Master of Medicine (MMed) – Research Information Brochure



As a postgraduate qualification of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), the MMed degree is an internationally recognized post-graduate qualification for medical doctors who specialize in various medical disciplines.  The programme has been established to provide in-service clinical training and to give clinicians research experience in their area of interest.  Scholars will be lectured to and mentored by recognized experts in their field and clinical experience will be provided at a range of healthcare sites within KwaZulu-Natal.    Successful completion of the degree will lead to fellowship with an appropriate college within the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa, registration as a specialist with the HPCSA and prepares the candidate to engage in research activities as a supervisor, become a research collaborator or enroll for a doctoral degree.


The degree consists of coursework and in-service clinical training, as well as a research project which complies with the HPCSA requirements to train as a specialist.  The minimum duration of the programme is four years full-time. UKZN understands the time constraints experienced during full time clinical training and although it is required that students should comply with the research component within the specified time period of four years, the university allows a maximum registration period of six years for the completion of the degree.


For eligibility to register within the programme, refer to the College of Health Sciences handbook.

The following admission processes apply:

  1. All candidates should be in a specialist training post within the discipline of choice at the Department of Health in KwaZulu-Natal or the National Health Laboratory Services in KwaZulu-Natal.
  2. All candidates should apply for registration at UKZN as post-graduate student.
  3. All candidates should apply for registration with the HPCSA as a specialist-in-training.

Normally specialist training posts in the Department of Health and the National Laboratory Services of KwaZulu-Natal are filled in January or July of each year, but posts may become available outside these periods due to resignations, withdrawals and or other reasons.

Registration with UKZN should happen every year before mid-February or if a position is taken up later in the year, within 1 months of taking up the clinical training post.


Students should register for the following modules:

  • Research Methodology (16 Credits)
  • Clinical and Professional Practice 1 (270 credits)
  • Research Project (164 credits)
  • Clinical and Professional Practice 2 (270 credits)
  • Graduation (720 credits)

*Please refer to specific
clinical disciplines for programme content and details.   In service training is in the specialist area
of the discipline, the details of which will be decided within the academic

Suggested Time

  •  Clinical and Professional Practice 1 :Year 1-2
  •  Research Methodology :Year 1
  • Clinical and Professional Practice 2: Year 2-4
  • Research Project : Year 2-3




The online Research Methodology module is a
semester based module. It is advised that students attempt the module having
identified an area of research in collaboration with their research supervisor.
This is a necessary prerequisite for completion of module tasks which
collectively develop into a research protocol. Students receive feedback on
task submissions from the module coordinator and the research supervisor.     The final
protocol is submitted to the Postgraduate Office for approval of the study towards
MMed degree.


module content includes:

Introduction to the Research Process

Formulating a research question (aim, objectives)

Literature Review, 
Library Resources, Referencing

Reading Scientific literature

Research designs (appropriate sampling, case
studies, surveys, epidemiology, systematic review, health

systems research, experimental design, etc)

Research protocol – including planning data

Instrument design and testing

Ethics of research

10.               Analyzing data (descriptive and comparative)

11.               Quantitative and Qualitative data analysis

12.               Discussing research results

13.               Presenting research

14.               Writing research reports

15.               Ethics of publishing


b. The Research Project

The research component
constitutes 25% of the degree.  The
research project may include the following:

retrospective chart reviews

retrospective mining of prospective databases

case series (not single cases)

collective review of a topic

systematic review of a topic

surveys, including epidemiology

Quantitative/qualitative/mixed methods research

Health systems research

Experimental design pilot study (provided it
fulfill certain criteria)

Experimental design research based project

Medical Education


A dissertation
based on the research may be submitted for the MMed examination and is examined
in accordance with University rules. Printed article or those accepted for
publication (proof of acceptance should be provided) are accepted to fulfill
the research criteria without further examination. 

fulfill the requirements for the MMed degree once they have successfully
completed all the relevant College of Medicine of South Africa examinations as
well as the final report on the research component.   



a)         The
supervisor must ensure that the protocol is of high quality and appropriate for
the purposes of the degree for which the student is registered. There is no
formal external review process. We suggest that academics and students within
the disciplines present their work to each other to receive consultative input
to improve the work of the students.


b)         The
Academic Leader of Research is available for advice and assistance.


c)     The
protocol, the protocol submission page and the formal ethics application must
be submitted to the Postgraduate Office. These documents can be accessed on the
university website under the School of Clinical Medicine webpage.


d)        The
Postgraduate Office will forward the submission to the relevant ethics
committee once the protocol has been approved by the Academic Leader and Gate
Keepers permission has been granted.


e)         Once
the Ethics Committee has granted permission the research may begin.





university rules apply to the MMed degree – refer to the College of Health
Sciences handbook.




Dr Veena Singaram: Academic Leader –Research, School of Clinical
Medicine, Room  222, Main Building, Medical
Campus; Tel: 031 260 4594;


Prof M Adhikari: Scientific Advisor: School of Clinical Medicine – Room
298, Main Building, Medical Campus; Tel 031 260 4147,


Dr Serela Ramklass: Coordinator: Research Methodology: School of
Clinical Medicine, Room218, Main Building, Medical Campus; Tel: 031 260 4123;


Mrs Lushy Konar: Postgraduate, Higher Degrees & Research
Administration- School of Clinical Medicine, Room 410, Main Building, Medical
Campus; Tel: 031 260 44116;



Ms Thuli Ngcobo: Postgraduate, Higher Degrees & Research
Administration- School of Clinical Medicine, Room 410, Main Building, Medical
Campus; Tel: 031 260 4999;



Mr Subisiso Mbokazi: Postgraduate, Higher Degrees & Research
Administration- School of Clinical Medicine, Room 410, Main Building, Medical
Campus; Tel: 031 260 4495;




Mrs Veronica Jantjies: Postgraduate, Higher Degrees & Research
Administration- School of Clinical Medicine, Room 410, Main Building, Medical

Tel: 031 260 4745; e-mail: