Occupational Therapy - BOT


Occupational therapy is a supplementary health occupation. Persons with a physical or mental disease and/or disability are treated by means of participation in everyday activities. The occupational therapist assists this person to function as normally as possible in society. The occupational therapist is trained to apply specific techniques and procedures in a scientific manner. The remaining abilities of the person are developed to the maximum in order to enable the person to lead a meaningful and independent life. You therefore play an important part in giving hope to someone by developing abilities to make his life easier! Occupational therapy is also applied to persons with development delays or learning disabilities or people with psychosocial dysfunctions.

Occupational therapy is a stimulating career offering ever-present challenges. It requires an adaptable, intelligent and practical person with good problem-solving and managerial skills. The successful occupational therapist has good interpersonal relations and can approach divergent situations in a resourceful manner.

Qualified occupational therapists are registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa. The Occupational Council for Occupational Therapists regulates the training and work performance standards.

What does the degree entail?

The Occupational Therapy course at the University of Pretoria is an integrated course. In the learning process the basic subjects, e.g. Anatomy or Psychology, are immediately applied when learning occupational therapy for different conditions. The course is offered in accordance with problem based teaching methods. This method of training assists students in enhancing their confidence and independence. This is very important for work at the various levels of the present health service, for example in hospitals or clinics in the community.

What can I do with my degree?

Occupational therapists can be employed in several areas, for example in physical and psychiatric hospitals, schools, homes for the aged, welfare organisations, municipal clinics and community organisations. In the private sector there are also employment opportunities with insurance companies and private practices.

What is the course content?


The syllabus is an integration of human and natural sciences reflecting the performance of activities by a person during his lifetime. Students learn how to apply the occupational therapy process to persons whose functioning has been affected by development delays, neglect, disease, trauma, accidents or ageing.

Learning programme

The course covers a period of four years of full-time study. It is designed so as to obtain active participation and learning from the student. Students perform clinical practical work at several clinics, bodies and hospitals as well as in the community.


Already at undergraduate level, students are given the opportunity to become acquainted with research activities under the guidance of staff members. Postgraduate students have to do research, and topics vary from the ergonomical design of wheelchairs to the effect of musical activities on the behaviour of psychiatrically disturbed patients.

What are the admission requirements?

Applications close on 31 May each year.

For more information on admission requirements, please click here for the Faculty Brochure.

Where can I obtain more information?

You are welcome to visit to the Department to obtain first-hand information on the course. Please dial +27 12 329 7800 for an appointment.

Please refer to our website for more in-detail information.


Published by Marinda Furstenburg

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