Applied Psychology

Which field of psychology should you specialise in?

Apr 28, 2015
Fields of Psychology

A degree in psychology not only opens the door to the mind, but it can also open the door to a successful, very rewarding career .

Graduates who have studied psychology can build significant careers in areas such as community and social development, human resources and employee wellness and counselling and mental health services, where having a grounded knowledge of psychology, an applied skill set and well developed research and writing skills, is valued.

What’s more, in this country, should someone have the desire to become a registered psychologist, a psychology degree is the first step on this journey. This would need to be followed by an Honours and a professional Masters completion in order to be eligible to register with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) in one of nine key professional categories. Below is a brief description of the HPCSA’s different professional registration categories in the field of psychology.

It is important to note that the study paths leading to the different registration categories differ.

  1. Clinical psychologist

Clinical psychology is a broad branch of psychology that focuses on diagnosing and treating psychological disorders. Some of the more common disorders that might be treated include depression, generalized anxiety disorder, eating disorders, schizophrenia and  bipolar. Clinical psychologists general work in clinical setting,  such as private and government hospitals and clinic and private practices.

  1. Counselling psychologist

Counselling psychologists work with individuals, groups, families and/or couples and   intervene with life challenges, and developmental problems to assist clients optimize their psychological wellbeing. Counselling psychologists work in a variety of settings including such as private practice, government departments (Departments of Health, Social Development and Education) and schools.

  1. Educational psychologist

The work of an educational psychologist is concerned with optimising human functioning in learning and development and usually involves working with children experiencing difficulties within an educational setting Work is with usually with individual clients or groups, and, in an advisory capacity, with teachers in educational settings.

  1. Industrial or organisational psychologist

An industrial or organisational psychologist applies psychology principles to human resources, sales, marketing, administration and management issues in the workplace. His or her job may include development and training, policy planning and organisation analysis with the focus on enhancing individual, group, and organisational behavior. industrial or organisational psychologists are often involved in selection and recruitment in industry.

  1. Neuropsychologist

Understanding how the brain works is what neuropsychology is all about. Individuals fascinated with the inner workings of the brain and how they relate to human behaviour may consider a career as a neuropsychologist. Neuropsychology offers the opportunity for rewards through conducting research and working with patients who have suffered traumatic brain injuries and illness.

  1. Forensic psychologist

Essentially, forensic psychology involves applying psychology to the field of criminal investigation and the law. Forensic psychologists utilise their knowledge of psychological principles and use it to understand different aspects of the legal system. Forensic psychology is also one of the fastest-growing disciplines within psychology.

  1. Registered Counsellor

The work of registered counsellor involves assisting clients to optimize their  personal functioning; performing supportive, developmental and preventative psychological interventions. Registered Counsellors are also able to work with a limited selection of psychometric tests. Work may involve individual and group work in an array of settings including community, government departments, schools and private practice   

  1. Psychometrist

The work of a psychometrist centres on psychological assessment. Psychometrists are involved in performing assessments, measuring and assessing the different domains of functioning and contributing to the development of psychological tests and procedures  Work settings may include a private company, a school or university, government departments or private practice

SACAP’s Bachelor of Applied Social Science degree is a comprehensive undergraduate psychology degree programme, providing a perfect springboard for those wishing to progress to Honours and Masters in order to become a psychologist.

The college’s Bachelor of Psychology professional degree , meanwhile, is approved by the HPCSA for the education and training of registered counsellors. Graduates of this programme will be eligible to sit the National Examination of the Professional Board for Psychology in the Registered Counsellor category in order to register with the HPCSA as Registered Counsellors. As a four-year NQF8 degree programme, the BPsych has a ‘built-in’ Honours equivalent. Graduates are therefore also able to articulate into a Masters programme with a view to becoming a psychologist.

These are just a few of the psychology courses on offer at SACAP. For more information on psychology as a field of study, and the benefits it can provide, enquire now.

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