10 Best Medical Schools in South Africa (2019)


Becoming a doctor is a dream-come-true for many young people. Movies like Greys Anatomy have fuelled the desire of many from secondary school to build a career in medical-related professions.

Best Medical Schools in South Africa

Thankfully, South Africa is home to some of the best medical schools in the continent which are well able to provide quality training to aspiring medical practitioners. The seeming challenge is that there are not many medical schools in South Africa and the existing nine medical schools cannot accommodate enough applicants who want to train for the profession.

Nevertheless, the available ones are world-class medical schools that can make your dreams come true. So, here are 10 of the best medical schools in South Africa.

best medical schools in south africa

University of Cape Town Faculty of Health Sciences

The University of Cape Town is located in the Western Cape Province of South Africa and is about 190 years old, making it one of the oldest universities in the country. It also has the oldest medical school in entire Southern Africa which is referred to as the Faculty of Health Sciences.

The university offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes covering an array of medical-related disciplines. The School of Medicine of the institution is widely known for its role in advancing the body of knowledge through research while training healthcare professionals. The duration of the school’s programmes ranges from 3-6 years.

University of Witwatersrand Faculty of Health Sciences

Founded in 1896, the University of Witwatersrand (commonly known as Wits University) is a public research university situated in the northern areas of Johannesburg.

The institution’s Faculty of Health Sciences remains a leading research hub on the continent with an accompanying vibrant reputation for teaching and clinical service. It offers several professional undergraduate degrees in medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, physiotherapy and occupational therapy. The school’s Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree programme takes 6 years to complete.

Stellenbosch University Faculty of Health Sciences

Stellenbosch University is situated in the Western Cape province of South Africa which is a vantage location due to its proximity to government. The school prides in training graduates who are internationally known for their ethical attitude as well as the high quality of healthcare they provide.

The faculty is an indispensable leader in the field of health sciences in South Africa with a plethora of achievements including founding the first rural clinical school in 2002. The school’s Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor or Surgery (MB, ChB) runs for 6 years which is divided into three phases namely: foundation, clinical medicine and student internship.

University of Pretoria Faculty of Health Sciences

The University of Pretoria is one of the top-rated higher institutions in South Africa for many courses and it’s no exception this time. The school has gained a reputation due to the quality of education it offers and the relevant research it undertakes to make a difference both locally and globally.

Medical students are trained by 600 academic staff of the institution in the following programmes: sports science, occupational therapy, dietetics, nursing science, clinical medical practice, radiography, physiotherapy and dentistry as well as medicine and surgery.

University of Kwazulu Natal Faculty of Health Sciences   

A relatively young university on the list, the University of KwaZulu-Natal was established in 2004 from the merger of Durban-Westville and the University of Natal. The university aims to become globally recognised for excellence in research, education and clinical practice.

Its school of clinical medicine under its faculty of health sciences offers degree programmes in the following disciplines: anaesthetics, dermatology, radiology, neurosurgery, urology, nephrology, general medicine, nuclear medicine, rheumatology, paediatrics & child health, pulmonology, psychiatry, general surgery, plastic surgery and many more.

University of Limpopo Faculty of Health Sciences

Formerly known as the University of the North, the University of Limpopo was established in January 2005 as a public university. Its school of medicine under the faculty of health sciences prides in being the medical school in democratic South Africa.

It offers studies in the following clinical disciplines: anaesthesiology, dermatology, forensic pathology, family medicine, internal medicine, general surgery, paediatrics & child health, paediatric pulmonology to mention a few.

University of the Free State Faculty of Health Sciences

The University of the Free State is a public university situated in Bloemfontein, the capital of the Free State and the judicial capital of South Africa. The school of clinical medicine under the faculty of health sciences aim to produce globally competitive medical doctors that are committed to rendering quality service to the community.

Since its inception in 1970, the school has pursued its vision and is one of South Africa’s top medical schools. The school of medicine consists of three divisions namely: biomedical sciences, clinical medicine and pathology with a range of courses like cardiology, dermatology, neurosurgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, orthopaedics, pharmacology, plastic surgery and more.

Walter Sisulu University Faculty of Health Sciences

Walter Sisulu University (WSU) is a university of technology and science established in 2005 from the merger of Border Technikon, Eastern Cape Technikon and the University of the Transkei. It is located in Mthatha, East London (Buffalo City) in Eastern Cape, South Africa.

The Faculty of Health Sciences is regarded as the flagship of the university with a view towards delivering quality healthcare to South Africans and has overtime gained global recognition as a leader in Accountable Health Service Professions Education. It offers a variety of programmes such as medicine, nursing, health promotion, clinical associates and social work, all with a strong emphasis on problem-based learning and community-based education.

Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University Faculty of Health Sciences

Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (pronounced by its initialism, SMU) was founded in 2005 and is located in Pretoria North, Gauteng Province. It was named after the popular South Africa ANC leader and is known for its quest for knowledge in health sciences via research and teaching.

The institution’s faculty of health sciences offers degree programmes in the following disciplines: general surgery, clinical psychology, dentistry, nursing science, pharmacy, dietetics, occupational therapy as well as science and technology with options to major in chemistry, computer science, psychology, physiology, biology, chemistry, biochemistry, physics, and so on.

Related Stuffs