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The Department of Psychology

Psychology image

The Discipline of Psychology is comprised of a diverse complement of approximately forty skilled staff with expertise in a broad array of fields, ranging from brain functioning to psychotherapy, and from child development to organisational change. We offer both academic and professional-training oriented courses, and provide students with a good research base, critical knowledge application and flexible skills development. Our undergraduate courses provide an excellent grounding in Psychology, and some degree of specialisation is catered for at the 3rd year level and above. Our professional training programmes are nationally competitive, and of international standard. Our programmes are geared towards developing reflective theorists and practitioners, who are sensitive to South African needs, and we strive to make our teaching both personally relevant and socially responsive.

A student intending to pursue a career as a psychologist would have to study psychology for three years as an undergraduate, take a one-year full-time honours degree, and enrol for a specialised Masters degree (clinical, community-counselling, industrial/organisational, research, educational). Thus, the full period of study is a minimum of six years at present and allows for registration with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) as a psychologist. In the professional training programmes, the sixth year usually involves a full year internship and in some specializations the HPCSA requires completion of a year of paid community service prior to registration as an independent practitioner.

The profession of Psychology in South Africa is currently undergoing substantial change which means that requirements for registration as a psychologist may change. As an institution accredited to train counsellors and psychologists, the University of the Witwatersrand will adapt its programmes to any future changes if this becomes necessary.