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Faculties & Programmes

Faculty of Community and Health Sciences

Our Mission

Within a social justice paradigm, CHS is an engaged and connected research and learning environment to transform and sustain health and wellbeing of communities through leadership in innovative collaborative IP approaches locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.

Our Vision

Using knowledge and research to impact society.


The Faculty of Community & Health Sciences Bellville campus (CHS) is a faculty for community-based, inter-professional education and research in the health and social sciences whose excellence in education and research is recognised globally.

It offers qualifications in:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Nursing
  • Dietetics and Nutrition
  • Psychology
  • Social Work
  • Sport, recreation and exercise science,
  • Complementary health sciences
  • Public health

We also have niche areas postgraduate studies such as:

  • Postgraduate Diploma in Child and Family Studies
  • Masters and PhD in Child and Family Studies.
It is offered through the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies of Children, Families and Society (CISCFS) .

Furthermore, there is:

  • Postgraduate Diploma: Sport, Development and Peace
  • Masters in Sport for Development.
These are offered through Interdisciplinary Centre for Sport Science and Development (ICSSD).

CHS Faculty operates mainly on two campuses, UWC Main campus at Robert Sobukwe and CHS Bellville campus at 14 Blanckenberg Street. The CHS Bellville campus is right in the heart of the Bellville CBD and contributes to urban regeneration by encouraging further consolidation of a health and well-being precinct in the Bellville CBD and the development of student accommodation, stimulating the local economy through student demand for services such as transport and entertainment.

The CHS Bellville Campus houses four skills laboratories that simulate hospital ward environments, a rehabilitation gym and laboratories with treatment rooms and dispensaries.

In addition, there are top-of-the-range computer laboratories, a staff canteen and multi-faith prayer rooms. The building, in one of the Greater Tygerberg Partnership’s priority areas, will make an invaluable contribution to the urban renewal of the Bellville city centre. CHS location  in Bellville serves a dual role. The first is to strengthen the student experience by offering a facility conducive to enhanced learning, teaching, research and innovation further enhance community engagement. Being situated in Bellville allows UWC to be a catalytic agent for social change by being part of the reinvigoration of the Bellville CBD.

The City of Cape Town is already investing considerable resources in upgrading services and bulk infrastructure in the area. Access to healthcare for the communities of Bellville and the adjacent Cape Flats will also improve through the planned cooperation between the CHS Bellville campus and the Bellville community health centres. Through prescient investments over the years, UWC is transforming itself into a multi-campus institution.

The University of the Western Cape Vaccination Centre Launch!

The University of the Western Cape (UWC) is boosting the province’s COVID-19 vaccination drive by training final-year nursing students as vaccinators. 

This is the first nursing student-vaccinator collaboration to be rolled out in the province, said Elrien Joubert, of the Western Cape Department of Health. “The collaboration was quite seamless, as UWC was sensitive to our requirements and needs,” said Joubert.

The department also has an established relationship with UWC’s School of Nursing through the clinical placement of student nurses as part of their training.

The 267 participating nursing students have been split into two groups, and the first cohort of 134 vaccinators is expected to be in the field from 17 June, said Jeffrey Hoffman, Portfolio Manager of the fourth year nursing students.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the university and the UWC School of Nursing to be involved. We strive to provide relevant training that will allow our students to contribute meaningfully, especially in preparation for their completion as professional registered nurses.”

The work will take place during the students’ mid-year break as part of their clinical placement. 

Professor Jennifer Chipps, Director of UWC’s School of Nursing (pictured) explained that the students completed their vaccination competency training already in their third year. With just months to go before their community service placement as professional registered nurses, these students are well-prepared to bolster the health sector’s efforts to vaccinate as many communities as possible.

“The students are doing the same training as other registered nurses involved in the vaccination drive,” added Professor Maggie Williams, division head of the School of Nursing’s clinical and community outreach programmes. 

They will work full-time at vaccination sites in the Cape Winelands (Stellenbosch, Paarl and Wellington) as well as Khayelitsha East and Northern Tygerberg in the Cape Metro. “The longer placement is to ensure that students are orientated with the requirements of the task. Also, the additional support to the staff at these sites during the third wave will be invaluable,” noted Joubert. 

