Degrees Offered in the School of Clinical Medicine

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Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB)

Master of Medical Science (MMedSc)
Master of Medicine (MMed)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Senior unsupervised Doctoral Degree

CHS Handbook

This contains the rules, regulations and syllabi for all degree programmes.

College of Health Sciences Handbook

Degrees We Offer


Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB)

This degree programme leads to qualification as a medical practitioner. The programme is fully accredited by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), and our graduates are eligible to register as medical practitioners in South Africa. The degree is recognised internationally though, as with most medical degrees, additional steps may be necessary to be licensed as a medical practitioner in a foreign country.


Students may enrol in the School of Clinical Medicine for four postgraduate degrees. A brief overview of each is given here. Follow the links for more detailed information.

The Senior (unsupervised) Doctoral Degree

Only candidates who already possess a PhD are eligible to register for the senior doctoral degree. It is intended to reward senior researchers for their accumulated body of research over many years. Candidates submit a thesis or portfolio representing a body of collected, published work which may not include the work of the original PhD. Further information may be obtained by reading the Rules for Senior Unsupervised Doctoral Degrees, commencing on page 89 of the CHS Handbook. Read more about the senior unsupervised doctoral degree.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The PhD degree is the pre-eminent research degree offered by any University internationally. It is a degree of distinction and status, equips the holder to work as an autonomous researcher and makes them eligible for appointment to academic positions within a University.

Who is eligible?

Any candidate who holds a Master’s level degree is potentially eligible to register for the PhD, irrespective of the field in which the Master’s degree is held. In medicine it is popular with both clinically trained and non-clinical, research-trained professionals. The degree is the same irrespective of background

Brief summary of the PhD degree

This is typically a three-to four-year degree, although superior students who apply themselves actively may well finish in fewer years. They may graduate provided they have been registered for a minimum of two years. There is no coursework. The candidate is guided by a supervisor, will choose a research topic and then plan and implement a high-level research project. At the conclusion of the project, the work is written up either as a conventional thesis, or as a thesis in manuscript format, where a number of research papers covering the work performed are submitted for examination along with an introductory and concluding chapter describing the project as a whole. It is not necessary for the manuscripts to have been published, though having done so is highly recommended.

There is no formal coursework or examinations other than examination of the thesis. The College of Health Sciences is however developing an exciting programme of research support and doctoral training for its doctoral students.

Read more about the PhD.

Master of Medical Science (MMedSc)

This is a Masters level degree which is awarded on completion of a suitable research project. There is no formal coursework and is intended to be finished within two years of full-time study. The degree is suitable for both clinically trained and non-clinically trained graduates who are interested in developing proficiency in research. The topic of the research may be drawn from across a very wide spectrum of topics relevant to medicine and to healthcare, and is not restricted to “science” in the strict sense.

Read more about the MMedSc.

Master of Medicine (MMed)

This is a professional Master’s level degree. Following successful completion of the degree, the graduate is eligible for registration as a specialist in South Africa by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), provided that a number of other conditions set by the HPCSA have been met. Most South African applicants will be admitted to the program following appointment to a “registrar” (specialist training) on the Department of Health establishment. The appointment is made by the Department of Health in consultation with the University. Follow this link link to follow for further information on application, selection and appointment.

We offer the MMed in the following disciplines:

  • Anaesthetics
  • Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Cardiology
  • Dermatology
  • Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Nuclear Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Paediatrics and Child Health
  • Paediatric Surgery
  • Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Psychiatry
  • Radiology
  • Radiotherapy and Oncology
  • Surgery
  • Urology


It is also possible for other qualified doctors wishing to specialise to enrol for the degree as “supernumerary registrars”. They will perform all the duties of conventional registrars and will receive an identical training and will be expected to perform the same clinical duties as conventional registrars, but will not be appointed to a post by the Department of Health, will not receive a salary and will be liable for their own fees. Further details on this programme are available here link to follow.

Read more about the MMed.


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