The Faculty of Health Sciences at UCT has the oldest medical school in Southern Africa. Its core business is research in medical and allied fields, as well as teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students over a wide range of healthcare-related disciplines.
The faculty's campus extends from its main teaching hospitals - Groote Schuur and Red Cross Children's hospitals, in Cape Town - to a range of secondary hospitals and primary healthcare clinics throughout the Cape Peninsula and beyond.
Its reputation as an academic institution of international quality and standing has steadily increased since inception as the Faculty of Medicine in 1912. Some famous advances in healthcare - including the world's first successful heart transplant in 1967, as well as the research that led to the development of the CAT scanner - placed the faculty and Groote Schuur Hospital on the map as sophisticated, tertiary medicine facilities of international standing.
The Faculty has 11 departments, with several falling under four Schools. Its institutes are typically multi-disciplinary in nature and usually cut across departments; staff from different departments or discipline divisions may conduct research together in the same institute.
The Faculty of Health Sciences values diversity in it student complement. The Faculty seeks to admit a mix of students that properly reflects the ethnic and cultural diversity of the South African population. This supports the experiential approach to learning in the undergraduate training programmes for healthcare professionals.
In a diverse student body, students' prior life experiences contribute to the educational process. It creates a practical learning context, laying a foundation for future practice in the South African context.