Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology (Full-time)

This programme will provide advanced research and clinical training to master-level clinical psychologists to raise their standards of professional practice and academic/research competence. The aim of the programme is to train future leaders in the clinical psychology profession, preparing graduates of this programme for senior posts in either tertiary educational institutions or practice settings. In other words, these doctoral graduates are expected in the future to play the roles of resourceful teachers of psychology who nurture young budding psychologists, pioneering researchers who expand the frontier of knowledge, or senior practitioners who monitor and raise the level of professional practices.

Admission Requirement

In addition to the general qualifications (Please refer to Graduate School homepage), all applicants must also fulfil the "English Language Proficiency Requirement" as stipulated by the Graduate School before being considered for admission. Please refer to the "Postgraduate Prospectus" issued by the Graduate School for details on these requirements.

Besides, all applicants should

  1. possess a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology; and
  2. have eligibility for membership of the Division of Clinical Psychology, Hong Kong Psychological Society.


Knowledge of spoken Cantonese and written Chinese are required (Courses are taught in Cantonese and English).

Additional Application information

In addition to the general application materials, all applicants should submit a thesis proposal in English (2,500 words or above).

Coursework Requirements

Students are required to complete a minimum of 18 units of courses (excluding PSYC8100) for graduation.

(a) Required Courses:    
  PSYC6010, 7030, 7040, 7100, *7240, *7250, 7910, 7920   18 units
  * Practical Training    
  Students are required to complete 6 units of Advanced Practicum which amount to 150-200 days of supervised practical training in selected area(s) of specialties.
Those with at least 5 years of relevant working experience can apply for  exemption of Advanced Practicum.
  Total: 18 units
(b) PSYC8100  
  After passing a candidacy assessment, students are required to take PSYC8100 every term, throughout the preparation of dissertation, until its completion. Students will gain the units each time they pass PSYC8100.  

Qualifying Examination

Students are required to fulfill the Ph.D. candidature by passing one of the following candidacy assessment procedures:

(1) Obtain a "B" grade or above in the courses of PSYC6010 (Seminar in Research Methods II) and PSYC7030 (Clinical Psychology Advanced Workshops I). Students who opt for this assessment procedure for establishing their PhD candidacy are still required to pass the written examination as stated in (2) within their study period for graduation;
(2) Pass a written examination which consists of a written review paper and an oral examination. Students are required to do a review-type paper (literature review, including ideally a meta-analysis if feasible) of approximately 6,000 words in main text (around 30 pages double-spaced) on a topic related to clinical psychology as approved by their supervisor. Students are also required to pass an oral examination on this review.
A student will be asked to retake the examination if he/she fails the examination for the first time. A student, however, will be asked to withdraw from the programme if he/she has failed the examination for the second time.

Thesis Proposal and Defense Meeting

Upon the passing of the candidacy assessment, a student is required to submit a thesis proposal and pass a thesis proposal defense meeting no later than 30 January of third year of studies.

Other Requirements

Students are required to:

  1. submit a dissertation and pass an oral examination for graduation;
  2. complete an Improving Postgraduate Learning (IPL) course on "Observing Intellectual Property and Copyright Law during Research" This will be an online module and relevant information can be accessed from the website: www.cuhk.edu.hk/clear/pointer/ipl.html
  3. A student who receives two (or more) grades D or below will be asked to discontinue studies.

Career Prospects

Graduate students of this programme have been employed as clinical psychologists in

  • Department of Health,
  • Hospital Authority,
  • Correctional Services Department,
  • Hong Kong Police,
  • Social Welfare Department, and
  • other non-government organizations.