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Subject Topic: Studying for a degree in psychology Post ReplyPost New Topic
 Studying for a degree in psychology
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Dante
Posted: 2009 October 30 at 8:59am | IP Logged Quote Dante

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Hi

I recently got declined a place to study for a psychology degree for 2010 and I just wanted to ask for any advice on what I can do to prepare me for studying for this degree, which I intend to apply for in 2011. Are there any international organizations in psychology that I can volunteer so that I can be around people in this profession or any books for beginners in this field that I can be reading to get a better prepare myself for studying in this field. I would also appreciate any advice on what I can be doing to learn more about psychology on my own. Thanks.
 
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workaholic
Posted: 2009 October 30 at 10:19am | IP Logged Quote workaholic
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Hi Dante

Sorry to hear about the recent setback but don't despair! To qualify as a psychologist is a long and arduous process, with multiple hurdles but if this is your dream or passion then the perseverance is worthwhile.

You did not state at which point in the process you currently are, although you did refer to "beginners". There are two methods of qualification (1) the B.A./BSc. degree, Honours degree, M.A./MSc. degree route which corresponds to a minimum of 3, 1 and 2 years respectively or (2) the DPsych. route which is basically a pre-graduate degree followed by a second degree which culminates in a doctorate. Route (1) has a PhD as a optional addition following registration. I am speaking under correction but I believe the DPsych route takes a minimum of 7 years. The last year of formal training for both options incorporates a 12 month internship and following both of these routes you will be required to complete a 1 year community service year, submit a research dissertation/thesis and pass a National Board Examination. Upon completion of all of these requirements you can register as a psychologist within your registration category at the HPCSA.     

I am not very familiar with the DPsych option so will limit my points to Option (1). At pregrad level acceptance is based on your matriculation marks. To my knowledge no specific subjects are required but obviously Science and Mathematics will be beneficial if you opt for the BSc. instead of the B.A. Linguistic abilities and an aptitude for abstract thought will be helpful. Strictly speaking, this portion of the process should not be too difficult provided that your matriculation certificate allows for university exemption and adequate marks.

Once this first degree is completed, you can apply for entrance into the Honours course. Historically, acceptance here is limited to the top students as defined by the number of places available. If the university has 200 places they will take the 200 students with the best 3rd year Psychology marks from the B.A./BSc. group. It is therefore important to ensure that your final year pregrad marks are as high as possible.

Upon completion of the Honours degree, you will apply for Selection (M.A./MSc.) at various universities. Again, with recent changes I may be a bit out of date but previously applicants were required to send each university they were considering an application that included your Honours marks, a personal and "professional" CV and two or three references. Based on this, the university would invite an applicant to the Selection process. Although academic marks are not as important here as in Honours selection, the better the marks the more likely you are to stand out and be remembered. This Selection varies from university to university but typically lasts between 3 and 5 days. It involves a process of elimination whereby personal interviews, group work, role play, panel interviews can all be included and the list is posted at the end of each day reflecting those who have "made it" to the next round. On the last day a final list is posted which shows those who have been selected for the next years M1 group. Kind of like Survivor, just not as laid back!   Typically a university will receive approximately 150+ applications per year, of which they may invite say 30-50 people, of which 8 to 10 will ultimately be selected. Again, every university differs slightly in their process. It is important to apply at various universities as you may not get invited to one, fall out in Round 2 at another but get selected at a third.

Rule of thumb "back in the day", if you were invited to selection and/or you progressed to Round 2 then it was felt that you should keep trying as there are a number of variables involved including group dynamics so maybe this just wasn't your year. My favourite urban legend is regarding the tenacious guy who attended 11 selection processes (that is, over 11 years)... he was accepted in the 11th year. Many people get accepted in their second or third attempt but it is a personal choice regarding how many times you want to go through it.

