15 Best Medical Universities in South Africa

Victor Okoma

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I know you got here because you asked about ‘Medical universities in South Africa’ well, It might interest you to know that medicine is among the most demanding course of study because society understands what it means to confide their lives in the hand of a doctor.

So many students ask the question every day about Medical universities in South Africa more especially, with big dreams of becoming a medical doctor.

South Africa has invested so much in medical facilities because of their high importance to society at large.

The Republic of South Africa has one of the best medical universities in Africa and has all it takes to produce top-class professionals in the medical world.

In this piece, we shall take a look at the best fifteen medical universities to attend in other to archive your dreams of becoming a medical doctor. I guarantee you that you are in the right place. Firstly let’s look at

Who is a Medical Doctor?

Medical doctors (MDs) are physicians who work in hospitals, clinics, medical centers, or private practices.

Medical doctors treat people for illnesses and injuries. They also prescribe medications, order diagnostic tests, diagnose ailments, and record patient information.

Alse see: Easiest Medical Schools To Get Into in 2021

However, medical schools in South African award an MBChB degree except for the University of the Witwatersrand, which awards an MBBCh degree. On the other hand, most countries award MBBS degrees to their medical students.

Reasons Why you should consider Studying Medicine in South Africa

Getting into medical school in South Africa is notoriously difficult, but there are more ways to do it than going straight from high school into a medical degree.

The reason is that South Africa offers some of the best medical degrees in the African continent. Students studying medicine in South Africa get high-quality hands-on training.

Additionally, it is one of the countries in Africa where International students are going to study because of the quality of education, fine weather, and beautiful scenery.

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  • South Africa provides you with a broad range of opportunities for a future job in the field of Medicine. You can choose to work in hospitals or other healthcare facilities, research labs, or be part of the medical department in other professional fields.
  • Medical schools in South Africa have a high reputation for academic excellence and producing alumni who go on to be leaders in their fields of study and service
  • Another reason you should be in South Africa is its location. It sits in one of the most diverse countries in the world, with opportunities for exposure to a wide variety of experiences, and with a year-round climate and scenery that cannot be beaten.
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List of Medical Universities in South Africa

The Republic of South Africa has one of the best medical universities in Africa. Medical universities in South Africa also have all it takes to produce top-class professionals in the medical world.

So, if you’re interested in studying medicine in South Africa, here is a list of the best fifteen medical schools in South Africa.

Also important to note is that all of these schools offer medicine through their Faculty of Health Sciences, except the University of KwaZulu-Natal. This school has the Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine.

1. University of Cape Town

The University of Cape Town or UCT being the oldest university in South Africa is over 150 years old. This public university began its operation in 1829 and is located in Capetown.

UCT is one of the colleges in South Africa with a high ranking. US News ranks its medical school as 91th in the world (Subject Ranking). Meanwhile, the university sits in the 114th position of Best Global Universities.

Address: Rondebosch, Cape Town, 7700, South Africa

The University of Cape Town’s medical school is under the Faculty of Health Sciences and is one the best in the entire country of South Africa.

UCT’s department of Medicine has up to 19 divisions which include Organogram, Allergology and Clinical Immunology, Cardiology, Clinical Haematology, Clinical Pharmacology, Endocrinology, Dermatology, etc. To help you navigate through the school, UCT provides scholarships to students.

2. University of Witwatersrand

The University of the Witwatersrand or the Wits is also another of the early universities in South Africa.

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This South African public university began its operation in 1896 and is one of the best universities to study medicine in South Africa.

This university is a leading research institution on the continent with renowned teaching for its students. Medical courses offered in the university are dentistry, physiotherapy, nursing, and pharmacy.

Address:1 Jan Smuts Ave, Johannesburg, 2000, South Africa

US News ranks Wits as the 135th school in the world for clinical medicine and the 197th best global university.

At Wits South Africa, you can get an MB BCh degree the traditional way for six years as well as a graduate degree for four years concurrently.

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Thus, in six years, you can graduate with an undergraduate and graduate qualification.

3. Stellenbosch University

The University of Stellenbosch or Maties started in 1866 but gained university status in 1918.

This University has a reputation for bringing up world-class professionals with the best ethical attitude you can find anywhere in the world.

It is one of the best universities for medicine in South Africa where you can get a prestigious medical degree.

The university ranks 260 in US News World Subject rank for Clinical Medicine and 341 in the Best Global Universities category.

