Lesson 1, Topic 1
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Topic 1: What to expect

March 12, 2019
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In order to pursue psychology at a university, it must be taken as a major as part of a Bachelor of Arts degree. You would therefore do psychology courses alongside one other major as well as other electives.  At an institution that exclusively offers psychology-related qualifications, you will generally only pursue psychology courses.

In general terms, the following topics form the foundation of a psychology qualification.

  • Psychology, mental health and people in a social context, including personality and developmental paradigms for understanding individual and group behaviour.
  • Psychological challenges and models for understanding behaviour and intervention.
  • Diversity and cross-cultural dynamics in the South African context.
  • Ethics in psychology.

You will also develop:

  • Counselling and interpersonal communication skills, including referral and management strategies.
  • Skills to design, implement, monitor and evaluate psycho-educational programmes with a focus on training individuals, families and communities to develop strong, collaborative and supportive partnerships within community contexts.
  • Practical work integrated learning experience.
  • Skills to conceptualise, plan, analyse and interpret report research.

All institutions have different terminology for their courses, Here is a list of the sort of courses you would do:

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Neuropsychology
  • Applied Cognitive Science
  • Research Psychology
  • Critical Psychology
  • Research in Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Social and Developmental Psychology

Overall, psychology courses quite a heavy coursework load, and you will be required to retain a lot of information in terms of psychological concepts and complex medical and anatomical terminology, to name a few. Many institutions also require that students do statistics courses, as certain aspects of psychology can be quite statistics-intensive.