Regarding your second question; at pre grad and Honours level, ensure that you achieve the best marks that you can. With regards to the last "hurdle", you can show your dedication between annual selection processes by building up your CV. Attend courses independently, volunteer at LifeLine after completing their training course, offer psychometric services, get involved in counseling services at your church (even if it is not as a counselor per se), approach the SA Depression and Anxiety Group offering your services, go and see Children's Homes to enquire whether they could use some extra assistance, contact local psychologists and ask about testing, volunteer at a hospice, find work that involves interviews, placement, training, presentations all of which will strengthen your position at the next Selection. Life experience is as important as work experience. You can ask the university for a list of recommended reading or you can visit your local university bookstore. They stock all of the prescribed books for the next year and you can start reading those which will definately give you a head start. Online there are many psychology forums which you could follow to get a feel for the type of problems that clients/patients will be dealing with and/or the type of approaches that therapists/psychologists will be using to assist them.

Best of luck with your journey, wishing you every success with your next application.      

 
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marcon
Posted: 2009 November 05 at 9:59pm | IP Logged Quote marcon
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Hey Dante

The most important thing you are doing is already in your first sentence - you are not giving up. I know someone currently completing a Masters in Psychology who has probably been turned down more than 6 or 7 times, yet she was accepted in 2009.

Commitment to what you want to do will lead you in the right directions. You can register as a psychometrist after an Honours degree, for example, and then work with psychologists gaining great experience.

Workaholic has given a comprehensive response. Reading it took me back to the emotional turmoil of the Masters selection process and reminded me of the intense gatekeeping that happens at each stage of the process. Its wierd - if you get into a medical degree all you have to do is pass each year and you'll graduate a doctor, but to register as a psychologist...

All the best to you

Mark

Mark Connelly
http://www.change-management-coach.com



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Luan
Posted: 2009 December 08 at 6:54pm | IP Logged Quote Luan
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I already did my Honours degree in Psychology -but didn't get selected for MA Clinical Psychology for 2010. I would appreciate it if anybody could give me ideas to other options that I could do or study. HELP!
 
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marcon
Posted: 2009 December 10 at 11:48pm | IP Logged Quote marcon
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Hi Luan

Some good ideas are already here...

Workaholic's last paragraph says it well:

Quote:
...you can show your dedication between annual selection processes by building up your CV. Attend courses independently, volunteer at LifeLine after completing their training course, offer psychometric services, get involved in counseling services at your church (even if it is not as a counselor per se), approach the SA Depression and Anxiety Group offering your services, go and see Children's Homes to enquire whether they could use some extra assistance, contact local psychologists and ask about testing, volunteer at a hospice, find work that involves interviews, placement, training, presentations all of which will strengthen your position at the next Selection. Life experience is as important as work experience. You can ask the university for a list of recommended reading or you can visit your local university bookstore. They stock all of the prescribed books for the next year and you can start reading those which will definately give you a head start. Online there are many psychology forums which you could follow to get a feel for the type of problems that clients/patients will be dealing with and/or the type of approaches that therapists/psychologists will be using to assist them.


Find out about training to be a psychometrist. Work in the field. Get experience. Demonstrate that this is what you want.

Have you thought to approach the department's that did not accept you for the MA and ask them for feedback? This can be hard to hear, but will give you specific areas to address.

All the best to you

Regards

Mark Connelly
http://www.change-management-coach.com


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or meet me on Twitter
 
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skhan
Posted: 2017 January 31 at 12:15pm | IP Logged Quote skhan
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please assist

I have completed the ffg:
B. Ed (majors were psychology and english)
Honours in psycho-ed support
registered for a Masters in Ed psych this year.
(UNISA)

want to become an educational psychologist or registered
counsellor.

please advise.

regards
suraya
 
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Caroline01
Posted: 2017 June 26 at 9:27am | IP Logged Quote Caroline01
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hello guys.,, interesting posts you know .. i will think about your
suggestions ..
 
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Tyler012
Posted: 2017 December 11 at 10:48pm | IP Logged Quote Tyler012

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I am not extremely acquainted with the DPsych choice so will
restrict my focuses to Option (1). At pregrad level acknowledgment
depends on your registration marks. As far as anyone is concerned
no particular subjects are required however clearly Science and
Mathematics will be advantageous on the off chance that you
choose the BSc. rather than the B.A. Phonetic capacities and a bent
for conceptual idea will be useful. Entirely, this segment of the
procedure ought not be excessively troublesome given that your
registration authentication takes into account college exclusion and
satisfactory imprints.
 
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