The aim of this programme is to respond to the increased need for trained and registered counsellors and life skills facilitators in South Africa, with a particular focus on the psychological challenges present in communities. The programme helps students develop an integrated and relevant counselling praxis. The BPsych equivalent offers a comprehensive practical placement which is integrated with academic and professional training. This practicum forms part of the degree and is completed during the period of study. After completing this BPsych programme and successfully passing the Professional Board examination, students are able to register with the HPCSA as Registered Counsellors.

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.

Academic Programme

The BPsych Equivalent programme at Cornerstone Institute has been developed at the honours level (NQF Level 8), specifically offering professional training towards registration as counsellors. The curriculum for this programme includes the following modules:

Module NameCredits
Psychological Interventions20
Research Methods and Statistics20
Independent Research Project30
Psychological Assessment and Measurement10
Developmental Psychology10
Personality Theories10
Counselling Theories20
Practicum (720 hours)

Students enrolling in the BPsych programme develop advanced knowledge of psychological theories, concepts and conduct-focused research within the discipline. This programme prepares students to pursue careers that require an in-depth understanding of human behaviour, as well as apply for further studies in psychology (Masters). The academic modules provide the theoretical psychological knowledge that informs the application of skills for psychological interventions in the programme. Those accepted into the BPsych Equivalent are required to register with the HPCSA as student registered counsellors, conduct their Independent Research Project in a community setting, complete the required modules, and a 720-hour Practicum. This programme will require a minimum of 18 months to complete and the Practicum must be completed within 6-12 months.

Time Commitment

Eighteen months Full-time On campus January intake

Tuition Cost (click here)

Admission and Selection Criteria Admission

Admission requirements for the BPsych Equivalent programme include:

  • A three-year bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) with Psychology as a major subject.
  • Minimum of 65% average in Bachelor’s level Psychology.
  • Completion of the BPsych Equivalent Programme Application Form (see Appendix 1).
  • Two Recommendations from Psychology Department faculty (see Appendix 2).
  • See further selection criteria as part of the selection process below (4.2).

Selection Process

Compliance with the admission criteria indicated above does not automatically result in selection for the programme. Because only a limited number of students are selected into the BPsych Equivalent Programme annually, students are required to complete a rigorous selection process. The initial selection process comprises a review of the BPsych Equivalent Programme Application Form, reference forms and supporting academic transcripts by a Selection Committee (comprising the HoD of Psychology and three other faculty members). Once this process has been completed, successful candidates will be invited to an interview with the Selection Committee. The criteria by which candidates will be assessed for admission into the BPsych Equivalent Programme include:

  • Understanding the role and purpose of the Registered Counsellor.
  • Demonstrated competency in academic skills, such as writing.
  • Good intra- and inter-personal skills. (e.g.Demonstrated through the student’s response to a provided case study and the interview process).
  • Psycho-social wellness.
  • Potential to learn and apply the necessary skills of a registered counsellor.
  • Ability to work in a team and groups.
  • Ability to work under pressure.
  • Ability to work in a community.
  • Ability to work with diversity.

All applications must be accompanied by official and certified study records of all qualifications, as well as referee reports from the psychology faculty from the Department of Psychology. Students will be notified within three weeks of the application closing date regarding the outcome of their application. Those not selected for the BPsych Equivalent Programme can still apply for the academic BA Honours in Psychology.

Please Note:

Successful applicants are not for placement until they have officially registered both as a student of Cornerstone, and with the HPCSA as a Student Registered Counsellor. Students will need to provide confirmation of registration with the HPCSA.