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We offer a six year MBChB degree. The full name for the MBChB degree is Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery.

The purpose of Nelson Mandela University’s MBChB programme is to train caring, competent and committed primary health care oriented, medical doctors who will work as members of inter-professional teams, to practice in holistic, culturally sensitive and comprehensive ways.

Prospective students who wish to join Nelson Mandela University in 2025 are invited to apply online as from April 2024.  In order to ensure adequate time for application, processing and planning by the university and yourself, online applications for admission in 2025 should be submitted by:

  • 30 JUNE 2024 for MBChB applications

Please note, places for the MBChB qualification are limited, and it is therefore in your best interest to submit your online application and ALL supporting documentation timeously. Before completing an online application form, please take note of the minimum required criteria for the MBChB qualification, refer to the Medical School FAQ’s (, A-Z career webpage, faculty websites or faculty guides for additional information. Online applications can be accessed via the following link:

Please note that the application for MBChB is not on a first come first accepted basis, and all applications will be reviewed collectively as there are a limited number of places.

You will need the following to be eligible to apply for the MBChB degree:

  • Minimum NSC statutory requirements for degree entry must be met.
  • An applicant with NSC Grade 12 Mathematics requires a minimum Applicant Score of 430.
  • NSC achievement rating of at least 60% for English (home language or first additional language).
  • NSC achievement rating of at least 60% for Mathematics.
  • NSC achievement rating of at least 60% for Physical Sciences.
  • NSC achievement rating of at least 60% for Life Science.

It is important to note that not every applicant that meets the minimum requirements will be given a place.

For an applicant applying with Grade 11 final exam results, the above requirements also apply, and the applicant will need to maintain these results in their grade 12 June/September NSC (or equivalent).

It is important to note that places are offered conditionally to Grade 12 applicants based on the aggregate of the results that we have at the time when the Selection Committee meets. A final offer will only be made once the final NSC results have been confirmed and the applicant has met the minimum requirements for admission.

No. The NBT is not a requirement for the 2025 intake.


  • Your Applicant Score (AS) is calculated by adding the six best subjects, excluding Life Orientation (LO)
  • Write down your subjects and the most recent percentage (%) obtained in each subject (NO Gr 12 March results).
  • You MUST include the results for the following four compulsory subjects: English Home language or English 1st Additional Language, Mathematics, Physical Science and Life Sciences.

In addition, for those applicants from quintile 1 to 3 schools who attain 50% or higher for Life Orientation, 7 additional points are added to their score out of 600 to arrive at their final AS.

The table below provides an example of how to calculate the AS for:

  • An applicant who has 7 NSC/IEB subjects:
NSC Subjects % obtained % used to calculate the AS
isiXhosa (Home Language) 78 78
English (1st Add. Language) 65 65
Mathematics 74 74
Physical Sciences 75 75
Life Orientation 85 -
Life Sciences 74 74
Business Studies 85 85
Applicant Score (AS): - 451


Equivalency Conversion Table to enable Percentages to be obtained from which an Applicant Score (AS) can be calculated

International/Foreign/NCV level 4 & senior certificate equivalency conversion table

  • South African applicants with International, NC(V) level 4 or Foreign School-Leaving certificates, should use the table below to calculate an equivalent Applicant Score (AS) for admission, based on percentages obtained in such certificates.
  • Applicants with international or foreign qualifications must also satisfy the requirements laid down by the Matriculation Board to qualify for a certificate of exemption for a particular international or foreign school-leaving qualification. Applications for such certificates must be made to the Matriculation board directly:
  • Applicants will have to comply with the minimum Applicant Score (AS) set for the UG qualification they wish to apply for, as well as meet any other additional subject requirements directly.
  • To calculate your Applicant Score (AS) use the symbols/achievement rating/percentages obtained in your school-leaving examinations to convert them to an equivalent achievement standard on the National Senior Certificate (NSC).
  • Your AS is calculated using six subjects, which must include the language(s) and subjects required for admission but excluding LO.


* It is recommended that the midpoint of the NSC percentage range be used when calculating the AS, as the results of the above qualifications (excluding the NCV Fundamentals) are reported as either a symbol or numeric value.  The range of Subject % exceeds the 100% mark to allow for inclusion of the A Level and IB HL as both qualifications are considered to be at a higher level than the NSC.

