Master of Health Systems Studies (MHSysStud)

The MHSysStud is a research-intensive Programme that aims to produce graduates who are well-equipped to conceptualise, implement, and report on health systems research.

Where feasible, students will have the opportunity to base their master’s on our centre’s ongoing research projects. Studying side-by-side with experienced health systems researchers on a ‘real-life’ research project is a very valuable form of mentorship and should impact positively on students’ dissertations/articles, as well as their practical research skills and experience.

Curriculum options

This specialist degree integrates theory with in-depth knowledge of health systems. Students will identify a health / health systems issue and address it via research.

There are two available options:

  1. full dissertation
  2. at least two interrelated manuscripts that are publishable or published in accredited journals.

There is no coursework option. But throughout their studies, students attend non-credit-bearing master classes in health systems and research methodology.

Time frame

Students must aim to complete their degrees in a maximum of two years.

Entry requirements, selection, and registration

In addition to general rules in the Humanities Rule Book the following applies:

1. Students must have an Exit Level 8 qualification (Honours, or a four-year qualification) in any cognate discipline, and achieved a pass mark of at least 65%.

2. Admission will be subject to preliminary assessment by the CHSR&D Director.
In addition, applicants will undergo a selection process based on the following:

  • A 1 500-word concept note
  • A panel interview
  • Selection will take place from October to early December prior to the year of registration.

3. Candidates may register for the degree only after the CHSR&D Director issues a letter of approval for their admission and choice of curriculum.


Click here to apply

Deadline for applications

31 August 2024 for prospective international students

31 October 2024 for prospective South African students

Send the following documents to or

  • 1 500-word concept note template
  • Electronic copy of your honours research report
  • Checklist

Also send electronic copies of the following supporting documents, which must be certified:

  • Exit Level 8 qualification certificate (Honours, or a 4-year qualification)
  • Academic transcripts with your Exit Level 8 marks
  • Identity document for South African citizens/permanent residents
  • Passport document for non-South African citizens
  • SAQA Verification Certificate for qualifications obtained from non-South African universities.

For information on the verification of qualifications, please visit SAQA.

For more information, contact:
Bridget Smit
T: +27 51 401 2993


T: +27 51 401 2240 or

Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

Neliswa Emeni-Tientcheu: +27 51 401 2536
Phyllis Masilo: +27 51 401 9683

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