Contact Us:


Chetty Vanessa


Phone: 031 260 8833


Hlongwa Nokuthula


Phone: 031 260 7950

Mrs Shan Dhasiar

Teaching Administrative Officer


Tel : (031) 2607310 
Fax: (031) 2607227

Ms Ntokozo Cele

Clinical Placement Officer


Tel: 031 260 7821

Fax: 031 260 7227

Hands-On Opportunities


Fieldwork practical is where everything comes together i.e. where the student learns to apply their theoretical knowledge and practical skills learnt in the classroom and “laboratory” setting, to the real life situation. It is where students learn to serve others and where they learn to apply clinical and practical reasoning skills to determine the best path of action for those they will serve when they qualify. It is where they learn to behave in a professional and appropriate manner and where they develop an attitude of sensitivity, selflessness and concern for those you serve. The fieldwork sites include, inter alia, Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Centres, Sheltered Workshops, Old Age Homes, Chronic Care Facilities, public hospitals, rehabilitation centres, community-based centres, special-needs school. It is also here that students determine their preference for which area or field of OT practice that they would like to work in when they qualify.

General Objectives

  • To acquire and master the skill and knowledge and develop the appropriate approach and attitude, to assess and treat patients / clients of different age groups with varying disabilities, within various settings
  • To become skilled in the administration of basic assessments / tests
  • To gain experience in administrative / organizational duties in a department
  • To learn how to participate in departmental projects
  • To gain experience working comfortably and professionally within the multidisciplinary team
  • To gain greater understanding of and insight into the needs of the parent or care provider of a disabled person, and the effect of such disability on the family and its functioning
  • To gain the necessary management and organizational skills in terms of organizing own schedule of activities / responsibilities
  • To gain an understanding of the functioning of various clinical settings and their role and placement in the educational / health /welfare system
  • To gain knowledge of and insight into the role and contribution of the Occupational Therapist within the school, hospital, institution and community settings
  • To gain a sound understanding of the functioning of and the tasks which form part and parcel of an occupational therapy department

Objectives will vary for each year of practice. Students are expected to complete 1000 hours of mandatory fieldwork experience before they qualify.

Specific Objectives

  • In Level 1 (first year), students are exposed briefly to a supervised fieldwork practical where they make contact with patients for the first time, and get a general idea of what fieldwork entails.
  • In Level 2 (second year), students attend two fieldwork blocks, focusing on the principles and practice of assessment in relation to specific symptomatology as applied to the the Psychosocial and Physical fields of OT practice.
  • In Level 3 (third year), students also attend two fieldwork blocks where students begin treating clients. The Psychosocial fieldwork block focuses on integrating theory and application of relevant approaches to intervention, applicable OT specific principles and methods as applied to psychosocial conditions in Mental Health Care settings. The Physical Fieldwork Block focuses on integrating theory and practical intervention skills for planning and implementing assessment and treatment in different Physical Health Care Settings.
  • In Level 4 (final year), students complete two fieldwork blocks, one in Psychosocial field of OT practice and  in the Physical field of OT practice where there knowledge from Level 2 and 3 is integrated. In addition to the above 2 modules, Students attend a Community Fieldwork Placement where they gain the opportunity to practice Occupational Therapy interventions with different cultural and community settings. Students also attend a Paediatric Theory and Fieldwork module where students are involved in advanced assessment, intervention planning and implementation of therapy within different Paediatric settings

Additional Fieldwork Experience

Students in Level 2 and 3 are required to undertake an elective practical to enable students to gain valuable experience at a venue of their choice. This is not a supervised practical, it serves as a learning opportunity for students to hone and refine their skills as well as to learn how an O.T department operates. The kind assistance of clinical departments is requested with this project. It is envisaged that the student will be able to assist in the same way as an OT assistant. In addition the student will also be able to closely observe a clinician at work. The students usually get involved in the OT department‘s general activities. The onus is on the student to organize their elective placement.

During their mandatory fieldwork placements, students are supervised by academic supervisors (who are part of the teaching staff at the Department of Occupational Therapy) or external supervisors (who are clinicians in the field). Where necessary, for example, in Level 4, where students are working more independently, they are supervised by the resident clinician at the placement site. A comprehensive fieldwork manual is provided to each student, to clinicians at fieldwork venues and to supervisors. This manual contains extensive information about professional standards, departmental policies, the fieldwork process, objectives, evaluation criteria, expectations and all other relevant information that may be useful to the student.

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