Welcome to Stellenbosch University

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Department of Psychology

The Department of Psychology has among the most productive academic psychologists in South Africa on its staff, several of whom have won prestigious awards and grants for their teaching and research. We are committed to conducting research, teaching, practice, and community service of the highest possible standard. As such, we continually measure our scholarly output against the best in the world. Our staff and students have published in the highest-ranking international academic journals and several former students have taken up positions in prestigious institutions in South Africa and around the world. 

Through its teaching, research and service provision, the department has committed itself to the advancement of the psychological well-being of the people in our region, country and on our continent. Consequently, the psychosocial problems facing South Africa and Africa are strongly emphasised in our academic programmes and research projects. In addition, we have cooperation agreements with the University of Maastricht (the Netherlands), the National Autonomous University  (UNAM) in Mexico City and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway).



The one-year, residential BAHons programme is offered in English. The following modules are covered:

  • ​​​Psychotherapy
  • Psychopathology
  • Psychometry
  • Vocational Psychology
  • Family Psychology
  • Community Psychology
  • Child Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Physiological Development of Women
  • Interpersonal Relationships
  • Social Psychology
  • Alcohol Abuse in the South African Context
  • Sport Psychology
  • Contemporary Issues in Psychology
  • Applied Community Psychology
  • Psychology Health and Disability
  • ​Brain and Behaviour

Modules offered will be subject to the availability of staff and to a minimum required number of students. The programme also includes a compulsory research component.

The MA and PhD programmes in Psychology are based on research leading to a thesis in the case of the master's or a dissertation in the case of the doctorate, contributing 100% to the final mark. Research in these programmes is usually part of departmental research projects. These include projects on:

  • Culture and mental health
  • Women's mental health
  • Family well-being
  • Trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Sexuality and HIV/Aids
  • Childhood fears
  • Applied community psychology
  • Aggression
  • Other research interests of the academic staff​

​The MA in Clinical Psychology is a professional programme and may lead to registration as a clinical or a counselling psychologist with the Professional Board for Psychology. Admission to the programme is by selection with up to 10 students being admitted annually.

The closing date for applications is 30 May and information pertaining to the application procedures is available here.

The programme encompasses theoretical modules, practical training, professional development and supervision with exposure to working with individual children and adults, groups, families, couples and communities. A 25% research assignment must also be done.​

public mental health

The Postgraduate Diploma in Public Mental Health is a part-time programme, which requires a minimum of two years of study, focuses on the development of leadership and capacity in the field of Public Mental Health. It also aims at the development of basic research skills, particularly with respect to the ability to interpret and use research findings in the development of services.

Candidates should be in possession of a health or development professional degree or diploma (for instance occupational therapy, medicine, professional nursing, social work or psycho​logy) on NQF level 7, and show evidence of adequate English language and writing proficiency for postgraduate academic studies.

Modes of delivery will include traditional lecture, Internet and mobile telecommunications activities and resources. Compulsory modules include:

  • Mental health in context
  • Research methods for public mental health
  • Interventions for mental health
  • Policy, planning and leadership for mental health​

Please note: This programme will not necessarily be offered every year.

The specific purpose of the MPhil programme is to facilitate the development of mental health-related leadership and capacity in Africa.

This research programme, which requires a minimum of one year of study, focuses on the acquisition and broadening of specialised knowledge in a specific area of public mental health. It also aims at the development of research skills, particularly with respect to the planning and execution of research and the reporting of research results.

The programme will require the completion of a module in advanced research methodology for public mental health; and the preparation of a dissertation of 20,000 words in a required field of public mental health. Modes of delivery will include traditional lecture, Internet and mobile telecommunications activities and resources.​


  •  PGDip (Public Mental Health)​
  • BAHons (Psychology)​
  • MA (Clinical Psychology)​
  • MA (Psychology)
  • MPhil (Public Mental Health)​​
  • PhD ​(Psychology​)​

Application Process