Physiotherapy Requirements at UKZN

The Department of Physiotherapy at the University of KwaZulu Natal is highly reputable and the only institution to offer clinical training within the province. Given its limited seats and intense competition, the acceptance rate and eligibility criteria are revised every year. If you are planning to pursue your bachelor’s degree from this institution, here is a complete guide on physiotherapy requirements at UKZN.

Eligibility Criteria for Physiotherapy Bachelors at UKZN

The School of Physiotherapy at UKZN offers a four-year bachelor’s program in formal physiotherapy. In order to secure admission to the program, you need to fulfill the following requirements.

  • If you are a student with a matriculation degree before 2007, you will be exempted from the general requirements. This means a minimum score of 36 matriculation points (overall) will be required.
  • If you are a student who has done matriculation after 2008, you will need a 30 APS score with some compulsory subjects, including English, Mathematics, Physical Sciences, and Life Sciences. The candidate must have level 4 in all these compulsory subjects.
  • Do consider that selection is based on your academic background and an interview that will analyze your knowledge and skill in the relevant field.
  • Typically, the school accepts students whose first choice of program is physiotherapy.
  • If you do not pass the above-mentioned requirements, you will have to enroll in the Science Foundation program. It is a one-year BSc program for Intro to Science Foundations, which includes psychology, physics, and biology. After this, you will be eligible for the Bachelor of Physiotherapy at the University of University of KwaZulu Natal.

Eligibility Requirements for International/ Foreign Applicants

The Department of Physiotherapy at the University of KwaZulu-Natal welcomes international applicants for formal degrees and a year-long exchange program. So, if you are a foreign student planning to apply for an undergraduate, it is important to get a study permit from the government. Do consider that this condition does not apply to students opting for distance learning.

If you are planning to apply for a formal degree as a foreign student at UKZN, the eligibility criteria would be a little different. Here is a breakdown of what you will need to get accepted into the university.


  • As per the entry requirements, your A Level passes must be A, B, C, D, or E, whereas the required O Level passes should be A, B, and C.
  • The applicants must also have five passes in GCE at the AS level, including A, B, C, D, or E.


  • If you are a HIGCSE Level student, it is required that you must have passed in given subjects. According to the official website, the HIGCSE passes must be 1, 2, or 3, whereas the passes for IGCSE include A, B, or C.
  • Applicants for formal degree programs are required to pass the English language along with other compulsory languages and Maths.


For students wishing to apply for diploma programs, you need to go to the SAQA (South African Qualifications Authority) to confirm that your qualifications are equal to the SA Senior Certificate. In case you are a matric student, the requirements are similar to those of the Foreign Conditional Matriculation. Though the institution’s admission office helps students with this, you can always get further guidance from the South African Matriculation Board.

How to Get a Study Permit as an International Student?

Now, when it comes to application, you directly have to apply to the university. Once you receive the offer letter, you have to submit it to the South African embassy, consulate, trade office, and high commission in your country, which typically takes around eight weeks to process. You are only allowed to leave your home country once the study permit is granted, or else it will be considered illegal.

How to Apply for a Physiotherapy Degree: Central Application Office

The CAO Central Application Office is designed for students to apply for a certain program and get all the information regarding admissions. In order to get access to CAO, you will have to register on the application portal using your national identity number, username, and password. It has information about local and foreign students, member institutions, admission fees, semester fees, and eligibility criteria.

Department of Physiotherapy

The Department of Physiotherapy at UKZN is the only one to train physiotherapists and technicians in the province. It aims to attract students with decent academic backgrounds and practical experience, given the limited seats available. Each year, the department enrolls around 50 students in the first year of a formal degree.

The first two years of the degree are focused on students gaining clinical knowledge about physiotherapy, whereas the last two years are designed with modules to train the staff for clinical and ethical practices. Students are required to do a thesis and community service in the last year with the registered Health Professional Council.

What is the deadline for admissions in Physiotherapy at UKZN?

The last day to submit the application fee to the administration office is October 31, 2023.

Are the bachelor admissions at the University of KwaZulu Natal currently open?

Yes, the bachelors admissions are still open for November and October.

How many years is physiotherapy at UKZN?

Bachelor’s degree in physiotherapy at UKZN takes around four years, including thesis and community work.

What GPA do you need for physiotherapy?

On average, students with a GPA between 3.83 and 3.86 are considered competent to study physiotherapy.

Final Thoughts

Securing admission to physiotherapy at UKZN can be hectic, competitive, and nerve-wracking for many. However, with proper planning and preparation, not to mention a desired academic record, you can definitely get a seat. I hope this guide has been helpful in figuring out whether you are a suitable match for the institution.

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