University Of Pretoria Psychology

University Of Pretoria Psychology

University Of Pretoria Psychology, The Department of Educational Psychology offers undergraduate, postgraduate and distance education programmes and modules. It also offers training (on a modular basis) to students entering fields such as early childhood intervention, social work, psychology and educational management, allowing them to use this knowledge and these skills in their future practice with children.

Postgraduate Programmes

On this page:
BSocSci Honours in Psychology
Professional Master’s Clinical, Counselling & Research Psychology
Academic MA & PhD

Honours Programme (Full-time)  

Applications are OPEN and will CLOSE 30 September 2021 for the 2023 intake – NO late applications will be accepted and there is no Departmental Application Form for the Honours Programme
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, transfer their skills to a variety of work contexts and contribute to society.
In order to apply for the BSocSci Honours (Psychology), students should have a first degree in Psychology as a major or core component and above average marks (70% and above).  Academic achievement is the only criterion for selection to the Honours programme at the University of Pretoria.
Application Process
All prospective students need to apply to the University of Pretoria for admission via and current UP students need to apply through their Student Centre’s via the Internal Application link.  There is no departmental application form to complete for this programme.
Duration of Study
The 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:
SLK 751:  Theories and Paradigms in Psychology (compulsory)
In this module, five dominant paradigms in psychology – (neo) behaviouristic, (neuro) cognitivist, psycho-analytic, humanist and eco-systemic – and typical theories emanating from these paradigms, are discussed. The philosophical underpinnings of these paradigms and theories are explored, specifically with reference to modernism and postmodernism. Emphasis is then placed on the praxis of quantitative and qualitative theory-building against the background of the five dominant paradigms.
SLK 761:  Research Essay (compulsory)
The research essay for BSocSci Honours in Psychology constitutes an integrated assessment of all learning offered for this learning programme.  Students will be required to write a research essay on an approved topic in the specific context selected as an elective component.
SLK 764:  Research Methodology (compulsory)
The focus is on knowledge and skills necessary 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 skills necessary to analyse qualitative data. All of which is aimed at providing students with greater skills within the realm of research.
SLK 752:  Social Psychology
Selected themes are explored, including inter alia social cognition, attitudes, persuasive communication and social influence, etc., as well as the role of culture in human behaviour.  These themes are applied to problems in the contemporary South African scene.
SLK 753:  Community Psychology
The 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, as well as a practical component based in the community.
SLK 755:  Psychological Assessment
This is a theoretical module that deals with the process of assessment of human behaviour within various contexts.  It does not include professional training to become a psychometrist.  It does include topics such as the multi-dimensional 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:  Psychopathology
The module deals with abnormal behaviour and symptomatology related to various mental disorders, including intra-psychic, interpersonal and socio-cultural dysfunctions and pathology.  The DSM IV classification system, as well as a multi-dimensional perspective, is discussed critically with regard to specific disorders.
SLK 760:  Neuropsychology
The module examines brain-behaviour relationships with the aim of understanding the components of complex psychological processes.  Various neuropsychological assessment techniques are also introduced.
SLK 762:  Cognitive Psychology
This module addresses the intermediate, well-formed and systematic knowledge and understanding of cognitive processes in order to provide evidence-based solutions for topical issues related to cognitive psychology. The module involves, inter alia, the evaluation of current scholarly debates and discourses in cognitive psychology, analysis of contemporary contexts, and a critical evaluation of topical issues related to cognitive functioning.
South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA):
All international students need to have their qualifications evaluated by SAQA, before applying to the University of Pretoria for any of the programmes on postgraduate level.  Please go to for more information.
Professional Master’s (Clinical, Counselling & Research Psychology
Applications are now OPEN and will CLOSE on 31 May 2021 for the 2023 intake. NO late applications will be accepted.
The Department offers three directed MA courses. Admittance to any one of these courses depends on a selection process. Further information can be obtained from (click on the relevant image below the HODs message).  An application can only be submitted for one of the three courses.
Prospective students need to complete both the UP application for admission at and the Departmental Application Package, and current UP students need to complete the internal application on their Student Centre’s as well as the Departmental Application Package.


