Module Descriptions


Developmental Psychology (10 credits)

This module provides students with an overview of the major theories of Developmental Psychology. Furthermore the module aims to address contemporary concerns in lifespan development from conception to late adulthood/death and dying. The course will engage with developmental theories from a range of orientations, including learning/cognitive theories, theories of language development and a socio-cultural perspective. Critical issues such as child development, the impact of HIV/AIDS, family dynamics, interpersonal relationships and cross cultural perspectives will be explored. Allows students to engage with the theory through various applications and gain a deeper understanding.

Family Psychology(10 credits)

This module provides a theoretical and practical overview of family systems theory and development. The purpose is to help students to explore and evaluate dysfunctional patterns of interactions and also the family’s resources for change. In doing this, the students will be invited to reflect on their own process of differentiation and their “self”.

Personality Theories (10 credits)

This module is designed to provide the student with an integrated view of key psychological theories that underpin personality formation, motivation for behaviour, optimal development and psychopathology

Psychological Assessment and Measurement (10 credits)

This module is designed to introduce students to the history and context in which psychological assessment occurs in SA, as well as key issues in assessment, such as reliability, validity, norms and basic statistical concepts. The availability and use of assessment instruments are introduced.

Psychopathology (20 credits)

This module is designed to prepare students for the recognition and diagnosis of mental disorders. A methodology for organising information about symptomatology and diagnostic material is presented. The use of structured and semi-structured diagnostic interviews will also be addressed.

Research Methods and Statistics (20 credits)

This module is designed to equip students to plan, execute, and critically evaluate research studies.  Qualitative, quantitative and mixed-method approaches to data collection and analysis will be explored. Students will be able to select appropriate techniques for various research situations, execute these techniques and interpret the findings contextually within the conventions of the relevant research traditions.

Therapeutic Psychology (20 credits)

This module is designed to introduce students to mainstream theories of personality and behavioural change that inform the planning and management of psychotherapeutic interventions.  Students will also be sensitised to the challenges to cultural applicability for mental health care professionals. Students will be introduced to case formulations and the ability to select effective treatment modalities.

Independent Research Project (30 credits)

This module is designed to facilitate the independent planning, execution and reporting/ writing up of a research project in partial fulfilment of the programme.