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School of Physiology

Why Study Physiology?

A physiologist needs to have a systematic, probing mind and the aims of our courses in Physiology are to produce scientists and health professionals who have consolidated and thorough physiological knowledge. Graduates will be familiar with methods used to make whole body, internal and environmental measurements. 

The School has a reputation for its innovative teaching methods, which are learner-centred and problem-orientated. It employs team teaching wherever appropriate, and actively assists new members of staff to improve their teaching competence. Members of the School are involved in research and development in medical education. Every year the School is proud to be "home" to students of both human and animal physiology.

What can you do with a degree in Physiology?

Obtaining an undergraduate degree in Physiology allows you to apply for entry to an honours degree, which in turn provides you with the knowledge and skills to do research and obtain a masters (MSc) or doctoral (PhD) degree. This sort of academic progression is not the only one that an honours degree enables you to take. It is also a point of entry to professional degrees other than those mentioned above. Students with Honours degrees in human sciences can make an excellent career by taking a Postgraduate Diploma in Management (PDM) or an MBA LLB. The combination of a human science degree and a management or legal qualification, is exceptionally powerful and desirable in today’s job market. For example, this combination is ideal for people who are interested in health care management, or in environmental law, or in the medico-legal area. Furthermore, we are thoroughly preparing you for entry into medicine (MBBCh).

A degree in Physiology also provides knowledge and skills which are attractive to employers in the health and agricultural sectors of the economy. Your understanding of physiological processes, of biochemistry, of anatomy and of the research process enables you to market drugs, enter health and exercise/sport related careers, do market research, act as a consultant, take up careers in education and do scientific research. A degree in Physiology (specifically if you have done well) also makes you a highly attractive applicant for admission to professional (clinical) degrees at any South African University and many overseas Universities. Careers in medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, pharmacy, physiotherapy and occupational therapy are suited to people who have strong scientific interest in how human and animal bodies work and Physiology gives them a better grounding in these subjects than those students who enter these careers directly from school.      

The world has too few people with scientific training in the basics of health sciences and a degree in Physiology from Wits will provide an excellent gateway to further studies and careers.