Wits Health Sciences

Wits Health Sciences, The University of the Witwatersrand Faculty of Health Sciences, located in Johannesburg – the hub of the South African economy, offers a real-world training experience that prepares students for a future in the healthcare sector across the globe.

Undergraduate teaching programmes in the Faculty are student-centred, internationally recognised, socially responsive and exemplify excellence in all dimensions. Approximately 600 health sciences professionals graduate each year and are sought-after, both nationally, regionally and globally. Students who wish to undertake professional degrees in health sciences are offered nine different undergraduate programmes to choose from. In addition, the Faculty boasts a unique programme, the Graduate Entry Medical Programme, which allows students with tertiary qualifications degrees to enter into the Medical degree in the third year of the programme.

Once you have graduated from the Wits Faculty of Health Sciences, you may look to further your studies through our various postgraduate training and research programmes.

The Faculty is highly cognisant of – and responsive to – the healthcare challenges facing South Africa. Our clinicians and researchers selflessly choose to work in the public sector, where they strive to understand and develop solutions addressing the pressing healthcare concerns of our country. Staff and students are offered the opportunity to make a lasting contribution to the health and wellbeing of communities both locally and across our borders.

The Faculty provides excellent support and an intellectually stimulating environment for the training of postgraduate students. Through postgraduate research and training programmes, you could contribute to solutions that address some of the major challenges such as HIV/Aids, tuberculosis (TB), malaria, and diseases of lifestyle.

The Faculty of Health Sciences is well known for its internationally recognised, cutting-edge research, which is conducted through 18 research entities and a Centre of Excellence, five DST/NRF South African Research Chairs and many individual researchers who are involved in relevant basic and applied research in all fields of health sciences. 

The Faculty comprises seven Schools. These are in the disciplines of Clinical Medicine, Therapeutic Sciences, Oral Health Sciences, Public Health, Pathology, Anatomical Sciences and Physiology.

The School of Clinical Medicine (SoCM) is the largest school in the Faculty with nine departments and about 40 divisions, which include sub-specialities. The SoCM trains its undergraduate and postgraduate students at a number of teaching platforms including Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, the Helen Joseph Academic Hospital and the Rahima Moosa Hospital, bringing the total number of beds serviced in these hospitals to approximately 6 000.The SoCM prides itself on the high throughput of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery students. In addition, the School’s candidates constitute the majority of those sitting for the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa (CMSA) Examinations, with a pass rate often above CMSA average. The SoCM hosts four recognised centres, with the Centre for Rural Health and the Steve Biko Bioethics Centre being pillars of the Faculty’s social accountability stance, addressing matters of access to health care for all South Africans.

The Wits School of Public Health (WSPH) enjoys an exceptional national and international reputation in teaching, research, academic service and partnerships. The School’s endeavours reflect its values of academic excellence, diversity, equity, human rights, social justice and responsiveness to the population health needs of South Africa and Africa. The 80 full-time academics in the School are from different disciplinary backgrounds that range from the social to the bio-medical sciences, enhancing multi-disciplinary approaches essential for public health. WSPH academic activities are also supported by more than 100 honorary staff members.

The staff, students and partners of the School of Therapeutic Sciences are committed to inquiry, the search for knowledge and excellence in teaching and service provision. The academic departments in the School have a rich history steeped in the traditions of professional education. In 2013 the Nursing Department celebrated their 76th Anniversary, the Physiotherapy Department celebrated their 75th Anniversary and the Occupational Therapy celebrated their 70th anniversary.

The School of Pathology provides excellence in pathology in the form of service, teaching and research. It has responsibilities to the Faculty of Health Sciences and the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) with staff offered dual appointments within both. The School contributes to the public health in South Africa through the provision of cost-effective, high-quality diagnostic laboratory services to the public sector.

The School of Oral Health Sciences is a leader in Dental Education in South Africa. It qualified the first dentists trained in South Africa in 1927, and continues to graduate thousands of oral health care experts, whether as dentists, oral hygienists or specialists, making a significant contribution to the oral health of the community.The Wits Dental Hospital is located within the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital and offers affordable quality health care to all individuals at any age. Primary Dental care is provided comprehensively by the undergraduate students of the School who are under the close supervision of experienced faculty members. The School also supports extensive oral health care services to distant communities, through initiatives such as The Transnet-Phelophepa Health Care Train, hosted by the Transnet Foundation.