Requirements to apply to ONE of the three courses:
Minimum average of 65% (honours in psychology) and practical experience in the field of psychology
Information with regards to International (non-South-African) students:
International students are encouraged to apply for our academic MA or PhD. These degrees entail completing a dissertation or thesis on a topic approved by the department (more information below).  Unfortunately, due to difficulties with allowing international students to do community service and/or internships for the purpose of registering as psychologists in South Africa, we do not accept applications for the Clinical, Counselling or Research MA professional degrees.
Academic Master’s & PhD Programmes
Applications for the 2023 intake are now OPEN and will CLOSE on 30 September 2018
For the MA (Psychology) degree students are required to have an honours degree with a minimum of 60% average mark, or honours status (to be awarded based on the merit of individual applicants) before registration for this degree can proceed. The master’s degree is awarded upon successful completion of a full-length dissertation. The maximum period for completion of a masters degree is four years.
For the doctoral degree, DPhil or PhD (Psychology), students are required to have a recognised masters degree in Psychology with a minimum mark of 65% for the research component of the degree. The doctoral degree is awarded upon successful completion of a full-length thesis and oral defence of the thesis. The maximum period for completion of a doctoral degree is five years.
Application Process
All prospective students need to apply to the University of Pretoria for admission at and current UP students need to apply through their Student Centre’s via the Internal Application link.  Thereafter the departmental application form, concept proposal, checklist etc. should be completed available at (click on the relevant image below the HOD’s message)

About the Department of Psychology

Departmental enquiries can be emailed to

The department consists of permanent, full-time academic members of staff, 1 senior administrative officer and 2 departmental administrators. We also have 5 extraordinary professors who are appointed on an annual basis, primarily to assist with the academic supervision of masters and doctoral students.

In addition to the above, the Department has access to the services of 2 contract lecturers, 6 student assistants, 7 research assistants and 21 tutors.  Various guest lecturers are also appointed on an annual basis to present undergraduate modules and specialist themes at postgraduate level.


The Department currently presents undergraduate and postgraduate modules in psychology.  The undergraduate psychology modules are mostly taken as electives with the BA (General) degree.

In order to gain entrance into the Honours in Psychology degree programme, psychology has to be taken as a major or elective, which will include all undergraduate psychology modules for the three years of the BA degree.

For students in the Humanities Faculty this will mean registering for a BA (General) degree with Psychology as one of the majors. Psychology can also be an elective for other degrees in other faculties (confirm requirements / limitations of those faculties).

Besides the honours programme (BSocSci Honours with specialisation in Psychology), the department also presents four master’s programmes (MA Psychology; MA Clinical Psychology; MA Counselling Psychology; MA Research Psychology) and a doctoral programme (PhD (Psychology).


In 2006, the vision and mission of the Department of Psychology was reviewed. Central to the new vision and mission is the Department’s aim to develop a strong cadre of intellectuals who have the cognitive skills to a make a contribution to a sound, functioning civil society and to the development of psychology as a science and a profession. 


The Psychology Department aims to:

  1. equip our students with the proper values, quality skills and knowledge that will enable them to become competent in their professional careers and spheres of life;
  2. ensure that the programmes offered reflect a quality curriculum that is locally relevant and internationally competitive;
  3. ensure the provision of academic and general formative education to students that will assist them to function innovatively in a globalised, continuously changing and diverse environment;
  4. ensure that through our work performance, an inclusive and empowering organisational culture is developed;
  5. apply management practices and principles that support excellent performance in teaching, administration and research;
  6. encourage the development of research focus areas to enhance the culture of research and publication;
  7. develop and maintain academic research co-operatives and partnerships with local, regional and international institutions;
  8. contribute to building and sustaining community engagement through research.


  1. In order to achieve this vision, the Department of Psychology aims to:
  2. be recognised nationally and internationally for its quality contribution to teaching and learning, research and community work;
  3. be a professional home for diverse, competent and committed staff who are supported by efficient systems and procedures;
  4. become a catalyst for community development by adding value and making a contribution towards sustainable community engagement in South Africa.

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