Academic activities

The Human Molecular Biology Unit offers the Bachelor of Medical Science Honours (BMedScHons), Master of Medical Science (MMedSc), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programmes in Human Molecular Biology, which provides undergraduate students in Biological Sciences access to postgraduate biomedical and diagnostic research.

  • BMedScHons: This is a one-year full-time professional degree that includes coursework and research. The degree equips students with the knowledge and training required to work as medical/diagnostic scientists. Students are introduced to research methodology, where they learn graduate attributes including critical thinking, time management, scientific writing and communication through presentations, protocols, and research reports. Selection to the BMedScHons programme is competitive and based on academic performance in the relevant undergraduate qualification.
  • MMedSc and PhD: These programmes are offered as full-time research projects to eligible students depending on project and supervisor availability, as well as the student’s academic performance. Master’s and Doctoral candidates are required to submit a dissertation/thesis for examination in order to fulfil the requirements for the completion of the degree.
  • For more information and general rules about minimum averages required, refer to the 

Research Focus

The Human Molecular Biology Unit has a broad research focus with emphasis on applied Molecular Biology in the field of:

  • Food forensics, including the detection of genetically modified organisms, food adulteration, integrity, and safety
  • Molecular Haematology including the study of Haematological disorders
Diagnostic service delivery

The Human Molecular Biology Unit comprises two diagnostic laboratories: the GMO Testing Facility and the CML Diagnostic Laboratory. The GMO Testing Facility was established in 2004 to provide a routine diagnostic service to the agricultural and food industry in South Africa for status certification of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food and feed for regulatory purposes. The GMO Testing Facility is approved by the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development in line with national regulations to perform GMO status certification in South Africa. The CML Diagnostic Laboratory performs specialised Molecular Biology tests to diagnose and monitor patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML). The diagnostic laboratories function according to ISO17025 and regularly participate in international proficiency trials. All postgraduate students in Human Molecular Biology receive training in good laboratory practice through the diagnostic platforms in the department.


Central Information Office
T: +27 51 401 3739
F: +27 86 579 5154


Student Administration
Faculty Administration

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