MPharmMed Medical Pharmacology

The master’s degree in Medical Pharmacology is a three year part-time postgraduate course for physicians holding a Bachelor’s degree in Medicine and Surgery (MBChB) and who are registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). It aims to meet the demand for trained professionals with expertise in pharmacology. Knowledge of pharmacokinetics and dynamics, drug-interactions and clinical research evidence and guidelines is essential for rational prescribing. The course is therefore designed to increase therapeutic competency and is also highly recommended for those pursuing careers in the pharmaceutical, biotech or managed healthcare industries. It is presented on a modular basis, and is accompanied by a research component in the form of a mini-dissertation. Some modules require compulsory attendance, while others may be studied in students’ own time.

Course summary

First year

  • TNM 802: Research Methodology (Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from February to March; eight sessions; some leeway is given for those who are unable to attend all the sessions).
  • MBS 800: Biostatistics (compulsory attendance; fourteen lectures from January to May on Wednesday mornings 10h00-13h00); examination in June.
  • CLI 872: Principles of Clinical Epidemiology presented by the School of Health Systems and Public Health; a five-day compulsory attendance module.
  • FFD 801: Pharmacokinetic principles (a one day workshop; compulsory attendance, usually in October; examined in November; textbook: Pharmacokinetics Made Easy Donald J Birkets, Australian Prescriber).
  • WKT 881: Research report (protocol must be approved by end of 1st study year).

Second year

  • FFD 802: Pharmacodynamics principles (examination in November).
  • MFM 802: General Pharmacology (examination in November).
  • CLI 873: Evidence Based Medicine and Critical Appraisal of literature (presented by the School of Health Systems and Public Health; a five-day compulsory attendance module).
  • WKT 882: Practical Work & Work Assignments.
  • NAV 882: Progress on research.

Third year

  • FFD 803: ICH-GCP Clinical Research Ethics – Clinical Drug Development (any accredited course will be acceptable – done during the course of the three years).
  • MFM 803: Systematic Pharmacology (examination November).
  • WKT 883: Practical Work & Work Assignments.
  • NAV 883: Final research report.

Written/oral examinations are organized twice a year i.e. in June and November. 

In addition to the examinations, students are required to complete a research project satisfactorily, as well as to prepare a report (NAV 882: Research Report Preparation), which is examined (NAV 883: Research Report), in order to comply with all the requirements for the degree.

Entry requirements

To be eligible to apply for MPharmMed Medical Pharmacology, students should possess the following:

  • MBChB degree or a qualification deemed equivalent by the University for at least one year.
  • Registered as a medical practitioner with the HPCSA.
  • International students must have qualifications verified by SAQA.
Application procedure

Due to the intensive nature of the postgraduate studies, as well as supervisor and infrastructure availability, only a limited number of students can be accepted per year. Students need to apply using the online postgraduate application portal of the University of Pretoria. All applications must be accompanied by a short curriculum vitae, full academic record, and motivation letter. After the application has been submitted, please send through your details to Ms Christa Swart ([email protected]) so that we may track your submission. It is up to the applicant to ensure that their details have been received by the department.


Contact person

   Prof Kim Outhoff

   Associate Professor
   012 319 2412
   [email protected]
   Room 6-11, Basic Medical Sciences Building

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