Student FAQ’s

Psychology Students Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: 

“How do I go about looking for a job?”


The easiest way to look for jobs that meet your qualification is to use job listing websites like or and enter “Psychology honours” in the search tab. Any jobs that match that qualification will be listed and you’ll be surprized at some of the opportunities that are available. There are usually a lot of opportunities in governmental positions and you could also assist in research. You will also see plenty of job opportunities in Human Resources.   Take a look at these listings:

You will need a professional CV to send to potential employers. Spend time on this and make sure that your CV is going to open doors for you. The American Psychological Association has a great articles on CV Do’s and Don’ts which is worth looking at too:

Question 2:

“What kind of work can I do with a BA Honours degree?”


Psychology graduates could work in different capacities in the following fields:

  • For-profit organisations (HR, marketing, project management, research, consulting, coaching)
  • Research institutions (Human Science Research Council, Institute for Safety and Health Studies, Unisa Centre for Applied Psychology, to name a few)
  • Government (Departments of Labour, Social Development, SAPS and Correctional Services)
  • Non-profit organisations (Non-governmental organisations, Non-profit organisations, Community-based organisations – think local, national and international)
  • Higher education (Universities and Universities of Technology)
  • Schools (government and private)
  • Other educational organisations (e.g. FET colleges and private training organisations)

You will not be permitted to register with the HPCSA as a registered counsellor or psychologist, for this you would need a Bachelor in Psychology (B. Psych or B.Psych equivalent) and/or a Master’s degree in Psychology.

For more information on requirements to register with the HPCSA you can visit:

Question 3:

“When and how do I become a PsySSA student member?”


You don’t have to wait until you graduate to be a student member of PsySSA. You can join right now, right where you are. You can join the student division as long as you are a Psychology student.

Becoming a member of PsySSA is as easy as 1,2,3:

Step 1: Go to  and select “student member”

Step 2: Fill in your information and university details.

Leave the HPCSA registration category part blank. Unless you are registered with the  HPCSA? Most students aren’t. You can also select additional division you may be interested in being a part of. Each division will indicate the additional yearly fee.

Step 3: Submit and pay 🙂

PsySSA will send you a membership certificate and you’ll be all set for the remainder of the year. All membership expires 31 December. Remember to renew yearly!

You should also join the PsySSA Student Division Facebook group to keep an eye on news and events.

Get involved and make your voice heard!

Some of the benefits of joining the student division include:

– Access to the SAJP (this is the South African Journal of Psychology) <–very handy for assignments and reading up on psychology topics

– Affiliation with a student body that will represent and support

– Support to psychology student structures at Universities

– Connection with Psychology professionals and the academic field

– Creating opportunities for students to gain necessary skills

– Addressing student needs through round table and discussion seeking to solve problems creatively.

PsySSA has events during the year which give you the opportunity to listen to lectures, case studies and mingle with professionals.

Useful links:

Question 4:

“How do I become a Registered Counsellor?”


  1. Definition – registered counselor
  2. What do you need to become a counselor
  3. What job opportunities can you apply for as a registered counselor

1.Firstly what is a registered counsellor? The purpose of Registered Counsellors is to firstly act as “emotional paramedics” in cases of trauma, to intervene appropriately, and to refer when and where necessary. It is secondly to act as a resource in communities and to promote health in a socio-cultural appropriate manner. Thirdly, the purpose of this category is to design preventative and developmental programmes, to implement them in the widest possible contexts, and to monitor its effectiveness.

  1. Registered Counsellors are trained in a B.Psych qualification and it is important to note that a B.Psych or its equivalent comprises both academic and professional training. A B.Psych curriculum is an integrated one and cannot be achieved (as is often erroneously believed), by adding a six month internship to an academic honors degree. The academic honours degree is not sufficient, as it does not, and may according to the Health Professions Act (Act 56 of 1974), not include professional training.

A B.Psych or its equivalent include the necessary academic training to equip Registered Counsellors with conceptualization skills and knowledge of appropriate explanatory models in Psychology. On a professional level, the curriculum should include the necessary intervention skills, programme development skills, presentation skills, preventative and developmental skills in group and community contexts, report writing skills, ethical and professional practice and so on.

3.Registered Counsellors should mostly work in group and community contexts. Settings that come to mind include schools, children’s’ homes, prisons, police services, Non-Government Organisations and communities, to mention but a few. Internships should preferably not be done in traditional private practice contexts, hospitals and so on, but rather in non-government organisations (NGOs), police services, prisons, schools, communities, children’s homes etc.

Registered counsellors can be seen as ‘emotional paramedics’ in cases of trauma, to intervene appropriately, and to refer when and where necessary. They provide short-term supportive counselling (excluding psychotherapy) in a range of environments with diverse individuals and groups, and identify (but not diagnose nor treat) possible mental health disorders, referring clients to the appropriate professionals. They provide psychological screening and intervention for the purposes of enhancing functioning. Check out this link for more information:

The role of a Registered Trauma Counsellor is to provide emotional support and psycho-education to enhance optimal personal functioning and prevent the onset of psychological trauma.

Dr Smyth summarises the scope of the counsellor’s work as follows:

  1. Being the first line of community-based psychological support;
  2. Providing preventative and developmental counselling services;
  3. Performing supportive psychological interventions to enhance wellbeing;
  4. Performing basic psychological screening for the purpose of mental health (in other words, as a preliminary screening tool in order to refer appropriately);
  5. Designing, implementing and monitoring preventative and developmental programmes;
  6. Provide counselling in conjunction with interdisciplinary support teams;
  7. Report writing and providing feedback to clients on interventions.

Counselling may take various forms, including with individuals, couples, families or domestic units and groups. Please see pie chart below

Here Are some job postings for registered counsellors;

  • Always search for the qualification you have and your area

Further Reading: ( Research report by UCT student Esther Abel)


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