So, you’ve heard of psychology and think it sounds cool? Why not investigate further? Jane has some points for you to consider before you make a final call.
It’s no secret that life after school is full of choices and the most important of these is deciding what to study.
I remember sitting and waiting to register for the first semester of varsity. “Unprepared” was an understatement. The only thing I knew for sure was what that I was going to do Art History. That’s about it.
Media Studies seemed pretty cool, so I put that on the list as the queue shuffled along. I had could add at least one more subject. I looked across at the subjects chosen by the guy on my right – Religious Studies, Anthropology and Sociology. No thanks. I looked over to the girl’s sheet on my left. Linguistics… that looked pretty interesting. Why am I so disorganised? As the queue got shorter and shorter, I thought: Psychology. I have always loved the crime channel and I can never put down a psychological thriller. So, I added psychology to my list of majors and headed over to my designated course convener. She ruffled through my forms, nodded her head, pulled out my matric certified and stopped. “You can’t do psychology. You don’t have enough matric credentials”. Great.
Are you a Suitable Candidate?
Psychology is a multifaceted field of study. There are different fields (psychotherapy, child development etc.) and there are different disciplines (research, practical etc.). So, it is not a narrow path – there are actually lots of different options to explore. All of the above makes psychology a content-rich course. On the whole, you need to be interested in how the brain works. In terms of your personality, you need to be empathetic, insightful, self-aware and disciplined. Psychology is not a one-size fits all type vibe.
Why do you want to Study Psychology?
This is the most important question you need to ask yourself before you embark on any psychology course. Are you choosing psychology out of intrigue or are you hoping to make a career out of it?
- I am just interested in psychology
A lot of people do psychology as a way to bulk up courses such as Social Work, Education and History – to name a few. If this is the case, you simply need to ensure you have enough credits (most psychology courses require students to have done maths core) and that you are ready to get learning.
- I want to make a career out of psychology
If you want to major in psychology, reach a postgraduate level and specialise in clinical or neuropsychology, for example, you need to ensure that you mark out a very clear pathway to this goal. This means making sure you are the right person for the course and you maintain high grades (at least upper-seconds) throughout your undergrad studies. It is widely known that there is a bottleneck in psychology. This means that the course takes hundreds of undergraduate students and only a fraction of these students are able to get through to post-grad level due to space restrictions. But don’t let this scare you! If you are truly passionate about the course and disciplined about your work, your chances of studying at a postgrad level are very high.
Yay or Nay?
So, that is psychology in a nutshell. If you think this sounds like the way forward for you, you need to decide where to study. This part is not too difficult – psychology is a popular study choice so it is offered at a range of universities, each of which has different admission requirements.
Follow the links to the following universities to see what each of them require of their applicants:
- Rhodes University
- Nelson Mandela University
- North West University
- Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University
- Stellenbosch University
- University of Cape Town
- University of Fort Hare
- University of KwaZulu Natal
- University of Limpopo
- University of Western Cape
- University of Witwatersrand
- University of Zululand
The choice is yours.
Whether you want to make a career out of psychology or use it to bulk up your degree, you will find it has relevance in a range of different subjects, theories and events. If you have a passion for people and an interest in the human mind, this study path could be your ticket to finding the career of your dreams. Go on, get your psych on!