BSc (MedSci)
BSc with specialization in Medical Science


The aim of this course is to train students in the basic medical sciences, with the object of research, laboratory work or academia. The three years provide a broad background, and it is strongly advised that students should continue their studies to include at least an honours degree, in order to establish themselves in a particular field. After the three years, honours-, masters- or PhD degrees can be obtained in a number of fields, including Medical Sciences, Physiology, Pharmacology and Chemical Pathology.

Modules and progress of study

Your studies will progress as follows:

First year (Basic science subjects)
Computer literacy and language proficiency
Human Biology

First year - second semester(Compulsory subjects)
General Chemistry 127
Introductory Genetics 161
Introductory Anatomy and
Embryology 121
Human Osteology 122
Basic Human Histology 126
Computer Literacy 173
Computer Literacy 174
Language Proficiency 153
Language Proficiency 154
Introduction to Microbiology 161

Second year
Several Physiology modules

Several Anatomy modules, including dissection of the human body, Palaeo-anthropology, Embryology,Histology and Cell Biology

Third year
Anatomy modules focussed on laboratory techniques in Histology, Cell and Developmental Biology, Forensic Anthropology and Comparative Anatomy

Any Physiology and/or Pharmacology modules up to the required credits

Career and study opportunities

As in the case with most BSc degrees, this degree does not qualify you directly for a professional career. Although some job opportunities exist with the BSc(MedSci) degree only, students are advised to continue their studies to qualify themselves for a particular career. Some of the opportunities for careers with this degree are listed below:

Medical Sciences:

The Department of anatomy offers a BSc (Honours) in the Medical Sciences. Sucessful candidates can choose from the following areas of specialization, Clinical Anatomy, Cell Biology/Histology and Skeletal Biology/Anthropology.

Forensic Sciences:

The Forensic Science Laboratory accepts BSc(MedSci) students. They train candidates internally, especially in advanced laboratory techniques (e.g. DNA extraction and interpretation, PCR techniques). This career mostly involves laboratory work which, for example, includes DNA matching of suspects, semen-analysis and queries regarding paternity.


Some universities accept candidates with only a BSc degree as a junior lecturer, which may act as a “table doctor” at dissections (e.g. Wits Technikon, University of the Witwatersrand). For a career as proper academic, you would need a masters or higher degree, which can be acquired in any of the specialities.


Research posts are currently scarce, but organizations such as the MRC or museums may have posts for research assistants. In any research career it should be kept in mind that a postgraduate qualification enhances your chances to get a job.


Ergonomics involves the design of apparatus and job environments so that it fits and is safe for the people that use it. The physical dimensions, Anatomy, Physiology and abilities of people are taken into account. In order to specialize in ergonomics, a post graduate degree is required. BSc(MedSci) is an appropriate undergraduate degree for this purpose.


The Department of Pharmacology has an honours degree for students with a BSc-degree, for which the BSc(MedSci) is also accepted. The career opportunities for a student with this qualification vary, and include a number of posts in the pharmaceutical industry, e.g. pharmaceutical representative, laboratory assistant and researcher.

Chemical Pathology:

The Department of Chemical Pathology at UP has an honours degree in Chemical Pathology. For this a BSc-degree is a requirement. The honours degree concentrates on laboratory techniques and patho-physiology.

Technical career:

With the BSc(MedSci) degree you can apply for a post as technical assistant in, for example, Anatomy and Physiology departments at any University in the country. Technical assistants provide help during practical and training sessions, and also assist with research.


To gain admission for BSc(MedSci), you must apply for selection. Eighty students are selected annually. The following information applies: Closure of application for selection: 30 June
Results of selection: 30 August

  • Matric exemption

  • Mathematics HG D-symbol (50%)

  • Science HG D-symbol (50%)

  • M-score 22 or higher (category 1); 20 or higher (category 8)

  • Writing of the UP admissions test in July of year of application is compulsory.

The admission of all candidates is PRELIMINARY until the final results are received. Selection is lost if the required M-score and D-symbols for Mathematics and Science are not acquired in the final matric exam.

Published by Nancy Maselesele

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