A clinical associate is a professional member of the healthcare team who has the necessary knowledge and skills to make a substantial contribution to the South African district health system. Clinical associates are medical assistants working under supervising doctors in the performance of all practice-related activities, including the requisition of diagnostic, therapeutic and other medical services, based on their education, training and experience. Clinical associates can work as members of the healthcare team in district healthcare services.

To register as a clinical associate with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), a student has to obtain a Bachelor of Clinical Medical Practice degree. Potential employers include the Department of Health, the South African Military Health Service and non-governmental organisations.

The Bachelor of Clinical Medical Practice degree is a three-year, full-time programme and has a strong focus on service delivery. The training is practical and patient-oriented and can be summarised as follows:

  • Year 1: Theoretical, practical and clinical training takes place mostly at the Prinshof Campus. The focus is on basic investigative studies, obtaining patients’ medical histories and mastering physical examination techniques. Students are placed in various hospitals in Gauteng.
  • Years 2 and 3: Clinical practicals are offered in various hospitals in Gauteng and Mpumalanga. Clinical skills are gained through service learning in hospitals and clinics and in community contexts.

For more information, please consult the Faculty webpage.

  • Disclaimer: This publication contains information about regulations and programmes of the University of Pretoria. Amendments to or updating of the information may be effected from time to time without prior notification. The accuracy, correctness or validity of the information contained here is therefore not guaranteed by the University at any given time and is always subject to verification. The user is kindly requested to verify the correctness of the information with the University at all times. Failure to do so will not give rise to any claim or action of any nature against the University by any party whatsoever.

Career Opportunities

Clinical associates, academics and researchers

Programme Code


Closing Dates

  • SA – 31/07/2020
  • Non-SA – 31/07/2020

Admission Requirements

  • The following persons will be considered for admission: a candidate who is in possession of a certificate that is deemed by the University to be equivalent to the required National Senior Certificate (NSC) with university endorsement; a candidate who is a graduate from another tertiary institution or has been granted the status of a graduate of such an institution; a candidate who is a graduate of another Faculty at the University of Pretoria; and a candidate who is currently studying at a university.
  • Admission to Health Sciences programmes is subject to a selection process.
  • Grade 11 final examination results results will be used for the conditional selection of prospective students.
  • For selection purposes, the sum of the results in six subjects, including English, Mathematics and Physical Sciences or Life Sciences, is calculated.
  • Life Orientation is excluded in the calculation of the Admission Point Score (APS).
  • Candidates should note that their conditional admission will be revoked if their APS drops by more than two points in their final school examination results.
  • PLEASE NOTE that compliance with the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission to any programme in this Faculty.
  • Selection queries may be directed to click here
  • A student who is made an offer but does not accept it cannot defer the offer and must reapply to be considered in the following year.

Transferring students (university experience)

  • The applications of students who are studying towards a tertiary qualification or have obtained a tertiary qualification must meet the following requirements regarding school subjects and performance levels: They must be in possession of an NSC for degree studies/full exemption certificate and must have attained a performance level of 5 (or 50% HG if completed prior to 2009) for Mathematics and Physical Sciences (or Life Sciences, if required).
  • If the subjects were not passed in Grade 12, the equivalent subjects (Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics) must be completed at the tertiary level. University students do not have to submit any non-academic performance record or CV. In their case selection is based on the results attained in the qualification(s) previously completed, ie they will be considered on the basis of their results achieved in higher education.
  • The completion of only a three-year diploma or certificate is not considered as university experience, but will be considered in the school-leaver category and admission will be based on the applicant’s Grade 12  results and the Biographical Information Form.

Qualifications from countries other than South Africa

  • A limited number of places are made available to citizens from countries other than South Africa, with those from SADC countries being given preference. Permanent residents of RSA are not categorised as foreign students. Applications from citizens from countries other than South Africa may also be considered if they are:
  • citizens or permanent residents of countries which have relevant government to government agreements with South Africa
  • asylum seekers or refugees

University of Pretoria website click here

Minimum requirements

Achievement level

English Home Language or English First Additional Language


Physical Sciences or

Life Sciences



AS Level


AS Level


AS Level








*  Cambridge A level candidates who obtained at least a D in the required subjects, will be considered for admission. Students in the Cambridge system must offer both Physics AND Chemistry with performance at the level specified for NSC Physical Sciences in the table above.

*  International Baccalaureate (IB) HL candidates who obtained at least a 4 in the required subjects, will be considered for admission. Students in the IB system must offer both Physics AND Chemistry with performance at the level specified for NSC Physical Sciences in the table above.

Selection Process

  • Seventy (70) first-year students are selected annually.
  • First- and second-choice applicants are considered.
  • Preference is given to students nominated by Provincial Health Departments in various SA provinces, who must also comply with the minimum admission requirements for this programme.

Selection is based on academic merit and the Biographical Information Form. Candidates must also comply with the minimum admission requirements.

Duration of study

3 years, full-time.

Faculty Notes

As an international role-player focusing on healthcare in Africa,  the vision of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Pretoria is to maintain health standards through quality education, research and community service. Since its inception, it has grown to be one of the largest health training institutions in the country and boasts an undergraduate and postgraduate student corps of over 6 000.

Students who join this Faculty will be part of a new generation of health professionals. The Faculty’s training is outcomes-based and problem-orientated – a unique way of looking at patients and their health.

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