Where can I study psychology in South Africa? Universities and Salary

Psychology is the study of the mind and human behavior. Psychology students will learn about the feelings that humans experience, what motivates us and how we interact with each other.

Many who consider a career as a psychologist choose South Africa as a study destination. Maybe you’re one of those seeking colleges that offer psychology in South Africa. You’re on track. We have listed the best psychology programs in the country. These schools will help you achieve that dream by offering you top-level academic value in the study of psychology.

The profession of psychology in South Africa and in other developing countries is undergoing substantial changes, which means that the requirements to register as a psychologist may change.

Given the overwhelming psychosocial needs in South Africa,
there is a growing demand for graduates in psychology in a variety of vocations
and professions.

These are the best universities in South Africa that can

What is Psychology?

Psychology is defined as the scientific study of the multidimensional facets of the mind and human behavior, in all its aspects. It can be distinguished into two main groups of basic, theoretical, and applied psychology.

Psychology degrees deal with the understanding of individuals and their behavior within society and consider the human stages of development.

Professionals can be psychologists in a variety of different disciplines, but there are also many other vocations and professions that employ an understanding of psychology.

Psychology has many practical applications outside of academic research, including use in therapy, education, business, and many other fields.

Some psychologists work with legal professionals to
understand and predict criminal behavior; others help companies to function
more effectively by studying employee interactions with each other and their
work environment.

Why is Psychology important?

It seeks to understand the developmental, psychosocial, and environmental factors that influence experiences and shape individuals and groups.

Psychology explores many fascinating concepts that include perception, cognition, emotion, motivation, brain functioning, personality, behavior, and interpersonal relationships, to name just a few.

The study of psychology finally aims to benefit individuals and society in improving mental health, as well as in understanding and solving problems in many other contexts and spheres of human activity.

Is psychology in demand in South Africa?

In reality, according to the Health Systems Trust, the number of clinical psychologists in the South African public sector is just 2.75 per 100,000 individuals. South Africans are often highly stressed and thus, require the skilled expertise that psychology provides.

About South Africa

South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa, is a country located in the extreme south of Africa. It is divided into nine provinces. South Africa is not just a starting point, it is a fantastic destination rich in culture, fauna, flora, and history.

South Africa with a population of 50.58 million people has a rich mix of culture, languages ​​, and religious beliefs. The country is a good place to be and has people from various nations, races, and religions.

The majority of the people who live there are Africans representing 75.5 of the population. The following are universities considered the best for international students, both for their low tuition costs and for the quality of education.

If you want to experience life in one of the most diverse and complex countries in the world, you can choose to study in South Africa. The country stands out in many areas, offering some of the most striking natural landscapes and wildlife in the world, diverse and dynamic cities and towns, and a large selection of leading universities with an international perspective.

Why study Psychology in South Africa

There are several reasons why people should study in the
beautiful country of South Africa. They include the following:

South Africa is one of the leading countries in Africa for
education. It also offers a wide variety of languages. You can choose one in
ten languages ​​to study in South Africa. South Africa also has excellent
teachers who can guarantee their knowledge.

The cost of living in South Africa is also cheap. You can survive in South Africa even if you have up to $ 400 in your pocket. It will be enough to cover the cost of food, travel, accommodation, and utility bills.

South Africa has large colleges and universities that are
doing everything possible to obtain the higher education requirements of
students from all over the world who wish to study in English.

South Africa has about 10 languages ​​among which students
can decide to enroll in the academic program they want.

In addition to an environment conducive to learning, South
African universities have highly qualified teachers. The cost of living and
education in South Africa is affordable by courtesy of the low exchange rate.

Benefits of studying in South Africa as international students

There are several reasons why people should study in the
beautiful country of South Africa. They include the following:

South Africa is one of the leading countries in Africa for
education. It also offers a wide variety of languages. You can choose one in
ten languages ​​to study in South Africa.

South Africa also has excellent teachers who can guarantee
their knowledge.

