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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 2023 are invited to apply online as from April 2022.  In order to ensure adequate time for application, processing and planning by the university and yourself, online applications for admission in 2023 should be submitted by:


  • 30 JUNE 2022 for MBChB applications with the NBT to be written by no later than 31 JULY 2022.
    • The NBT must be written by ALL school leavers, or those enrolled in their first year of study at an institution of higher learning.


Please note, places in some qualifications 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 as there are a limited number of spaces.

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 everyone who applies with the minimum average will be given a place. 

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 for their grade 11 final results. A final offer will only be made once their final NSC results have been confirmed and the student has met the minimum requirements for admission.

All applicants who are school leavers, or those enrolled in their first year of study at an institution of higher learning, will need to write the National Benchmark Test (NBT).  Applicants who are enrolled in a degree where they have completed a full year of study or have completed a degree will not need to write the NBT. 

The National Benchmark Tests comprise three multiple-choice tests, written as a combined Academic Literacy and Quantitative Literacy (AQL) test, and a separate Mathematics test. The AQL is a three-hour test that consists of an Academic Literacy (AL) section and a Quantitative Literacy (QL) section. The results of the two sections of the test are recorded separately. The second test is Mathematics (MAT), which is also multiple-choice and three hours in duration.

Applicants are advised to have registered at least 3 weeks before writing the NBT. (see Applicants must have written the NBT by the end of July.

This will contribute to determining the academic merit of the students. 

  • 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 1st Additional Language, Mathematics, Physical Science and Life Scences.

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


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 (eg. Human Biological) Science qualification. 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 any academic results) will initially be evaluated on their NBT and NSC results as per school leavers.

The above requirements are the minimum requirements does not guarantee you 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.

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