Requirements To Study Dermatology In South Africa

The requirements to study dermatology in South Africa are stringent. Only a few students each year have the opportunity to study in this field. The requirements include education, training, exams and licensure

Requirements To Study Dermatology In South Africa


To study dermatology in South Africa, you need to be a medical doctor. To become a medical doctor, you will need to complete the following education:

  • A medical degree from an accredited university
  • A dermatology degree from an accredited university
  • Completion of your residency training program (2 years) in a national hospital or private facility approved by the Department of Health for postgraduate training


Training is a minimum of 5 years, and usually takes place in a hospital or university. However, some clinics and private hospitals offer dermatology training programs. The type of training you receive will be dependent on the institution that offers it.

The following is a list of the different types of institutions where you can train:

  • A university – this involves taking classes and receiving mentorship from professors at the university. You will receive clinical experience at public hospitals or private clinics affiliated with the university through their affiliation agreements.
  • A hospital – this involves working with doctors in an actual clinic/hospital setting to gain hands-on experience treating patients who are suffering from skin conditions or skin cancers (or other ailments).
  • You will also participate in research projects at medical schools and hospitals associated with your institution as part of your coursework requirements and/or internship duties.
  • A private clinic – these clinics provide training that focuses on specific diseases such as acne, psoriasis etc., while also providing general information about all types of dermatology related issues; including prevention techniques such as sunscreen application methods etc., so that clients know how best utilize these services when needed without having specialized knowledge beforehand beyond what was taught during their time spent there.”


A postgraduate degree in dermatology is required to practice dermatology in South Africa. The South African Medical Council requires that you complete a minimum of 12 months of general practice and then complete a minimum of 12 months of dermatology training. You will need to pass the South African Medical Council exams, as well as other examinations prescribed by the Postgraduate Committee for each specific specialty.


If you have an interest in a particular aspect of dermatology, South African medical schools allow for specialization. For example, one could specialize in clinical dermatology and learn how to diagnose and treat skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis.

Another specialization would be cosmetic dermatology, which focuses on preventing, diagnosing and treating aging-related issues such as wrinkles, loose skin and sagging facial features. A third specialty is dermatopathology — the study of skin diseases through examination of tissue samples (biopsies).


In order to practice in South Africa, you need to be registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). This is similar to getting a license in any other country. Most countries will have some sort of body that regulates their medical professionals.

To become a licensed dermatologist, you’ll also need to be registered with the General Medical Council (GMC), which is the body that oversees all British doctors. The GMC has information on how you can apply for registration here

It’s also important that you register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) if you want call yourself Nurse or Midwife in England! They explain how this works on their website: nmcuk/what-we-do/our-role/education-and-standards/registering-with-us

If you want to become a dermatologist in South Africa, you can study medicine here. There are three universities in South Africa that offer undergraduate degrees in medicine: Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Western Cape. The undergraduate medical degree takes four years of study (five years including internship) at these universities.


If you want to become a dermatologist in South Africa, the requirements are simple. You will need to complete an accredited dermatology degree program at a recognized university and pass the written and oral exams given by the South African Medical and Dental Council (SAMDC). Then you must be licensed as a doctor before you can practice medicine anywhere in this country.

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