Specialist & subspecialist training
Specialist training: Master of Medicine
This programme trains medical doctors to become specialists in one of a range of disciplines. Training takes place over a minimum period of four years, full-time, and in some cases more, to allow the student to complete the dissertation.
In order to have their training recognised in South Africa, MMed students must have full registration with the Health Professions Council of South Africa and must be appointed against HPCSA-approved training numbers which the HPCSA allocates to the Faculty and against which the Faculty appoints selected students.
Specialist trainees must hold training posts (usually registrar posts) with the Provincial Administration of the Western while they undergo their specialist training with the University. Prospective applicants may contact the UCT Division concerned for more information.
Foreign-qualified doctors hold limited registration with the HPCSA. They do not hold HPCSA-approved training numbers, which means their training will not be recognised in South Africa. (If they wish to apply for full registration to the HPCSA they will be required to write certain examinations. For more information see the HPCSA website. For application procedures to the Faculty of Health Sciences. See the page titled International Applicants and Foreign-qualified Doctors on this website.
Foreign-qualified doctors who are selected for MMed training are offered appointment as supernumerary registrars. They are reregistered with the HPCSA annually. They may not be able to complete all the training and examination requirements during the time that they are allowed to undergo training, and may therefore not obtain a qualification at the end of their training. They must establish clearly from the Division and Department concerned what they may expect during and as an outcome of their training.
Follow this link to see a list of Departments and Divisions and their contact details.
Minimum generic admission requirement:
All applicants to MMed programmes must be graduates in medicine; must have completed the prescribed intern period and community service (or an approved equivalent) and must be registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.
Training is offered in the following branches of medical practice:
- Cardiothoracic Surgery
- Clinical Pharmacology
- Emergency Medicine
- Family Medicine
- Medical Genetics
- Nuclear Medicine
- Obstetrics & Gynaecology
- Occupational Medicine
- Orthopaedic Surgery
- Paediatric Surgery;
- in a range of Pathology disciplines (Anatomical, Chemical, Clinical, Forensic, Haematological, Microbiological and Virological)
- Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
The MMed examination consists of three parts. The examination in each of Parts 1 and 2 consists of one or more written paper/s together with such practical and/or oral examination/s as may be required. Part 3 MMed candidates must each have a supervisor. Guidelines for candidates and supervisors are available from the Faculty Office. A candidate may be granted credit for and exemption from the examinations of Part 1 and/or Part 2 if he/she has passed similar examinations at another university or institution recognised by the Senate for the purpose. (Candidates are generally required to complete examinations of the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa.) If the Senate permits a candidate to take both Parts 1 and 2 examinations concurrently, the candidate will be granted credit for Part 2 only if he/she has also obtained credit for Part 1.
The Part 3 candidate should submit his/her dissertation within the period of training. An extension of this period may be allowed, and a candidate permitted to submit his/her dissertation within two years of completing his/her registrar training, but the candidate may no longer hold a registrar post or HPCSA training number. In some disciplines, registrars may be required to complete their dissertations prior to undergoing the final Part 2 examinations.
The dissertation must be on a topic in the same branch of the medical speciality in which the candidate is registered and must be based on a study for which the work was commenced while the candidate was registered as a postgraduate student.
Subspecialist training: Master of Philosophy for Subspeciality Training
This programme trains registered specialists to become subspecialists (or "super-specialists") in one of a range of disciplines. Training takes place over a minimum period of two years, full-time. In some cases the student may be allowed additional time to complete the dissertation.
In order to have their training recognised in South Africa, subspecialist trainees must have full registration with the Health Professions Council of South Africa and must be appointed against HPCSA-approved training numbers which the HPCSA allocates to the Faculty and against which the Faculty appoints selected students.
Subspecialist trainees must hold training posts (usually senior registrar posts) with the Provincial Administration of the Western while they undergo their subspecialist training with the University. Prospective applicants may contact the UCT Division concerned for more information.
Applicants must be registered as specialists and must be appointed against HPCSA approved training numbers.
Subspeciality fields currently on offer:
- Cardiology (adult and paediatric)
- Child Psychiatry
- Clinical Haematology
- Critical Care (adult and paediatric)
- Developmental Paediatrics
- Endocrinology (adult and paediatric)
- Gastroenterology (medical and surgical)
- Geriatric Medicine
Infectious Disease & HIV Medicine
- Maternal & Foetal Medicine
- Nephrology (adult and paediatric)
- Paediatric Infectious Diseases
- Paediatric Neurology
- Paediatric Oncology
- Paediatric Pathology
- Pulmonology (adult; paediatric)
- Reproductive Medicine
- Vascular Surgery
The examination consists of two parts. The examination in Part I consists of one or more written paper(s) and/or such practical and/or oral examinations as the examiners may require. The examination in Part 2 consists of a dissertation.
(Candidates usually write the examinations offered by the relevant College of Medicine and, upon successful completion of such examinations, are granted credit towards Part 1 of the relevant MPhil degree.)
Prospective applicants are advised to contact the Division concerned for more information. Follow the link to a list of Departments and Divisions and their contact details.