South African woman in a scrub suit symbolizing health and welfare careers

Additional information

body or mind



Medical Field

Boss or Team



Good Communicator

Work With


Math & Science

Maths & Science

Study Length

Prepared to Study for Years



Medical Scientist

Medical Scientists are also sometimes known as biomedical scientists. They’re trained in biology and their mission is to find how the body works in specific relation to treating diseases and finding new cures and ways to diagnose them.

Medical scientists spend most of their time in laboratories conducting tests under very strict and safe conditions using very specialised equipment. 

Medical scientists can also specialise and be called one of these alternative titles:

  • Clinical Biochemist
  • Clinical Research Associate
  • Cytologist
  • Haematologist (Medical Research)
  • Histologist
  • Immunologist (Medical Research)
  • Medical Laboratory Scientist
  • Medical Researcher
  • Medical Scientific Officer
  • Medical Technologist
  • Microbiologist (Medical Research)
  • Pharmacologist (Clinical Research)
  • Public Health Scientist
  • Transfusion Scientist

How to become qualified in this field (learning path):

NSC/NC(V) with a Bachelor’s Degree pass. 

Each institution has its own entry requirements.

  1. Bachelor of Medical Sciences or equivalent that will allow further studies in medical research. 
  2. Masters in Medical Science

Level of Schooling & School Subjects:

  • NSC/NC(V) with a Bachelor’s Degree pass

Compulsory Subjects: 

  • Mathematics
  • Physical Sciences/ Life Sciences
  • Recommended subject: Information Technology

Duration of study

Min 3 years

Postgraduate degrees for specialisation have varying durations


Medical scientists may be employed at the following institutions:

  • Blood transfusion agencies
  • Clinical departments of academic training hospitals
  • Private laboratories
  • Medical specialists

Further Information

The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA)

Educational Institutions offering this qualification:

University of the Witwatersrand:

University of Stellenbosch:

University of Pretoria:

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