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					Psychology
(offered by the Department of Psychology) Telephone number 012 429 8088

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Introduction

A good reason to study psychology is to get to know oneself and others better. All individuals form common sense theories about their personal worlds. Psychology attempts to place these ideas into perspective by carefully considered theories and scientific research. Thus psychology studies the behaviour, experience and inter-relationships of individuals in society. In addition, South African students of psychology need to improve their understanding of their diverse society in order to serve their communities well. Thus the relationship between social concerns and individual actions is addressed in all the psychology modules. The first-level modules give students an overview of the subject and relates this directly to personal experience in the context of their own lives and the society in which they live. Second and third-level module present basic theory, simultaneously applying such theory to diverse cultural contexts. These modules cover personality theories, childhood and adolescence, adulthood and maturity, abnormal behaviour and mental health, social psychology and psychological research. The modules on counselling skills, interpersonal relations in diverse contexts, cognition, and HIV/AIDS care and counselling have been designed to improve the practical psychological skills of students. In teaching psychology, attention is paid to the students’ need to improve their academic literacy, that is, their powers of articulation and expression. Psychological knowledge is used in a variety of career fields such as the health and social services, education, jurisprudence, human resources management and business.

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FOR THE COLLEGE OF HUMAN SCIENCES

General Information
BA students must choose between first-level modules in Psychology and Industrial and Organisational Psychology. Students who select Psychology as a major subject are advised to include the first-level modules in Anthropology and the module PLS102 in Philosophy (Critical Reasoning) in their curriculum.

FOR THE COLLEGE OF SCIENCE, ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY
Students who select Psychology as a major subject are advised to take first-level modules in Statistics (or Mathematics) and/or Philosophy before or together with third-level module. LANGUAGE MEDIUM Formal tuition in all undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Psychology will be conducted in English only. Students may submit assignments in Afrikaans and write examinations in Afrikaans. Where capacity exists, and upon request, individual discussions with students will be conducted in any preferred South African language.

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Psychology as a Major Subject
Compulsory modules for a major subject combination:

First level: PYC101, 102 Second level: PYC201, 202, (or 203), 204, RSC201 Third level: PYC301, 302, 303, 304, 305

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FIRST-LEVEL MODULES (NQF LEVEL 5)

Syllabus

PYC101Y Basic psychology (S1 and S2)* Purpose: to gain insight into basic terms, concepts and fields of study in psychology, through studying topics such as the Western and non-Western roots of psychology, contextualisation of knowledge, biological basis of behaviour, perception, thinking, problem solving, intelligence, and creativity. PYC1023 Psychology in society (S1 and S2)* Purpose: to gain insight into the way in which human behaviour and experience are shaped in societal and environmental contexts, stress processes, motivation in the context of sociopolitical dynamics of society, interpersonal relationships, group functioning, the social nature of work and various social issues (violence, poverty, racism, multiculturalism, gender bias, community development, and the ecological crisis).

SECOND-LEVEL MODULES (NQF LEVEL 6)
PYC2015 Personality theories (year module)* Prerequisite: PYC101 or IOP101 or any FOUR first-level modules

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Purpose: to gain insight into the most important personality theories explaining human functioning and behaviour, and to apply these theories (eg of Freud, Jung, Rogers, Allport, Maslow, Frankl, the social cognitive learning approach, and the African perspective) in real-life situations. PYC2026 Child and adolescent development (year module)* Prerequisite: PYC101 or IOP101 or any FOUR first-level modules Purpose: to demonstrate an understanding of the physical, cognitive, emotional, social, personal and moral development of the child and the adolescent, and to promote the optimal development in the child and the adolescent. PYC2038 Adulthood and maturity (year module)* Prerequisite: PYC101 or IOP101 or any FOUR first-level modules Purpose: to demonstrate an understanding of the physical, cognitive, emotional, social, personal and moral development of the adult, and to enhance the adult’s psychological maturity and satisfaction with life. PYC2049 Counselling skills (year module)* Prerequisite: PYC101 or IOP101 or any FOUR first-level modules Purpose: to develop broad-based counselling skills such as listening and communication skills, and to apply these counselling skills in an ethically responsible manner in order to release personal capacity and to facilitate change in diverse contexts.

SPECIAL PROGRAMME MODULES
PYC205A Community psychology: re-imagining community (year module)* Prerequisite: PYC101 or IOP101 or any FOUR first-level modules Purpose: to describe key structures and processes in communities, and to explain how the principles of community psychology may be used to effect change in communities. PYC206B HIV/AIDS care and counselling (S1 and S2)* Advice: As this module is offered on the second level, students are encouraged to pass some first-level modules before attempting PYC206. Purpose: to equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills to deal with HIV/AIDS within health, welfare, counselling and educational contexts. PYC207C Basic measurement and questionnaire design in Psychology (year module) Prerequisite: PYC101, 102 Purpose: to offer students the opportunity to develop basic practical competencies in questionnaire design and development and to compile a mini manual for users of the questionnaire and to prepare students for more advanced studies in psychometric measurement and psychological test design.

THIRD-LEVEL MODULES (NQF LEVEL 7)
PYC3019 Social psychology (year module)* Prerequisite: PYC101, 102 or any FOUR first-level modules Purpose: to gain insight into the theoretical aspects of social perception and cognition, attitudes, identity, and prejudice, pro- and antisocial behaviour and group behaviour, in order to facilitate the application of social psychology in areas such as clinical psychology, health, organisations, and society in general. PYC302A Abnormal behaviour and mental health (year module)* Prerequisite: PYC101, 102 or any FOUR first-level modules Advice: Students are strongly advised to complete the module PYC201 before they register for this module. If not, certain bridging arrangements announced in this module (PYC302) must be followed. Purpose: to identify abnormal behaviour (eg mood disorders, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders), to understand abnormal behaviour according to various theoretical models, and to promote mental health. PYC303B Cognition: thinking, memory and problem solving (year module)* Prerequisite: PYC101, 102 or any FOUR first-level modules Purpose: to introduce students to cognitive psychology as a field involving the scientific study of mental processes such as perception, memory, reasoning, problem solving, and intelligence. The module provides an overview of cognitive psychology and tries to help students to develop the ability to (a) interpret, and critically evaluate research and theories about human cognition, and (b) practice and improve their own critical thinking, problem-solving and memory skills. The following topics are covered in the module: a brief history of cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience, perception, memory, knowledge representation, problem solving, decision making and reasoning, and human and artificial intelligence. PYC304C Psychological research (year module) Prerequisite: RSC201 Purpose: to enable students to describe the research process, critically evaluate different types of published psychological research, and to execute basic procedures required for data analysis. PYC305D Interpersonal skills in diverse contexts (year module)* Prerequisite: PYC101, 102 or any FOUR first-level modules Advice: Students are strongly advised to complete the module PYC204 before they register for this module. If not possible, certain bridging arrangements announced in this module (PYC305) must be followed. Purpose: to acquire advanced interpersonal skills in order to manage complex and potentially volatile or high-conflict interpersonal situations in which people have different cultural backgrounds, value systems and needs.

SPECIAL PROGRAMME MODULE
PYC306E Community psychology: intervention strategies (year module)* Prerequisite: PYC205 Purpose: to gain practical know-how and theoretical understanding of how individuals function in community organisations, and how such organisations function in communities.

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