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Top 12 Best Medical schools in South Africa

With the upsurge of covid19, it is undoubtedly true that medical practitioners are in high demand. If you’re looking to join the medical line, a good medical school is key in your pursuit. In this article, I will be discussing medical schools in South Africa.

Best Medical schools in South Africa

These are the medical schools in South Africa

  • University of Cape Town
  • University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • University of Witwatersrand
  • Nelson Mandela University
  • University of Limpopo
  • Stellenbosch University
  • University of Pretoria
  • Sefako Makgatho Health Science University
  • University of the Free State
  • University of Western Cape
  • Walter Sisulu University
  • University Johannesburg
  • Northwest University – South Africa

These schools assert their commitment to graduating qualified medical professionals that will meet the ever-rising demands of a medical practitioner. If you’re looking to study medicine in any of the medical schools in South Africa, it’s important that you have a concise knowledge of the school and what benefit you stand to gain from studying at that school.

Well, I have taken out time to make it easy for you by reviewing these schools listed above and showing you the benefits of studying in any of them. 

1. University of Cape Town

The University of Cape Town is the oldest University in South Africa, establishes in 1829. The university is one of the best ranked medical schools in the country; by the US news, it ranks 91th in the world and 114th of best global universities. Though a public school, it stands high in South Africa.

The institution isn’t top-ranked for no reason. Students at the school get the best form of medical training possible. Graduates of UCT are recognized for their comprehensive knowledge and skills in the medical field.

Medical students are actively involved in research which allows for creativity, discovery and learning. Various courses are offered in different divisions of the faculty of health sciences. It has 19 divisions which include: Clinical Haematology, Organogram, Endocrinology, Allergology and Clinical Immunology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Clinical Pharmacology and more. It has some of the best medical facilities to help students learn beyond theory.


Postal address: University of Cape Town, Private Bag X3, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa

Vice-Chancellor[email protected]

2. University of KwaZulu-Natal

A school dedicated to raising not just health professionals but also reputable researchers who would be notable additions to the medical field. With its team committed to the advancement of students’ knowledge, graduates of the school can raise their heads high as they venture into the medical world.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal is a Public University established in 2004. Though recently founded, it has taken a reputable position among the best medical schools in South Africa with about 26,000 students and 29 medical disciplines recorded. These disciplines include Cardiology, Clinical and Professional Practice, Dermatology, Anesthetics, General Medicine, etc.

Facilities at the school include; research space, library, laboratories and more. If you seek a school that goes beyond the learning of medical school, UKZN is a great choice.

Address: 238 Mazisi Kunene Rd, Glenwood, Durban, 4041, South Africa

Phone: +27 31 260 1111

3. University of Witwatersrand

This is one of the oldest Universities in the country, founded in 1896. It is recognized as one of the best medical schools in South Africa and it is committed to keeping that record.

The University of Witwatersrand is a public research university ranked by the Timer Higher Education World Ranking System as being among the first 100 best medical schools in health subjects, preclinical and clinical the world. About five hospitals and several clinics are open to students for practical experiences ensuring that students go beyond the classrooms and put to test what has been taught.

Oral health sciences, anatomical sciences, public health, clinical medicine etc. are various divisions at the medical school. If you’re an undergraduate, getting an MB BCh degree will take about six (6) years, while a graduate degree will take four (4) years.

Address: 1 Jan Smuts Ave, Braamfontein, Johannesburg, 2000, South Africa

Phone: +27 11 717 1000

4. Nelson Mandela University

Nelson Mandela University though just recently opened in March 2021 has proven it is capable of standing among the best medical schools the country has. The school is set to train students into becoming great medical practitioners.

As of 2021, it opened with 50 medical students and this year there are about 80 students ready to join the medical school it is optimistic it will enrol many more thousands in years to come. This is beyond words, Nelson Mandala University medical school is set to give you all it can to ensure you become an added advantage to the medical field.

