The Faculty offers undergraduate degrees in Medicine, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Audiology, and Speech Language Pathology. A Higher Certificate in Disability Studies and an Advanced Diploma in Cosmetic Formulation Science are also offered.
All these undergraduate programmes have fixed curricula. The degree programmes include extensive training at hospitals and clinics in and around Cape Town and in other relevant community settings, which may include schools and informal settlements.
Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB)
The MBChB programme takes six years to complete. After graduating with an MBChB degree and completing two years’ internship and a year’s community service, you will be allowed by the Health Professions Council of South Africa to practise as a medical doctor. As a medical doctor you may work in a public or private hospital or in a community clinic, join a doctor’s practice, open your own practice, or work in a variety of other settings. The MBChB programme is offered by a range of Departments in the Faculty of Health Sciences.
Bachelor of Science in Audiology
Audiologists assess people’s hearing, fit hearing aids, manage speech and language problems of people who are hard of hearing or deaf, and deal with noise measurement and control. The degree programme takes four years to complete and is followed by a year of community service. On completion of your community service, you will be allowed by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) to practise as an audiologist. As an audiologist you may work at schools,community centres, hospitals and outpatient clinics or open your own practice.
Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy
The aim of Occupational Therapy is to help people overcome functional difficulties resulting from health-related problems and to develop their abilities, so that they may be independent and effective at home, at work and during their leisure time. This is a four year degree programme. When you obtain this degree, and after completing a year’s community service, you will be allowed by the Health Professions Council of South Africa to practise as an occupational therapist. You will work with people of all ages whose lives have been complicated by sickness, trauma and developmental delay, and who are struggling to cope with and adapt to their circumstances or their environment. You may help them in their homes or in their places of work, as well as in clinics, schools and hospitals, or you may work in a private practice.
Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy
Physiotherapy aims to help people in the community to lead a healthy lifestyle, to prevent illness or injury for those at risk, and to treat people who have been disabled or injured. Physiotherapy makes use of physiologically based movement techniques, massage, electrotherapy and other physical means to prevent and treat injury and disease. This is a four-year degree programme. When you obtain this degree, and after you have completed a year’s community service, you will be allowed by the Health Professions Council of South Africa to practise as a physiotherapist. You will help people of all ages who suffer from (for example) breathing and chest problems, cerebral palsy, strokes, fractured bones, stiff joints, sports injuries and painful necks and backs.
As a physiotherapist you may open your own practice, or work at community centres, hospitals and outpatient clinics. Many physiotherapists work in special schools for disabled children or provide rehabilitation programmes in people’s homes for them to become as independent as possible at home and in their communities. You may also choose to work and travel with sports teams to treat injuries and advise on the fitness of members of the teams and on proper training to prevent common injuries associated with a particular sport.
Bachelor of Science in Speech-Language Pathology
Speech Language Therapists assess and treat people who have communication disorders, such as problems with sound production and language learning, voice disorders, swallowing disorders and stuttering. You may also treat people who have disorders of speech and language after they have suffered strokes or because they have cerebral palsy. The degree programme takes four years to complete and is followed by a year of community service. On completion of your community service, you will be allowed by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) to practise as a speech-language therapist.
Higher Certificate in Disability Practice
The Higher Certificate in Disability Practice aims to train home-based carers and school-leavers who have an interest in pursuing a career in the field of community-based disability practice. Students learn foundational skills for disability prevention and care. The qualification provides students with the basic knowledge, cognitive and conceptual tools and practical techniques for application in the field of disability-inclusive community development. The qualification signifies that the student has attained a basic level of higher educational knowledge and appropriate competencies in their role as community development workers. The Higher Certificate includes theoretical and practical work-integrated learning components. The curriculum for the Higher Certificate extends over one year of full-time study. The Higher Certificate programme is offered only if there is a sufficient number of applicants. Visit www.dhrs.uct.ac.za/dhrs/divisions/disability/undergraduate/requirements.