Psychology At The University Of Pretoria

Honours Programme Information The BSocSci Honours in Psychology programme provides advanced academic and research training in Psychology, equipping students to proceed with the Master’s programmes in any of the structured (professional) or academic programmes, transferring their skills to a variety of work contexts and contribute to society.   


  • A relevant bachelor’s degree recognised by the Senate of the University of Pretoria with a minimum of six semester modules in psychology of which at least two semester modules must have been obtained at third-year level
  • A weighted average of 70% must be obtained for psychology modules completed during first, second and third year of study (respectively)
  • Research modules (RES 320 or equivalent) should have been included in the undergraduate degree
  • Additional research modules may be required, if deemed necessary by the Head of Department

Selection Process

  • limited number of students will be admitted
  • Selection will be based on allocating a weight of 40% to second-year marks and a weight of 60% to third-year marks in psychology
  • Once the admission requirements are fulfilled, transformation, gender and disability are taken into account

Application Process

  • All applicants need to carefully read the Compulsory Instruction Letter to familiarise themselves with the application process.
  • All prospective students need to apply to the University of Pretoria for admission via this UP Online Application Link;
  • Currently enrolled UP students need to apply through their Student Centre via the Internal Application Link;
  • Both prospective and currently enrolled students need to complete the Compulsory Online Departmental Application Form (link in the instruction letter), via a Google Form as part of the application process.

Duration of StudyThe programme is presented full-time for one year. Classes will only be presented during day-time and class attendance is compulsory.  English will be the only medium of instruction. 

Programme Content (Modules)Students can apply for selection for professional or academic training at master’s level with any of the following honours modules.  The list below is the only modules that will be presented in 2021, and might change for 2023 

Core Modules (3x compulsory):SLK 751: Theories and Paradigms in Psychology Five dominant paradigms in psychology will be discussed, including (neo) behaviouristic, (neuro) cognitivist, psycho-analytic, humanist and ecosystemic, as well as typical theories emanating from these paradigms. The philosophical underpinnings of these paradigms and theories are explored, specifically with reference to modernism and postmodernism. Emphasis is placed on the praxis of quantitative and qualitative theory-building against the background of the five dominant paradigms.

SLK 761: Research Report (year module)The research essay constitutes an integrated assessment of all knowledge offered in this learning programme. Students will be required to write a research essay on an approved topic within a specific context.

 SLK 764: Research MethodologyThe focus is on gaining the knowledge and skills that are required to understand the empirical research process as applied in psychology. The following aspects are included: theoretical and epistemological assumptions in psychological research, problem and hypothesis formulation, basics of measurement, control in research, threats to validity and research designs. The module also incorporates statistical methods applicable in research, as well as the skills that are necessary to analyse qualitative data – all of which is aimed at providing students with greater skills within the realm of research. 

Elective Modules (Choose any 4):SLK 753: Community PsychologyThe module focuses on the nature of community psychology, theoretical approaches, community settings, consultation, interventions and the design and management of effective programmes. It includes the planning, coordination and facilitation of workshops, and a practical component based in the community. 

SLK 755: Psychological AssessmentThis theoretical module deals with the assessment of human behaviour within various contexts. It does not include the professional training that will qualify students as psychometrists, but includes topics such as the multidimensional nature, purpose, and characteristics of assessment; critical issues in psychological assessment within the South African context; the reasons for statutory control of psychological assessment and the ethics of assessment; the appropriate use of different kinds of psychometric and assessment methods and instruments; and the process of integration of assessment results and report writing. 

SLK 756: PsychopathologyThe module deals with abnormal behaviour and symptomatology related to various mental disorders, including intrapsychic, interpersonal and sociocultural dysfunctions and pathology. The DSM-V classification system and multidimensional perspectives are critically discussed with regard to specific disorders. 

SLK 760: NeuropsychologyThe module examines brain-behaviour relationships to develop an understanding of the components of complex psychological processes. Various neuropsychological assessment techniques are also introduced. 

SLK 766: Therapeutic PsychologyThis module introduces students to various postmodern approaches and ethical issues. In addition, upon completion of the module, students should have acquired an in-depth knowledge of a specific therapeutic approach of their choice and demonstrate these approaches can be used to intervene at the, individual, family and community level. 

SLK 768: Capita SelectaStudents are exposed to a contemporary topic or field in Psychology not covered elsewhere in the curriculum, such as positive psychology, sports psychology or evolutionary psychology, for example.

 In 2020/2021 Sport Psychology formed part of the Capita Selecta module. Sport Psychology is a dynamic, developing field that combines Psychology and Sport Science. Specialisation in this field is in high demand within the South African context. This module will focus on high performance not only in the sport context, but is relevant in any performance-evaluative contexts, such as academia, performing arts and the corporate environment. High performance is dependent on the well-being of the participant, and the reciprocal relationship between high performance and well-being will be thoroughly explored in this module. Psychological principles and skills, as well as mindfulness, will be applied in this module as part of the third wave cognitive development in Psychology to improve high performance and well-being.

 In 2023/2024, Health Psychology will be part of the Capita Selecta module, which will replace the Sport Psychology module. 

Health Psychology is the study of the psychological and behavioural processes in health, illness, and healthcare. It is concerned with understanding how psychological, behavioural, and socio-cultural factors contribute to physical health and illness. Health Psychologists can improve and promote health by working directly with individual patients or indirectly in large-scale public health programs by means of conducting health-related research. The Health Psychology module aims to present a critical, exploratory, trans-disciplinary, and participatory approach to health psychology. The module exposes students to various theories and critical perspectives within and beyond the discipline of Health Psychology. The module integrates traditional, critical, and positive approaches to Health and Health Psychology, with an emphasis on both global and South African contexts.The module is designed and well-suited for students wanting to pursue further postgraduate education and training in Clinical, Counselling, or Research Psychology by providing them with the foundational knowledge and skills of Health Psychology.


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