Needs of Programmes Offered

Local and National Needs of Programmes Offered

In South Africa there are two types of public health education:

  1. Public Health Medicine: this is reserved for doctors and one has to become a registrar and to undergo four years of training. Once one has completed this one sits the College of Public Health Medicine examination and becomes a specialist in Public Health Medicine. This has the same status as any specialist training in South Africa e.g. paediatrics or surgery. This is a professional qualification and controlled by the College of Public Health Medicine. Registrar posts are made available through various provincial departments of health. We have 8 registrars at the University of KwaZulu-Natal registered in the School of Nursing in Public Health. Our discipline is called The Discipline of Public Health Medicine. As well as being a specialist registered with the College of Medicine of South Africa, one would complete the Master of Medicine in Public Health Medicine through the University of KwaZulu-Natal. One has to apply through the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health in order to become a registrar in KwaZulu-Natal and it is dependent on there being registrar posts available in the province at the time. It is a very competitive process. We expect candidate registrars to have completed their community service and have at least two years of working experience. If they have completed a diploma or short course training program in public health it is to their advantage. Somebody who has a Masters in Epidemiology, and MPH or an MBA is more likely to get a registers post.


  1. Public Health: another academic track in public health is offered by the University’s. This is the Master of Public Health. This is an academic qualification and is open to any health professional who has the equivalent of a four-year undergraduate degree. We offer our MPH as a part-time programme. Students usually take two or three modules per semester. It takes them about three semesters to complete the course work and then there is the Research Project/Dissertation which comprises 50% of the qualification. Adverts for the MPH usually go out in June July every year and a selection process begin soon after that. We take about 50 MPH students per year.