** As the Fundamental subjects are considered to be at the same level as the NSC, use the actual percentage obtained by the applicant for Language and Mathematics / Mathematical Literacy.  For the four Vocational Subjects use the values in the relevant column of the table above.

*** A symbol 4 obtained for a NSSC Higher Level / HIGCSE subject is regarded as a pass mark in the equivalent Ordinary or IGCSE level subject except for a First Language subject which becomes a 2nd language pass if another language is also passed (From:



NSC National Senior Certificate 0-Level Ordinary Level
Senior Cert HG Senior Certificate Higher Grade AS Advanced Subsidiary
Senior Cert SG Senior Certificate Standard Grade A-Level Advanced level
HIGCSE Higher International Graduate Certificate of Secondary Education IB HL International Baccalaureate Schools (Higher Levels)
IGCSE International Graduate Certificate of Secondary Education IB SL International Baccalaureate Schools (Standard Levels)
NSSC HL Namibian Senior Secondary Certificate Higher Levels KCSE Kenyan Certificate of Secondary Education
NSSC OL Namibian Senior Secondary Certificate Ordinary Levels NC(V)4 National Certificate Vocational Level 4



Yes, but please note that preference will be given to applicants who meet the minimum NSC criteria for entry into the programme.   Additionally, consideration will be given to students who had attended non-fee-paying schools as well as those applicants who are enrolled at Nelson Mandela University in the Faculties of Health Sciences, and relevant Science qualification (e.g. Human Biological Sciences). Applicants will be evaluated on their university academic record.

The applicant must obtain a minimum academic average mark of at least 65% for the previous completed year(s) of the current degree for which they are registered.

If an applicant is in an extended programme they can only apply after the completion of their second academic year of the programme. (Usually after their third chronological year at University).

A candidate must have registered for the full course load for the specific degree.

Applicants still undergoing their undergraduate studies will first be evaluated on their university academic record. First-year applicant's academic performance (who have not yet obtained a full-year academic results) will initially be evaluated on their NSC results as per school leavers .  If an application is successful, a minimum academic average of 65% or above would need to be obtained at the end of the academic year

The above requirements are the minimum requirements for the qualification and does not guarantee entry into the programme.

Yes, but please note that preference will be given to applicants who meet the minimum NSC criteria for entry into the programme. Additionally, consideration will be given to students who had attended non-fee paying schools as well as those with a degree from the Health Sciences, or relevant (eg. Human Biological) Science qualification. 

Applicants will be evaluated on their university academic record. Preference will be given to those who completed their degree within the minimum time.  Applicants must submit their full academic record.  The applicant must have obtained an academic average of at least 65%.

Applicants who have obtained a higher education qualification other than Bachelor degrees must have completed a qualification at NQF level 7 and have achieved a minimum academic average of 75%.

No.  A student will have to enter the MBChB programme from the first year.

South African nationals who have pre university studies from outside the Republic of South Africa will be considered. No international applicants will be considered at this stage.

After obtaining the degree, graduates must successfully complete the prescribed period of internship and community service before they may register as an independent Medical Practitioner with the Health Professions Council of South Africa and be permitted to work independently in the public or private sectors.

Yes, students may be accommodated at one of the on-campus Summerstrand residences.

A shuttle service is available for transporting students from North Campus to Missionvale Campus and back every day.  Dedicated transport will be provided from the Faculty of Health Sciences when you work at the different hospitals in Port Elizabeth (and surrounds) in years four to six.

Before registering as a student, you need to determine whether or not you will have sufficient funds to finance your studies. In addition to the actual study programme/module fees, you should also budget for books, equipment, transport, accommodation, and general living expenses which are excluded from your tuition fees.

Estimated fees/costs can be obtained via the following link: General Financial Information

In planning your budget for your studies, the following costs need to be considered:

  • Laptop to access learning materials and complete assessments
  • HPCSA student registration fees
  • Vaccinations
  • Uniforms (White coat, scrubs, T-Shirts) as needed
  • Equipment costs (e.g. stethoscope)
  • Transport

The MBChB degree is a six-year degree. The first three years concentrate on the Basic Medical Sciences, as well as laying the foundations for public and primary health care. Students will be taught on the Missionvale Campus, and will also complete community-based placements in underserved areas within Nelson Mandela Bay. The fourth and fifth years have a more clinical focus and students will rotate through different clinical disciplines in Dora Nginza Regional, Livingstone Tertiary, PE Provincial, Elizabeth Donkin and Uitenhage hospitals as well as spending time in district hospitals and community health centres and clinics. The sixth year is known as a student intern year. Students will spend six months in a district hospital in the Eastern Cape, and six months rotating through clinical disciplines in the hospitals of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.

