Wits Psychology, The Discipline of Psychology is comprised of a diverse complement of approximately forty skilled staff with expertise in a broad array of fields, ranging from brain functioning to psychotherapy, and from child development to organisational change. We offer both academic and professional-training oriented courses, and provide students with a good research base, critical knowledge application and flexible skills development. Our undergraduate courses provide an excellent grounding in Psychology, and some degree of specialisation is catered for at the 3rd year level and above. Our professional training programmes are nationally competitive, and of international standard. Our programmes are geared towards developing reflective theorists and practitioners, who are sensitive to South African needs, and we strive to make our teaching both personally relevant and socially responsive.
A student intending to pursue a career as a psychologist would have to study psychology for three years as an undergraduate, take a one-year full-time honours degree, and enrol for a specialised Masters degree (clinical, community-counselling, industrial/organisational, research, educational). Thus, the full period of study is a minimum of six years at present and allows for registration with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) as a psychologist. In the professional training programmes, the sixth year usually involves a full year internship and in some specializations the HPCSA requires completion of a year of paid community service prior to registration as an independent practitioner.
The profession of Psychology in South Africa is currently undergoing substantial change which means that requirements for registration as a psychologist may change. As an institution accredited to train counsellors and psychologists, the University of the Witwatersrand will adapt its programmes to any future changes if this becomes necessary.
The teaching and researching of Psychology at the University of the Witwatersrand represents a long history of innovation and excellence. From its origins as a sub-discipline of Philosophy, Psychology has grown significantly and is now one of the three largest departments at Wits University. Psychology remains one of the most popular course choices and students from Humanities, Health Sciences, Science, Engineering and Built Environment and Commerce, Law and Management faculties are all enrolled in various courses. Unlike many other universities nationally, the University of the Witwatersrand offers specialist training in all the registration categories recognised by the Professional Board of Psychology and the Health Professions Council of South Africa within a single department. This allows for a particular richness of exchange and appreciation of the diversity of fields in which psychologists have expertise.
The Department has enjoyed a fruitful and complex history, producing and attracting many scholars of international note. Staff in the department have produced much scholarly work as well as excellent training programmes and teaching innovation and expertise. Our graduate programmes enjoy a very positive reputation within South Africa and on the continent and attract large numbers of applicants. Currently, the Department trains more than 50 professionals at Masters level annually. Additionally, it registers approximately 200 new postgraduate students per annum.
Wits Psychology has not remained untouched by the political climate of South Africa over the past 77 years (and there is evidence of research and practice that sought to address many of the ills of Apartheid) and still remains sensitive to the current imperatives of transformation. The review of the history of the department indicates that there have been times of turmoil and times of harmony, times of rapid change and times of consolidation, periods of weakness and periods of strength, as is inevitable in a growing department responsive to changes in staffing and in the educational and political climate. The history of the department has also reflected some of the major paradigm shifts that have taken place in the fairly young discipline of Psychology internationally, as well as some of the contributions that working in the South African context have enabled local psychologists to make to the international arena. Based on these early foundations, the current department is flourishing and is home to a large and increasingly diverse group of staff and students. We hope to continue to build on the best of the past, to sustain areas of excellence and to develop in new areas shaped by our dual commitment to remain contextually sensitive and internationally competitive.
For a full history of the department of Psychology at Wits click here
BA Honours in Psychology
BA Honours in Industrial/Organisational Psychology
Master of Education in Educational Psychology
Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology
Master of Arts in Community-Counselling Psychology
Master of Arts in Industrial Psychology
Master of Arts in Psychology by Dissertation
Master of Arts in Psychology by Coursework and Research Report (Research) Master of Arts in Industrial/Organisational Psychology by Coursework and Research Report
Doctor of Philosophy Degree (PhD)
Ms Lungile Khumalo
Administrative Officer Lungile.Khumalo@wits.ac.za Room U21127 (11) 717 4503
Mr Phumlani Mthethwa
Undergraduate Administrative OfficerPhumlani.Mthethwa@wits.ac.zaRoom U21127 (11) 717 4504
Ms Jabulile Maseko
Administrative OfficerJabu.Maseko@wits.ac.zaRoom U21127 (11) 717 4553
Ms Lauryne Lokothwayo
Snr Administrative Officer – All Postgraduate Programmes Lauryne.Lokothwayo@wits.ac.za Room U21127 (11) 717 4541
Please note that ALL undergraduate queries should first be directed to Mr Phumlani Mthethwa and ALL postgraduate queries should first be directed to Ms Lauryne Lokothwayo
All postal enquiries may be directed to:
Psychology – School of Human and Community Development
Umthombo Building, East Campus
University of the Witwatersrand
Private Bag 3
All walk-in or courier enquiries may be directed to:
Office U211, 2nd Floor Umthombo Building
Wits Braamfontein East Campus
01 Jan Smuts Avenue