Training is done online via the university’s zero-rated IKamva learning site, said Prof. Williams (pictured). The content is aligned with the national Department of Health vaccine training and includes a basic overview of COVID-19, an understanding of the various available vaccines, and information of the “nurse as observer” for those students who will be monitoring patients for side effects immediately after vaccination, explained Joubert. Prof. Williams emphasised that participation in the vaccinator collaboration is voluntary. “All of the students taking part have consented to being vaccinators.”

Fourth-year student Sibongile Fumhe said she is “excited” to be part of the collaboration. “Many people are not comfortable about the COVID-19 vaccine. Seeing others receiving the vaccine will hopefully motivate more people to do the same.” 

Registrars Recognition Awards 2021!
Congratulations to our colleagues and school of Nursing for their awards!
  • Service Excellence Award
Dominique Bowers
  • Outstanding Academic Administrator
Renee Klink
  • Most Outstanding Academic Administration Department/Unit/Faculty
School of Nursing

Introducing University of the Western Cape Virtual Tour!

Introducing CHS 2021 Virtual Open Day promo video!

Faculty of Community and Health Sciences Outreach in Mitchelsplain!

The Interprofessional Education Unit (IPEU) in the Faculty of Community and Health Sciences (FCHS) at the University of the Western Cape hosts a community outreach project each year. This time around they started in Mitchelsplain community on 14 and 15 April 2021.

This is a interdisciplinary event including the schools of nursing, physiotherapy, biokinetics, dietetics, dental health and natural medicine. The School of Nursing participates in this initiative and provides services such as health assessments to the community who have limited access to preventative care such as blood pressure monitoring, glucose, and cholesterol checks.

Nursing students have the opportunity to apply their community nursing skills and provide health education and client referrals where needed.

Watch 2021 CHS Virtual Open Day!

CHS Deans Merit Awards 2020!

Faculty of CHS video tour

We at the Department of Social Work at the University of the Western Cape are committed to excellence in Social work education, practice and research.
Dietetics is a health profession in which the science of nutrition is applied to the management of individuals or communities in states of health and disease.
The Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of the Western Cape was established around 1984. It is a leading academic entity that offers quality undergraduate and postgraduate occupational therapy education programmes. Our graduates are competent, reflective practitioners who are able to practice at all levels of the health care system.
The department has a proud history of community engagement and professional development of physiotherapists from all over the African continent and has graduated physiotherapists from Honours to PhD all over Africa.
Psychology is the scientific study of human emotion, cognition, and behaviour. Careers in psychology can be very rewarding and fulfilling, albeit challenging. Being allowed entry into the private and often vulnerable sides of others, is a privilege, and the opportunity to contribute to the healing and growth of others, makes for a meaningful life experience.
The Department of Sport, Recreation and Exercise Science (SRES) provides students with the necessary academic and professional skills to promote health through participation in sport, recreation and physical activities. 
The CISCFS is an interdisciplinary entity that aims to advance knowledge production and critically engaged scholarship on children, families, and society.
ICSSD is Africa’s leading interdisciplinary centre promoting sport as a powerful tool for development, wellbeing and social change through high quality research and combining the areas of sports sciences, and community development and wellness.
Natural Medicine can be simply defined as any system of medicine that complements and enhances the body's natural capacity to heal by restoring balance without the use of synthetic drugs or chemicals. Natural medicine generally falls under the umbrella term of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). The various disciplines of natural medicine are highly diverse in foundations, philosophies and methodologies.
The School of Nursing at the University of the Western Cape is located in the Belville Campus in the Community and Health Science Faculty. The school offers both undergraduate and postgraduate nursing education programmes.
Established in 1993, the School of Public Health is unique in many respects both in South Africa and
in the continent.
In South Africa, the need to strengthen its health system based on the principles of primary healthcare has become one of the most urgent challenges for policymakers, health professionals, health workers, managers and community members.

In order for effective collaboration and improved health outcomes, two or more health professionals from different professional backgrounds must first be provided with opportunities to learn about, from and with each other.