General Tuition Fee in South Africa

Although there are free and low-enrollment universities in South Africa, the tuition fee for undergraduate programs in South Africa is approximately $2500- $4500, while for graduate programs it could cost around $2700- $3000.

How is the academic calendar of South African universities?

In general, the academic calendar in South Africa consists
of two semesters. The first semester begins at the beginning of February and
the second semester begins at the end of July.

How much do psychologists earn in South Africa?

Based on 111 salaries, an early career clinical psychologist with 1-4 years of experience receives an estimated total salary of R325,452. Based on 32 salaries, a mid-career Clinical Psychologist with 5-9 years of experience receives an estimated total salary of R454,752.

Do you need maths to study psychology in South Africa?

FOR THE COLLEGE OF SCIENCE, ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY: Students who choose Psychology as the main subject are recommended to take first-level modules before or along with third-level modules in Statistics (or Mathematics) and/or Philosophy.

How many years does it take to study psychology in South Africa?

Studying psychology in South Africa takes about 5 formal education years. You will need a three-year Bachelor’s degree in psychology (or its equivalent) as well as an Honours degree in psychology before you can begin a driven Master’s degree program.

What do psychologists work?

Graduates who have studied psychology can develop significant careers in areas where it is valued to have a solid knowledge of psychology, a set of applied skills, and well-developed research and writing skills.

Examples include, among others, careers in:

  • Community and social development and health and welfare agencies.
  • Education
  • Social research and development policy.
  • Defense Agencies
  • Psychosocial intervention programs.
  • Market research.
  • Human resources and employee welfare.
  • Services for people with disabilities and aging.
  • Counseling and mental health services.
  • Youth justice, immigration, and refugee support services.
  • Program management, project management and implementation.

Where can I Study Psychology in South Africa?

The best universities for psychology in South Africa are:

  • South African College of Applied Psychology
  • University of Johannesburg
  • Stellenbosch University
  • University of Cape Town
  • Rhodes University
  • University of Witwatersrand
  • University of Pretoria

South African College of Applied Psychology (SACAP)

SACAP is an accredited private higher education provider and
is also recognized as the leading provider of higher education and training in
South Africa in the field of applied psychology. It is the number one
consideration when looking for where to study psychology in South Africa.

SACAP has been training students in psychology since 1997 and is recognized for its unique combination of rigorous theory, applied skills, and experimental fieldwork.

SACAP’s unique approach to teaching and learning combines rigorous academic theory with practical skills and experience. As a result, SACAP graduates are widely respected for their knowledge, high levels of competence, and personal maturity.

SACAP offers a wide variety of vocational, academic, and professional studies in psychology that combine learning based on theory and practice, which includes counseling and communication psychology, social sciences, applied social sciences, and mental health. SACAP is one of the reputable institutions where you can study clinical psychology in South Africa.

University of Johannesburg

The Faculty of Humanities of the University of Johannesburg
is considered one of the best universities that can offer you the opportunity
to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology.

The Bachelor of Psychology (with honors) at the University
of Johannesburg is offered only full time. Students must complete six modules
within a period of one year.

The research component is the only mandatory module and runs throughout the year, so this module counts as two modules. Some of the courses offered at the University of Johannesburg include child psychology, experimental psychology, and psychometrics.

Stellenbosch University

With approximately 30,000 students from more than 100 countries, Stellenbosch University is another key player in the study of psychology at the South African university. He is reputed to be the premier institution in the study of clinical and health psychology and conducts many research-based studies, which makes studying psychology there a great option.

The university is located in the city of Stellenbosch, a
community known for its extensive hills of wine lands of the Western Cape. And
every time you’re ready to live in the city, you’ll be just 30 miles from Cape
Town. Never far from all the action.

University of Cape Town (UCT)

If you are not currently a student at UCT but are interested
in studying Psychology, UCT can offer you excellent training in Psychology,
since they are undoubtedly among the best schools to study psychology in South

They offer undergraduate training as well as postgraduate
training that leads to professional registration as a psychologist and is
reputed to be one of the main research departments in South Africa.

