Housing issues in Hong Kong are complex, and involve legal and town planning. The department of public and social administration at the City University offers a master of arts degree in housing studies to provide a high level of professional training for managers in the housing-management sector.
Programme leader Dr Yip Ngai-ming says the housing-management sector is established, but lacks professional training. The course fills this void by providing systematic and professional education. "It provides the latest information on housing, policy and management. Topics like advanced housing practice, comparative and international housing policy, legal studies for the built environment and research methods for housing studies are covered in the programme," he says.
The course is delivered mainly through classroom training and is supplemented with workshops.
"There is an overseas workshop where students will go to a nearby city like Shanghai for four to five days to look at their housing policies," he says.
Teaching takes place mainly on weekday evenings. Applicants should possess a bachelor's degree from a recognised university. The programme is one year, full-time or two years, part-time. Students are required to study summer semesters.
The programme is recognised by the Hong Kong Institute of Housing and the Chartered Institute of Housing.
James Chan, who works as an assistant asset manager, finds the programme informative and provides him with up-to-date and specialised information. "I have learned a lot on how to build an effective team. This is a plus for me when I move up the career ladder."