After completing your Honours degree at a South African university, you may find yourself wanting to improve your marks for various reasons; such as enhancing your chances of admission into a professional Master’s programme. However, it’s important to note that many South African universities do not allow students to reregister and improve their overall Honours average.
This blog post aims to present an alternative option for students: pursuing a Master’s by Dissertation. While this path may differ from the traditional route, it offers several incredible qualities that can positively impact your academic and professional journey. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages Cognition & Co have found to doing a Master’s by Dissertation;
Attain a Master’s Degree: While opting for a Master’s by Dissertation may not allow for you to register as a Psychologist with the Health Practitioners Council of South Africa (HPCSA), it does however enable you to obtain a valuable postgraduate qualification. This higher academic credential demonstrates your dedication to furthering your knowledge and expertise in psychology.
Work and Network with Professionals: During the process of completing a Master’s by Dissertation, you’ll have the opportunity to work closely with professionals and supervisors in your field. This interaction not only provides guidance and mentorship but also opens doors for networking and establishing valuable connections within the industry.
Learn Research Techniques: One of the key aspects of a Master’s by Dissertation is conducting independent research. This experience allows you to delve into the realm of academia and gain a deeper understanding of research techniques, methodologies, and data analysis. It equips you with valuable skills that can be applied in various professional settings.
Specialize in Your Area of Interest: A Master’s by Dissertation allows you to delve deeper into a specific area of psychology that aligns with your passion and career goals. This specialization enhances your expertise and sets you apart in the field, making you a more competitive candidate for future career opportunities.
Gain Practical Research Experience: Engaging in a Master’s by Dissertation provides practical research experience that goes beyond classroom learning. This hands-on experience in designing and conducting research studies equips you with practical skills that are highly valued in both academic and professional settings.
Personal and Intellectual Growth: Undertaking a Master’s by Dissertation is a challenging and intellectually stimulating process. It pushes you to expand your critical thinking abilities, problem-solving skills, and self-discipline. It also fosters personal growth, resilience, and a sense of accomplishment.
Bridge to a PhD: If you have aspirations of pursuing a Ph.D. in psychology, completing a Master’s by Dissertation can serve as a bridge between your Honours and doctoral studies. It provides a stepping stone for further research and prepares you for the intensive nature of doctoral-level research.
Potential for Publishing Your Research: Through the research conducted for your Master’s by Dissertation, you may have the opportunity to produce original and impactful findings. This opens doors for publishing your work in academic journals, presenting at conferences, and contributing to the field of psychology. Such accomplishments greatly enhance your academic profile and demonstrate your commitment to advancing knowledge in your area of interest.
Improve Your Marks: While the primary goal of pursuing a Master’s by Dissertation is not solely to improve your Honours average, it is worth noting that successfully completing a Master’s degree with high academic performance can positively influence your overall academic record. This achievement showcases your ability to excel in rigorous academic work, potentially compensating for any perceived shortcomings in your Honours performance.
Preparation for a Professional Master’s Degree: For students considering a professional Master’s degree, such as Clinical Psychology or Counseling Psychology, completing a Master’s by Dissertation serves as a solid foundation. The research experience and academic rigor of a Master’s by Dissertation program can better prepare you for the demands and expectations of a professional Master’s degree.
Remember, as a psychology student, it’s essential to carefully evaluate your own goals, interests, and resources when considering the alternative option of pursuing a Master’s by Dissertation. This pathway offers unique opportunities for growth, research, and specialization, ultimately supporting your future academic and professional endeavors.
While improving your Honours average may not be possible through traditional means at many South African universities, pursuing a Master’s by Dissertation offers a viable alternative. This pathway presents an array of advantages, including obtaining a higher qualification, working with professionals, honing research skills, publishing research, bridging to doctoral qualifications, and potentially enhancing your academic record. Embracing this alternative option can empower you to continue your academic journey while simultaneously expanding your knowledge and contributing to the field of psychology.
Embrace the power of research, for it is research that propels psychology forward.
The professional BPsych Equivalent (Registered Counsellor) programme is fast becoming a popular alternative for students that are looking to register with the HPCSA as a Registered Counsellor.
As the competition for entry into professional Masters programmes grows each year, the BPsych Equivalent qualification provides an incredible opportunity for students and graduates to make progress towards a professional registration with the HPCSA. The benefit of this registration is that graduates are able to practice independently in the field of professional Psychology; gaining experience while earning money.
BPsych graduates that wish to study further have the opportunity to articulate vertically towards a professional Masters degree and register with the HPCSA as a Psychologist. Students that decide to follow this route have the additional benefit of entering into Masters Selection Season with practical experience in the field.
Despite the BPsych Equivalent’s popularity, there are still a number of questions that students commonly ask in regards to the programme. Cognition & Co have compiled a list of frequently asked questions surrounding this programme, and provided comprehensive answers so that individuals considering this route can gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the course and registration.
This article focuses specifically on the Registered Counsellor BPsych Equivalent. You can find out more about the Psychometric BPsych Equivalent HERE.
Cognition & Co recently had the pleasure of being invited to the SACAP (The South African College of Applied Psychology) Johannesburg campus to celebrate SACAP’s 25th Anniversary.
Managing Director of Cognition & Co, Dylan Benyon, was privileged to be shown around the beautiful campus by the current Academic Dean, Dr Jaclyn Lotter. As they walked around the facilities, they discussed the incredible work SACAP is doing in the field of Psychology and how far they have come in recent years.
Importantly, SACAP is one of the only higher education institutions offering the BPsych Equivalent programme that leads to HPCSA registration as a Registered Counsellor. To find out more about the work SACAP is doing, read the media statement below.
This BPsych Equivalent is a professional programme that leads to registration with the HPCSA as a Registered Counsellor. This is an 18 month professional programme, meaning that it cannot be done part-time or via distance. Included within this programme is both the academic and practical components required to write the HPCSA board exam. This practical component includes the 720 hour supervised practicum, aligned to the professional training standards of the Health Professions Act 56 of 1974.
The practicum cannot be done separately to the academic components as candidates will need both the practicum portfolio and degree certificate in order to qualify to write their board exam.
For more information on this programme, admission requirements, and application forms, please visit the UKZN Postgraduate Webpage.
CLICK HERE to listen to our free podcast on the topic of becoming and being a Registered Counsellor
Applications for the University of Johannesburg Bachelor of Psychology (BPsych) Equivalent programme for July 2022 are now open.
This is a professional qualification that leads to registration with the HPCSA as a Psychometrist for Independent Practice. If you would like to read more about the role and scope of Psychometrists in South Africa, please click here.
For more information on the programme as well as access to the application forms, checklists, and training guidelines, please contact the UJ Admin Coordinator here – email@example.com
Don’t miss the Psychometry episode of the Cognition & Co podcast HERE. Boipelo Noko speaks about her journey through the Psychometry programme at UJ as well as her experience working in the field after graduating.