Staff members have considerable experience in a number of
areas and have contributed important original research to national and
international journals, and strive in every way to produce the highest quality
in the teaching of psychology and its research.

It is one of the best universities where you can study child psychology and clinical psychology in South Africa. Its other areas of ​​strengths include research in areas such as child development, gender, psychological trauma, social psychology, cognitive psychology, research methodology, and statistics, psychoanalytic theory, and neuropsychology

It is jointly the oldest university in South Africa and the
oldest existing university in Sub-Saharan Africa, together with Stellenbosch
University, which received full university status the same day in 1918.

The UCT degree in psychology is internationally recognized,
and many of the department’s graduates have completed postgraduate studies at
other universities around the world.

University of South Africa

As Africa’s leading open distance education institution, UNISA offers internationally accredited qualifications and has world-class resources that inspire students to create meaningful futures on their own terms.

UNISA as an African university is shaping futures at the service of humanity. Not only does it offer the best training in the study of psychology, but it also offers quality distance and online learning options for distant and working-class students.

Rhodes University

This university is one of the oldest in Africa since it was established in 1904. It is notable as one of the first universities in South Africa in the field of psychology.

Currently, it has become a notable center for the study of modern psychology in South Africa. It is one of the places you should consider where to study psychology in South Africa.

University of Witwatersrand

Established in 1896, the University of the Witwatersrand,
Johannesburg, is a South African public research university with multiple
campuses located in the northern areas of downtown Johannesburg. It is more
commonly known as Wits University or Wits. It is one of the great universities
to study psychology in South Africa.

The Psychology discipline at the University of the
Witwatersrand consists of a diverse complement of approximately forty qualified
employees with experience in a wide range of fields, ranging from brain
functioning to psychotherapy, and from child development to organizational

Undergraduate courses at the University of Wits provide an
excellent base in psychology, and some degree of specialization is provided at
the level of 3rd year and above. Their professional training programs are
competitive nationally and internationally.

University of Pretoria

The University of Pretoria is a public research university
with multiple campuses in Pretoria, the administrative and de facto capital of
South Africa.

The University of Pretoria focuses on developing critical conceptual skills and a deep understanding of the discipline of psychology.

In its vision, the University of Pretoria believes that the purpose of studying psychology is, ultimately, not only to obtain a vision of the fascinating field of human behavior but also to learn how to apply this knowledge in our personal lives and in various professional contexts.

And the university has been recognized for living up to that vision. It offers courses in psychology such as cognitive, clinical, social, and industrial psychology.

Where can I study Child Psychology in South Africa?

By choosing where you can study child psychology in South Africa, you must understand that child psychology is a very popular subdivision of psychology. Child psychology focuses on the social, cultural, socio-economic, physical, and genetic factors that influence the development, behavior, and emotions of the child.

It is important that caregivers understand how a child relates, speaks, listens, and understands.

How much does it cost to study psychology in South Africa

According to articles on low-enrollment universities, undergraduate programs in South Africa will cost you $ 2,500- $ 4,500. At the same time, graduate programs will cost you around $ 2,700- $ 3,000. The price is for one academic year.

How much does a psychologist earn in South Africa?

According to payscale.com, the average salary for a psychologist in South Africa is R258, 733. Below are the average payment values ​​by the level of experience for psychologists in South Africa.

An entry-level psychologist with less than 1 year of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation (including tips, bonuses, and overtime pay) of R201, 683 based on 20 salaries.

An early career psychologist with 1-4 years of experience
earns an average total compensation of R240, 335 based on 110 salaries.

A mid-career psychologist with 5-9 years of experience earns
an average total compensation of R350, 000 based on 25 salaries.

An experienced psychologist with 10-19 years of experience
earns an average total compensation of R353, 956 based on 31 salaries. At the
end of their career (20 years and more), employees earn an average total
compensation of R1, 002,113.

