Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


The Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences is a large multi-disciplinary department with five divisions and two research units. We bring together the professions and disciplines of Nursing and Midwifery, Speech and Language Pathology, Audiology, Occupational Therapy, Disability Studies and Physiotherapy.

We are home to excellent, accredited undergraduate and postgraduate educational programmes, ranging from PG diplomas to Honours, Masters and Doctoral programmes. We have approximately 850 undergraduate students and an ever- growing postgraduate student cohort of 240.

Our 93 academic staff members, including clinical educators, contribute to teaching, leadership, scholarship and research at local, national and international levels.

Our Department's dynamic and diverse research offers a rich site for discovery and innovation.


The Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences includes five Divisions:

When people can’t communicate with each other, it can be a frustrating experience. Audiologists and speech-language pathologists focus on communication and other related challenges. They help people manage and overcome disorders that affect how they communicate with others.

A Speech/Language Therapist assists in the promotion of normal communication, as well as the identification, prevention, treatment and management of a variety of developmental or acquired speech, language and /or feeding disorders.

An Audiologist assists with the prevention, identification, treatment and management of organic disorders of the auditory and balance system, auditory processing disorders and developmental or acquired speech and/or language disorders caused by hearing loss.

The Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders at UCT is committed to developing graduates who can be agents of change in their communities.

Offers innovative, evidence-based postgraduate diploma, master’s and doctoral programmes aimed at preparing quality specialist nurse and midwife practitioners, leaders and researchers.
Nurse and Midwife specialists are equipped to provide safe and quality patient (whole person) and family-centred care responsive to local health care needs informed by the Primary Health Care (PHC) paradigm, the foundation of South Africa’s health care system.

Occupational therapy seeks to promote meaningful and purposeful engagement in everyday occupations that support ALL individuals and communities to meet their daily health and social needs. Occupational therapists use occupational science to understand how daily engagement in occupations is disrupted through impairment and/or contextual factors. This knowledge is used to design interventions, use techniques and address barriers in context to enable participation in education, work, play, personal and community living and social occupations.

The occupational therapy division offers an internationally approved and HPCSA accredited BSc undergraduate programme that seeks to equip future occupational therapists with the necessary knowledge, competencies and values to promote health and social justice for all. The postgraduate programme promotes knowledge generation that will shape the profession to respond critically to the health and social needs of the country.

Physiotherapy is an applied discipline dedicated to the study of human movement and function and its relevance to health and well-being. The Division of Physiotherapy at UCT strives to offer a world class Afro-centred programme preparing graduates to serve those with functioning and participation restrictions within a local and global context, framed within equity and social justice.

The vision of Disability Studies is to forge disability inclusion in Africa. We aim to do this by taking an asset based approach to generating abilities and knowledge on disability inclusion with a specific focus on youth in Africa within a global context. This is done in partnership with communities, higher education institutions across disciplines, disabled people's organisations, government and the private sector.