The first three years concentrate on the Basic Medical Sciences, including subjects such as Chemistry and Physics, Medical Biochemistry, Anatomy, Physiology, Pharmacology, and Integrated Pathology. In addition, contextual skills such as Languages, Medical Communication, Professionalism, and Public Health are taught in both a theoretical and practical manner by being centered on community-based placements. Clinical skills are also taught.

In years four to six, students rotate through the clinical disciplines of Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Paediatrics, General Surgery, Psychiatry, Family Medicine, and clinical specialities including Ophthalmology, Urology, Otolaryngology, Emergency Medical Care, Orthopaedics, Radiology and Anaesthetics.

The curriculum has been approved by the Department of Higher Education’s Council for Medical Education, and is SAQA registered.

In many ways, the degree we are offering is similar to other South African medical degrees. It is a six-year degree that will produce a graduate who fulfils the HPCSA graduate attributes and who, on qualification, is competent to work as an intern in a South African hospital. However, in addition to this, we plan to train students in an interprofessional manner so that they have trained and worked alongside other healthcare professionals. We strive to focus on preventive and promotive health care in addition to curative and rehabilitative care. We aim to produce a fit-for-purpose graduate who can contribute to the Eastern Cape and South Africa's priority health care needs.

Traditionally, the training of medical practitioners has embraced the notion of curative health, to help people suffering from disease or injury. However, a central role of health professionals is to maintain health and prevent disease. The preventive approach is research-driven and forms part of public health care, which is evidence-based, practical and astute. Therefore, to develop the capacity of medical doctors, South Africa needs to train them in preventive and promotive medicine – or in other words primary health care. Mandela University is paying special attention to this by incorporating a strong Primary Healthcare focus into its curriculum.

In the first three years, the teaching will be mainly at the Missionvale Campus, with some community-based teaching as well. In the last three years, students will be taught by clinicians working in the hospitals, health centres and clinics in Nelson Mandela Bay, as well as further afield in district hospitals in towns such as Uitenhage, Humansdorp, Graaf Reinet and Makhanda (Grahamstown).

This is predetermined by the HPCSA and may vary from year to year. For the 2022 academic year the intake was 80 students

In each year, ALL modules need to be passed in order to be able to progress to the next year. In the first year, there are three modules that run throughout the whole year. They are Academic Literacy and Reasoning, Basic Medical Science, and Theory & Practice of Medicine.

Yes, support is available. A first-year module called Academic Literacy and Reasoning helps to provide skills so that students can master the academic content of their work and support them in becoming digitally literate. Lecturers have a student-centred approach and are available for consultation to achieve academic success. In addition, a student success coach is available to students so that financial, psychological or academic needs can be addressed, or channelled appropriately.

The first three years is based at the Missionvale Campus, on the R75 Uitenhage Road.

The second three years will see some teaching taking place at the Missionvale Campus, however, the majority of the time will be spent in the health care facilities of Nelson Mandela Bay, such as Dora Nginza Regional and Livingstone Tertiary Hospital.  In addition, students will spend six months in their final year in a district hospital in the Eastern Cape.

In line with a vision to train primary healthcare oriented, socially accountable graduates, comes the opportunity to train at the Missionvale Campus. The campus is situated in an under-resourced area and students can learn - from the communities that surround them - the very real health care needs of the majority of South Africans. The campus is also situated opposite Dora Nginza Regional Hospital where students will train, especially in the final three years of the degree.

 Lecture halls and laboratory facilities have been refurbished on the Missionvale Campus to meet the required needs for teaching.

The facilities include a clinical skills and simulation unit, a basic science laboratory, an anatomy and physiology laboratory, multi-purpose teaching venues, and lecture halls.

The programme embraces technology in order to enhance teaching and learning. The University uses Anatomage tables for virtual dissection, as part of a mixed methods teaching approach for anatomy. In addition, specialised technology is used for physiology practicals. A state-of-the-art clinical skills laboratory has been built and equipped to teach clinical skills and simulation. The use of online learning resources is encouraged.