Long before the mental, as well physical, stresses generated by the COVID pandemic began to have their profoundly negative impact, the accelerating pace of modern life was already exacting an increasing toll on many people’s psychological well-being.
In response, there has been a growing interest from organisations, as well as individuals, in understanding the drivers of human behaviour, and in the identification and treatment of specific mental health issues. Unfortunately, however, there remains a shortage of skilled professionals, and trained academics, equipped to respond to these developments.
This is a key reason why Lingnan University’s Department of Applied Psychology created its new Master of Social Sciences in Applied Psychology (MAP) programme, which will be launched in September 2022. The MAP will not only provide students with a broad foundation in the practical applications of psychology, but also enable them to take the first steps along specific career paths.
“People with a background in psychology can work in a diverse range of fields: in both public and private organisations, in NGOs, in schools, in health settings, almost everywhere,” points out Professor Padmore Amoah of Lingnan’s Department of Applied Psychology.
In this one year full-time or two years part-time programme, a range of elective courses enable students to explore their own specific interests. A number of these courses will cover topics not usually found in postgraduate psychology programmes in Hong Kong, such as sleep and health, positive gerontology, and consumer psychology. Furthermore, MAP students will get the chance to conduct their own research project with the support of a supervisor.
On graduation, MAP students will be eligible to join the Hong Kong Psychological Society (HKPS), and they can go on to enrol in professional programmes, such as those in clinical, educational, and industrial and organisational, psychology.
For students wishing to begin training for a career in counselling, the options open to them include the programme’s Concentration in Counselling Psychology. Despite the huge and growing demand for counsellors and clinical psychologists in Mainland China, very few Chinese universities currently offer relevant degrees, either at undergraduate or postgraduate levels. These types of professional skills also seem certain to be increasingly sought after in the wider region, as well.
Alternatively, rather than pursue professional training or employment opportunities, MAP graduates may choose to stay in academia and apply to doctoral research programmes.
Faculty and facilities
With international faculty of the highest quality, Lingnan’s Department of Applied Psychology is recognised as one of the best in its field within the region. In its research and teaching, the department aims to apply psychological principles to real-world, practical problems. Among the other taught master’s programmes already offered at Lingnan is the MSc in Work and Organisational Psychology, which is also a professional degree.
The resources MAP students will be able to access include the Wofoo Joseph Lee Consulting and Counselling Psychology Research Centre (WJLCCPRC). The WJLCCPRC’s work focuses on innovative research in the fields of consulting psychology, counselling psychology and the physiological indicators of well-being.