Occupational Therapy

Help patients who are temporarily or permanently impaired by illness, accident, disability, environmental limitations, or developmental delay, to increase their independent function.


Occupational Therapy is the therapeutic use of self-care, work, education, play, leisure and social activities to increase independent function, enhance development, promote health and well-being and prevent disability. It is indicated when people lose their ability to carry out their everyday activities, due to temporary or permanent illness, disability, environmental limitations and developmental delay.

What do occupational therapists do?

Occupational therapists assess a person’s ability to engage in daily activities. They then engage the person in meaningful and culturally appropriate activities to maximise their functioning and wellbeing. This engagement empowers the person to be as independent as possible, and enhances dignity and quality of life at work, school, at home, and during leisure. Intervention may include adapting the person’s environment to help them to cope.

Occupational Therapy is practised in a wide range of public, private, and voluntary settings, like the person’s home, schools, workplaces, health centres, supported accommodation, housing for seniors, rehabilitation centres, hospitals, and forensic services.

Career Opportunities

  • Aged Care Facilities
  • Community Health Centres
  • Home Care Services
  • Hospitals and Rehabilitation Units
  • Independent Living and Respite Centres
  • Private Practice
  • Psychiatric Clinics
  • Schools and Education Facilities
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Centres


  • Introduction to Medical Sciences
  • Chemistry I
  • Fundamentals of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy I
  • Physics I
  • Introduction to Psychology I
  • Basic Principles of Group and Individual I
  • Human Behavioural Sciences I
  • Anatomy for Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Students II
  • Fundamentals of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy II
  • Physiology and Medical Biochemistry I
  • Occupational Therapy III applied to Physical Conditions
  • Occupational Therapy III applied to Psychiatric Conditions
  • Medicine and Surgery for Occupational Therapy
  • Science of Occupation II
  • Psychiatry in Relation to Occupational Therapy
  • Health Psychology
  • Research Design and Analysis
  • Science of Occupation III
  • Occupational Therapy as applied to Psychiatric Conditions
  • Occupational Therapy as applied to Physical Conditions

Entry Requirements

NSC Requirements

English Home Language OR First Additional Language Level 4
Mathematics Level 4
Life Sciences AND/OR Physical Science Level 4

The Faculty of Health Sciences uses a composite index score to guide applicant selection. This includes:

  1. Your matric academic results for five subjects: English, Mathematics, best of Physical Science/ Life Sciences and the best two other subjects. We consider the percentage achieved, not the symbol.
  2. National Benchmark Test (NBT) scores.

Each of the two components carries a 50% weighting.

All applicants must write the NBT

Click here for the NBT Test Dates. NBT results are valid for three years and Wits only considers the first attempt of the NBT from the most recent year. Visit www.nbt.ac.za 

The NBT should be written by 13 August 2023.

Additional requirements

All applicants to BSc(Occupational Therapy) must spend time observing a professional occupational therapist and complete a certificate of attendance (minimum:16 hours). Only observation hours completed between 1 July 2022 and 31 July 2023 will be accepted. You can download a certificate of attendance form from the Wits website, under Additional Forms: www.wits.ac.za/undergraduate/apply-to-wits

Without this certificate, you will not be considered for admission to the programme.

University Application Process

  • The Student Enrolment Centre at Wits handles all student applications.
  • Please click here for an overview of the application process. 
  • Check the admission requirements for your degree. Check if any additional selection requirements apply. 
  • Submit your application, required documentation and application fee before the closing date.
  • Once you have applied, an admissions consultant will be assigned to your application.
  • Applicants can monitor the progress of their applications via the Self Service Portal.
  • If you are an international applicant and/or have a foreign qualification, please click here.

Compliance with the minimum requirements does not guarantee a place at the University. The University has a specific number of places for first year undergraduates, approved by the Department of Higher Education and Training. Final selection is made subject to the availability of places, academic results and other entry requirements where applicable.

University Fees and Funding

Click here to see the current average tuition fees for the first year of study. The Fees website also provides information about the payment of fees and closing dates for fees payments. Once you have applied you will be able to access the fees estimator on the student self-service portal. 

The Financial aid office provides information on student funding and scholarships. University-funded Scholarships include Vice-Chancellor's Scholarships, University Entrance Scholarships, Equality Scholarships, Sports Scholarships and National Olympiad winner awards. For information about NSFAS funding, please visit the NSFAS websiteExternal bursaries portal: The Bursaries South Africa website provides a comprehensive list of bursaries in South Africa.

Wits Plus applicants: terms of payment are in accordance with University regulations, and students are not eligible for University bursaries/NSFAS or residential accommodation.