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Course content

Clinical Epidemiology is the science of applying the best available research evidence to patient care. It uses the methods of epidemiology to find scientifically valid answersto questions concerning diagnosis, prevention, therapy, prognosis and aetiology, thus improving the evidence-base for the care of individual patients

In January 2008, the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences launched the Masters Programme in Clinical Epidemiology. The course offers rigorous methodological training for those with a background or experience in a health-related discipline who wish to pursue a career in clinical research or evidence based practice. The programme is relevant to potential researchers who require robust training in research techniques including advanced concepts and methods of epidemiology. Experienced or newly qualified health professionals are encouraged to apply and submit applications by making enquiries to [email protected]

The MSc Clinical Epidemiology is a completely thesis-based master's programme.

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Course detail

- Description -

This structured Masters Programme covers basic and applied epidemiological concepts, approaching clinical situations from an evidence-based perspective, training in ethics, statistical programmes, study designs and systematic reviews. The research project will be an ongoing 2-year process for the duration of the programme, culminating in submitting a research article for publication. At this stage, the programme is presented using a combination of face-to-face teaching and e-learning.

- Format and assessment -

Continuous and summative assessment of modules will be conducted through written examinations, oral presentations, written assignments and participation in discussions. A pass mark of 50% is required for each module, with a 45% sub-minimum on formative and summative assessments. The student will be required to participate successfully and to integrate knowledge in projects, reports and assignments. An external examiner is appointed for every module. A candidate who fails any module may be denied the right to re-register for the programme.

Thesis in Epidemiology: The student must complete a research project that is examined in terms of University guidelines through a process of internal and external examination.

Application procedure

To be admitted to the programme the candidate shall conform to the above requirements, submit a complete research protocol to the satisfaction of the programme committee of the Division and submit proof of sufficient and relevant research experience. If the prospective student cannot submit proof of research experience in epidemiology or public health sciences, the successful completion of the following modules of the structured MSc in Clinical Epidemiology programme is an additional requirement:

- Fundamentals of Epidemiology
- Biostatistics I
- Research Proposal Writing and Grantsmanship
- Biostatistics II

Career options

Clinical research or evidence based practice.

How to apply:


Stellenbosch University is recognised internationally as one of the top research-intensive universities on the African continent. The number of NRF-rated researchers, South African Research Chairs, and the national research Centres of Excellence based at Stellenbosch University attest to the exceptional academic leadership available in a stimulating and vibrant academic environment. We are building our good reputation and eminence as a university of excellence and relevance by providing a sustainable impetus for cutting-edge and significant research. To find out more about postgraduate studies and research at Stellenbosch University, download the document below.


While the University tries to assist postgraduate students as far as possible in providing funding for their studies, there are also external organisations that provide funding. In such cases, Stellenbosch University is not involved in administering the funds of said organisations, and the application processes, guidelines and criteria of these external funding mechanisms should be consulted. Find out more here:

English Support

Stellenbosch University Language Centre is a vibrant hub for students, staff and clients who require language and communication assistance. The Centre is tasked to improve the institutional multilingual teaching offering as well as individual multilingualism at the University. In keeping with the growing number of postgraduate students at the University, the Language Centre is constantly increasing its offering to this group of students. This can be seen from the wide range of services that the Centre is already providing to the postgraduate community. Find out more:






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