The department of Occupational Therapy admitted the first student in 1943. From 1943 to 1970 a three and half year diploma course was offered. The present four year BSc (Occupational Therapy) course was introduced in 1970. Facilities for converting the diploma to a degree existed from 1970-1982, and 28 therapists completed this conversion.
In 1994 the Department introduced a hybrid problem based teaching methodology into the undergraduate degree. This curriculum was the result of intensive discussion and collaboration with the clinicians, people with disabilities, students and department staff. The course has two majors:
Occupational Science - which develops the learners understanding of human occupational and all the factors which influence it. This provides foundation knowledge for the occupational therapy courses.
Occupational Therapy - which includes the assessment and treatment of all occupational dysfunction.
The undergraduate curriculum aims to train work entry level therapist with excellent appropriate skills and knowledge that will allow them to meet the changing needs of the South African population. The Department embraces all the values and objectives of the university in the education of its students, its pursuit of truth and excellence and its development of appropriate intervention for all occupationally dysfunctional South Africans. It strives to observe the principles laid down in the National Health Plan of 1994 and the constitution.
The Department has the following objectives:
To acquire, advance and impart knowledge about the practice of the profession.
To maintain and enhance the highest standard of teaching, learning, research and service, but at the same time give all students the opportunity to achieve and complete the course irrespective of their educational background,
To develop and evaluate an appropriate curriculum for the training of Occupational Therapist in consultation with the community. In order to provide high caliber professionals who will be able to meet the demands of service development, management and evaluation for people with all types of disabilities in all parts of our country.
To undertake fundamental research to advance knowledge concerning the practice of the profession, and to conduct applied research so as to contribute to the rehabilitation needs of the peoples of Southern Africa within both rural and urban settings, in developed and underdeveloped communities.
To direct the practice of the profession towards relevance within the South African context.
To encourage growth and development of the profession.
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY RELATED