Bachelor of Arts | Psychology & Counselling

( Minimum 3 years; minimum 360 credits; NQF 7)


The aim of this programme is to educate students in the theory and practice of psychology and counselling, with focus on personal development, family studies and broader mental health interventions. The programme helps students develop an integrated and relevant counselling praxis within the South African context. It also prepares students for further studies in psychology and trains them in foundational social research skills. During their first year, the students will also take the foundational set of modules, referred to as the ‘Cornerstone Core’. These include History, Sociology, Ethics, Philosophy, Economics and Leadership Studies. These modules are embedded with Cornerstone’s core values of inclusivity, excellence, integrity, unity, respect and creativity.

Time Commitment

• Three years full-time
• Up to six years part-time
• No evening classes On-campus and Online January and July intakes

Programme Coordinator

Geraldine Franciscus (M. Psych) is the Head of the Psychology Department at Cornerstone Institute and has over 10 years’ experience in tertiary education. She has a practical interest in the Solution-Focussed Brief Therapy approach and has been involved in the training of mental healthcare workers, occupational therapists, psychiatric nurses and social workers.

Modes of delivery

contact and distance


Registered as Cornerstone Institute (RF) NPC with the Department of Higher Education and Training as a private higher education institution under the Higher Education Act, 1997, Registration Certificate No 2001/HE08/006; NQF 7; SAQA ID 87406.




Admission requirements

  • National Senior Certificate (NSC) with a bachelor’s pass or equivalent
  • A Matriculation Certificate (with university exemption) or equivalent
  • A Higher Certificate or Advanced Certificate or Diploma in a cognate field
  • Matriculation Certificate (with university exemption) or equivalent 
  • National Benchmark Test (NBT) results
  • A National Senior Certificate or National Certificate Vocational with a diploma pass (or equivalent) combined with the NBT results 
  • Mature age of 23 and over during the first year of studies and a National Senior Certificate (or equivalent). The conditions of the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy for access and the results of the NBT are determining factors for admission. Contact the admissions office regarding RPL
  • Mature age of 45 years can be admitted, determined by the RPL conditions and the results of the NBT

Applicants in the first category under Alternative Admission Requirements must register for the Extended Programme for Academic Development. The Programme extends the completion of the prescribed subjects over a minimum of four years.

Students who are admitted on the basis of prior learning and who want to complete the degree in three years, but who fail more than 20% of modules taken during the first semester, are required to take the first year over two years. 

The BA aims to provide access for those who have completed Grade 12 to a degree programme equipping them with skills to be more effective leaders in the community in the areas of Psychology, Theology, Media Studies, Alternative Education and Sociology and Community Development.  In addition to a career path for sociologists, psychologists, and media specialists. The programme is also intended to provide students who are considering a career as teachers to advance to a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education with the required teaching subjects at an undergraduate level.

BA students must choose between a major in Psychology, Sociology, Theology, Alternative Education or Media Studies. Each focus has its own specified core and elective modules from the curriculum below. Outcomes are set for each area of focus, as outlined below. Each module within the curriculum also has its own set of outcomes.

Psychology students who have completed the qualification must be able to:

  • Understand the principles, concepts, history and major approaches in psychology
  • Identify psycho-social problems and understand the insights, theories and methods psychology provide for dealing with them
  • Understand how psycho-social insights and methods should be utilised in the various spheres of mental health in South Africa
  • Have an understanding of how and when to refer people to other agencies more suited to handling problems of a psycho-social nature
  • Develop, implement and evaluate psychologically-based training programmes
  • Engage critically with current debates in psychology on contemporary issues
  • Conduct appropriate basic research into psycho-social questions.

Module descriptions and credits

For a description of each module, see ‘Module descriptions’ towards the end of this document.

Cornerstone Institute
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