Molecular Biology Human Genetics
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Division of Molecular Biology and Huma​​n Gene​​tics​​​



The purpose of the MMed Medical Genetics qualification is to equip you as a basically qualified medical practitioner (with an MBChB or equivalent qualification) with specialized knowledge, as well as with the skills and attitudes required as a specialist in your chosen speciality, that at least agree with the requirements of the Health Professions Council of South Africa.


Programme Details

Duration: Four calendar years on a full-time basis

Programme content:    
Basic Principles of Genetics 871(175)
Applied Medical Genetics 871(175)
Research Methodology 816(10)
Research Assignment 841(120)

Programme Structure: This will enable you to function as an independent practitioner in the relevant field within any service-rendering and academic environment, by acquiring the knowledge, skills and attitudes to:

  • Deliver comprehensive health care in a conscientious manner to the patient as an individual and as a member of the community;
  • Develop the attitudes and abilities needed to become an independent learner and to accept the responsibility for continuous lifelong professional development, including the ability to critically evaluate and interpret the relevant literature and to apply it in the profession;
  • Plan, execute, interpret and publish research relevant to your chosen speciality;
  • Be able to move, if you so aspire, to the highest level of academic work for doctoral study and to promote an approach based on academic integrity and ethics; and
  • Contribute to the pool of academics and professionals with the competence and critical intellectual abilities to ensure the future advancement of your chosen speciality, and to make provision for the country's need for a skilled workforce of the highest quality and to ensure that the country remains competitive in an era of growing global competition.


Assessment and examination

For the degree to be awarded, you must:

  • Complete the prescribed training period successfully;
  • Submit a case-book of practical work and a portfolio of activities during the study period;
  • Submit an assignment which is assessed according to University guidelines; and
  • Pass the Part I and Part II examinations of the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa. You must pass the Part I examination of the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa within 24 months. The Part II examination cannot be written before 36 months of the programme have been completed, but you must pass the examination within 48 months.
    The Part II examination consists of:

    • ​A written examination;
    • A practical examination;
    • ​An objective structured clinical examination (OSCE); and o an oral examination (to the discretion of the examiner).

  • The final mark is calculated as the weighted average of the assignment (25%), the Part I examination (35%) and the Part II examination (40%).
  • You must obtain a mark of 50% to pass the degree and a mark of 75% to pass with a distinction.

Important Notice: If you do not meet these requirements, you will be excluded from the rest of the MMed (Med Gen) programme and you must vacate your registrar post.

Single national exit examination

  • To register as a specialist with the HPCSA you must successfully complete the single national exit examination in your specific field of study. This is an examination independent from that of the University and has an additional cost implication for you.
  • It still remains the responsibility of the teaching department at the University to confirm the following:
    • Successful completion of prescribed training time and flexible assessment;
    • Completion of a research assignment according to the regulations of the University; and
    • Submission of a completed case-book.


Application Procedure

Apply in writing. Senate, or the Executive Committee acting on its behalf, will decide whether you are to be admitted to the MMed programme. There is no specific closing date for applications. When a registrar post becomes vacant at the Department of Health, you may apply for that position. If you are successful, you will then be admitted to the MMed programme.

Admission and Selection requirements

This programme does not have specific admission requirements. The general admission requirements for MMed programmes are applicable:

  • For admission to the MMed degree programme, you must have held an MBChB degree from this University or another qualification considered as sufficient by this University for at least three years prior to application, and must be registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa as medical practitioner in the category independent practice. If you specialise in Anaesthesiology, Neurosurgery, Emergency Medicine, Otorhinolaryngology, Orthopaedics, and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, you must also have completed suitable courses such as ATLS (Advanced Trauma Life Support), ACLS (Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support), PALS (Paediatric Advanced Life Support) and APLS (Advanced Paediatric Life Support). Consult the specific requirements at each programme.
  • If you would like to register as an MMed student with the University, you must occupy a registrar post with the Western Cape Provincial Department of Health or the National Health Laboratory Services. Exceptions to this rule will be considered in the following instances:
    • where you register as a special student with the University (refer also to the section on Admission as Special Student in Part 1 (General) of the Calendar) with the sole purpose of attempting the primary subjects prior to registering as an MMed student and to obtaining a position as registrar; and
    • where you have completed your training time and you are only registering to complete your research assignment.
  • If you apply for a training post at the Tygerberg Hospital, the Western Cape Provincial Department of Health or another institution considered as equivalent by this University, you must make sure of the programme-specific recommendations which apply to your MMed programme. Direct any enquiries in this regard to the programme coordinator of your specific programme.


Clinical experience

As a candidate for the MMed degree you must prove to the satisfaction of the University that:

  • You have successfully held a full-time training position according to the requirements of the relevant department/division for a period of four or five years at Tygerberg Hospital, the Western Cape Department of Health or another institution that the University deems equivalent. If a programme requires five years of residency, but you can be appointed as specialist after four years, then the first year of appointment is regarded as the last year of training.
  • You have received theoretical, practical and clinical training as stipulated in the “Duration of programme" section above.
  • You have successfully completed the University examinations – written, oral and practical and/or clinical – as prescribed.


  • With regards to “Clinical Experience", the University may grant possible partial or full exemption based on comparable training received and experience gained at another recognized institution.
  • With regard to “Programme content", the University may grant possible partial or full exemption based on modules passed at another recognized institution.

Continuation of study

  • If you do not comply with the provisions relating to promotion of your specific MMed programme and you are denied the right to continue with your MMed studies, you must vacate your registrar post with the Western Cape Provincial Department of Health or the National Health Laboratory Services. This ruling also applies to registrars in supernumerary posts.
  • ​Only in exceptional cases, and with the submission of an appropriate motivation and approval of the departmental programme committee concerned, and the Committee for Postgraduate Teaching and the Faculty Board of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, will you be allowed to register for the MMed programme once again. ​

MMed Program​me Coordinator​​
Prof Shahida Moosa