How To Become An Educational Psychologist In South Africa

By | October 28, 2021

Educational psychology to exploration of conditions necessary to optimise the learning experience of children and young people, thereby helping them to achieve their full potential in life.

These conditions may be biological or environmental.

Many of us take learning for granted, but not the educational psychologist, whose job it is to help the young achieve their full potential in life.

Educational Psychology Schools In South Africa

Where To Study Educational Psychology In South Africa

Educational Psychology | University of Pretoria

Educational Psychology – SACAP

Educational Psychology – Stellenbosch University

Department of Educational Psychology – UWC

Master of Education in Educational Psychology

Educational Psychology – University of Zululand

Psycho-Social Education NWU

What does an educational psychologist do?

Essentially, these trained professionals study how students of all ages learn. While investigating how students process emotional, social and cognitive stimuli, they make assessments based on the student’s reactions, using this analysis to identify learning, social and behavioural issues that impede his or her learning. Barriers to learning may include everything from learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, to bullying, anxiety, and low levels of confidence or poor self-esteem. Educational psychologists work with a wide range of people, including parents, teachers, social workers, counsellors, and speech and language therapists, to support these students.

Recently, educational psychology has expanded beyond the school classroom to assist adults in educational settings. However, although educational psychologists are able to help learners of all ages, they differ from general psychologists in that, where the latter has a broad overview of the study of psychology as it pertains to mental health and psychological functioning, educational psychology is a more specialised field dealing specifically with the psychology of education and learning.

Where does an educational psychologist work?

Educational psychologists typically work with schools or educational institutions, or as independent or private consultants. The work of an educational psychologist can either be directly with a child (assessing progress, providing counselling) or indirectly (through their work with parents, teachers and other professionals). Direct work involves some form of assessment to uncover a child’s learning difficulty through consultation with professional colleagues, observation, interviews or use of test materials. Recommendations are then made to determine the most appropriate educational provision for that child and interventions might include devising learning programmes as well as collaborative work with a teacher.

Educational psychologists are also often hired by schools or learning institutions to work with staff in developing and implementing successful educational programmes for students. They provide advice and training on how schools might help children to learn and develop and they recommend methods, or develop strategies in partnership with schools, to help children learn more effectively. Strategies may include teaching approaches, improvements to learning environments, advice on curriculum materials and behaviour support.

Thinking of a career in educational psychology?

This multi-dimensional job requires a number of core competencies, including various personality traits, from being a good listener and having a genuine interest in the wellbeing of others to being both a creative and critical thinker.

As far as professional qualifications are concerned, you will need five years’ full-time formal education in Psychology in order to register as an educational psychologist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). This tuition should comprise the following:

  • A three-year Bachelor’s Degree majoring in Psychology or the equivalent thereof.
  • An Honours Degree in Psychology.
  • A Master’s Degree in Psychology approved by the HPCSA.

You will also need to have successfully completed an approved 12-month full-time internship as well as the National Examination of the Professional Board for Psychology in the Educational Psychology category.

How much do educational psychologists earn in South Africa?

An early career Educational Psychologist with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of R293,182 based on 24 salaries. A mid-career Educational Psychologist with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of R644,361 based on 5 salaries.

What Are the Education Requirements to Become a Educational Psychologist?

Psychologist Educational TrackAverage Education Length
1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree4 Years
2. Earn A Master’s Degree2 Additional Years
3. Earn a PHD or PsyD2-4 Additional Years