MA (Psychology) Research-Based

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The MA (Psychology) Research Masters Program is located within a dynamic, research-oriented environment within the Psychology Department. Supervised by experts in their respective fields, students specialize in topics that include health psychology, personality & individual difference and critical psychology. While the emphasis of the degree is on a research project that culminates in a dissertation that is submitted for examination; students are expected to attend research workshops hosted by the University to facilitate their progress. Students are also required to participate in departmental research seminars, colloquia and conferences. At the end of the program, students emerge with a set of sought-after conceptual and research skills suited to a career in psycho-social research.

Application dates

Online applications for admission to the University of Johannesburg open in June 2023 and will CLOSE 31 August 2023 for the 2024 intake.  

NO late applications will be considered

All applicants both Prospective and Current need to familiarise themselves with the Application Requirements and Initial Application Process below to avoid disqualification.

Admission Requirements

For the MA Psychology (Research) degree students are required to have an Honours degree in Psychology with a minimum of 65% average mark. The Honours degree must have been obtained within the past 10 years. All applications are subjected to a selection process. The Master’s degree is awarded upon successful completion of a full-length dissertation (see the Faculty of Humanities yearbook for further requirements).  Students are encouraged to complete their MA degree within two years*. The research proposal has to be submitted and accepted by the Faculty HDC within 6 months* of registration.

*Please note that the time frame for completion for a degree commences from the time of initial registration with the university. The time frame includes the time it takes candidates to develop a full proposal from an accepted concept proposal.  A supervisor will be appointed and supervision may only commence once the student has registered. Thereafter the development of the full proposal, together with the ethics clearance application must begin in order to be accepted by the HDC, as well as the Faculty Ethics Committee (Humanities).  Both HDC and the Faculty Ethics Committee sit at specified times throughout the year and candidates should allow for this process to be completed.

Application Procedures

Prospective students are required to apply to the University of Johannesburg via the Online Application page for admission before completing the departmental application form.

The Departmental Application FormConcept Proposal, a copy of your academic record and a letter from a prospective supervisor indicating willingness to supervise your work need to be submitted to (subject: MA Research Design Applications) after you completed the online UJ admission application.

The Department will only evaluate applications during September 2023 to make the final selection of students. Successful students may register in 2024 to work on a formal research proposal together with the assigned supervisor (usually in February the following year). Once the formal proposal has officially been approved by the Department, as well as the FHDC and Faculty Ethics Committee (if applicable), the student can begin fieldwork required for the research.

Masters students are required to work on specific topics that fall within the Research Topics / Projects of the Department. Please contact supervisors to ascertain what these are. Topics will, however, only be approved provided a supervisor with the necessary expertise is available. In addition, the Department will evaluate research potential according to criteria such as the ability of candidates to prepare a concept research proposal.

You will receive feedback from the Department’s Research Committee, in October 2023, if your concept proposal was approved.

MA Potential Supervisors 2024

Click here to see the list of potential supervisors available for 2024

South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA)

All international students need to have their qualifications evaluated by SAQA before applying to the University of Johannesburg for the MA Psychology (Research) Degree.  Please go to for more information.

Duration of study

The MA degree studies require a minimum of one year and a maximum of two years registration for full-time studies or a maximum of three years for part-time studies.


A student’s studies can be cancelled by the Dean on recommendation of the Head of the Department if there is not sufficient progress. Such a student will be informed in writing and will be given an opportunity to indicate that he or she is able to make the necessary progress.


The MA (Psychology) dissertation will be examined by at least two examiners who are external to the university.

Additional Assessment

Any examiner may ask that a candidate complete additional assessments in accordance with university regulations in this regard.


The final date of submission at the Dean’s office is 31 October for the autumn graduation ceremony and 31 May for the spring graduation ceremony.

The supervisor determines the final date of submission at the Department. This should usually be about six weeks before submission to the Dean’s office.

At submission a candidate should also sign a declaration that the work is his or her own original work.

Submission at the Dean’s office will only be accepted after written permission has been given by the promoter.

Process of study accompaniment

Candidates should consult with their promoters on a regular basis. A candidate should report at least once every three months.

Technical attention

Candidates are responsible for the technical aspects of their study.


To prevent plagiarism, all dissertations have to be submitted to supervisors together with a Turn-It-In report.  For more information, contact your supervisor. Proposals will be submitted to Turn-It-In if there is concern about plagiarism.

For further details, contact: Dr J Moodley (coordinator)


Tel: 011 559 7664