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Message from Department Chair


The study of psychology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong dated back from 1963 with a course on social psychology. In 1973, psychology became a minor section under the Board of Studies in Sociology. In 1982, the Department of Psychology was formed with only six faculty members.

Forty years later, we have built the Department into one with 18 full-time teaching staff, offering an undergraduate programme with five concentration areas, namely, Cognitive Science, Education and Human Development, Social and Industrial-Organizational Psychology, and Psychology and Health. About six years ago, we established a new concentration area, Guided Self-help, drawing on then a new form of psychological intervention, Low-intensity Cognitive-behavioral Therapy (LiCBT). We also offer a range of postgraduate research and applied programmes in psychology.

We have about 310 undergraduate students currently with an annual intake of around 65. Approximately 70% of our graduates take up full-time employment after graduation and 30% of them pursue further studies. In addition to a research MPhil–PhD programme in Psychology, we offer an MPhil-PhD programme in Industrial-Organizational Psychology since 2014, which is the first full-time postgraduate programme in Hong Kong to train professional industrial-organizational psychologists. Our MSSc programme in Clinical Psychology has an annual intake of 19. We now have around 270 postgraduate students with an annual intake of around 140. In addition, our MA programme in Psychology, which is a conversion programme to prepare graduates without an undergraduate major in psychology to pursue postgraduate study in psychology, has an annual intake of about 70.

The past decade has not been an easy one for Hong Kong. Nor has it been for the world. We experienced the social movement in 2019, and the COVID-19 pandemic since 2020. Much of what we were used to has changed. As we are adjusting to the new normal, we find our training in psychological theories and research ever more important. Hope and resilience are much needed in times of difficulty. They are what bond people together and provide all of us with solace and solidarity. That’s why I choose “Hope and Resilience” as the theme for our 40th Anniversary.  

I am proud of the fact that we collectively have achieved much in the past decade despite the challenges. Our department has been ranked the #1 Psychology Department in China by, an international academic website. Six of our faculty members were included on a list of the top 2% of working scientists world-wide. We have also renewed our focus and commitment to making psychology useful for ourselves and the community around us. We have developed two Psychology in Action courses where students use what they have learned in psychology to design an app/program/product to improve well-being in real-life. We set up a Psy-Connection Award that recognizes good proposals to apply psychological knowledge to solve real-life problems. In addition, two faculty members have developed MOOC courses to provide an easy way for the public to learn about psychological knowledge. Four faculty members have set up social enterprises to apply their psychological knowledge to serve a subpopulation in a sustainable manner.

We have come a long way since 1982, when our Department of Psychology first came into existence 40 years ago. I look forward to the next 40 years, during which I wish that our Department, our faculty members, students, and alumni would continue to shine and excel in the pathways that had chosen to pursue.





Helene H. Fung

Professor and Chairperson

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