Bachelor of Social Sciences (Hons) in Social Development Studies (Social Innovation and the Environment)

Qualifications Framework

The qualification of this programme is recognised under the Qualifications Framework in Hong Kong.

QF Level: 5  

QR Registration No.: 16/000892/L5

Registration Validity Period: 19/09/2016 To 31/08/2018


Bachelor of Social Sciences (Hons) in Social Development Studies (Social Innovation and the Environment)

Normal Duration of Study

4 years (Year 1 Entry)
2 years (Year 3 Entry)

Mode of Study

Full Time

Credits Required for Award:

Year 1 Entry: 120 Credits
Year 3 Entry: 75 Credits

Medium of Instruction

Bilingual, Chinese and English

Commencement of Study

Mid-September 2018

Tuition Fee (for 2018/19)

Year 1: $63,800
Year 2: $68,000
Year 3: $71,000
Year 4: $74,100

Year 2 to Year 4 tuition fees will be reviewed and adjusted on the basis of inflation and other factors. 

All tuition fees are subject to the final approval from the Education Bureau.” for all tuition fee update. 

CTIHE Scholarships and Grants

CTIHE Scholarship
Faculty of Social Sciences Scholarship
Partner Organisation Scholarship
Social Innovation Scholarship
Social Development Scholarship
Community Services Scholarship
President’s Award
Dean’s Award
Outstanding Extra-curricular Performance Award
Social Development Study Tour Scholarship

More details

Government Assistance

CTIHE students can apply for the following assistance provided by the Student Finance Office:

  • Financial Assistance Scheme for Post-secondary Students (grant and low-interest loan); or
  • Non-means-tested Loan Scheme for Post-secondary Students; or
  • Student Travel Subsidy.

*This programme is under re-validation.

Aims of Programme

  • 1. To provide students with global and regional perspectives, knowledge and research skills to identify and analyse social development issues, amid the social, cultural, environmental, economic and political changes in the globalisation, regionalisation and localisation processes, in particular, of Hong Kong and Mainland China;
  • 2. To develop critical reflection upon existing solutions and to generate social innovations to these social development issues, especially environmental issues, with global and regional perspectives;
  • 3. To equip students with analytical and practical skills through social innovative interventions of social development work to tackle social development issues, especially environmental issues, in the region, in particular, Hong Kong and Mainland China with professionalism; and
  • 4. To prepare students’ potential careers as social development practitioners applying and promoting social innovations in Hong Kong and Mainland China by enhancing their capabilities through integrated learning with work and research.

Programme Intended Learning Outcomes

  • 1. Critically appraise and examine the social phenomena with diverse perspectives, including cultural, historical and technological;
  • 2. Command a solid basis of theoretical foundations from multiple disciplines underlying the social development studies, in particular, sociology, social work, political science, economics and ecology;
  • 3. Critically analyse the spectrum of specialised knowledge in social development studies ranging from economic, social, environmental, cultural and political analysis, as well as evaluate existing development interventions and formulate reflective and innovative responses with global and regional perspectives;
  • 4. Apply effectively a range of transferrable skills, including language, communication, numeracy and information management;
  • 5. Perform theoretical and empirical analysis on social development issues, especially environmental issues, and related development interventions, in particular social innovations, in Hong Kong and Mainland China with global and regional perspectives; and
  • 6. Perform social development interventions with social innovation approaches professionally and reflectively through working with individuals, groups or communities in the areas of issue identification, needs assessment, service delivery, programme management, advocacy and policy analysis.

Bilingual Medium of Instruction

The programme adopts bilingual medium of instruction (MoI) of Chinese and English, unless otherwise required by specific discipline or nature of individual subjects. Reference books and materials written in Chinese and English will be used. Lecturers will use the language most beneficial to students when teaching the respective subjects. For the language subjects, the purpose is to help students reinforce and further enhance their language ability in English and Chinese as well as Putonghua as are relevant to social development.

Small Class Teaching

The programme is offered on a small class model hence each student will enjoy sufficient attention from the lecturer while mutual communication between lecturers and students can be strengthened. Through small class teaching, the learning capacity of students will be raised. In addition, the programme prizes itself in its subject titled “Student Oriented Learning” wherein tutors facilitate students throughout the whole learning process encouraging them to reflect upon the self and engage in exchanges with classmates to share observations and ideas.


In the second term of Year 2 for two weeks totaling 80 hours, students will take the subject “Attachment for Social Development Practice.” They will be placed at organizations such as social development organizations, social enterprises and public organizations andthe like for gaining practical experience. These 20 sessions will widen students’ knowledge of social development issues and intervention strategies. Students should be able to gain a deeper understanding of the mission and operation of organizations in the social development sector while experiencing first-hand how to apply what they have learnt in class to the real world.

Practice Workshops

During Year 4, students must attend the Advanced Practice Workshops. In the last year of study, students shall have to consolidate and integrate what they have learnt and thought about in the previous years, including what they have seen and experienced during internship, from which to specialise and enhance their own interest or individual talents in the area of social development. The Advanced Practice Workshops will further equip students so that upon graduation, they will be capable of taking up the position of social development practitioners.

