During your Honours year, you will experience, for the first time, a move towards specialisation. The central theme of this programme is organisational change, and each programme module will address a different facet of evolution.
Over the last decade, employers have increasingly started recognising the value of Organisational Psychology. In today’s world, in which change is fast, practitioners are in demand as change managers, but the skills learned in Organisational Psychology are also relevant to inform the future work of work. At the end of this intensive year, you will emerge as change masters: people who can build change models, transform change visions into measurable behaviours, improve an organisation’s capacity for change through learning, and support people and organisations through change processes. These skills and knowledge are sought after in the business world, especially in the current economic climate.
The programme starts with a compulsory orientation in the first or second week of February. During the orientation, students get more information about the programme. The programme comprises two components, a coursework component (BUS4006W) and a research component (BUS4030H). Students enrolled in this programme will also be required to tutor undergraduate students for a single semester. The tutoring allows you to gain work experience and to refine skills and competencies relevant to the work of an organisational psychology practitioner.
Students have to complete the following six coursework modules*:
In this module, you will be introduced to the theoretical aspects of organisational change (specific typologies and models of change). You will examine the context of change, namely the organisation, and the organisational responses to change initiatives. The module will also focus on the competencies required for managing change and will deal with organisational re-design as a change intervention.
As part of the change management process, it needs to be established what requires change and why. To do so, a scientific research process should be followed. This process will be introduced in the Research Methods module. The module will provide you with the skills and knowledge to plan and execute a research project, as well as to make sense of the collected data. The ability to conduct research based on scientifically sound practices is a fundamental requirement for a professional working in change management, as it increases the chances for success of any change process.
The Psychometrics module introduces students to the field of workplace psychological testing and assessment. The module focuses on how testing and assessment practices can be used as diagnostic tools or as part of interventions for organisational change. The module presents contemporary workplace assessment practices against the backdrop of scientific principles and normative professional and industry guidelines that guide psychological assessment in the workplace.
The Psychometrics module addresses the key academic outcomes and core competencies required in respect of internship programmes for psychometrists, as stipulated by the Professional Board for Psychology of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA).
The Organisational Change module will introduce you to organisational change theories, models and outcomes. Change Consulting will provide you with the opportunity to apply the knowledge you gained in the Organisational Change module. After you have completed this module, you will have a thorough understanding of the role of a change consultant and the demands and complexity of the consulting role as well as the ethics guiding the role.
In this module, you will examine the value of the corporate culture idea for change agents and attempt to account for its sustained popularity. We will consider both theoretical insights and practical issues as we develop a shared sense of the possibilities and challenges that understanding corporate culture presents to change agents in organisations. Culture is a powerful lens with which to understand much that is subtle but important in the ‘way things work’ in organisations and the complexity of enacted behaviours in these human systems.
In this module, you will be introduced to the field of organisational learning. You will study current literature and research on how people in organisations learn and the contemporary evaluation models that are used to assess learning within organisations. In this context, we will focus on the requirements for results-based training and human resource development and the trend towards measurement in evaluation models. You will be presented with evidence that suggests that organisations that have coherent learning strategies, the policies, structures and processes to support their learning strategies and the ability to evaluate the effectiveness of their learning, are better equipped to adapt to the demands of a volatile business environment.
* The names of all of these modules and their content may differ slightly each year. At the discretion of the Head of Section, modules may be added or withdrawn.
BUS4030H – Research Report
During orientation, students are randomly assigned to a research group. Each research group is allocated a supervisor in the Section. Supervisors choose a topic for their group based on their research areas. The research paper is aligned with the Research Methods module and designed in such a way that students can complete their research within one year. Deadlines are provided at the beginning of the year for the submission of the introduction, method, results and discussion chapters. Supervision takes place as a group, however, students hand-in individual submissions. At the end of the year, students would have developed a research question and hypotheses, collected and analysed data, and discussed their findings.
The minimum admission requirement is a bachelors’ degree with Organisational Psychology / Industrial Psychology / Human Resource Management as a major. Please note that students who have not majored in these subject areas cannot be accepted onto the course. In order to qualify for selection into the programme applicants should have an average mark of 65% for their third year major courses.
BBusSc students from UCT may be eligible for enrolment in their fourth year of study‚ but all students are subject to the selection process. Please note that admission is by selection only. Selection criteria are academic performance and the University’s Employment Equity Policy
No, the programme is only presented as a one-year full-time programme.
The programme starts at the beginning of February and runs until the end of October.
How do I apply
Applications must be completed using the Universities online application site. If your undergraduate degree was through the humanities faculty, you need to select humanities during your application. Only if you obtained a BCom degree do you select commerce as the faculty during your application. Applications usually open in May and close mid-November in the year preceding the year in which you would like to study. The link to the application site is provided below:
PLEASE TAKE NOTE: IF YOUR UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE WAS A HUMANITIES DEGREE YOU SHOULD CHOOSE HUMANTIES AS THE FACULTY IN THE APPLICATION. IF YOU STUDIED A BCOM DEGREE‚ YOU WOULD CHOOSE COMMERCE AS THE FACULTY
Please go to the University website (link provided above) and check the cost of the programme under the relevant course codes (BUS4006W and BUS4030H).
Limited financial support is available in the form of scholarships, bursaries and student loans. Please contact the Postgraduate Funding Office for more information (email@example.com). Please note that some scholarships require application by June of the year preceding your study year.You are advised to apply in June even if you do not know by then whether you have been selected into the programme. International students should note that funding is limited and are advised to apply for sponsorship in their own countries.
Should you want to know about student housing at Cape Town University, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please contact the programme convener: Adiilah.email@example.com or Tel: 021-650-2070.
For more information on the programme, please refer to page 47 of the 2020 Commerce Postgraduate Handbook.