Postgraduate Psychology

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Postgraduate Psychology

Postgraduate Psychology


This course provides an in-depth study for students interested in professional careers in psychology. The program is oriented to students wishing to continue with further post-graduate applied professional training or to follow academic, research, and other professional interests. The degree is offered on a full-time (one-year) basis. A minimum of 7 modules are required for learners taking honours at both delivery sites.

The Professional Board for Psychology considers the degree to be equivalent to a BPsych and students will consequently be eligible to take the Professional Board examination for registration as a Registered Counsellor. Students who wish to become Registered Counsellors will be required to complete an additional six-month internship. Postgraduate Psychology

Prerequisites for admission

Except by permission of the Senate, a person may be admitted as a learner only if s/he has taken Psychology as a major for a Bachelor’s degree and has obtained a final mark of not less than 60% therein, and complies with such other selection criteria as laid down by the lecturers concerned. Prospective learners may have to present themselves for a personal interview.

PSY510/510E Research Design
Purpose: To advance an understanding of the social research process, including the stages, design, and logic of the social research process
Contents: An understanding of fundamental concepts and images of social research; in-depth discussion on the stages of the research process (problem formulation, conceptualization, operationalization, sampling, data collection, data analysis, interpretation, and reporting), focus on the logic of social research; research design (from simple to complex designs); methodological issues (relating to qualitative and quantitative methodologies); proposal and report writing; research ethics

PSY511/511E Psychopathology

Purpose: To familiarise students with various models of psychopathology
Contents: Historical and contemporary theories about psychopathology are covered, with attention to the impact of social and cultural factors. Exposure to practical examples and case studies is an important component. Ethical aspects of Psychopathology are integrated. Multi-axial diagnosis is a component of the course.

PSY512/512E Counselling Psychology/Psychotherapy (Second-semester module)
Purpose: To familiarise students with various models of counseling and psychotherapy
Contents: Theories of counseling and therapy with special emphasis on their
application in contemporary South Africa, psychosocial development and counseling

PSY516/PSY516E Developmental Psychology

Purpose: To familiarise students with the field and theories of Developmental Psychology and explore certain critical areas
Contents: Students learn various theories about children’s cognitive, affective, social, and cultural development. Students are also taught to critically evaluate contemporary evidence and issues in the promotion of children’s development. Students are encouraged to develop their own ideas and interests in the domain of child development. In this regard, students are introduced to different research methods in the study of children’s psychological development giving them a framework for planning, designing, and carrying out their own research in the area of child development.

PSY519/PSY519E Capita Selecta (A)
PSY521/521E Directed Study

Purpose: To complete a research project
Contents: A research project is undertaken and documented under the supervision of a psychology lecturer. This includes an initial research proposal, the topic of which requires departmental approval. The student has to submit a final research report. Postgraduate Psychology

PSY524/524E Social/Community Psychology

Purpose: To familiarize students with approaches and theories of social and community psychology on an extended level
Contents: This course investigates the psychological dimensions of ‘culture’ and ‘community’ as well as communities of practice. Students learn to locate themselves in the complex fabrics of their cultures, their geographies, and their power relationships. The course aims to make students aware of how different environments and circumstances impact human behavior.

PSY529/529E Assessment and Psychometric Testing

Purpose: To familiarize students with assessment theory, principles, and practice
Contents: Students are exposed to assessment concepts, assessment domains, and instruments, psychometric properties of instruments, assessment principles, and ethics, as well as factors to consider when designing, administering, scoring, interpreting, and reporting assessment findings.


Masters in Counselling Psychology (course work and a mini dissertation)
The Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology consists of three papers (Therapeutic Interventions, Community Interventions, and Assessment), a practical program, and a research project. The degree strives to train psychologists to address the needs of South Africans in changing community contexts. The degree meets the requirements of the Professional Board for Psychology for admission to an internship in Counselling Psychology, with the Department being recognized as a training institute. Internships are offered through the Psychological Services Centre. Students who have passed all their papers and satisfied the criteria for the practical program may apply for an internship position.
On successful completion of the degree, internship, and Board examination, the students may register as Counselling Psychologists with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.

PSY701E Community Interventions
Purpose: To expose students to the theory, concepts, tools, and practices of psychological work in community contexts
Contents: Constructions of community and culture; models of community psychology; therapeutic skills in community settings; reflexivity and power; psychology and oppression; mental health/primary health care; health promotion/prevention; participation/empowerment; advocacy and policy; critiques of HIV/AIDS interventions and proposals; eco-systemic model;

PSY702E Therapeutic Interventions

Purpose: To expose students to the theory, concepts, tools, and practices of therapeutic interventions.
Contents: Family therapies; narrative approaches; cognitive behavioural approaches; humanistic/existential approaches; psychoanalytic approaches; group approaches; play therapies

PSY703E Research Report

Purpose: To learn how to conduct independent research
Contents: Research proposal, literature review, theoretical model, data collection, data analysis, write-up of Mini Dissertation or Journal article.

PSY704E Assessment

Purpose: To expose students to the theory, concepts, tests, and practices of assessment
Contents: Developmental theories; childhood psychological disorders; critical perspective on psychological testing and assessment; dynamic assessment: circle of courage; intake interview and report writing; intelligence tests; projective tests; visual motor integration; personality assessment; school readiness; career assessment; introduction to neuropsychological and psychiatric assessment; computerized assessment.

PSY700E Psychology Masters by Dissertation

This is a research degree based on a dissertation from one or more of the fields in Psychology governed by the general regulations for these degrees. The dissertation should reflect evidence of independent research by the researcher. The research topic is chosen in consultation with the Head of the department and is subject to the approval of the Faculty Research and Higher Degrees Committee.

PSY900E Doctor’s Degree in Psychology

This is a research degree based on a thesis from one or more of the fields in Psychology governed by general regulations. The thesis should reflect evidence of independent and original research by the researcher. The research topic is chosen in consultation with the Head of the Department and is subject to the approval of the Faculty Research and Higher Degrees Committee.

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