Its medical facilities are set and many more will be added in coming years. The faculty operates under the following departments: medical school, health sciences research directorate, school of behavioural and lifestyle sciences and school of clinical care and medical sciences.


Address: University Way, Summerstrand, Gqeberha, 6019, South Africa
Phone: +27 41 504 1111

5. University of Limpopo

If you’re looking to become a great surgeon studying in South Africa, The University of Limpopo can offer you that. Its department under the faculty of health science includes; the department of surgery, the department of medicine, the department of paediatrics & child health, the department of O&G, women’s health etc.

The university has capable lecturers and a great team of medical instructors willing and ready to give their best, teaching and training students to become functional medical practitioners.

Aside from getting your MB ChB degree, accredited disciplines offer postgraduate specialization degrees. The school is well fitted to meet your needs are a medical student. Though it has no global ranking, it is considered one of the best in South Africa with an enrollment record of over 20,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students since its inception in 2005. In 2014 the University had a merger with Safako Makgatho University.


Address: Polokwane, 0727, South Africa
Phone: +27 12 521 4058

6. Stellenbosch University

A school reckoned for excellence in research, medical and health science education. It has dedicated its course to producing more and more intelligent and creative medical professionals through a list of programs, research and medical practices.

With an admirable team and staff, Stellenbosch University has graduated students who are optimistic will take action to protect and promote the health of Africans. Knowing the importance of the medical field, the institution isn’t ready to lag in any way especially not in training qualified medical practitioners.

Various facilities and programs are put in place to aid in achieving its goal of raising professionals that can be employed in the medical field.

Address: Stellenbosch Central, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Phone:+27 21 808 9111

7. University of Pretoria

With over 38,000 student population, the University of Pretoria has continued to thrive in training medical students. The institution promotes health education; it seeks to enhance the medical line by graduating medical professionals who will add recognized medical impact to the globe.

It is a public University and one of the fast-growing Universities in South Africa. It’s easy to think, its population is narrowed to being a public school, well, that’s far from being true. The University has proven its worth to train and raise quality medical practitioners and students in general and it’s committed to doing more in years to come.

The University offers a wide range of courses and programs. Looking for a degree in the medical line? It is obtainable in this University. You can obtain a degree(s) in MBChB, MPhil(philosophy and ethics of mental health), MPharm Med, clinical medical practice and more. 

Address: Lynnwood Rd, Hatfield, Pretoria, 0002, South Africa

Phone: +27 12 420 4111

8. Sefako Makgatho Health Science University

The Sefako Makgatho Health Science University as the name states is one University that is fully focused on health sciences. Various courses and medical programs are offered at the school. It is committed to providing students with all the necessary facilities needed to effectively run their medical program without obstruction.

Average isn’t their lookout, they seek to excel and produce excellent graduates seeking the good of others and using their skills to better the health of Africans and the world at large.

The health science school is well fitted with facilities that make for a better learning environment, advanced learning and professionalism. With its focus on health science, students looking to study at this school are advantageous as everything about the school speaks of health and so, you’re kept conscious, focused and on track.

Address: Molotlegi St, Ga-Rankuwa Zone 1, Ga-Rankuwa, 0208, South Africa

Phone:+27 12 521 4111

9. University of the Free State

The University of the Free State is one of the oldest public schools in South Africa, established in 1904. It has a total population of about 26,000 students offering various disciplines. It is recognized as one of the best in the country.

An interesting fact about the school is that it offers degree programs lecture in English language and in also Afrikaans. This in turn promotes diversity and unity.

It also offers various outstanding medical programs. They include; cardiothoracic surgery, cardiology, anesthesiology, dermatology, internal medicine, medical physics and forensic medicine. Selecting the University of Free State as an institution to study medicine is a great choice.

