Physiotherapist Requirements In South Africa

Physiotherapists assess, treat, and prevent disorders in human movement caused by injury and disease.


They are often members of medical teams that treat sports injuries and ill persons, and help disabled people to lead useful lives with as much independence and personal fulfillment as possible.

Physiotherapists sometimes need to retrain patients to walk or to use devices such as walking frames, splints, crutches and wheelchairs. They also educate patients, their families and the community to lead a healthy lifestyle and to prevent injury and disability ,and may be involved with planning and implementing community fitness programmes.


Physiotherapists should:

– be able to get along well with others
– be patient, tactful and creative
– be mature and emotionally stable
– have the desire to help others
– have assured, calm and sympathetic manner
– able to inspire confidence
– have manual dexterity and good body coordination
– have good health and physical stamina

School Subjects

National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course

Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.

Compulsory Subjects: Mathematics, Physical Sciences
Recommended Subjects: Life Sciences


Degree: BSc (Physiotherapy) – UP, US, UKZN, UCT, UFS, UWC, UL, Wits. Duration of course is 4 years.

Registration as a physiotherapist with the Interim Medical and Dental Council of South Africa is compulsory before being able to practise.

Where to Study Physiotherapy

Wits University

BSC (Physiotherapy)

Entry Requirements

English Home OR First Additional Language
Level 5

Level 5

Life Sciences AND/OR Physical Science
Level 5

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

  • Your matric academic results for 5 subjects: English, Mathematics, Physical Science/Life Sciences, and the best two other subjects. We consider the percentage achieved, not the symbol.
  • National Benchmark Test (NBT) scores

All applicants must write the NBT and must also spend time observing a professional Physiotherapist and complete a certificate of attendance (minimum: 16 hours). Only observation hours completed between 1 July 2019 and 31 July 2021 will be accepted.

You can download a certificate of attendance form from the Wits website. Without this certificate, you will not be considered for admission to the programme.

University of Western Cape


Undergraduate Admission Requirements:

A National Senior Certificate as certified by Umalusi with entry into a Bachelors’s degree.  No less than 39 Points.  During the final selection, process preference will be given to top achievers.

The minimum requirements for the BSc (Physiotherapy) course are:

  • English at Level 4
  • Another Language at Level 3
  • Mathematics at Level 4 OR Mathematics Literacy at Level 6
  • Life Science at Level 4 AND
  • Physical Science at Level 4

Duration of course: 4 Years

Post-graduate Requirements

The post-graduate programme offers the following programmes:

  • BSc (Honours) Physiotherapy
  • MSc (Physiotherapy) Full Thesis
  • PhD (Physiotherapy)

Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University

BSc Physiotherapy

The degree is a basic four year (4) undergraduate programme which upon completion a graduate register with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) as a physiotherapist.

Admission requirements:

(i) Applicants must be in possession of a Matriculation Exemption Certificate with pass marks in Mathematics, Physical Science, Biology and English on the higher grade with a minimum symbol D.

(ii) Applicants with a National Senior Certificate (NSC), who qualify for a Bachelor’s degree, require the following minimum Admission Point Score (APS) for admission into the programme.

Applicants require the following minimum Admission Point Score (APS)

Life Sciences4
Physical Sciences4
Language of Learning4
Life Orientation4
2 Additional Subjects4=8
Total Points28

Master of Science in Physiotherapy

A Master’s degree can obtained either by coursework or research.
Applicants must be in possession of a BSc Physiotherapy Degree and be registered as a physiotherapist with the HPCSA.

PhD Physiotherapy

Applicants must be in possession of a Master’s Degree in Physiotherapy

How much do physiotherapist earn in South Africa?

The average salary for a Physiotherapist is R 58 046 per month in South Africa. Salary estimates are based on 20 salaries submitted anonymously to Indeed by Physiotherapist employees, users, and collected from past and present job advertisements on Indeed in the past 36 months.

Where can I study to become a physiotherapist in South Africa?

Become a Physiotherapist

  • University of Cape Town.
  • University of the Free State.
  • University of KwaZulu-Natal.
  • Sefako Makgatho Health Science University (SMU)
  • University of Stellenbosch.
  • University of the Western Cape.
  • University of the Witwatersrand.

What subjects do you need to become a physiotherapist in South Africa?

The minimum requirements for the BSc (Physiotherapy) course are:

  • English at Level 4.
  • Another Language at Level 3.
  • Mathematics at Level 4 OR Mathematics Literacy at Level 6.
  • Life Science at Level 4 AND.
  • Physical Science at Level 4.