Programme: MChD Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery (endorsement ChirMaxFac-Dent)

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Code Faculty Department
10252000 Faculty of Health Sciences Department: School of Dentistry
Credits Duration NQF level
Minimum duration of study: 5 years Total credits: 1088 NQF level:  09

Admission requirements

  1. BChD (or equivalent) degree or MBChB (or equivalent) degree
  2. Registration as a dentist and/or physician with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) in the category Independent Practice for at least one year
  3. Passed the Advanced Trauma Life Support Course (maximum three attempts), primary subjects in accordance with Part 1A of the College of Maxillo-Facial and Oral Surgeons of South Africa (Anatomy and Embryology, Physiology, Principles of Pathology and Microbiology and the PGDipDent (Oral Surgery), with a minimum pass mark of 65% in the major subject.

Other programme-specific information

In order to qualify for the degree, a candidate must, for a period of four to eight years, depending on the specific requirements for a particular field of study, have held a full-time training position/registrarship successfully, at a training institution approved by the University. In the case of Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery, a candidate must hold a full-time registrarship for a minimum of four years (for a candidate with both a BChD degree and a MBChB degree), a minimum of seven years (for a candidate with a BChD degree), a minimum of six years years (for a candidate with a MBChB degree), or a minimum of five years (for MChD (ChirMaxFac-Dent)).

Examinations and pass requirements

  1. Examinations in the basic subjects

A student must pass all the basic subjects (Anatomy [with Embryology], Physiology and Pharmacology [University of Pretoria or College of Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery of the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa] before he or she may be admitted to the first year of study. A minimum pass mark of at least 50% is required in all examinations for the University of Pretoria and College of Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery and a minimum pass mark of 65% from another tertiary institution (see also the General Regulations).

  1. Examinations in the subsidiary (intermediary) subjects

(The minimum pass mark is 50%.)

  1. For the endorsement Maxillofacial Surgery-Medicus, a student has to pass in Principles of surgery in the year of study as indicated, before he or she may continue with the programme.
  2. A student has to pass in Applied oral pathology at least two and a half years prior to the examination in his or her major subject.

These subsidiary subjects may be passed at the University of Pretoria or the College of Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery of the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa.

  1. If a student fails any of the subsidiary subjects Principles of surgery or Applied oral pathology, the relevant head of department may recommend that he or she be admitted to a second examination.
  1. Examination and evaluation in the major subject
  1. If a student fails his or her major subject, the student has to reapply for admission to the final examination of the College of Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery of the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa.
  2. In the light of the fact that a postgraduate student may repeat an examination in any subject only once, a student who fails a second examination, will have to discontinue the programme.
  3. If a student has been admitted to a second examination in the major subject, the relevant head of department will determine whether he or she should vacate the registrarship at the end of the training period. The student has to vacate the registrarship immediately after the second examination has been completed.
  4. Subminimum: A student must obtain a subminimum of 60% in the clinical section (operation and short cases) of the examination, with a subminimum of 50% in all the other sections for the master's degree. He or she must also comply with the requirements regarding the number of operation procedures performed in each section, as required by the relevant head of department. A final mark of at least 50% is required in order to pass in a subject.
  5. In addition to the stipulations already mentioned, the student must submit and pass a mini-dissertation (endorsement Maxillofacial Surgery-Med) or a dissertation (endorsement Maxillofacial Surgery-Dent), on an approved topic related to the major subject and submit a manuscript as required (see also the General Regulations). A complete record of operations (as a logbook) must also be submitted.

(v) The master's degree can only be conferred after the National Professional Examination [FCMFOS(SA)] has been passed (as this master's degree and the Fellowship may be used as an interwoven final equivalence examination).


Exemption may be granted by the Dean, on the recommendation of the relevant head of department by virtue of comparable training and/or experience in terms of the requirements of School Regulations, with the proviso that exemption from the examination and evaluation in the major subject may not be granted.

Please note: The regulations of the Health Professions Council of South Africa, as published in the Government Gazette No. 4631 of 11 January 1991 – Notice No. R.40 (as amended), will be used as a criterion in determining the period of exemption.

Pass with distinction

A student who obtains a final mark of at least 75% (on the first attempt) in the major subject, qualifies to obtain the degree with distinction.