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Address: Francie Van Zijl Dr, Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, 7505, South Africa

Maties offer its MBChB degree through its faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. This training to become a medical doctor takes six (6) years to complete.

You start the clinical training, which involves intense hands-on practical experience, from the second year through to the fifth year of study.

This South African university medical school trains qualified medical doctors to cater to the medical needs of the people.

4. University of KwaZulu-Natal

University of KwaZulu-Natal or UKZN is one of the recent public universities in South Africa, founded in 2004. Notwithstanding it’s ‘newness’ status, it is one of the most reputable universities in South Africa.

It has over 26,000 students comprising both undergraduates and graduates. Already, the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s school of clinical medicine ranks 279th in the world, according to US News and World Report.

Address:719 Umbilo Rd, Umbilo, Berea, 4001, South Africa

UKZN’s school of medicine is committed to growing health professionals and researchers who would cater to the health needs of Africans.

The school has 29 medical disciplines including Anaesthetics, Clinical & Professional Practice, Cardiology, Dermatology, Diabetes and Endocrinology, Emergency Medicine, General Medicine, etc. There is just about any specialization of medicine for you at UKZN.

5. University of Pretoria

The University of Pretoria or Tuks is another of the early universities in South Africa. This public university started in 1908, and houses one of the best medical colleges in South Africa.

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Tuks is a well-attended university in Pretoria, with a student population of over 38,000 students. Pretoria’s clinical medicine college ranks 511 in the world, according to US News.

Address: Lynnwood Rd, Hatfield, Pretoria, 0002, South Africa

Tuks’ school of medicine was established as one of four Schools in the Faculty of Health Sciences.

The other schools in the faculty are the School of Dentistry, Health Care Sciences, and Health Systems & Public Health.

Through the University of Pretoria’s school of medicine, you can take degrees in MBChB, MPharm Med, MPhil (Philosophy and ethics of mental health), BClinical Medical Practice, etc.

6. Northwest University – South Africa

North-West University or NWU is another of the recent universities in South Africa. It began its operation as a university in 2004, yet it has grown a large student population of over 44,000 students. This speaks about the quality of their degree programs.

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NWU’s Faculty of Health Sciences ranks 540 in the world according to US News and World Report.

Address: Private Bag X1290, Potchefstroom, 2520

However, North-West University is yet to begin its medical school. According to the school’s news, the School of Medicine is on the cards for NWU.

The school has put all the structure for a medical school in place to service the 60,000 doctors shortfall in South Africa and is waiting for a go-ahead.

Nonetheless, NWU’s Faculty of Health Science offers a variety of health-related degree programs that seeks to better the healthcare of the people. Some of these degree programs are Pharmacy, Nursing Sciences, Dietetics, etc.

7. Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University

Sefako Makgatho University or SMU is the newest public university in South Africa. The university started in 2014 and already has a school of medicine under its Health Sciences Faculty.

Although it has no notable global ranking now, SMU is a visionary college as reflected in its vision and mission statement.

Address: Molotlegi St, Ga-Rankuwa Zone 1, Ga-Rankuwa, 0208, South Africa

Its vision is to be a leading African University School of Medicine, epitomizing excellence and global competitiveness, addressing the needs of rural communities through innovative and robust research initiatives.

Already, it is one of the best medical universities in South Africa offering a variety of academic programs in the discipline.

You can study a bachelor’s and master’s degree in MBChB, MBChB (ECP), M Med (Anaesthesiology), M Med (Anatomical Pathology), M Med (Cardio-Thoracic Surgery).

8. University of the Free State

The University of the Free State or UFS is another of South Africa’s oldest public universities. It began its operation in 1904 and has a total student enrollment of over 26,000.

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What is more interesting is that UFS teaches its degree programs in the English language and Afrikaans.

Although UFS has no notable global ranking yet, it is one of the best colleges in South Africa where you can get a medical degree.

Address: 205 Nelson Mandela Dr, Park West, Bloemfontein, 9301, South Africa

University of Free States’s Faculty of Health Sciences houses its School of medicine, just like other medical schools in South Africa.

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However, UFS offers a wide range of medical programs at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

Some of its programs include Anaesthesiology, Cardiology, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Dermatology, Family Medicine, Forensic Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Medical Physics.

9. University of Limpopo

The University of Limpopo is another popular university in South Africa where you can get a medical degree.

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This public university began operating in 2005 but already records a total student enrollment of over 20,000 undergrads and postgrads.

