Programme: MA Counselling Psychology (Coursework)

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Code Faculty
01250213 Faculty of Humanities
Credits Duration
Minimum duration of study: 2 years Total credits: 180
Prof TM Bakker
[email protected]
+27 (0)124204924

Programme information

This programme offers integrated academic, practical and professional training in counselling psychology.

Closing date for applications: 31 May annually.

The programme is a one-year full-time programme and is based on the researcher(50%)-practitioner(50%) model. All courses within all the modules of the researcher and practitioner training need to be passed to obtain the MA (Counselling Psychology) degree.

Once a student has successfully completed the MA (Counselling Psychology) degree, such student can apply for registration as an intern counselling psychologist with the Professional Board for Psychology at the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) to do a one year full-time internship in Counselling Psychology. After success-fully completing the internship in counselling psychology and the board exam of the Professional Board for Psychology at the HPCSA, an intern counselling psychologist can apply for registration as a counselling psychologist with the Professional Board for Psychology at the HPCSA. Such registration is subject to the regulations of the Professional Board for Psychology at the time of registration.

A. Researcher training
Researcher training entails 50% of the MA (Counselling Psychology) programme. During the two-year period, consisting of one-year academic training and one-year internship, students are expected to sucessfully write a research proposal, conduct a research project and to write a mini-dissertation (VOS 895).

B. Practitioner training
Practitioner training entails 50% of the MA (Counselling Psychology) programme. During the first year of the course academic and practical training is done. The academic training is done through four core modules namely: Fundamentals of Psychology (SLK 801), Psychological assessment (SLK 806), Counselling Psychology (SLK 802) and Community Psychology (SLK 804) .The training is delivered by means of didactic instruction and/or experiential learning. The practical training is arranged by the Department of Psychology on a yearly basis.

C. Professional development
Besides the researcher and practitioner training, the professional development of the students is addressed on a continious basis in all modules. The professional development of students entails professional practice and professional identity development. The professional practice component focuses on the ethical and legal framework in which counselling psychologists practice, while professional identity development focuses on the “person” of the prospective counselling psychologist, the student.

Admission requirements

  • BSocSciHons or BAHons in Psychology or equivalent qualification accredited by the Council on Higher Education.
  • Admission to any of the MA programmes is subject to assessment and selection of the candidate based on requirements prescribed by the programme as applicable from time to time.

Examinations and pass requirements


  1. In order to pass a module, a final mark of at least 50% must be obtained.
  2. Progress in modules is assessed through a variety of activities in a process of continuous assessment. Assessment is designed to ensure that all the outcomes of the modules have been evaluated by means of informative assessment.
  3. The final results for all modules will only be published after confirmation of the results by the examination commission of the Faculty of Humanities. No results will be released beforehand.

Promotion to next study year

Requirements for progress to year II of the programme

  1. In each programme all requirements for year I of the programme must be met before proceeding to year II of the programme.
  2. Should all the requirements of year I not be met, year I may not be repeated and the student will have to leave the programme.
  3. Should the student wish to continue, he or she will have to reapply for admission in accordance with the rules applicable to the selection process for all new applications.
  4. No module may be carried over from year I to year II.

Requirements for progress to internship

  1. The rules and regulations as laid down by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and as amended from time to time, will apply.
  2. All programme requirements of the degree must be successfully completed and the assessment thereof processed through the necessary committees of the University.
  3. The master’s degree must be completed in two years.

Pass with distinction

A student will pass a module with distinction if a final mark of at least 75% is achieved.

General information

Professional misconduct
Enquiry with regards to possible professional misconduct within the programme:
Should a student be considered in breach of any professional rule, regulation or code of conduct as laid down by the Professional Board for Psychology or the HPCSA, the student may be required to present him/herself before the executive committee of the Department of Psychology for an enquiry in order to ascertain whether or not the matter should be referred to the Professional Board or the HPCSA for a further investigation.

Discontinuation of participation in the programme
The Dean may, on the recommendation of the Head of the Department of Psychology, conduct an enquiry into the alleged conduct and/or fitness of the student to practice. Possible outcomes of this process could include, but will not be limited to, the discontinuation of the student’s participation in the programme during an academic year. This decision will be considered by a committee within the Department and various aspects of the student’s progress and conduct within the programme will be assessed. The student will have the opportunity to respond and make representations regarding the allegations brought against him/her.

Minimum credits: 90

Core modules

  • Module content:

    *Departmental selection:  MA: Counselling Psychology only.
    In this module students will encounter the fundamental principles underlying human behaviour. Themes related to, inter alia, developmental psychology, personality psychology, neuropsychology, psychopathology, social psychology and professional practice are included.

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  • Module content:

    *Departmental selection -  MA: Counselling Psychology only.
    In this module students will be exposed to various models for doing psychological counselling. The objective of this module is to enable students to interpret the role of a therapist.

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  • Module content:

    *Departmental selection - MA: Counselling Psychology only.
    In this module students will develop skills to implement psychological programmes (eg life skills programmes) within social communities that will enable them to interpret the role of a community consultant.

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  • Module content:

    *Departmental selection - MA: Counselling Psychology only.
    This module focuses on the administration, marking and interpretation of psychological assessment techniques within various contexts. Report-writing based on the results, which were obtained during an assessment, is also dealt with in this module.

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The information published here is subject to change and may be amended after the publication of this information. The General Regulations (G Regulations) apply to all faculties of the University of Pretoria. It is expected of students to familiarise themselves well with these regulations as well as with the information contained in the General Rules section. Ignorance concerning these regulations and rules will not be accepted as an excuse for any transgression.

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