University Of Cape Town Occupational Therapy

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University Of Cape Town Occupational Therapy

University Of Cape Town Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists refer to both familiar and extraordinary things people do every day as occupations. Occupations are named as such because they require people’s resources of time, personal capacities, and ability to manage within diverse contexts. Occupational therapists believe that occupation or what people do every day has an important link with health and well-being. It is through occupation that people can draw meaning from life. Yet not everyone can do all they aspire to do in life. Illness or injury often disrupts people’s ability to engage meaningfully in everyday occupations. Sometimes people may not be able to pursue personal aspirations due to contextual barriers, even in the absence of illness or injury.

Occupational therapists enable people to overcome barriers within themselves or their environment by reducing functional limitations in the body system or addressing barriers within contexts where people live, work, attend school, play, or pursue leisure. Occupational therapists are trained to assess the person holistically, looking at all aspects of function, and analyzing the environments where people perform activities so that they can understand how to improve function or adapt to the environment in order to foster successful performance. Occupational therapy has developed various treatment modalities which help enable or enhance function. Occupational therapists also use familiar and meaningful occupations during treatment in order to help people who have been ill, injured, or disabled recover their skills or develop new ones. University Of Cape Town

People of all ages with a wide range of diagnoses and conditions, or those restricted from meaningful occupations by their environments, can benefit from occupational therapy services. The UCT OT Division undergraduate program exposes students to various domains of practice but specifically Child Learning Development and Play, Work Practice, Physical, Mental Health, and Community Development Practice.

The Division of Occupational Therapy at the University of Cape Town’s Faculty of Health Sciences is renowned for its occupation-centered training and has developed a track record in providing a socially responsive curriculum, where students do practice learning or fieldwork in a variety of contexts including community centers, schools, vocational training units, and health facilities. The division offers the following qualifications: BSc (Occupational Therapy), MSc (Occupational Therapy), and PhD (Occupational Therapy).

Ph.D. in Occupational Therapy

A dissertation for a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) in occupational therapy is available. With the help of this degree, the applicant can advance their studies in the fields of occupational therapy or occupational science. Candidate researchers develop their scholarly identities and practices.

Because the Division of Occupational Therapy seeks to provide information that is contextually relevant, Ph.D. subjects are evaluated for their theoretical and contextual alignment.

Admission Requirements

A candidate shall not be admitted to the program unless he/she:

  • has a recognized masters degree; or
  • has completed at least one year of registration for a master’s degree that has been granted (See below under Regulations), or holds a recognized honors bachelor’s degree, a recognized four-year bachelor’s degree, or both.
  • holds a three-year bachelor’s degree that is recognized plus at least two years of registration toward a master’s degree that is recognized (see Regulations below);
  • Depending on the location and the type of study is registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa as an occupational therapist or an occupational therapy student (or presents proof of proper registration with an analogous registering body outside of South Africa).
  • An advantage is having a demonstrated ability for research or project work.

Application Procedure

The student is urged to get in touch with the postgraduate convener, Prof. Roshan Galvaan, before beginning the application process to discuss potential research topics and find a potential supervisor.

The application procedure requires:


Fees for the Postgraduate degrees in Occupational Therapy are obtainable from the Fees Office. Students can anticipate an average 10% increase in fees each year. Inquiries may be directed to the Fees office.

 Financial assistance

Opportunities for applying for financial assistance are available on the postgraduate Hub. Inquiries may also be directed to the Postgraduate Funding office.


Please contact the Ph.D. Programme Convener, Prof Roshan Galvaan (Telephone: 021 406 6048; Email: for further information.

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