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Wellness Sciences

soma heading

The Department of Wellness Sciences at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology offers two qualifications, namely a Diploma in Somatology and an Advanced Diploma in Somatology. The previous qualifications, namely the National Diploma in Somatology (since 2018) and the BTech in Somatology being phased out (in 2021).

Somatology comes from Greek roots meaning “body” and “study”, hence the field of study refers to not only the aesthetic aspects of beauty and wellness but also total body therapies that promote holistic wellbeing. The Somatology programme specifically focuses on facial and body therapies, complementary therapies including massage therapies, reflexology, aromatherapy, manual lymph drainage and stress management. On the more advance programme, the provision of nutritional advice, as well as a range of anti-ageing and skin rejuvenation treatments, are also offered.

The department also boasts a modern Wellness Clinic where students perform treatments on members of the public, thereby enabling them through a hands-on education approach to obtain the tools, knowledge and skills required to afford them excellent employment opportunities. Various demonstrations of treatments are done to encourage students to participate in classroom teaching and learning to ensure that disciplinary knowledge is aligned to the needs of professional practice.

Department of Wellness Sciences Mission

To develop professional Somatologists through specialist training, meeting the needs and demands of the industry in a socially responsible, ethical and financially viable manner. We are committed to raising the profile of the profession, within the thriving skin, health and wellness industry. 

A brief overview of qualification offered

The new Somatology programme offers a Diploma in Somatology (three-year undergraduate) and an Advanced Diploma in Somatology (one-year post-diploma), that is in great demand based on the unique academic foundation, combined with practical expertise, the involvement with industry, training and advance therapies offered.

Minimum Entrance Requirements for the Diploma in Somatology (this can be a table with qualifications and scores)

National Senior Certificate (Grade 12) with:

Home Language (4) and First Additional Language (3), one should be English

Life Sciences (4)

Mathematics (3) or Mathematic Literacy (4)

Recommended: Physical Sciences (3)

Additional admission requirements

An applicant who wishes to apply for Somatology must complete a biographical questionnaire and submit a medical report from a medical practitioner. Both these documents are required once registration has been completed and should be submitted during the programme orientation.

  • Biographical questionnaire
  • Medical Report

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

RPL processes will apply to applicants who have studied Somatology at a different institution and would like to further their studies at CPUT.

Applicants who wish to enrol for the Advanced Diploma in Somatology, need an overall average of 60% for the Diploma in Somatology (or equivalent) qualification.

Career prospects

Somatologists are also able to work within a diverse industry related to skin, wellness and healthcare both nationally and internationally. There are a number of exciting opportunities available to them and these include:

  • Salon, skin and body therapist
  • Salon manager or owner
  • Wellness and skincare clinics
  • Spa/ Medi-spa therapist
  • Spa/ Medi-spa/resort manager
  • Cruise ship employment opportunities
  • Medical aesthetics practices
  • Cosmetic consultant
  • Sales, marketing and training representative
  • Beauty editor/Journalist
  • Beauty educator or lecturer

What kind of person will enjoy this field of study?

Individuals who are interested in working with people, who are caring, patient, ambitious and focused. Passion for the health, wellness, skin and beauty industry with a desire for continuous learning, which will be an advantage if you are to become a successful therapist/entrepreneur.