Information for High School Learners

The College of Health Sciences Undergraduate Brochure

Guidelines for Selection of Health Sciences, Nursing BMedSc 

Why Choose UKZN

The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) offers an exceptionally wide range of exciting and innovative courses that will broaden perspectives, foster a capacity for independent critical thinking, and provide intellectual tools to develop your mind, while at the same time enhancing your career opportunities in the local and global marketplace.


The University strives to provide an enabling environment for all its students so as to ensure their individual intellectual development, while at the same time, provide holistic education, which promotes an awareness of social responsibility and sound ethical practice in a diverse society.


And off course not all learning takes place in the lecture theatre. UKZN offers extensive sporting, cultural and extramural facilities and is one of four universities ranked in the world’s top 500 universities. The College of Health Sciences within the University of KwaZulu-Natal is situated in the subtropical seaside city of Durban. It has a climate that invites one into the outdoors, whether it is for surfing or hiking in the lovely Drakensberg mountain range only 2 hours away, or wild game and bird viewing in the internationally renowned national parks, famous for the successful conservation of the Black and White Rhinos. Durban is a city whose urban renewal programme has given us a world-class asset in the architectural delight of the Moses Mabhida Stadium, aesthetically pleasing landscape projects as part of the Greening Durban Project as well as ongoing city wide revival and re-generation programmes. The mix of Zulu, Indian and European cultures in the city makes it a unique urban environment in which to live and work.


 Make History. Choose UKZN.



The College of Health Sciences

The College’s mission is to “…prepare graduates who are excellent scholars, functioning holistically, ethically and in a socially responsive manner within the African health care environment while actively engaging international collaboration and partnerships for education, research and service.” The College is committed to producing healthcare professionals equipped with the  knowledge, skills and attitudes to achieve affordable, accessible and optimal health for all South African and African communities in the spirit of ubuntu and batho pele.


The nursing programme was established in 1956 and is designated as the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Centre (WHOCC) for Nursing and Midwifery, the Joanna Briggs Institute Collaborating Centre for Evidence-Based Nursing and is linked to the Child Survival Project by the Uthukela partnership for health. In line with the WHOCC, the nursing curriculum development and implementation occurs in the whole of Africa including the enrolment of postgraduate students from Africa for the development of leadership to effect developmental changes in these countries. Nursing has been awarded for its work in Africa through the receipt of the President’s Purple Cord Award for being the most active and responsive sub-chapter of the Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Tau Lambda-at-Large Chapter in Africa.


Established in 1976, the programmes of Dentistry; Medical Sciences (Anatomy, Medical Biochemistry and Human Physiology); Physiotherapy, Sport Science and Optometry; Pharmacy and Pharmacology and Audiology, Speech-Language Pathology and Occupational Therapy have a rich heritage for being socially responsive.


As the largest provider of health sciences professional programmes in KwaZulu-Natal, the College is committed to training healthcare professionals, particularly from disadvantaged backgrounds. All undergraduate and postgraduate programmes exemplify academic excellence; relevance to the South African and African healthcare contexts; diverse education and training platforms ranging from rural to urban and primary to tertiary healthcare, community-based education, community outreach and service; innovative research that informs teaching and learning, and international and national collaboration.


The College promotes excellence in teaching and learning through creative and innovative curricula. Virtually all programmes are accredited by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), the South African Pharmacy Council (SAPC) or the South African Nursing Council. Teaching sites at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels offer the best experiential learning exposure. These include public hospitals and clinics both in the rural and peri-urban areas, as well as private and not-for-profit hospitals.


In every sphere of its activities the College is committed to the community it serves and a strong sense of context is reflected in its teaching, research and public service activities. It is also proud to host the $60 million KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV (K-RITH) funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and focusing on the worldwide effort to control the devastating co-epidemic of tuberculosis and HIV. A further 25 research groups contribute towards knowledge production.


The College boasts among its staff and alumni some of the most eminent and respected names in medical and health sciences and academia. Graduates include the current Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi;the current Minister of Finance, Dr Pravin Gordhan,  the premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Dr Zweli Mkhize; the MEC for Health in KZN, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo and the Vice-Chancellor of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba.



General Application Procedure

Applications are processed by the Central Applications Office (CAO) which is a central office that handles applications to all universities and universities of technology in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal. For the most up-to-date information, visit the University’s website at or contact the CAO on 031-268 4444.


How does it work?

The application form allows you to apply to more than one institution. The form allows for six course choices. Please pay attention to the order in which you select your choices.



