f Centre of Buddhist Studies

The Master of Buddhist Counselling programme offers quality training on Buddhist teaching-based counselling knowledge and skills by means of interdisciplinary learning and contemplative practice. Buddhist counselling students are held to high standards of knowledge of Buddhist teachings, counselling skills, ethics, self-introspection, and awareness. In particular, a significant portion of courses will focus on guiding students to apply Buddhist teachings in counselling. Using this training model, students will participate in group discussions, conduct role playing of counselling sessions, develop mindfulness practices, apply Buddhist counselling techniques in daily lives, and become involved in other experiential activities.

Feature of MBC - A Unique Programme Motivated by Compassion

A Programme Motivated by Compassion
The MBC programme is not a conventional psychology programme providing training in Buddhist-derived psychological interventions. Instead, it is a Buddhist Counselling programme based on core Buddhist teachings and practices as explicated in classical Buddhist scriptures. Students will receive training in delivering traditional Buddhist counselling as a holistic, structural, and transformative process of helping. Motivated by compassion, the MBC is a distinctive training opportunity for students to gain insights into deeper issues of human suffering and develop skillful means to alleviate suffering in self and others.

First of Its Kind
In a dearth of Buddhist counselling services and the demand for ethical and professional services for individuals affiliated with Buddhism, the Buddhist Counselling programme is designed to train ethical and competent Buddhist counselling practitioners to provide compassionate services for individuals and communities in Hong Kong. In comparison to the Master of Buddhist Studies programme, MBC programme aims to put forth the theoretical studies of Buddhist teachings into practice by equipping students with pragmatic Buddhist teaching-based counselling skills and fostering spiritual formation.

Reflective and Contemplative Learning
Spiritual reflection and formation is a strong emphasis of the programme because these endeavours can foster awareness, compassion and wisdom to face challenges of life, dissolve barriers that perpetuate ones suffering, and enhance ones ability to connect with others. Due to these reasons, students are highly encouraged to find and develop their spiritual direction, apply their learnings in real life situations, and cultivate compassion for self and others.

The programme is intended for individuals with basic knowledge in Buddhist Studies who would like to study how Buddhist counselling adds a new dimension to their daily work. The curriculum is designed to support a wide range of career paths, including healthcare professionals, helping professionals, educational professionals, officers from disciplinary forces, and any other persons who are interested in the study of Buddhist counselling for personal enhancement.

The basic qualification necessary for admission to the programme includes:

(a) Holding a Bachelors degree from this University or an equivalent qualification from comparable institutions.

(b) Satisfactorily completed BSTC6079 Early Buddhism: a doctrinal exposition and BSTC6002 Mahayana Buddhism in the HKU Master of Buddhist Studies programme, or courses of Buddhist studies offered by another comparable institution accepted for this purpose. 

Applicants who do not fulfil (a) and/or (b) above may be invited to attend the Buddhist Studies Foundation Course (BSFC)* or take a qualifying examination. They will be considered for admission if they have satisfactory performance in the BSFC/qualifying examination.

*The BSFC is designed for selected MBC applicants who have not fulfilled the prerequisites in Buddhist Studies. The course aims to equip students with fundamental Buddhist knowledge to prepare them for the study of Buddhist counselling. Course details will be provided to selected applicants after initial short-listing.


Applicants who wish to be admitted to the programme on the basis of a qualification from a university or a comparable institution outside Hong Kong where the language of teaching and/or examination is NOT English are required to obtain:

1. A score of 550 or above (paper-based test) or 80 or above (internet-based test) in the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Applicants who take the TOEFL should request the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to send an official score report to the University (Institution code: 9671) directly. Original/certified copy of the Examinees score record will not be accepted; OR

2. A minimum overall band of 6 with no subtest lower than 5.5 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

Note: The TOEFL or IELTS result should be obtained within the two years before the date of application.TOEFL iBT® Home Edition and IELTS online tests are not accepted.

Full-time (1 year)
Part-time (2 years)

Classes are mainly conducted on weekday evenings and weekends.

Students are required to take 8 courses to complete the whole programme. Therefore, full-time students normally need to take 4 courses, and part-time students 2 courses, each semester.

Each core/elective course usually consists of three consecutive teaching hours per week. The number of teaching weeks in each semester varies, but normally there should be around 10-13 teaching weeks per semester.

Candidates will complete 8 courses including 3 core courses, 4 elective courses, and 1 course for capstone experience.

1. Core Courses
Theories and practice in Buddhist counselling I
Theories and practice in Buddhist counselling II
Spiritual formation through contemplative practices

2. Elective courses
Dharma therapy
Awareness training program
Being with the elderly, sick, and dying
Buddhist homiletics: the art of presenting Buddhist teachings
Buddhist liturgy and rituals
Buddhist mediation

3. Course for Capstone Experience
The capstone experience project is compulsory and can be conducted in the following forms:
(a) Contemplative learning in Buddhism;
(b) Autobiography paper guided by Buddhist teachings;
(c) Buddhist homiletics; or
(d) Buddhist counselling case study

Students from the MBC programme will be provided with options to select elective courses from the Master of Social Sciences (Counselling) programme. Teachers from the Master of Social Sciences (Counselling) programme may also serve as the co-supervisor in the Capstone Experience if the area of study is relevant. The selection of cross-listed courses and co-supervision of Capstone Experience should be subject to the approval of the Programme Director/Chairman of the two respective programmes.

(The course list above is subject to change.)

The course information for the current year is available HERE for your reference.

Course Fee for 2023-24:
Full-time: HK$165,000
Part-time: HK$70,000 per annum

(Subject to University's approval)

Scholarships are available for application. More information can be obtained HERE.

Continuing Education Fund
This programme has been included in the list of reimbursable courses under the Continuing Education Fund. More details are available at: http://www.wfsfaa.gov.hk/cef/index.htm.

Applications should be submitted online through the following link:


(When you choose your programme for application in the link above, please select Master of Buddhist Counselling programme from the Faculty of Arts.)
Please click HERE to download the checklist of supporting documents needed for application*.

*Please note that you are not required to submit original/certified true copy of your documents to the University during the application stage. Should you be given an admission offer by the University, you will receive notification to submit original/certified true copy of your documents.

Supporting documents should be submitted to:

MBC Programme Office
Centre of Buddhist Studies
Room 420, 4/F, The Jockey Club Tower
Centennial Campus
The University of Hong Kong
Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong

The Faculty of Arts will inform applicants of their application result in writing. Please contact our Centre if you do not receive your application result by June 30, 2021.

Course Commencement:
September 2023

February 28, 2023 (12 noon HKT)

Date: 15 January, 2023 (Sun)
Time: 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Please click HERE for the recording.

Tel: (852) 3917-5075
Email: hkumbc@hku.hk
Address: Room 415, 4/F, The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong

Programme Sponsor:

(Click here for more information.)

 Back to top

< Back | Next >


Copyright 2005, Centre of Buddhist Studies, The University of Hong Kong