Molecular Biology Human Genetics
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

​Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics​​​​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​MSc or PhD in Molecular Biology or Human Gen​​​etics​​​​​​​

The Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics, Department Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University offers a Masters (MSc) and Doctoral (PhD) program in either Molecular Biology or Human Genetics. 


The MSc program ​offered within our division involves full-time research with thesis submission, and involves no course work. The program spans over a 2-year period, and affords applicants the opportunity to develop their research skills as a scientist and master a variety of molecular techniques. The specific admission requirements for a MSc include, an average final mark of more than 60% in one of the following qualifications from a recognized tertiary training institution:

    • a BSc Honours degree with Biochemistry, Genetics, Microbiology, Physiology, Molecular Biology or Biotechnology for acceptance for MSc postgraduate studies
    • an MBChB or BChD degree


The PhD program spans over a 3-year period, and equips applicants with the practical skills and intellectual ability to critically observe, assess, test, evaluate and conclude on scientific phenomenon with rigor as an independent researcher. The specific admission requirements for a PhD include, an average final mark of more than 60% in one of the following qualifications from a recognized​​ tertiary training institution:

    • a MSc degree with Biochemistry, Genetics, Microbiology, Physiology, Molecular Biology or Biotechnology for acceptance for MSc postgraduate studies
    • an MBChB or BChD degree​

How to​ Apply

If you would like to enquire about MSc or PhD postgraduate study opportunities available within the Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics, please contact one of the Principle Investigators (PIs) listed below. It is up to the applicant to identify a potential supervisor and area of interest for postgraduate studies within the division, and apply based on this selection via the process outlined below. 

When applying for postgraduate stuides with the respective PI, you will need to submit a CV, academic transcripts, a cover letter outlining your research interests and a completed divisional application form which can be downloaded here​.​ 

Once the supervisor has agree to host you, you will need to apply to the Stellenbosch University Student Office as well by completing the SU Postgraduate Application form which you can download here​. This form needs to be completed and submitted to Student Admin with all the required documentsation before the application deadline. Alternatively, you can apply online as outlined below (see application procedure and closing dates)​. Once your online application is complete and your present qualifications have been verified, Student Administration will forward your application to us for formal acceptance. ​

For more information regarding the research interest of the respective PIs, and to ensure that these interests align with that of your own, please visit the research group'​s webpage via the "Research groups" tab in the menu bar above.

Please note that we require all prospective students to apply for a bursary at the NRF, MRC or to a foundation​.​


Applicati​​​​on pro​​​​cedure and closing date

Apply on​​line​ by ​30 September of the previous year (these dates may change).

Applications for prospective international stud​ents close on 31 August.​

For prospective students currently enrolled at Stellenbosch University, apply online via MySun platform​. For step-by-step instructions on how to do so, click here.

For prospective students NOT enrolled at Stellenbosch University, apply online here.​

Prog​ramme ​description

This programme will equip you with both a theoretical and practical background in the basic concepts of molecular biology and human genetics. It comprises lectures, tutorials, assignments, journal article analytical discussions, writing of a project proposal, participation in a six-month research project, a research report, a research presentation and written examinations.​​​

Duration of p​​rogramme

This is a thesis-based programme with no study modules. The programme consists of a research project, thesis and project presentation. You write the research proposal with the help of the supervisor and present it to the Committee for Postgraduate Teaching.​

Program​me content (Thesis)

Molecular Biology 872(180)​

Assessment and Examination

You must complete a research project, present the results in a thesis and deliver a project presentation. 

The thesis is assessed according to University guidelines by an internal and external examiner. 

The final mark is calculated from the marks obtained for the research project (supervisor's mark), thesis (internal and external examiners) and project presentation.

You must obtain 50% to pass and 75% to pass with distinction.​


Division Principle Investigators List

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Su Animal TB Research Group

PI: Prof Michele Miller
Email: miller@sun.ac.za
Tel: +27 73 812 9141​
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Su Neuropsychiatric Genetics Research Group

PI: Prof Sian Hemmings
Email: smjh@sun.ac.za
Tel: +27 21 938 9695
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​South African Tuberculosis Bioinformatics Initiative

PI: Prof Gerard Tromp
Email: gctromp@sun.ac.za
Tel: +27 21 938 9251
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​Clinical Mycobacteriology and Epidemiology (CLIME)

PI: Prof Grant Theron
Email: gtheron@sun.ac.za
Tel: +27 21 938 9693
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​Su Host-Pathogen Mycobactomics Research Group

PI: Prof Samantha Sampson
Email: ssampson@sun.ac.za
Tel: +27 21 938 9951​​
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​Su Immunology Research Group

PI: Prof Gerhard Walzl
Email: gwalzl@sun.ac.za
Tel: +27 21 938 9401
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PI: Dr Andre Loxton
Email: gl2@sun.ac.za
Tel: +27 21 938 9953​
Research Focus: B-lymphocytes in TB
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PI: Dr Nelita Du Plessis
Email: nelita@sun.ac.za
Tel: +27 21 938 9953​
Reserach Focus: MDSC in TB
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​PI: Prof Novel Chegou
Email: novel@sun.ac.za
Tel: +27 21 938 9953​
Research Focus: TB Diagnostics
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PI: Dr Leanie Kleynhans​
Email: leaniek@sun.ac.za
Tel: +27 21 938 9953​​
Research Focus: Diabetes and TB
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​Su Molecular Biology Clinical Research Unit

PI: Dr Stefanus Malherbe
Email: malherbe@sun.ac.za
Tel: +27 21 938 9399​​
Research Focus: TB Clinical Trials
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​Su Parkinson's Disease Research Group

PI: Prof Soraya Bardien
Email: sbardien@sun.ac.za
Tel: +27 21 938 9681
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​TB Drugs: Targets and Development

PI: Dr Bienyameen Baker
Email: brubaker@sun.ac.za
Tel: +27 21 938 9402
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PI: Dr Vuyo Mavumengwana
Email: vuyom@sun.ac.za
Tel: +27 21 938 995​​​2
Research Focus: B​​iopharmaceuticals
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PI: Dr Gabriel Mashabela
Email: gabrielmsun.ac.za
Tel: +27 21 938 9158​
Research Focus: Metabolomics
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​PI: Prof Colin Kenyon
Email: kenyon@sun.ac.za
Tel: +27 21 938 9950
Research Focus: Drug Discovery​
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​TB Genomics

PI: Prof Rob Warren
Email: rw1@sun.ac.za
Tel: +27 21 938 9073
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PI: Dr Elizma Streicher
Email: lizma@sun.ac.za
Tel: +27 21 938 9957
Research Focus: TB Drug Resistance
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PI: Dr Marisa Klopper
Email: marisat@sun.ac.za
Tel: +27 21 938 99537​
Research Focus: Mycolic acids and TB Drug Resistance
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​Su TB Host Genetics Research Group

PI: Prof Marlo Moller
Email: marlom@sun.ac.za
Tel: +27 21 938 9694
Research Focus: ​Population Genetics
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PI: Prof Craig Kinnear
Email: gkin@sun.ac.za
Tel: +27 21 938 9695​
Research Focus: P​rimary Immuno Deficiencies and TB

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​Su Clinical Genetics Research Group

PI: Dr Heidrè Bezuidenhout
Email: heidreb@sun.ac.za

Tel: +27 21 938 9788