The requirements for undertaking the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) B Occupational Therapy .
Frequently Asked Questions
How are students selected?
Currently only a limited number of students can be accepted into this programme. Selection is based upon a combination of criteria which include evidence of reasonable academic ability as demonstrated in the trial and final matriculation examination. Based on this students are ranked and those falling within the acceptable range are invited for an interview during which various other aspects are assessed e.g. a reasonable understanding of what occupational therapy is, motivation, decision making skills, knowledge of self and personal presentation.
What does the training involve?
- Students attend lectures and practicals on a daily basis with limited free time, for the duration of the course. Some of the lectures are attended with other University or Faculty of Health Sciences students.
- The programme is academically and personally demanding and includes a combination of theoretical training, practical laboratory work as well as fieldwork in hospitals, mental health care institutions, special schools and community clinics or centres. Students are required to do a minimum of 1000 hours of fieldwork during their training.
- The curriculum (course of study) for the 4 years is prescribed and students have no choice in the modules they take.
- The university programmes are modularised, meaning that the course content is offered in modules. The year is also broken down into two semesters. Each year of study is known as a level.
- At level I students take a number of modules that include occupational therapy modules, anatomy, psychology and community studies. Students are also required to write an English proficiency test that includes entry into either an English or Zulu language module.
- At Level 2 includes occupational therapy modules, physiology and psychology. Students also start doing practicals in hospitals and homes for elderly or children at this level.
- At level 3 students do more occupational therapy modules, psychology and clinical sciences (which covers all the related medical conditions e.g. neurology, orthopaedics, psychiatry) and a research methods module that prepares students for their research publication in level 4. Students continue with hands on practicals in hospitals, clinics and communities.
- At level 4, OT students spend all of their time on occupational therapy modules at this level. The modules cover OT theory and practice in paediatrics, community work, physical conditions and the psychosocial field of practice. Students also complete a research project and publication.
What makes a good Occupational Therapist?
Someone who enjoys working with people, who has a caring, empathetic and sensitive nature but who is also able to encourage others to develop their potential. You should be creative, show initiative, be good at problem solving and have a good spread of intellectual and practical aptitudes. A person who is well-balanced with emotional stability, strong self control, a good sense of humour and the ability to work both in a team and independently would indicate the potential to be a good occupational therapist.
What are the current entry requirements?
If you want to study occupational therapy at UKZN you need to have the following:
- A full university exemption/ endorsement
- Mathematics and biology or physical science with a pass in the higher grade or at least 50% on the standard grade.
However, if you meet the requirements and wish to apply to study this course. You can simply check the application processes.