Other annual salary assessments include

  • Psychiatrist: $216,090
  • Industrial-organizational psychologist: $102,530
  • Neuropsychologist: $93,440
  • Engineering Psychologist: $90,340
  • Psychology teacher: $85,050
  • Clinical Psychologist: $81,330
  • Counselor Psychologist: $81,330
  • School psychologist: $77,430
  • Forensic Psychologist: $61,220
  • Sports Psychologist: $60,000

General application procedures in South African universities

Applicants or candidates have the option of submitting their applications through the Internet or through admission agencies. For those interested in applying over the Internet, the following steps should be followed:

  • Applicants must visit the web portal of the university they have chosen and request an online application form.
  • Applicants must complete the form with the correct information and upload the necessary documents
  • Once the form is done, applicants must send it to the university’s admission department or send it to the address indicated on the form
  • Once the applicant’s form has been considered, an offer will be sent to you by airmail or email.
  • After applicants have received the offer, they must request a school visa package so they can begin processing their visa

At this point, you are ready for your registration

Requirements for international students

The requirement to enter a school is peculiar to the school
and the entire program it intends to execute is also taken into account.

Most universities in South Africa generally have an online
application form that is expected to be completed before you can enroll in the

For non-South African applicants, it is important to keep in
mind that they must meet the registration exemption requirements. The
enrollment exemption can be achieved by obtaining a high school diploma with
good grades and a good score on any standardized exam offered in your home

It is also essential to demonstrate your English language
skills; This is because most South African universities teach their courses in
English. For students from a country that does not speak English, they must
demonstrate their proficiency through a good score on the TOEFL (Test of
English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language
Assessment System).

It is necessary to process your admission process in a
timely manner, this is because universities receive many applications
throughout the year, so it is important that you submit your application before
the deadlines and send the correct documents to ensure favorable consideration
and A fair chance to be admitted.

How to Obtain Student Visa for South Africa

Before one is qualified to obtain a student visa to study at
any institution in South Africa, that person must have been accepted into a
registered school, college or university in South Africa and must also have
received an acceptance letter from that institution that guarantees the letter
is written on the letterhead of the institution and duly signed.

The person is expected to complete a temporary residence permit application that must be made in their home country, and then present it in person in the South African country in their home country, either to the consulate or to the high commission.

You are expected to send the following documents;

  • A passport valid for at least 30 days after the end of your course, with two consecutive clear pages for entry and exit stamps.
  • Payment of the South African student visa application.
  • Bi-color photographs the size of a passport.
  • An official letter from the South African educational institution confirming the duration of your course, plus confirmation that you will inform the authorities if you do not register, unsubscribe or are expelled or when the course is completed or extended.
  • Proof of the finances necessary to cover tuition and living costs during the duration of your stay, about ZAR 3,000 per month (bank statements, traveler’s checks, etc.) and a cash deposit to cover the cost of A return ticket.
  • Certificate of coverage for medical assistance or health insurance recognized by the South African authorities, plus a letter confirming that it will be renewed each year for the duration of your stay.
  • You may need to make sure that your medical plan is recognized by the South African Department of Home Affairs. If you are a student and dependent child of a parent who has a South African visa and medical insurance, you may be covered by your parents’ plan.
  • Occasionally, South African high commissions accept foreign medical aid and international insurance policies.
  • A certificate of vaccination against yellow fever.
  • Medical and radiological reports for the last six months.
  • Information on where you will live in South Africa.
  • A certificate of police authorization for each country in which you have lived for more than 12 months from the age of 18.
  • Birth certificates of dependent children.
  • Relevant certificates if married, widowed, divorced.


The field of psychology is very diverse. There are many potential paths that your career can take, and a wide range of salaries that you could earn. Of course, it is useful to know which careers pay best, especially in difficult economic conditions. Studying Psychology in South Africa can give you an edge in the field.


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