Skip to main content

Life Planning Information Website - Education Bureau

Junior Secondary Level

Senior Secondary Level

Junior Secondary Level

Children characteristics

  • Start stepping into puberty and experience physiological changes
  • Easy to be influenced by peers
  • Strong self-esteem and "self" consciousness
  • Hope to get approval from others

Parental role

  • Understand your child's interests, potential and abilities
  • Understand your child's aspirations, goals and future careers
  • Help your child to understand various professions, including providing relevant information
  • Encourage your child to participate in extra-curricular activities and community services
  • Encourage your child to set short-term and long-term goals, and then fulfil them step by step
  • Communicate with the school to understand your child's learning and difficulties
  • Provide suitable degree of freedom for your child and give them a free hand to develop their strengths

Secondary 3 Selection of subjects

Secondary 4 is a new stage of learning. For children who are attending Secondary 3, choosing elective subjects is very important in their life planning. Sometimes, parental expectation and unilateral decisions may put high pressure on their children, which may, in turn, affect their future performance. Parents can learn about relevant information and join the discussions with their children, listen to their opinions, and share their ideas.

The following is the senior secondary curriculum information:

The senior secondary curriculum consists of three parts, including core subjects, elective subjects, and other learning experiences (OLE). Students are required to take four core subjects and two to three elective subjects, as well as participating in other learning experiences.

Four Core Subjects

  • Chinese Language
  • English Language
  • Mathematics
  • Liberal Studies (Applicable until 2023 exam year)
  • Citizenship and Social Development (Applicable from 2024 exam year onwards)

Two to Three Elective Subjects

Students can select two to three elective subjects from 20 elective subjects by Key Learning Areas (KLAs) (Category A subjects in HKDSE), Applied Learning (ApL) (Category B subject in HKDSE) or Other languages (Category C subjects in HKDSE).

The school will decide which elective subjects to offer depending on individual school contexts as well as students’ needs, interests and abilities. Some schools offer Applied Learning or Other Languages.

20 Elective Subjects

Key Learning Area


Chinese Language Education

Chinese Literature

English Language Education

Literature in English

Personal, Social and Humanities Education

Chinese History


Ethics and Religious Studies



Tourism and Hospitality Studies

Science Education




Science (Integrated Science; Combined Science) (Applicable until 2023 exam year)

Technology Education

Business, Accounting and Financial Studies

Design and Applied Technology

Health Management and Social Care

Information and Communication Technology

Technology and Living

Arts Education


Visual Arts

Physical Education

Physical Education

Applied Learning Subjects 

Six areas of studies under ApL:

  • Creative Studies
  • Media and Communication
  • Business, Management and Law
  • Services
  • Applied Science
  • Engineering and Production

In addition, there are Applied Learning (Vocational English) and Applied Learning Chinese (for non-Chinese speaking students).

Other Language Subjects

Other Languages include the following:

Subjects in the 2024 HKDSE and before

Subjects in the 2025 HKDSE and beyond

  • French
  • German
  • Japanese
  • Spanish
  • Hindi
  • Urdu
  • French
  • German
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Spanish

Detailed information about HKDSE subjects

Other Learning Experiences

  • Values Education
  • Aesthetic Development
  • Physical Development
  • Community Service
  • Career-related Experiences

The School Curriculum Framework

Secondary Education Curriculum Guide (S1-6) (CDC, 2017)


Senior Secondary Level

Children characteristics

  • Become mature and more responsible
  • Start thinking about future
  • Care about social current issues
  • Have a certain level of self-understanding

Parental role

  • Believe that children have the ability to make decisions independently
  • Learn about information on further studies with your children and help to plan the career plan
  • Encourage your children to participate in the work experience program
  • Help your children to understand different prospects after graduation, career development trends and community resources

Form 6 Progressive Employment Information

Parents should learn and collect different information on career and employment aspects to help their children to choose the right path.For more information on career and employment, please refer to the study information or employment information on this website.

Back to Top