South Africa is known to have one of the best medical schools in the world. Students from international countries as well as home students all apply to study medicine in South Africa. However, studying medicine in South Africa can be quite competitive and challenging. You must have a high grade and all the qualifications to have a chance of studying medicine in South Africa.


In South Africa, the demand for doctors is high. As such, medical graduates have easy access to job opportunities as well as high earning potentials. Medicine is a respected and renowned course that will enable you to become part of the respected professionals around the world. However, this career requires you to be hard working, consistent and disciplined from the application process to graduation. Secondly, you need to have all the requirements and qualifications in order to secure a slot in a South African medical school.


In this piece, I will guide you through the processes and requirements that are needed for studying medicine in South Africa.


Requirements for Studying Medicine in South Africa

  1. Have a Science related Background

    You need to have a science background in high school to be able to study medicine in South Africa. Additionally, you must complete and pass your Grade 12. You must have good grades in subjects such as Mathematics, Physics, English, Chemistry and Life science. Generally, you must have a National Senior Certificate with an aggregate of at least 70% before you can gain admission to study medicine in South Africa.

  2. Subject requirements

    You need to have a minimum of 60% in subjects such as mathematics, physical sciences and English Home Language or English First Additional Language. Additionally, you need to have a minimum of 50% in Life Orientation and your other three chosen subjects.

  3. National Benchmark Test(NBTs)

    You need to write this examination especially if you are coming directly from high school. Additionally, the minimum percentage is between 30% – 40%.

  4. Bachelor of Science

    You can apply to study medicine in South Africa if you have a bachelor’s degree. However, you must have a degree that is related to health science or life science. You can obtain a degree in courses such as Anatomy, Physiology, and Microbiology, etc. Secondly, you can gain a bachelor’s degree if you could not gain admission to study medicine after high school.

  5. Non-academic Performance

    This is also crucial, and it differs according to the medical school. While some schools set the cutoff at 10%, others set it at 20%. However, only the school computes the non-academic performance score. As a result, neither the methodology nor the standards are known to the general public. Additionally, this can be accessed from participation in community service.

  6. Meet the Admissions Requirements

    You need to meet the university’s admissions requirement while applying for admissions. The minimum admission point score for studying medicine in medicine is 450. However, you need to verify from the particular university you are applying to.

  7. Submit your Academic Transcripts

    You need to submit all the transcripts of your previous education. Additionally, your transcript should be written in English. Your transcript should contain all your grades and courses you have studied.

  8. English Language Requirements

    English Language is the language of instruction for most South African medicine schools. Therefore, you need to show proof of your English Language Proficiency. Additionally, you need to pass English Home Language or First Additional Language with a minimum of 60%.


How to Apply

You can apply to study medicine by visiting the university’s website that you choose to study in. Additionally, you need to make sure that you submit all the documents that are required by the university.



The duration for studying medicine in South Africa might vary based on the university and your mode of entry. Generally, the journey to becoming a doctor in South Africa takes around 6-7 years.


Tuition Fee

The tuition fee for studying medicine in South Africa can be based on the university. However, the average tuition fees range between R50,000 to R80,000 per year. Additionally, International students pay higher tuition fees.


List of Best Medical schools in South Africa

  1. University of Cape Town, Cape Town, Western Cape
  2. University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Gauteng
  3. North-West University, Potchefstroom, North West
  4. University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, Western Cape
  5. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal
  6. Rhodes University, Grahamstown, Eastern Cape
  7. University of Fort Hare, Bloemfontein, Free State
  8. University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, Free State
  9. Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, Eastern
  10. University of Pretoria, Pretoria, Gauteng
  11. University of the Western Cape, Bellville, Western Cape
  12. Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, Gauteng
  13. University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, Gauteng
  14. University of South Africa, Pretoria, Gauteng
  15. Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, Gauteng
  16. University of Venda, Thohoyandou, Limpopo
  17. University of Limpopo, Mankweng , Limpopo
  18. Durban University of Technology, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal
  19. Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, Western Cape
  20. University of Zululand, Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal
  21. Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha, Eastern Cape
  22. Vaal University of Technology, Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng
  23. Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein, Free State
  24. Mangosuthu University of Technology, Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal


In Conclusion, studying medicine in South Africa can be challenging, but it is not impossible. With the right qualifications and good grades, you can have an opportunity to gain the right knowledge to be a doctor in South Africa. Additionally, you need to make sure that you are well familiarised with the requirements of the university that you wish to apply to. You can reach out to us for further inquires and assistance.


Good luck!

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