Application procedure

Applicants pay an application fee by:

         Direct deposit at any branch of First National Bank or via the Internet


·         Cheque or postal order direct to the CAO on submission of a completed application form (the cheque or postal order must be made out to the Central Applications Office and the cheque must be crossed. No cash payments are accepted).


Closing Date For Applications:                                

Medicine                                                                                30 June

Health Sciences Disciplines                                                    30 September





International Applicants: Entrance Requirements

International applicants, like all other applicants, are subject to the Faculty Selection Policy and Procedure. Selection is contingent on the number of spaces available. The qualifications of applicants who wrote non-South African school leaving examinations will be assessed as soon as we receive the applications and copies of certificates.


International applicants may qualify for exemption through AEB or Cambridge examinations if they have two A-levels (‘A’-‘E’) and three O-level passes (‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘C’) or equivalent. Certain subject groupings are required in addition to an O-level pass. The University seeks clarification on foreign qualifications from the Matriculation Board. Applicants are requested to obtain foreign conditional exemption certificates. Please ensure that you have your original documents available on registration and arrange for official translations where applicable.


For more information please consult the International Office website:




Why do you want to become a Health professional?

  1. Do you want to help others? Do you love Math and Science? Is money motivating you? Although a career as a health professional is extremely rewarding and often lucrative after many years of study, healthcare professionals experience high levels of stress and the field requires a great deal of commitment, endurance and hard work. Knowing your motives will help you stay focused later on in your career.
  2. Do you have the strengths and abilities required for this type of career? Healthcare workers are required to have excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Coupled with this you are expected to have a good level of technical and mathematical skills as well as a strong work ethic. As your patients’ lives and their well-being are dependent on your professional ability, you must be responsible and mature at all times. If you’re a person who enjoys learning new things, then a career in the health field will provide you with adequate challenges due to the changing face of infectious diseases, new advancements in technology and emerging treatments.
  3. Where do you want to work? This is an important question to ask yourself. It is important to work in an environment where you’re comfortable. For example if a hospital seems too cold and huge to you, you may prefer to work in a laboratory as a researcher. If you enjoy working with children, you may prefer a career as a paediatrician. Alternatively, if you enjoy being outdoors, a career in sports may appeal to you.
  4. How will your career as a healthcare professional impact on your family and personal life in the long-term scenario? You are often expected to be on call and will work weekends, evenings and during the public holidays. Given these demands of the job, it is important to consider residing in an area that is close to your job. It is important to consider all of these facts before you embark on a career in the health sciences and medicine.





Please contact the Admissions Officer (see contact details at the end of this Brochure) for specific admission requirements for each of the programmes:

Nursing strives to establish itself as a centre of excellence in Nursing and Midwifery education in Africa and the rest of the world. It is committed to developing national and global communities of health professionals and scholars by extending the boundaries of knowledge through innovative research and education in Nursing and Midwifery.  


Registered nurses (RNs) work to promote health, prevent disease, and help patients cope with illness. They are advocates and health educators for patients, families, and communities. When providing direct patient care, they observe, assess, and record symptoms, reactions, and progress in patients; assist physicians during surgery, treatment, and examinations; administer medications; and assist in convalescence and rehabilitation.


The Bachelor of Nursing is a four-year, problem-based, community health-oriented programme which leads to registration as a general nurse, mental health nurse, community health nurse and midwife.

Financing Your Studies


Fees for Undergraduate Courses vary from degree to degree. For the programme offered in the College of Health Sciences, the cost will be around +/- R30 000 per year.


Loans and Financial Aid

UKZN offers very limited financial assistance to students whose combined family income is less than R120 000 per annum. It is generally offered in the form of a loan which must be paid back, with interest, after leaving the University. A portion of the loan may be converted to a bursary if the student passes all modules in a degree. After the first year examinations bursaries may be offered to academically deserving students whose gross family income is more than R100 000 but less than R130 000 per annum.


If you require financial assistance, make sure you indicate this on the CAO Application Form. The University will then send out an application form for Financial Aid to potentially qualifying applicants.



Student Services

Student Services is run by qualified professionals who provide friendly and confidential support and advice. Student Counseling caters for the educational and individual needs of students and offers career advice.


The campus clinics are staffed by part-time medical officers and full-time professional nurses. Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact our Disability Office.




There are on-campus and off-campus residences, but accommodation is limited. Admission to residence is based on need, academic potential, ability to pay and distance from home. It is not possible to accept all applicants and you may need to find accommodation off-campus. Residences comprise of self-catering units with communal kitchens.


Contact Details


·                     Central Applications Office

Tel:  031-2684444



·                     School of Nursing

Tel: +27 31 2602203