Admission Requirements and Applications

Higher Certificate in Disability Practice

The policy on re-engineering of Primary Health care in South Africa necessitates the development of human resource capacity particularly in the field of rehabilitation and disability. The Department of Health in Western Cape has taken the initiative in this regard. It is envisioned that a certificate in disability practice will provide opportunities for a range of community based workers to upgrade their skills and access possible career pathways.

It is understood that this certificate will provide community carers with foundational skills for disability prevention and care and the necessary skills and knowledge in working with children and adults with disabilities in their local communities. This need is not currently being met by any tertiary institution. It is understood that the community care workers will address the growing need of  basic services at grass root level by providing community based care as well as residential care. They will need to work under the supervision of rehabilitation professionals.



The programme is comprised of five courses taught over the period of one year. Students will complete the following courses as part of the certificate:

Disability Information Management and Communication Systems

Expected Learning Outcomes

Describe and develop basic health information systems and implement management and communication systems in relation to care pathways of people with disabilities across sectors to be able to monitor inclusion and access to services. (This course can be modified to focus specifically on rehabilitation information in the health sector).

Specific Learning Outcomes

  • By the end of this course students should:
  • Explain the components of an information system
  • Demonstrate principles and practice of record keeping
  • Demonstrate use of a variety of participatory rural appraisal methods and different tools to gather information (World Health Organisation checklist, International classification of Functioning
  • Demonstrate critical enquiry in collating information
  • Disseminate information in a professional manner
  • Identify relevant support services and care pathways for effective referral and follow up


Promoting Healthy Lifestyles

Expected Learning Outcomes

Understand primary health care and assist in the design and implementation of health promotion actions, education and strategies in different contexts and life stages, namely, personal management, play, schooling, work, social interactions through sport etc.

Specific Learning Outcomes

  • By the end of this course students will be able to:
  • Define health promotion
  • Identify social determinants of health
  • Identify health promoting occupations
  • Facilitate community participation in active health promotion campaigns
  • Mediate and liaise between health services for families and people with disabilities


Inclusive Development and Agency

Expected Learning Outcomes

Understand community based rehabilitation as a community development strategy to promote the rights of people with disabilities and implement strategies and actions to enable participation by taking environmental factors into consideration.

Specific Learning Outcomes

  • By the end of this course students should:
  • Explain the concepts of disability, inclusion development, identity, agency and power
  • Explain the purpose of disability rights policies
  • Identify and describe barriers to participation across sectors
  • Implement strategies to enable participation and access to services
  • Mobilize local resources
  • Work with relevant expertise and stakeholder


Health Wellness and Functional Ability

Expected Learning Outcomes

Understand human development and common health conditions in order to select and screen disabled clients for impairments and provide basic interventions to improve participation in the life areas of living, learning, working and socialising. Principles and procedures related to caring for the carers would include the ability to work safely and prevent injury to self and others.

Specific Learning Outcomes

  • By the end of the course students will be able to:
  • Discuss and describe normal development and wellness in children and adults
  • Identify clients with selected disorders and difficulties
  • Demonstrate appropriate kinetic handling and positioning skills
  • Demonstrate appropriate use of assistive devices
  • Identify risk factors for emotional distress in carers, clients and self
  • Apply basic counselling and support methods to carers, clients and self
  • Recognise when referral is required
  • Demonstrate appropriate referral patterns and work in a multidisciplinary team

Work Integrated Practice Learning

Expected Learning Outcomes

Provide practice learning opportunities for students to integrate knowledge and skills related to the above courses. Practice the ability to screen, provide basic care, follow-up and referral systems, as it relates to the needs of people with disabilities.

Specific Learning Outcomes

  • By the end of this course students should:
  • Apply essential methods, procedures and techniques to address the difficulties and disorders experienced by disabled people across the lifespan in the community
  • Demonstrate appropriate written and verbal communication skills
  • Demonstrate efficient information-gathering, analysis and decision- making abilities
  • Demonstrate ability to evaluate and reflect in and on action


Admission requirements

An applicant may be considered for admission to this Higher Certificate on the basis of

(a) having obtained a matric certificate or National Senior Certificate for Adults (NASCA) or HEQSF level 4 equivalent qualification.

(b) RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning), in which case applicants will be required to submit a personal portfolio reflecting, amongst others, their experience in the field of disability and/or development; any relevant work experience; past attendance of relevant courses for which they may have obtained certificates or diplomas; assessments related to evidence of critical thinking skills in writing and reading. (c) evidence that they are proficient in English.

An applicant is also required to submit two letters of support from his/her employer, granting the applicant study leave for the weeks requiring block attendance, and undertaking to provide support to enable the applicant to complete assigned tasks and assignments within the work context.

Recognition of prior learning (RPL)

This process is applicable to community care workers or other applicants without a NSC but years of experience.

UCT Undergraduate Handbook 2016



Online applications can be done through the UCT website. Please follow the link below to the application page to complete this process.

UCT Online Applications 2018

Applicants are also required to write the National Benchmark Tests (NBT) as a mandatory part of their application. Kindly visit the UCT NBT website to find out more about when and where you can write the test.

UCT NBT Website

For online application queries kindly contact the UCT Admissions Office (Tel: + 27 21 650 9111 / Email: UCT Admissions Office)

Main role player(s)

The project was pioneered by the University of Cape Town Disability Studies Programme in collaboration with University of Western Cape and the University of Stellenbosch for Department of Health, Western Cape. The programme involves training 30 community care workers from five NGOs in the Klipfontein /Mitchells Plain sub-district

Location & scope

The training occurs in a block release format with students attending lectures at UCT and also then attending practice learning sessions at various health facilities and community centres. For the period of July 2013- November 2013 the students are conducting their practice learning component and are rotated throughout both intermediate health care facilities and community placements.  The Klipfontein and Mitchell’s Plain community will benefit from this training.


Goals / vision / mission

The course aims to increase awareness and informed participation in disability and development issues at a teaching, research and community-based programme level. At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Appreciate the shift in perspective from seeing disability as a welfare and charity issue to a human rights and development issue.
  • Understand the management and prevention of different types of impairments
  • Gain competencies in information management skills and communication systems
  • Apply new knowledge and skills in community-based rehabilitation service delivery.


Furthermore the training would help strengthen the community based services platform which is in line with Department of Health Western Cape 2030 Vision for health care.