The University has no notable global ranking, but its medical degree program is one of the best in South Africa.

Address: Private Bag X1106 Sovenga 0727, South Africa

In Limpopo, just like most of the universities in South Africa, the faculty of Health Sciences houses the School of Medicine departments.

The nine (9) departments in the medical school corporate to offer the MB ChB degree, whereas each accredited discipline offers postgraduate specialization degrees (M Med.).

Some of the departments in Limpopo’s school of medicine include the Department of Medicine; the Department of Surgery; the Department of O&G, Women’s Health; and the Department of Paediatrics & Child Health.

10. Walter Sisulu University

Walter Sisulu University or WSU started in 1977. It is a comprehensive University in South Africa where you can get one of the best medical degrees in Africa.

This South African university began offering medicine in 1985 with a traditional program, then later adopted the innovative curriculum based on problem-based learning and community-based education.

Address: Private Bag X1 UNITRA 5117, Nelson Mandela Drive, South Africa.

This curriculum integrates early clinical exposure progressively through to the final year. Like other Medical Schools in South Africa, WSU’s Faculty of Health Sciences offers its Medicine programs.

Additionally, you will find the department of family medicine and rural health, Department of Human Biology, Department of Internal medicine and Pharmacology, etc, in WSU’s school of medicine.

11. University of Johannesburg

The University of Johannesburg or UJ is another comprehensive university in South Africa that began operation in 2005.

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This South African university has over 48,000 students, speaking of the high quality of its degree programs.

However, UJ does not have any clearly designated Medicine School but it has a vibrant Health Science department.

Address: 5 Kingsway Ave, Rossmore, Johannesburg, 2092, South Africa.

The Faculty of Health Science at the University of Johannesburg offers students a preferred learning experience.

This experience is innovative and problem-based focused. UJ’s Emergency Medical Care and Complementary Medicine are the closest to a medical degree you can get from its Faculty of Health Sciences.

12. University of Western Cape

The University of Western Cape or UWC is another old Public University in South Africa. It began its operations in 1959 but got its university status in 1970.

Although the university does not offer a clear-cut path to a medical degree, its faculty of Community and Health Sciences has a School of Natural Medicine.

Address: Robert Sobukwe Rd, Bellville, Cape Town, 7535, South Africa.

UWC’s School of Natural Medicine offers comprehensive education and training in one of four disciplines, Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture (CMA), Phytotherapy, Naturopathy, and Unani-Tibb.

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Students who complete any of these programs will be able to register with the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa (AHPCSA) within their field of specialty.

13. Nelson Mandela University

Nelson Mandela University or NMMU is another comprehensive University in South Africa that is gaining large acceptance. The university started in 2005 and offers a wide variety of degree programs.

Already, NMMU has a total student enrollment of over 22,000 students. However, there is no notable ranking yet for this visionary school.

Address: University Way, Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth, 6019, South Africa

Nelson Mandela University is another university waiting for the approval of its Medical School. The acceptance of this will make NMMU’s school of medicine the 10th medical school in South Africa.

This medical college in South Africa hopes to admit 100 students in 2021 when it will commence offering its six-year MBChB degree.

14. Rhodes University

Founded in 1904, the University has a well-established reputation for academic excellence. With just over 8200 students, Rhodes is a small University, which enjoys the distinction of having among the best undergraduate pass and graduation rates in South Africa, outstanding postgraduate success rates, and the best research output per academic staff member.

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Address “Drosty Rd, Grahamstown, 6139, South Africa

The University takes pride in its motto, Where Leaders Learn and producing graduates who are knowledgeable intellectuals, skilled professionals, and critical, caring and compassionate citizens who can contribute to economic and social development and an equitable, just, and democratic society.

15. University of South Africa (UNISA)

Founded in 1873 as the University of the Cape of Good Hope, the institution became the first public university in the world to teach exclusively by means of distance education in 1946. Throughout the years,

Address Preller St, Muckleneuk, Pretoria, 0002, South Africa

Unisa was perhaps the only university in South Africa to have provided all people with access to education, irrespective of race, color, or creed.

This vibrant past is mirrored in our rich history, more particularly our massive and impressive database of alumni, some of whom are to be found in the most senior levels of society across the world.

The university offers study opportunities to more than 400 000 students from across South Africa, Africa and other parts of the world, Unisa offers a diverse choice of study fields at levels from certificate to degree

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