Programme: MA Clinical Psychology (Coursework)

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Code Faculty
01250212 Faculty of Humanities
Credits Duration
Minimum duration of study: 2 years Total credits: 180
Dr MS Makhubela
[email protected]

Programme information

This programme provides integrated professional and academic training equipping the candidate to function as a clinical psychologist. After completion, the candidate can apply to the Professional Board for Psychology of the Health Professions Council of South Africa for registration as a clinical psychologist. Such registration will be subject to the conditions stipulated by the Professional Board for Psychology at the time of registration.

Closing date for applications: 31 May annually.

The degree comprises one years of full-time study; 50% of the programme entails coursework and 50% entails a research component.

A. Theoretical section
A core curriculum with coursework has to be followed and passed.

B. Practical section
During the one years and as part of the practical component of the programme academic service training is done at institutions as organised by the Department of Psychology.

C. Mini-dissertation (KLS 895)
A mini-dissertation on an appropriate topic as approved by the head of department and the Postgraduate and Research Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Humanities must be completed and passed before the MA degree in Clinical Psychology can be conferred. A pass mark of at least 50% must be obtained. A draft article for publication in a recognised scientific journal must be submitted together with the completed mini-dissertation.

Admission requirements

  • BSocSciHons or BAHons in Psychology or equivalent qualification accredited by the Council on Higher Education.
  • Admission to the MA (Clinical Psychology) programme 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:

    *Closed – admission to this module is subject to departmental selection for the MA in Clinical Psychology.
    The primary aim of the module is the coding, interpretation and administration of various psychometric tests to enable the student to make a DSM IV diagnosis as well as a psychodiagnosis of a client/patient. The secondary aim is to apply psychodiagnostics in disciplines such as forensic and neuropsychology.

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  • Module content:

    *Closed - admission to this module is subject to departmental selection for the MA in Clinical Psychology.
    In this module various psychotherapeutic models and their underlying principles are studied. These paradigms do not only deal with the individual as an isolated being, but give insight and understanding with regard to family, group and social contexts. Module KLS 872 Psychotherapy (Practice) deals with the application of the theory and principles.

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  • Module content:

    *Closed – admission to this module is subject to departmental selection for the MA in Clinical Psychology.
    This module is interdependent on modules KLS 871 Psychotherapy (Theory) and KLS 803 Psychodiagnostics, namely as the application of psychotherapeutic paradigms and psychometric tests at various clinical/psychological institutions under supervision of senior clinical psychologists. The module also deals with analysis/diagnosis and the description of the applied processes. Critical evaluation of the psychotherapeutic process forms part of a scientific approach to the practice of psychotherapy. Professional and ethical principles are also addressed in the practice of psychotherapy.

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  • Module content:

    *Closed – admission to this module is subject to departmental selection for the MA in Clinical Psychology.
    This module is an investigation of behaviour in context. It trains the student towards a sensitive understanding of human action which exceeds the boundaries of culturally and socially accepted behaviour. Behaviour, which is usually defined as normal/abnormal, is critically discussed and studied from various paradigms. Behaviour as influenced by genetic and neurological processes is also studied.

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Minimum credits: 90

Core modules

  • Module content:

    The execution of a mini-dissertation tests students’ ability to practice and conduct independent research. The research project is based on a topic in the field of clinical psychology and is completed under supervision of a study leader (a registered clinical psychologist) or an approved expert on the subject of choice. The students are also trained in research methodology during the process of the development of the research proposal.

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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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