economic development of Greater China in the context of China’s rise and economic globalization.
This course focuses on several key topics in education and society in Greater China, bringing together issues of education policy and reform, social inequality, diverse populations, world knowledge system, cross-border higher education and academic mobility, globalization, and economic, political, and social development. The course takes an explicitly comparative approach with each of the issues examined through case studies of different societies within Greater China. Largely student-centered, the course is structured around student-guided discussions of assigned readings, with the goal of encouraging the drawing of conclusions about important educational issues from the comparison of different cases. Through preparation for discussions and their final assignments, students will develop independent inquiry skills to explore the interrelationships between education and social phenomena.
This course aims to compare and contrast major social development issues and challenges confronting major societies in Greater China, and examine how state, market and civil society have interacted in response to the critical development issues. The course will be with particular reference to discuss how different economic development strategies adopted by Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan have affected social development of these societies. Students will be engaged in studying how civil society has emerged and developed in these societies, especially examining how and what major approaches/measures that the governments have adopted to manage the growing complexity of social problems, the autonomization of society and the changing role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
This course teaches social policy concepts and theories. It examines critically major social policy challenges confronting societies in Greater China and Asia. A key feature of this course is social policy issues are addressed through case examples and accompanied by concrete analyses based on policy practices of societies in the region. Adopting a comparative approach in analyzing policy formation and implementation, this course will enable students to understand the most recent developments related to poverty alleviation, health, social security, and housing policies in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. Students will engage in comparing and contrasting major social policy issues with the purpose of understanding their underlying dynamics and devising appropriate responses.
In this critical exploration of culture and identity in Greater China, students will be introduced to contemporary concepts, comparison between regions and analysis of their interactions and connections. Theory and area material will illuminate each other in the topics discussed. They include the cultural and ethnic makeup of late modern China, implications of statemaking (especially nationalism and state modernity), colonialisms and local/Chinese identities, the cultural turn of identity politics and legitimacy in Taiwan and more recently in Mainland China, Chinese diaspora and transnationalism, the political economy of popular culture and its roles in promoting local identities and imagining Greater China, and globalizing factors including branding and tourism.
This course aims to critically examine different groups’ and individuals’ experiences (such as urban poor/working poor, migrants, women, university students and elderly people) under rapid socio-economic and institutional changes and how these groups react to and interact with different institutions (such as governmental departments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), trade unions, and interest groups, etc). This course is also an intensive and experiential unit, which provides a platform for students to study Greater China beyond classroom. In collaboration with major universities in Taiwan, Mainland China, or Macau, special lectures and class discussions, professional visits and cultural tours will be organized for students in selected Chinese societies to engage them in field observations and field visits to enable them to develop a more critical understanding of development, policy and governance issues through their active participation in and personal experience of Greater China.
This course aims to equip students with the analytical skills to examine the challenges China faces on its ascent to international leadership. With China’s growing economic strength and political influence, neighbouring states as well as countries in other regions have to redefine their strategies to deal with their common interests as well as conflicts with this emerging power. At the same time, China needs to maintain a favourable external environment to facilitate its continuous reform. In order to assess the challenges and prospects of China’s rise, the course will focus on the following questions: 1) How mainstream theoretical perspective explains the rise of China? 2) How the rise of China reshapes its relationship with the US and its Asian neighbours? 3) What are the issues China confronts on its way to regional and global leadership? The course will first provide the historical context and examine mainstream theoretical perspectives on the rise of China. It will follow by discussions on various thematic issues and challenges China faces on its way to regional and global leadership.
This project requires students to complete their research theses based on their proposals developed in Semester One. The topics should be relevant to the major themes and issues related to the development of Greater China. Students are expected to seek advice on the selection of thesis topics with their respective supervisors and to get approvals from their supervisors before working on their theses.
Changes in the contemporary structural composition of the global political-economy increasingly impact all facets of state-market relations, not least the reach, power and authority of the state in terms of policy making processes and the means via which public policy is realized. Understanding the forces precipitating this change comprises the principal rationale of this course. The fundamental question the course deals with is the distribution of power in the international system and its consequences for governance and state capacity. Specifically;
 Is there a fundamental change occurring in the power relations between states are markets and between public and private sector actors in the international system?
 What new forms of governance are emerging as a consequence of this process?
 What is the magnitude of this change and what are its implications for public sector capacity and governance?
To help address these questions the course is thematically structured into three parts.
First, the course begins with an outline of the dominant modes of thinking about international political and economic relations and of the relationships between states and markets and their implications for state capacity. The second part of the course turns to address the emergence of international institutions and private sector authority in the international system. Third, and finally, the last part of the course addresses the implications of these developments in terms of the functional – management issues these developments pose for regulators, the regulatory reach of the state, and for regulatory risk. In particular, the course will address the advent of risk associated with un-regulated international markets and private sector actors and how they influence the behaviour of states, market structures and change the risk universe public actors are forced to deal with.
Directed Studies provides students an opportunity to read intensively on a specific topic or conduct beyond-classroom activities chosen on the basis of their own academic interests. By studying independently, sharing with peer group and synergizing with the assigned supervisor throughout a semester, students generate and consolidate analytical insights about the topic which shall become the major constituents to the literature review part of the thesis/dissertation.
This is a course concerning the concepts, theories and practices of regional development. It aims to assist students in developing critical thinking in the evaluation of different perspectives and competing interpretations about the nature and dynamics of regional development in different historical and geographic contexts with a particular focus on Greater China region. Course contents include the changing meanings and interpretations of regional development; key policy issues in the strategy and practice of regional development such as transport infrastructure development, globalization and transnational capital, metropolitan development and global city-regions, industrial agglomeration and cluster, developmental state as well as urban and regional governance.

Click here for Course Outlines

* Course Synopsis: Any aspect of the course (including, without limitation, the content of the Course and the manner in which the Course is taught) may be subject to change at any time at the sole discretion of the University. Without limiting the right of the University to amend the course, it is envisaged that changes may be required due to factors such as staffing, enrolment levels, logistical arrangements and curriculum changes.


Applicants applying to the Master of Social Science Education in Greater China Studies should normally hold a recognized Bachelor’s degree in the following areas:
  • Arts;
  • Humanities;
  • Social Sciences;
  • Inter-disciplinary Studies (e.g. General Studies, Liberal Studies, Environmental Studies); or
  • Social Science / Humanities Education.
For applicants whose qualification is obtained from an institution in a non-English speaking system should normally fulfil one of the following minimum English proficiency requirements:
  • IELTS 6.0; or
  • a TOEFL score of 550 (paper-based test) or 80 (internet-based test); or
  • Grade C or above in GCSE / GCE OL English; or
  • Band 6 in the Chinese Mainland’s College English Test (CET) (a total score of no lower than 430 if the test was taken after June 2005); or
  • Other equivalent qualifications.

Hong Kong Residents HK$150*

Non-Hong Kong Residents HK$300*




Interested applicants please submit your application via EdUHK Online Application Systems. Prior to your submission, please visit for detailed application and admission information.

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