Applied Psychology

What Matric Subjects are Needed to Study Psychology?

Oct 12, 2021
What Matric Subjects are Needed to Study Psychology - SACAP

Are you considering a career in counselling or psychology? But aren’t sure of the matric subjects needed to study psychology or where to study it in South Africa?

Psychology is a wide field with many avenues through which you can help people. It’s far from one-dimensional. From assessing a client’s needs through interviews, psychometric testing and observation to providing counselling, researching and reporting; it encompasses a world of opportunities.

It’s not all about subjects and marks. The field of psychology requires a number of other skills too. In order to make the most of their studies, students should also have a passion for people and counselling. Thus, it will always advantage a student to be involved in their local communities, within a support capacity.

Exploring and understanding your options is the first step towards studying and a career in Psychology. Clare Ford, Academic Manager at SACAP (The South African College of Applied Psychology), explains the available routes you can take and their admission requirements.

These are the matric subjects needed to study a psychology course at SACAP:

Requirements are specific to a particular qualification. Therefore, there is some variation in the minimum entrance requirements between courses.

1. Higher Certificate in Counselling and Communication Skills

A one-year vocational course is a great entry point into the field of psychology. It will qualify you to work as a Support Worker. Within this role you can provide basic guidance to clients and refer them to a relevant professional when necessary. It is also an excellent supplementary qualification for those interested in working within the Human Resources, teaching, career counselling or correctional service professions.

Admission requirements

  • A National Senior Certificate, with a minimum of 45% in English OR
  • A Senior Certificate with Higher and/or Standard Grade subjects with a minimum of 45% in English, or equivalent qualification OR
  • Mature students (23 years of age and older) who do not meet the above requirements should provide a portfolio of evidence to support admission on the basis of SACAP’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy

2. Diploma in Counselling and Communication Skills

This comprehensive two-year course develops insight into psychology, human behaviour and mental health. It is integrated with ‘work-ready’ counselling and communication skills for application to a wide range of environments. Additionally, it will provide you with a NQF-accredited qualification that is internationally comparable.

Admission requirements

  • A National Senior Certificate (Diploma Pass), with a minimum of 45% in English, together with an achievement rating of 3 or better in four designated subjects (including Life Orientation), or equivalent qualification OR
  • A South African Senior Certificate (pre-2008) with an overall grade of D (or 50%) with English passed at Standard Grade (or better), or equivalent qualification OR
  • Mature students (23 years of age and older) who do not meet the above requirements should provide a portfolio of evidence to support admission on the basis of SACAP’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy

3. Bachelor of Applied Social Science (Majoring in Psychology and Counselling)

This three-year undergraduate qualification is designed to build critical thinking. Additionally fostering a depth of understanding of the individual within a social context. It will position you well for admission into an Honours degree or postgraduate studies in psychology. As well as the social sciences or related fields.

Admission requirements

  • A National Senior Certificate (Bachelors Pass), with a minimum of 45% in English, or equivalent qualification OR
  • A Senior Certificate (with Endorsement), with a minimum of a Standard Grade pass in English, or equivalent qualification OR
  • An NQF Level 5 Certificate, or equivalent qualification OR
  • Mature students (23 years of age and older) who do not meet the above requirements should provide a portfolio of evidence equivalent to NQF Level 5 training in an appropriate field of study to support admission on the basis of SACAP’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy

4. Bachelor of Psychology (BPsych)

A four-year full-time degree, which develops a thorough grounding in the knowledge, theory and principles of the profession. It also builds high intellectual independence and research capacity in the methodology and techniques of psychology. Additionally, it’s a professional qualification. Afterwards, successful graduates are able register as a Registered Counsellor with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPSA).

Admission requirements

  • A National Senior Certificate, or equivalent, with an achievement rating of 5 (Substantial Achievement, 60-69%) or better in six designated subjects, including English and Mathematics (or Maths Literacy) OR
  • A Senior Certificate with Endorsement, or at least a Conditional Exemption, passed in at least four subjects, including English (First Language) and Mathematics (at least E at Higher Grade level or C at Standard Grade level)

There is a selection process for this degree. Through it a maximum of 20 students per year invited to enrol. This assists students in mastering the skills learnt during their psychology courses and ensuring a high level of student-lecturer interaction.

5. Bachelor of Applied Social Science(Majoring in Psychology and Human Resource Management)

This is a dual major degree which provides a comprehensive qualification in Psychology and Human Resource Management. It builds critical thinking skills and a depth of understanding of the individual within a social and organisational context.

Admission requirements

  • A National Senior Certificate or National Certificate (Vocational) with an achievement rating of 4 (Adequate Achievement 50-59%) or better in four designated subjects (including Life Orientation), OR
  • A Senior Certificate (pre-2008) with Endorsement with English passed at Standard Grade or better, or an equivalent school-leaving certificate, OR
  • A Higher Certificate (NQF level 5), SAQA verified equivalent qualification, Advanced Certificate, or Diploma in a cognate field, OR
  • Applicants 24 years of age and older who do not meet the above requirements should provide a portfolio of evidence demonstrating formal, informal, and non-formal knowledge, training, work experience, and/or learning equivalent to an NQF level 5 qualification to support admission into the programme on the basis of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

6. Bachelor of Applied Social Science (Majoring in Psychology and Business Management)

This comprehensive qualification has dual majors in Psychology and Business Management. It will equip you to understand the interrelation between the external business landscape and the psychosocial factors within organisations.

Admission requirements

  • A National Senior Certificate or National Certificate (Vocational) with an achievement rating of 4 (Adequate Achievement 50-59%) or better in four designated subjects (including Life Orientation). Highly recommended: Numerical competency and data handling, OR
  • A Senior Certificate (pre-2008) with Endorsement with English passed at Standard Grade or better, or an equivalent school-leaving certificate, OR
  • A Higher Certificate (NQF level 5), SAQA verified equivalent qualification, Advanced Certificate, or Diploma in a cognate field, OR
  • Applicants 24 years of age and older who do not meet the above requirements should provide a portfolio of evidence demonstrating formal, informal, and non-formal knowledge, training, work experience, and/or learning equivalent to an NQF level 5 qualification to support admission into the programme on the basis of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

Didn’t Achieve a Bachelor or Diploma Pass?

If at first you don’t succeed in getting a Bachelor or Diploma pass there are still options for you. You could enrol for SACAP’s Higher Certificate in Counselling and Communication Skills. Once passed, you could merge credits into a Diploma in Counselling and Communication Skills or a Bachelor of Applied Social Science. This process would be subject to standard Higher Education credit transfer and progression rules.

Got What it Takes?

If you think you have what it takes to embark on a career in psychology, consider studying at SACAP. SACAP offers all the above courses, and more. For further information on the matric subjects needed to study psychology, please contact the Student Admissions Department today. Or click here to enrol. In addition to on-campus study options, SACAP offers online live and flexi classes.

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