Address: 205 Nelson Mandela Dr, Park West, Bloemfontein, 9301, South Africa

Phone:+27 51 401 9111

9. University of Western Cape

 The University of Western Cape offers training in natural medicine. Under the faculty of community and health science, you will find the school of natural medicine, offering training in Chinese medicine and acupuncture (CMA), Naturopathy, Unani-Tub and Phytotherapy.

Graduates of the school of natural medicine can register with the Allied health professions council of South Africa (AHPCSA). It might not sound like much but the need for natural medicine has become increasingly in demand and studying natural medicine puts you at an advantage in the medical field as there are fewer populations concerned about natural medicine.

Address: Robert Sobukwe Rd, Bellville, Cape Town, 7535, South Africa
Phone: +27 21 959 2911

10. Walter Sisulu University

Seeking one of the best medical training? Walter Sisulu University offers you that. The South Africa University is committed to giving you the best form of medical training there is in South Africa.

It started offering medicine in 1985 and has since then advanced notably. The school started with a traditional program but with time it adopted the innovative curriculum which is based on problem-based learning and community-based education.

It is open for studying medical programs. Departments such as the department of human biology, the department of family medicine and rural health, the department of internal medicine and pharmacology and more can be found under the faculty of health sciences.


Address: Nelson Mandela Drive, Mthatha, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Phone: +27 47 502 2844 – +27 47 502 2211

Email:  [email protected]

11. University of Johannesburg

 Another notable University is the University of Johannesburg, a school where you can learn so much beyond theories. The University is committed to helping students learn based on practical experiences providing students with the necessities to achieve this.

A wide range of courses and medical programs are offered at the institution. Its departments under the faculty of health science include; biomedical sciences, emergency medical care, environmental health, chiropractic, complementary medicine, nursing, podiatry, optometry and more.


Phone: +27 11 559 4555

E-mail: [email protected]

12. Northwest University – South Africa

A school committed to the needs of medical students. Northwest university strives to promote efficiency and effectiveness in medical students. The school’s medical curriculum is directed toward pursuing significant knowledge as well as innovation in health science. This is done primarily to promote the health of the South African population and the world in general.

It has committed itself to advance in health education, community involvement, research and services so as to achieve its goal of being helpful and raising helpful medical practitioners. It is open for study in various medical programs. Its facilities are fine enough to give a standard practical experience and medical knowledge. Looking to study at this school is also a great choice.


Postal address: North-West University Private Bag X1290 Potchefstroom 2520

Physical address: The Office of the Registrar Building F1 11 Hoffman Street Potchefstroom 2351

Phone: (+27 18) 299-1111 –  (+27 18) 299-2222


Which medical school is the best in South Africa?

The University of Cape Town is considered the best medical school in South Africa. It is ranked 91 in the world by the US news.

How many medical schools are in South Africa?

There are thirteen (13) medical schools in South Africa. 

How long does it take to study doctor in South Africa?

It takes about six (6) years to study medicine in South Africa. It can also take seven (7) years where you’re on an extended program. The medical program in South Africa takes 6 to seven years as long as you do not spill any year.

What are the requirements to study medicine in South Africa?

Your high school education is a big determinant to studying medicine in South Africa. If you’re looking to study medicine in South Africa, you are required to pass your grade 12. You must pass with English, mathematics, life science, chemistry or physics. You should be able to make above-average to be on the safer side.

Do medical students get paid in South Africa?

Yes, medical students get paid in South Africa. The National Department of Health of South Africa usually employs students during their internship and community service training and pays them.

What three subjects do you need to become a doctor?

You’ll need Mathematics, Life science and physics. You must-have about 50% or more in these subjects to be considered for entry into medical school.


In this article, I have reviewed medical schools in South Africa and I’m optimistic you have a comprehensive knowledge of these medical schools and can make a sound decisions regarding which school you’ll need to attend. 


I am a student with passion and hunger to help individuals and students get more useful, legit, accurate, and up-to-date information by providing them with valuable resources and information.

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