​Department of Psychiatry

Postgraduate Education

Subspecialty Programmes 


MPhil Community Mental Health


Programme overview        

The program is aimed at any psychiatrist, doctor, social worker, psychologist or occupational therapist who may be interested in furthering their career in the public health sector. The curriculum is aimed at improving the clinical skills regarding all aspects of mental health care as well as expanding the students' understanding of the social and cultural aspects of mental illness and enhancing their skills in managing a public mental health service. Consistent with these aims, trainees are provided supervised clinical experiences and a didactic core and elective curriculum as well as a variety of assessment tools to evaluate competencies in these areas.


Admission requirements

To be eligible for the program, you applicants should hold:


  • MB,ChB degree or
  • Master of Social Work/Clinical Psychology/Nursing/Occupational Therapy or
  • MMed (Psych)/exit examination of the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa


  • Registration as medical practitioner in the category independent practice/social worker/clinical psychologist/registered nurse/occupational therapist with the relevant professional council in South Africa.


Modules and credit values

First year

  • Ethics 872 (5)
  • Research Methodology 871 (5)
  • Community Mental Health 871 (55)

Second year

Compulsory modules

  • Social Psychiatry 871 (5)
  • Cultural Psychiatry 871 (5)
  • Public Psychiatry 871 (5)
  • Research Assignment 871 (60) *
Elective modules
  • Community Psychology 871 (20)
  • Psycho-social Rehabilitation 871 (20)
  • Community Psychiatry 871 (20)

 *The research assignment is completed over the course of the two years.


Student Administrator: Mary Pienaar (maryp@sun.ac.za​)