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Faculty of Health Sciences
Research Excellence at University of Pretoria

Research at the University of Pretoria (UP) is at the apex of the University’s long-term strategic plan, UP 2025, which is to be a leading research-intensive university in Africa. Equally important is the University’s international visibility and the impact of its research and innovation on socio-economic development in South Africa and in the region. UP therefore deliberately balances its focus on research and innovation and the partnerships fostered by creating an environment that is conducive to scholarly pursuits. A wide range of research and professional areas underscores the strength of UP in research and postgraduate education, and also the areas in which UP is positioned as a research leader in Africa and internationally.

UP has been home to some of Africa’s most significant leaders in research. Each year the increasing number of National Research Foundation-rated researchers is evidence of the University’s commitment to attracting and retaining researchers of the highest distinction, as well as young researchers with the potential for research excellence. It is through the sustained individual and collective actions of our researchers that UP continues to strengthen its identity as a leading research-intensive university in Africa.

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Academic Programmes

Available Postgraduate Programmes

Postgraduate studies in the Faculty of Health Sciences cover all categories, from diplomas through to doctoral level. Postgraduate short courses and seminars are also well attended for compliance with the requirements of Continued Professional Development (CPD).

Read more about the Faculty of Health Sciences’ postgraduate programmes.


Research Areas and Supervisors

UP’s new Future Africa campus will be the place where Africa’s leading scientists and scholars from across the world, and from a broad range of disciplines, will come together to leverage the benefits of transdisciplinary research to address the grand challenges that face Africa and the world.

The Future Africa campus will provide a dynamic living, learning and research environment where a community of scholars and other societal role players will engage to advance excellence in scholarship, dialogue and impact.

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Researchers at the Faculty of Health Sciences are dedicated to contributing to global health issues by focussing on Africa. Many of Africa’s healthcare challenges are closely linked to the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). These goals are interconnected and the success of these are based on inter-, multi- and transdisciplinary research-driven solutions. The Faculty contributes, through collaborative research networks, to the achievement of a number of the SDGs, but most of its research is aimed at the achievement of SDG3, which focuses on Good health and well-being.

UP aims to create an enabling environment in which our postgraduate students and their supervisors can function optimally. Our supervisors provide academic guidance and mentorship to students and are key role players in the administrative efficiency of postgraduate study.

Read more about the Faculty of Health Sciences research areas


Research That Matters


Prof Tiaan de Jager
Dean: Faculty of Health Sciences

The Faculty of Health Sciences continues to exemplify and build on UP’s vision of being a leading, research-intensive university in Africa: it is recognised internationally for its quality, relevance and impact, as well as for creating knowledge, developing people and making a difference locally and globally.

The Faculty is home to 5500 undergraduate and 1500 postgraduate students, and its research output has grown in response to the need for research that is relevant to the improvement of health and health care, and advancing medicine in South Africa, Africa and globally.

The diverse research focus areas of the Faculty are reflected on our research pages, as is our research support system.  The number of PhD graduates, postdoctoral fellows and research grants has grown substantially and we are an institution of choice for those committed to being serious health science researchers.

The Faculty is committed to increasing its research contribution to society, building on its unique identity, strengths and relevance.


Faculty of Health Sciences

Researchers in the Faculty of Health conduct basic, clinical and translational research, reflecting a diversity of research that contributes to health knowledge and interventions in South Africa, Africa and globally — from stem cells to community health promotion.

Three research institutes, namely: the Institute for Cellular and Molecular Medicine; the UP Institute for Sustainable Malaria Control; and the Sport, Exercise Medicine and Lifestyle Institute, pool clusters of sub-disciplines throughout UP to produce cutting-edge research, which contributes significantly to the advancement of new knowledge in the Life, Medical and Clinical Sciences.

The Faculty hosts research centres focussed on the areas of Forensic Anthropology, Viral Zoonosis and Neuroendocrinology, Ethics and Philosophy of Health Sciences, as well as research units on Maternal and Infant Health Care Strategies, Community Orientated Primary Care and Environmental Chemical Pollution and Health. New therapies are tested in a Clinical Trials Unit.

The Faculty of Health Sciences is also a partner in three University Institutional Research Themes in Food, Nutrition and Well-being; the Management of Animal and Zoonotic Diseases; and in Genomics. The hallmark of our research remains its focus on health and health-care challenges facing South Africa and Africa, from laboratory based, cutting-edge science to finding solutions to health-care burdens.

Institutes, Centres and Units

In line with its mission of pursuing recognition and excellence in its core functions of research, teaching and learning, as well as integrating engagement with society and communities, UP consolidates many of its research, teaching and engagement activities in 100 institutes, centres and units in the faculties.

A significant number of South African Research Chairs (funded by the South African Research Chairs Initiative), as well as research chairs funded by industry, are housed in these institutes, centres and units. Research themes spanning expertise across departments or faculties are often also often based in these institutes, centres and units.

Read more about UP’s Institutes, Centres and Units

The Faculty of Health Sciences hosts 11 Institutes, Centres or Units that produce cutting-edge research, contributing significantly to the advancement of new knowledge in the Life, Medical and Clinical Sciences.

Read more about the institutes, centres and units aligned to the Faculty of Health Sciences

Your Postgraduate Journey

The University of Pretoria welcomes you to its comprehensive and exciting postgraduate degree programmes. Your postgraduate journey starts from the point of registration to graduation, with guidance from an academic supervisor allocated to you. As soon as a supervisor has been appointed to oversee your research project, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), which stipulates responsibilities of the student and those of the supervisor, must be signed.

A plagiarism policy should also be signed together with the MOA. In order to support your efforts to graduate successfully and on time, there are critical milestones that should be achieved during the whole journey. Details of the milestones are given in an online system called the Graduate Research Management (GRM) system that has been developed to facilitate monitoring of progress of students in the postgraduate journey.

The GRM system will help you to monitor your progress in terms of achievement of all the pertinent milestones in your postgraduate journey. In addition, various structures of the university are there to provide you with a wide range of academic as well as administrative support. More information about the postgraduate journey and support programmes offered can be found in the postgraduate roadmap.

Funding Opportunities

As a postgraduate student or prospective student at UP, there are a number of research resources available to you to identify suitable research funding opportunities. Apart from the University, many companies and institutions offer scholarships and bursaries for postgraduate studies. The University manages a number of financial funds on behalf of institutions who provide such funding. Applications for financial assistance, bursaries or funding must be submitted concurrently while you apply for admittance to your postgraduate programme. Funding is subject to approval and availability.

Read more about funding opportunities.


Explore Our Campus

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The Prinshof Campus of the University of Pretoria (UP) is home to the University's Faculty of Health Sciences and can be found adjacent to the Steve Biko Academic Hospital.

Postgraduate Accommodation

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Prinshof Accommodation

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Other Postgraduate Interests

Financial Support

Financial Support

The University of Pretoria is proud of all the academic achievements of our students. And if you choose UP, we have the [email protected] Assist Financial Awards for new first-year students who have excelled academically.




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How to apply?

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Contact Us


  • University of Pretoria
    Dr Savage Rd
    Prinshof 349-Jr
  • www.up.ac.za

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