Biography Prof Tessa Marcus

Tessa Marcus (PhD) is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Family Medicine (Health Sciences Faculty – University of Pretoria). A sociologist by training she has done seminal research on farm workers in commercial agriculture, land reform and was amongst the few to pioneer social scientific research in HIV/AIDS in South Africa. Her two-and-a-half-decade involvement in health-related research and education expanded in 2008 when she joined the Department of Family Medicine (University of Pretoria).   Since then she has been actively engaged with the development and application of Community Oriented Primary Care as an approach to transforming health in South Africa.  In 2016, she was appointed Associate Professor in Family Medicine, one of only a few social scientists ever awarded an academic post in a Medical School in South Africa.

Amongst other things

  • She has collaborated in the conceptualization and realization of COPC as a service, learning and research practice with local, provincial and national partners.  
  • She developed the COPC curriculum and supported lecturer training in the National Curriculum (Vocational): Primary Health. This programme was implemented at 12 Technical and Vocational Education and Training Colleges across South Africa between 2013-2018.
  • She developed the Work-I-Learn framework to meet the learning and practice requirements of healthcare professionals and community health workers responsible for integrated primary health care to and from the people in their homes.
  • She, together with Jannie Hugo, developed a capability approach to learning that brings together the best evidence-based understanding of lifelong learning in a way that is practical and relevant to local contexts and individual and health system learning needs.
  • She supervised the first doctoral candidate to graduate from the Department of Family Medicine at UP in 2015.
  • She has published academic monographs and guides as well as numerous peer reviewed journal articles and reports.
  • She has published a number of books in the Red Ribbon children’s series on HIV/AIDs. She also has created and produced a number of educational and videos, the most recent being the UP COVID-19 Awareness Campaign Health is in our Hands videos.



Tessa Shein Marcus

DoB: 26 April 1955 Place: South Africa.

Employer: University of Pretoria. Department of Family Medicine: 2006-

Position: Associate Professor

Published by Talita Hugo

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