The School of Physiology is the largest entity teaching physiology in South Africa and plays a significant role in the training of physiologists. The School has approximately 1000 students registered for its courses and contributes to the teaching of more than 500 other students.The School houses three University-recognised research entities namely the Brain Function Research Group, the Cardiovascular Pathophysiology and Genomics Research Unit and the Bone Research Laboratory.

The School of Anatomical Sciences currently comprises three academic divisions, namely morphological anatomy, structural biology (histology), and biological anthropology. Undergraduate students are instructed on the structure and development of the human body, in addition to human biology and cell biology. The current research activities of the School are broad, covering the fields of Biological Anthropology, Comparative Neurosciences, Adult Neurogenesis, and Reproductive Biology. The Human Variation and Identification Research Unit (HIRU)offers a professional forensic anthropological and archaeological service of the highest international standard.

The Faculty of Health Sciences has an outstanding international reputation and many of our graduates are leaders in their fields, both in South Africa and worldwide.


  • In 2014 the University revised the admissions policy for all undergraduate degrees in the Faculty of Health Sciences.
    Revised Health Sciences Admissions Policy

The study of health sciences emphasises the importance of physical and mental wellbeing, and provides access to various careers either as a professional practitioner, in education as a lecturer, or in medical research.


  • There are two points of entry into MBBCh:
  • First year for applicants who are currently in Grade 12 and
  • Third year for applicants who have completed a degree (this is the Graduate Entry Medical Programme (GEMP)

No application to second year will be considered. Those applicants who are currently studying or who have studied at a tertiary institution are advised to complete their studies and apply for admission to the GEMP.


We offer excellent postgraduate supervisors who participate in cutting edge research and are thus able to guide and support students during their engagement with research.

Wits is recognised both locally and internationally for the quality of its research and for the exemplary training of its postgraduate students.

Our academic staff are involved in ground breaking research in clinical, applied and basic sciences, thus providing fertile and varied fields in which you may choose to work. The research environment in the Faculty is stimulating and thought-provoking.

Contact Us

General Enquiries

Switchboard: 011 717 1000 

Student Enquiries

  • Undergraduate Office

Ms Henda Van der Walt
Deputy Faculty Registrar and Head: Undergraduate Administration
Email: Henda.Vanderwalt@wits.ac.za 
Phone: 011 717 2061 (Direct) / 011 717 2545 (Reception)

  • Postgraduate Office

Ms Sandra Benn
Faculty Registrar
Email: Sandra.benn@wits.ac.za
Phone: 011 717 2040 (Direct) / 011 717 2545 (Reception)

Office of Student Support

General Email: studentsupport.health@wits.ac.za  
Phone: 011 717 2565

Ms Ntsiki Mapukata
Head of Department: Student Support 
Email: ntsiki.mapukata@wits.ac.za  
Phone: 011 717 2431 (Reception) / 011 717 2703 (Direct)


  • Dean

Professor Martin VellerEmail: Poovy.Govender@wits.ac.zaPhone: 011 717 2555

  • Assistant Dean: Teaching & Learning

Professor Judith Bruce
Email: judith.bruce@wits.ac.za 
Phone: 011 717 2488 / 011 717 2764

  • Administrative Assistant

Mr Norman Motlhabani
Email: gobotsamang.molhabani@wits.ac.za 
Phone: 011 717 2488

  • Assistant Dean: Research & Postgraduate Support

Professor Maria Papathanasopoulos
Email: maria.papathanasopoulos@wits.ac.za

  • Administrative Secretary

Mr Xolani Tembu
Email: xolani.tembu@wits.ac.za 
Phone:011 717 2530

  • Faculty Strategic Projects Co-Ordinator 

Mrs Poovy Govender
Email: Poovy.Govender@wits.ac.za
Fax: 086 55 33 88 7 / Phone: 011 717 2555

Campus Protection Services (Health Sciences)

Phone:  011 717 2222 / 011 717 2333 (Medical School)
Phone: 011 717 2699 (Phillip V Tobias Building)

Physical Address

Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand
Phillip V Tobias Health Sciences Building
29 Princess of Wales Terrace
South Africa

Postal Address

Faculty of Health Sciences
University of the Witwatersrand
Private Bag 3
WITS 2050
South Africa

GPS co-ordinates: 26 10 34.28″ S – 28 02 46.98″ E