Steps to Becoming a Psychologist in South Africa

Considering your future career? If you want to help others overcome emotional difficulties, psychology is for you. Here are the steps to becoming a Psychologist in South Africa.

Did you know, in SA there are only 2.75 psychologists for every 100 000 people? This makes it an in-demand career. So if you’re looking for a job where you can help the emotional well-being of others, psychology is the way to go. Here we’ll break down the steps to becoming a psychologist in South Africa.

Two people talking around a table while sitting. Steps to becoming a psychologist in south africa

Steps to Becoming a Psychologist in South Africa

We won’t lie, becoming a psychologist is a complicated process. But that shouldn’t stop you from pursuing this great and rewarding career. Being prepared and dedicated can get you far. Follow these steps to becoming a psychologist in South Africa: 

  1. Have the correct matric subjects
  2. Think about the type of psychology you want to study
  3. Choose your tertiary institution
  4. Meet the entry requirements for a Bachelor’s Degree
  5. Apply for an Honours Degree
  6. Gain entry into a Master’s Degree
  7. Complete your internship
  8. Register with the HPCSA

Have the Correct Matric Subjects

So there aren’t any specific subjects you need. However, Life Sciences will really come in handy as you learn about how the human brain works. It also won’t hurt to have good Maths or Maths Literacy marks, since higher learning institutions often list this as a requirement.  

Think About the Type of Psychology you Want to Study

There are many different types of psychology. Think about your personality and what you want to achieve throughout your career. In South Africa, you can become professionally registered in the following:

  • Clinical psychologist
  • Counselling psychologist
  • Research psychologist
  • Neuropsychologist
  • Forensic psychologist
  • Registered counsellor
  • Psychometrist
  • Educational psychologist
  • Industrial psychologist

Choose Your Tertiary Institution

This is an important step. You’ll only be able to qualify as a psychologist if you study through an accredited institution. So make sure to do thorough research. 

Meet the Entry Requirements for a Bachelor’s Degree

To study a bachelor’s degree, you need at least:

  •  40% for your Home Language 
  • 50% for four other subjects excluding Life Orientation
  •  30% for two other subjects. 

This is known as a Bachelor’s pass. But this is just the minimum. Requirements may change between institutions. 

Group of friends throwing their graduation hat in the air. Steps to becoming a psychologist in south africa

Apply for an Honours Degree

Once you’ve graduated with a bachelor’s degree, with Psychology as a major, it’s time for the next step. You need an honours degree. However, there is a strict selection process. Your academics need to be outstanding to be considered. So be sure to work hard! If you’re accepted for a BPsych degree, honours becomes part of the programme. So you won’t have to worry about this step. 

Gain Entry Into a Master’s Degree

Brace yourself, the selection process for the master’s degree is even more competitive. But definitely not impossible. The programme includes both practical and theory aspects. You’ll also have to write a thesis. 

Complete Your Internship

After graduating with your master’s degree, you have to do 720 hours/six months of full-time interning or 12 months part-time. You’ll get to work at hospitals, schools or within a community. This is possibly the most important part of your career. You’ll gain hands-on experience in your field, which will also look great on your CV.

Register With the HPCSA

The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) is there to make sure the public is protected. So to prove that patients will be in good hands with you, you have to register with the HPCSA. But not so fast! You have to pass their board exams first. 

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Step Into Your Future With us

Our college does not offer a path to becoming a registered psychologist. But with our Child Psychology Courses, you can gain insight into the field. We also offer a range of other courses for all your study needs. To get started, simply contact our course experts. You can:

  • Call us on: 0800 39 00 27 – It’s free!
  • Fill out our contact form and we’ll call you back
Last Updated: June 2, 2022

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tamsyn Gallie
Tamsyn Gallie
Tamsyn Gallie is a Junior Content Writer at Skills Academy. Her aim is to create content that is well-researched, educational and engaging. In her spare time, she enjoys writing, baking and anything that allows her to be creative. She is passionate about lifelong learning and believes it’s never too late to learn something new.