Honours Project

The Honours Project is yet another key part of the whole study programme. The project as required for graduation forges the ability of the student to integrate theories and concepts, research and analysis, practical prowess, as well as critical thinking and reflectiveness. Students can choose topics for the project according to their own interest, and complete the project independently under the guidance of the supervising tutors.

Service Learning

In the two or four years of learning, students will have to take part in service learning activities for holistic development of the person. Through service learning, students “learn to serve” and “serve to learn” at the same time. On the basis of actively participating in service and reflection, students not only are doing their own learning but serving the community by the same act. Besides, their confidence, motivation to learn, care for the community and social touch will also be enhanced.

Year 1

  • General Education Subjects
    • Academic English
    • Chinese Communication for Social Sciences
    • English Communication for Social Sciences
    • Putonghua Communication for Social Sciences
    • Self Development, Ethics and Leadership
  • Core Specialised Subjects
    • Approaches in Globalisation and Social Development#
    • Development Economics#
    • Government and Politics
    • Individual in Society
    • Introduction to Social Welfare
    • Introductory Sociology
    • Student Oriented Learning I

Year 2

  • General Education Subjects
    • Critical Thinking##
    • Gender and Self##
    • Information Management Technologies
    • Movie, Life and Culture##
  • Core Specialised Subjects
    • Attachment for Social Development Practice
    • Ecology and Sustainable Development#
    • Introduction to Social Innovation and the Environment#
    • Organisational Management
    • Programme Planning and Evaluation
    • Social Development and Civil Society#
    • Social Development and the Third Sector
    • Social Research Methods I#
    • Social Research Methods II#
    • Student Oriented Learning II
# Supplementary subjects for Year 3 Entry students
## Elective subjects

Year 3

  • General Education Subjects
    • History and Culture of Hong Kong
  • Core Specialised Subjects
    • Approaches in Understanding Poverty
    • Cultural and Political Ecology##
    • Gender and Social Development
    • Integrated Practice for Social Development
    • Integrated Practice for Social Innovation
    • Labour, Migration and Regional Division of Labour
    • Management for Social Innovation
    • Political Economy of Development in Chinese Societies
    • Social Innovation and Environmental Design##
    • Spatial Development and Inequalities##
    • Student Oriented Learning III

Year 4

  • General Education Subjects
    • Advanced Chinese Communication for Social Sciences
    • Advanced English Communication for Social Sciences
    • Science, Technology and Society
  • Core Specialised Subjects
    • Advanced Practice Workshop: Assessment andEvaluation for Social Innovation and the Environment
    • Advanced Practice Workshop: Social and Solidarity Economy##
    • Advanced Practice Workshop: Sustainable Development in Hong Kong and Mainland China##
    • Cultural and Political Ecology##
    • Honours Project
    • Internship for Social Development Practice
    • Social Innovation and Environmental Design##
    • Spatial Development and Inequalities##


The programme emphasises the integration of classroom learning, social development intervention and social innovation practices in real industry setting. Through an intensive internship, students are exposed to real life operational practicein the industry under the guidance and supervision of experienced supervisors. The internship can provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their ability to apply what they have learned and to develop competence at operational level in the social development agencies. Graduates will be professionally prepared for their future employment in social innovation and environmental initiatives in social development organizations as well as other sectors.

List of Internship Organizations:

To date, the following organizations have promised to offer internship opportunities for our students. We extend our gratitude to them all for their support!

Hong Kong

  • FAIR CIRCLE @ Hong Kong Fair Trade Power
  • Woodrite
  • People Service Centre Ltd
  • 1st Step Association Limited
  • Carbon Care Asia
  • CarbonCareInnoLab
  • Social Enterprise Ltd.
  • The Conservancy Association
  • Green Glass Green
  • Food Grace
  • Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs Association of Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong Blind Union
  • Hong Kong Red Cross
  • Hong Kong Federation of Women’s Centres
  • Hong Kong Women Workers’ Association
  • HKSKH Lady MacLehose Centre
  • HER Fund
  • Neighbourhood and Worker’s Service Centre
  • New Opportunity Company Limited
  • Dialogue Experience
  • Greenpeace East Asia
  • Oxfam Hong Kong
  • UNHCR The UN Refugee Agency


Mainland China

  • Kunming Heart 2 Heart Youth Hostel
  • Heart to Heart Community Care Service Centre
  • Green Collar Platform: Green Workshop, Community MutualAid Shop


(in ascending order of the number of strokes in Chinese characters)

Career Prospects

The graduates of BSSsSDS(SIE) can seek employment in NGOs, social enterprises and public organisations working on social innovation and environmental issues in Hong Kong and Mainland China. They may find advantage in applying for the following posts, including:

  • (Assistant) Programme / Project / Education Officer;
  • (Assistant) Training / Development / Employment / Social Marketing Officer;
  • (Assistant) Fund-raising Officer / Public Liaison Officer;
  • Community Organiser / District Officer / Assistant to District Council Members or Legislative Councillors;
  • Teaching Assistant / Instructor; and
  • Administrative Officer / Administrative Assistant

Articulation Path