SYU first Master’s degrees awarded


On the afternoon of 7 December, 2012, at the fourth session of the 38th Graduation Ceremony of Hong Kong Shue Yan University (SYU), the first cohort of 14 students from the Master of Social Sciences in Counselling Psychology programme (MSSCP) were awarded Master’s degrees.

The first cohort of 24 full-time and part-time students commenced their studies in in September 2010. The MSSCP is SYU’s first accredited master’s degree programme, and thus far, it is also the first programme of its kind in Hong Kong. The duration for full-time studies is two years, and four years for part-time.

Isaac Yu Chun Yeung graduated with distinction (cumulative GPA of 3.70 and above) from the programme. When interviewed, he told the reporter that he graduated from SYU’s double major in Counselling and Psychology in 2008. Afterwards, he worked as a counsellor in a youth centre, during which period he became very interested in cognitive and intellectual assessment, as well as professional counselling. However, owing to his lack of professional qualifications, he was limited in what he could do professionally. Hence, when SYU offered the MSSCP in 2010, he deemed it to be a golden opportunity to realize his professional goals.

Isaac Yu Chun Yeung

Isaac said further: “Between clinical and counselling psychology, I preferred the latter because of its emphasis on counselling. Being a counselling psychologist, I am able to use a strength-based approach to help my clients to uncover their potential. Furthermore, as a former graduate of SYU, I have intimate knowledge of the devotion of the instructors to teaching. Therefore I did not hesitate to submit my application when the programme became available.”

The MSSCP adopts a scientist-practitioner approach, requiring the students to complete at least 1,000 hours of practicum, of which 690 hours of practice are in agencies. Isaac pointed out that the variety of practical work provided him with valuable clinical experience.

Isaac started his clinical practice in the Counselling & Research Centre of SYU’s Department of Counselling and Psychology. Subsequently, he was placed at Kwong Wah Hospital to provide counselling for people suffering from chronic pain and emotional problems. Later, he also had the opportunity to work with students with learning disabilities and other special educational needs.

Isaac’s long-term goal is to go into private practice and run his own counselling centre.

Alvin Yung Ka Hing, another graduate, completed his undergraduate education in psychology at the Hong Kong Baptist University. His goal was to become a beacon lighting up life’s pathways for other people, and SYU’s MSSCP programme appeared to answer his educational needs.

Alvin Yung Ka Hing

Alvin described his two years at SYU as being extremely positive for his personal growth, training him to be a person who dared to speak his mind, and rendering him capable of helping others.

“I used to be quite introverted. Two years ago, I would not have thought it possible to be able to speak up in front of strangers and to share my thoughts and feelings with them, not to mention giving them suggestions!”

Alvin told the reporter that his clinical practice had not only enhanced his confidence, it had also taught him how to interact with people from all walks of life, and to understand their needs for psychological services.

Sources: December Issue 2012

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