General information

  1. The content of the basic subjects, subsidiary subjects and attendance courses will be determined by the relevant head of department in consultation with the head of the department at Dentistry or Medicine.
  2. General information concerning content and extent of the basic and subsidiary subjects is available at the relevant department.
  3. Students have to ensure that certificates of satisfactory preparation are acquired in all the attendance courses.

Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery
Major subject:
Maxillofacial and oral surgery: Experience is acquired through practical and clinical training and supplemented by seminars, discussions, papers and research. Diagnosis, planning, surgical and secondary treatment of diseases, injuries and defects of the human mouth, jaws, face and related structures.

Subsidiary (intermediary) subject:
Principles of surgery: Instruction mainly by the departments of Surgery (and its divisions), Neurosurgery, Otorhinolaryngology, Ophthalmology and Family Medicine. This training takes place over nine months.
Instruction in the subsidiary subject:
Principles of surgery:

Endorsement ChirMaxFac-Med BVC 806
General Surgery (including Paediatric Surgery): 2 months
Intensive Care: 2 months
Neurosurgery: 2 months
Ophthalmology: 1 month
Otorhinolaryngology: 1 month
Plastic Surgery: 1 month
Applied Oral Pathology: 3 months

Endorsement ChirMaxFac-Dent BVC 807
Distress Unit (Family Medicine): 1 month
General Surgery (including Paediatric Surgery): 1 month
Intensive Care: 2 months
Neurosurgery: 2 months
Ophthalmology: 1 month
Otorhinolaryngology: 1 month
Plastic Surgery: 1 month
Applied Oral Pathology: 3 months

General information concerning the endorsements ChirMaxFac-Med and ChirMaxFac-Dent

  1. A candidate with a BChD or BDS degree should preferably enrol for the MChD(ChirMaxFac-Med) programme.
  2. Permission is granted to a student for (ChirMaxFac-Med) to register simultaneously for the postgraduate and undergraduate programmes as applicable. At the end of the programme the student will have complied with all the requirements for the BChD, MBChB and MChD degrees.
  3. The content of the basic and subsidiary (intermediary) subjects and attendance courses will be determined by the relevant head of department, in consultation with the Department of Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery.
  4. Basic and subsidiary (intermediary) subjects: Acknowledgement of basic and/or subsidiary (intermediary) subjects may be granted if all the particular subjects have already been passed at an approved institution such as the Colleges of South Africa (College of Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery) as recommended by the relevant head of department.
  5. Pharmacology as a basic subject has to be passed as a prerequisite before the first year of study, should all other basic subjects be acknowledged by an approved institution.
  6. Instruction in the major subject extends over a minimum period of three years, of which the first year mainly concentrates on minor oral surgery.
  7. A student for the endorsement ChirMaxFac-Med can only fulfil his or her clinical obligations in Principles of Surgery after he or she has complied with the requirements for the MBChB degree, as well as having completed the Certificate for Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) (before commencing the registrarship).
  8. The instruction in the last two years in the major subject takes place only after having successfully completed the subsidiary subjects.
  9. The first year of registrarship is acknowledged as an additional year of experience for Medicine and Dentistry if the training in Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery is discontinued. However, a student who discontinues one of the subjects must resign from the registrarship immediately.
  10. The basic subjects for Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery (endorsements ChirMaxFax-Med and ChirMaxFac-Dent) are identical.
  11. The requirements for the major subject are: Submission of a mini-dissertation (endorsement ChirMaxFac-Med) and a dissertation (endorsement ChirMaxFac-Dent), a letter from an appropriate journal editor, acknowledging receipt of the draft manuscript, surgical portfolio (logbook) with minimum cases treated per surgical section, a prescribed summary of case reports, any publications, research abstracts, examination in a surgical procedure and examination in patient short cases conducted under examination conditions.
  12. A student may only proceed with the final FC MFOS (SA) examination after fulfilling the requirements for the MChD(ChirMaxFac-Med or -Dent) as stipulated in 11. above.
  13. The MChD(ChirMaxFac-Med or -Dent) may only be awarded after successfully passing the final examination for the FC MFOS (SA).
  14. Costs or fees for any examination(s) and registration at the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa have to be met by the student.

The information published here is subject to change and may be amended after the publication of this information. The General Regulations (G Regulations) apply to all faculties of the University of Pretoria. It is expected of students to familiarise themselves well with these regulations as well as with the information contained in the General Rules section. Ignorance concerning these regulations and rules will not be accepted as an excuse for any transgression.

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