The Department of Psychology

The Department of Psychology at Stellenbosch University has among the most productive academic psychologists in South Africa on its staff, several of whom have won prestigious awards and grants for their teaching and research. We are committed to conducting research, teaching, practice, and community service of the highest possible standard. As such, we continually measure our scholarly output against the best in the world. Our staff and students have published in the highest-ranking international academic journals and several former students have taken up positions in prestigious institutions in South Africa and around the world. Our department offers undergraduate modules in psychology, leading to a major in the discipline, and postgraduate training leading to registration as a psychologist. We also offer thesis-based research training leading towards the masters and doctoral degree. Our teaching and research programmes focus on key psychosocial issues affecting South Africa and the African continent. We are committed to contributing to the social relevance of psychology as a discipline and a profession in an academically rigorous and critical manner.

A teaching department

The psychology department is the biggest department in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences in terms of student numbers. We currently have 1200 first year students, 800 2nd-years students, 600 third year students, 37 honours students (that is obviously when selection starts), 8 clinical masters students, 40 research masters students and 40 doctoral students.

A research department

Our growth as a research department has been substantial and we have become a world-renowned and internationally acclaimed research department. Many staff members are part of local, national and global research networks. The Department participates in research with a number of partners in both the global north and in the global south, as well as with international agencies such as the World Health Organization.

A community service department

Applied psychology has been a focus of the Psychology Department since the establishment of the Masters degrees in Clinical Psychology and Counselling Psychology in 1973. These prorammes were merged into one Masters programme in 2005. In the Masters Programme in Clinical Psychology between eight and ten students are annually trained as clinical psychologists and are able to register with the HPCSA as clinical psychologists in training.

Latest News

1403, 2023

Universiteitseminaar: Die US, rassisme en die toekoms

March 14th, 2023|

Chair of the psychology department and member of African Thought, Desmond Painter, published this article on racism at Stellenbosch University which can be accessed here: Universiteitseminaar: Die US, rassisme en die toekoms. An English translation [...]

903, 2023

Podcast: Loving Men with Kopano Ratele

March 9th, 2023|

The prevalence of and fear of gender-based violence really cannot be overstated. The statistics and stories and experiences invade our lives, we encounter it in the news, fiction and non-fiction. For every story we read [...]

1011, 2022

Making space for the unusual: A career in disability studies

November 10th, 2022|

One day, long after A-rated researcher Prof Leslie Swartz of Stellenbosch University’s (SU’s) Department of Psychology has retired, a practical symbol of his dedication to the disability cause will remain: an elevator in the Krotoa [...]