Move ahead with a career in Biokinetics
If you love movement and the fulfilling functions associated with sport science jobs, Biokinetics might be the right career path for you. Being a clinical exercise specialist, a Biokineticist operates in association with various other medical and health fields.
Biokinetics is recognised by the Health Professions Council of South Africa and is a field focussed on improving a person’s physical wellbeing, health and his or her quality of life by using scientific assessments for each individual and prescribing physical exercise in rehabilitative circumstances in order to help, intervene or inhibit certain types of illnesses. Biokineticists also focus on enhancing the performance of an individual in certain settings.
What is Biokinetics?
Biokinetics is described as the science of movement as well as the application of exercise in performance or treatment that is rehabilitative in nature.
It is a health care profession that concerns itself with a number of factors within the medical sphere. This includes the management of health, orthopaedics, functional movement, medicine and treatment in the form of physical activity, therapeutic recreation and the maintenance as well as improvement of your physical abilities and your performance levels.
Sport science is similarly described and involves the application of principles that are scientific in nature to sports and exercise.
A career in Biokinetics
With a Biokineticist qualification you are able to work in a number of different fields that are related to health. You can practice either privately or find occupation in fields that include the police service, professional sport, fire services and even military hospitals.
With a BA in Sport Science (like the one offered by Stellenbosch University) you are able to pursue careers in physical education (like seen in schools). You will also be able to pursue jobs like conditioning coach, sport researcher and a sport coach, to name but a few examples.
Being a qualified Biokineticist you will have the opportunity to become active in a number of industries. From establishing your own practice, to finding work at government institutions (like the South African National Defence Force and Correctional Services), you can also pursue careers at sport institutions.
You will work on individual scientific assessments as well as evaluate and measure various aspects of the human body – from heart rates and flexibility, to blood pressure, muscle strength and fitness.
With an adequate sport science qualification, you will be able to pursue a number of opportunities that range to include becoming a conditioning coach for athletes and sport teams, an exercise nutritionist, and even a representative within the industry of nutrition.
Studying for Biokinetics jobs
There are a number of tertiary institutions where you can study towards filling sport science jobs or becoming a Biokineticist. According to the Biokinetics Association of South Africa (BASA), your education will include a four year degree programme as well as a professional internship of two years.
Before you can register as a Biokineticist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa, you will need a total of five years of training. Your first year of internship will be done in conjunction with your fourth year of studies. During this time you will also need to register with the Health Professions Council of South Africa as well as BASA as a student in training.
You will find postgraduate programmes at a number of universities across South Africa. These postgraduate programmes are most commonly offered as a BA Hons Biokinetics and a BSc Hons Biokinetics.
The universities in South Africa where you can study this field of health science includes:
University of Johannesburg (UJ)
The University of Johannesburg (UJ) offers a four year Bachelor of Biokinetics as well as a BA Honours (Biokinetics). If you would like to enrol for the four year Bachelor programme at UJ you will need an APS score of 31 with Math Literature or a score of 30 with Maths.
If you would like to enrol for the BA Honours programme offered, you will need a B Degree with Human Movement Studies or Sciences (or a major that is equivalent to this field).
Within its sport faculty, you can study towards a BA in Sport Science at Stellenbosch University. With the BA in Sport Science (which will allow you to study towards postgraduate programmes in either Sport Science or Biokinetics) you can choose between one of four study options.
The first is Sport Science with Geology, Geography and Environmental Studies which will include first year studies such as Sociology, Sport Phycology and Physiology. The second year of your studies will extend to include exercise physiology, applied biomechanics and sport and recreation management. The third year of studies include subjects like sport ethics, sport injuries and sport performance.
The second study option is Sport Science with Psychology. In your first year you will tackle subjects that include psychology, physiology and applied anatomy. In your second year you can expect subjects like adaptive movement programmes, physical activities and teaching and programme development. Your third year will offer subjects like applied kinesiology, sport injuries and sport history.
The other study options available from Stellenbosch University includes Sport Science with English Studies or with Afrikaans and Nederlands.
This university also offers a BSc in Sport Science with an option that will allow you access to honours studies in Biokinetics (HonsB Sport Science). A three year long programme you will focus on the basic BSc course during your first year. In your second and third year of studies you will be more focussed on the subjects in the field of sport sciences.
Tshwane University of Technology
The Tshwane University of Technology offers a BTech:Biokinetics programme within its Sport, Rehabilitation and Dental Sciences department. Your training at this tertiary institution will comprise of three years of studies in the line of Sport and Exercise Technology.
This national diploma (in Sport and Exercise Technology) is a three year programme with subjects in your first year extending to include Sport Management, Sport and Exercise Technology and Anatomy, Physiology and Kinesiology.
In your second year you will have subjects like Work Physiology and Kinesiology, with your third year having subjects like Health Sciences and Sport Psychology. After completing this three year programme, you will receive a national diploma.
Your fourth year of studies will follow allowing you to specialise in Biokinetics and, if successful, you will receive a BTech: Biokinetics.
University of the Free State
If you are interested in either sport science jobs or becoming a Biokineticist, the University of the Free State is a good option. Within the Department of Health Sciences you can apply for admission to the B.Biokinetics programme.
In order to gain admission you will need a National Senior Certificate (or a NQF 4 qualification). Furthermore you will need a University admission score of 34, at least 60% for Mathematics, Life Science (or Physical Sciences) and for Language (in which you will study) at level 5.
You can also move on to apply to the BA (Honours) in Human Movement Science after you have completed your B.A in Human Movement Science. Here you will have the opportunity to choose from four different fields of study including Sport Science, Biokinetics, Recreation and Tourism, and Kinderkinetics.
Other tertiary institutions where you can complete your studies include the University of Pretoria, North West University, the University of KwaZulu Natal, the University of the Witwatersrand, University of the Western Cape, University of Cape Town, University of Venda and the University of Zululand.
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