Department of Psychology Department of Psychology

Department of Psychology

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Department of Psychology

UJ Psychology draws inspiration from its roots in Johannesburg and Africa to contribute to a uniquely urban centred psychology. With a focus not only on mental ill health, UJ Psychology places emphasis on positive functioning, wellbeing and health promotion in the city. The department offers training at the undergraduate and honours level, culminating with Masters professional training programmes in Clinical and Counselling psychology. The department also has an active doctoral and postdoctoral programme.  

With an ethos of care, nurturance and academic excellence, graduates are well suited to careers involving people.  The department is proud of its alumni boasting several high profile South Africans in business, academia and civil society. The curriculum is inclusive of established psychology theory as well as African centred and local epistemologies to provide a relevant and contextualised curriculum. The department has an increasing pan African and global footprint with collaborations in a number of countries.

Vision Statement

The Department of Psychology strives for excellence in teaching, research, professional training and community engagement, both nationally and internationally within its location in the Faculty of Humanities, the University of Johannesburg and the broader African urban context.

We aim to achieve this by: 

  • Offering students an outstanding education in the discipline and profession of psychology that prepares them to deal with challenges and opportunities at all levels of society as well as on the personal, interpersonal and psychological levels of existence; 
  • Facilitating the development of a management structure within the Department that is characterized by democracy, transparency, respect and accountability; 
  • Encouraging members of staff in their career development through the mobilization of resources, providing a supportive infrastructure to promote high-quality, peer-reviewed research and its publication, as well as supporting staff to attend relevant academic conferences and workshops;
  • Developing a culture of first-rate scholarship and learning for both staff and students and the establishment of excellent teaching practice and productive student-staff relationships; 
  • Positioning the Department as a member of a world class African University within a world class city that seeks to support staff and students to engage with local communities through research, teaching, skills development and various programme implementation activities; 
  • Positioning the Department as a non-discriminatory organization that attracts top quality staff and students; 
  • Undertaking to increase the national and international reputation of the Department and the University by collaborating with international academics and professionals in teaching and research;
  • Pursuing appropriate policies that promote the development of a Department that seeks to maintain a social, ethical and political responsibility towards the growth of the discipline of Psychology.

 Decolonisation and Psychology Colloquium

 Disability and Transition in the Global South seminar

In keeping with our aim to position Psychology as applicable, relevant and accessible, the Psychology Department recently hosted an inaugural public lecture and seminar on disability.
The inaugural Psychology Seminar, aptly titled “Disability and Transition in the Gobal South”, from 4th-5th September 2017, aimed at deepening understandings of disability and transition in this local context and focused on questions of accessibility, resiliency and capacity-building. The gathering also enabled networking and a resource database for attendees. 
Furthermore, attendees were given the unique opportunity to consult with conference presenters during the second day of the gathering, on a one-on one basis. The speaker line-up boasted keynote speakers Prof. Tom Shakespeare(University of East Anglia) and Prof. Leslie Swartz (Stellenbosch University).


 View article and photo gallery

UJ Psychology at PAPU

The UJ department of Psychology were out in numbers at the Inaugural Pan-African Psychology Union Congress. The congress brought psychologists from across the continent together for the first time to discuss the role of psychology in Africa.  UJ psychology were represented in a whopping 26 presentations including individual presentations, invited roundtables and a keynote address. Importantly, several presentations were co-authored by postgraduate students who attended their first conference. One UJ organised session on Psychology and the Sustainable Development Goals received good media coverage. In addition to showcasing the range and quality of our research, UJ contributions demonstrated our commitment to promoting psychological research and practice on the continent. 

Click here to view PAPU images

The Department of Psychology is the largest in the Faculty of Humanities and draws students from several other faculties.

While most students studying psychology are registered for degrees in the Humanities, a sizeable number are registered in the Management and Education Faculties, in addition to the Faculties of Law and Health Science.

The primary purpose of a qualification in Psychology is to provide students with a broad-based and cohesive knowledge of the discipline which, itself, serves as a foundation for several other disciplines taught at the tertiary level.

Holding a degree in psychology equips the graduate with a range of analytical, interpretive and integrative skills that not only have a practical value for society as a whole but, moreover, are necessary and required competencies in a range of employment contexts.

Whilst the Department offers different degree programmes at the undergraduate level, it also offers a comprehensive broad-based Honours degree as well as two coursework degrees at the Master’s level. These latter coursework and mini-dissertation programmes lead to registration as either a Clinical or Counselling Psychologist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA).

In addition to the coursework post-graduate programmes, the Department also offers Masters’ and Doctoral degrees on the basis of the candidate producing a high-calibre research project.