Community Health
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Division of Community Health​

​​​​​​​The BScMedScHons (Hyperbaric Medicine) degree programme

Module 4: Basic Research Methodology for Hyperbaric Medicine

Brief description:

  • Last of four modules in the hyperbaric medicine degree programme
  • This module is shared with the BScMedScHons (Underwater Medicine) degree programme
  • Starts with a contact period of five days
  • Follow-up theoretical training provided via the internet  - web-based guidance through class notes and other downloadable documents.
  • Practical training in the form of a research project.

Training outcomes:

The exit outcome for this module is the ability to identify a basic research question and do an introductory research project.  Candidates will also be able to critically appraise research material.

Although students may wish to do analytical studies, we advise them to do a descriptive study if they have not previously had training in epidemiology or have published before.

In short:  Students are trained to do a descriptive study (hypothesis generating) and be able to publish an article in a peer-reviewed journal

Note1: Publication in a journal is not a prerequisite for qualification, although the project should show potential for publication.

Theoretical training:

No textbook is prescribed for this module.  Students are provided with class notes and additional notes can be downloaded from WebStudies.

Practical training:

It is expected of the student do complete a basic research project.

Entry requirements:

Each prospective candidate must:

  • have the MBChB degree or any other equivalent degree that enables him or her to register as a medical practitioner.
  • be registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa, or an equivalent international professional body that registers medical practitioners (e.g. GMC in the UK)
  • have completed his/ her internship year(s).

The following are NOT requirements:

  • The other modules of the underwater medicine degree programme (this module can be done as a stand-alone)
  • Being a diver (recreational or commercial)
  • Being diving medically fit.


Observers on this module will only be allowed subject to a referral letter and an interview with the programme coordinator.

Logistical help provided:

Once a student is registered for the degree programme (or this module), (s)he will have secure access to the Webstudies programme.  Various links provide information for students regarding accommodation options that we suggest, as well as general information about the contact time.

The following support is also available for all students:

  • Personal tutoring from a study leader of their choice
  • Biostatistical expertise from within the faculty and/ or within our department
  • Epidemiological expertise from within our department
  • Access to the library
  • Access to all research facilities at the university

Specific links are available for international students, telling them all about the weather, money matters, visa requirements and resources, etc.


The examination of this module consists of two separate parts, namely the evaluation of the research project and a theoretical examination of the module at the end of the year.


Students who successfully complete the module, will receive:

  • Certificate of competency from the University of Stellenbosch
  • CPD/ CME Certificates from the University of Stellenbosch

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):

RPL is provided to any candidate who had previously done a course or training programme in epidemiology and biostatistics.  The University of Stellenbosch has specific policies and procedures relating to RPL of a student.  Contact the programme coordinator for more information. 

Contact details:

For more information, please contact Dr W.A.J. (Jack) Meintjes, the programme coordinator:

Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences
Community Health
PO Box 241
South Africa

Tel: +27 21 938-9272​