BSc Hons and MSc programmes
The BSc Hons degree course has been offered by Chemical Pathology since 1998, with senior medical scientists co-ordinating the programme. In order to be admitted to the programme, a student must have a BSc degree that includes relevant major subjects for which an average of at least 60% was attained in the final year.
The programme comprises of several modules:
- a) Principles and Practice of Clinical Chemistry;
- b) Pathophysiology;
- c) Laboratory Management;
- d) Medical Biostatistics;
- e) Molecular Pathology;
- f) Applied Research.
The curriculum is supported by the prescribed Clinical Chemistry textbook and tuition takes the form of a series of structured lectures throughout the year. The Medical Biostatistics module is presented over fourteen weeks by lecturers from the Department of Statistics at the University of Pretoria. The Molecular Pathology module, delivered by senior scientists from various Pathology disciplines, runs from March to October and includes weekly lectures and several practicals. Theoretical knowledge is assessed by formal written tests and final year-end examinations in both Chemical Pathology and Molecular Pathology. Each student is required to participate in a research project under supervision and to present and write up their work in the form of a mini-dissertation. Satisfactory attendance of the University’s ‘Applied Research Methodology’ course is compulsory. Skills taught during practical sessions and rotation through the diagnostic laboratory at Steve Biko Academic Hospital, are honed by performing semi-independent laboratory work on the bench during the course of conducting the research project.
On completing the BSc Hons degree, many graduates proceed to enroll for the MSc in Chemical Pathology or allied disciplines.
Specialist training in Chemical Pathology and Clinical Pathology
The Department provides training for specialists in Chemical Pathology. Registrars are employed by the NHLS and are joint appointees with UP. They receive training in the discipline over a period of 4-5 years. In addition, the Department is also responsible for the Division of Clinical Pathology and the management of the Clinical Pathology training programme which combines training in Chemical Pathology, Microbiology and Haematology.
The Department participates in the teaching and assessment of MMED students in Internal Medicine, Paediatrics, Neurology, Medical Oncology and Nuclear Medicine by facilitating the Pathology Attendance course. MMED students enrolled in the Clinical Pathology training programme spend 18 months in total in the Department.