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UIGC Short Courses

The department is committed to developing quality public health professionals through problem based interdisciplinary teaching and learning underpinned by community engagement and research.

To be leading provider of quality-based, Primary Health Care education for rural and regional development.

  • Advanced diploma in community health 11/2 years
  • Diploma in primary health care and district health services management 1year
  • Master of Public Health 2 years
  • Honors in community health sciences 1 year

Advanced diploma in community health


The purpose of this qualification is to provide a nursing specialist in the field of community health and PHC who will support the generalist nurses in rendering community health and primary care services. The candidate will competently function as an independent community health nurse and a clinical health assessment, diagnosis, treatment and care nurse practitioner (Primary health care nurse) providing scientific, comprehensive and holistic care to clients in communities and institutions in collaboration with other members of the health team.


  1. Apply special knowledge and skills in the primary care of individuals, groups and communities with health problems.
  2. Apply clinical skills for the management of diseases and conditions in primary care facilities and community.
  3. Apply advanced pharmacological knowledge to prescribe and dispense medication to individual clients.
  4. Assess, plan, implement, manage and evaluate primary care, community health and district health services at district level within the context of the national health policy and international guidelines.
  5. Act as consultant regarding aspects of primary health care.
  6. Enhance the functioning of the individual, group and community through expert education.
  7. Work as a specialist practitioner with other partner team members for the promotion of community health.
  8. Demonstrate an informed and critical understanding of the principles, theories and emerging issues and debates in community health.
  9. Apply specialist knowledge and skills in community-based care dealing with health needs of individuals, groups and communities.
  10. Practice effectively as a leader and member of the health team.
  11. Enhance the functioning of the individual, group and community through health promotion and health education.
  12. Maintain excellence in practice as a specialist practitioner in a variety of settings.
  13. Act as consultant regarding aspects of community health.

Duration of the programme

There are two options for the diploma. Option 1 (1 year) is for candidates with Community Nursing Science as a qualification. Option 2 (1,5 year) is for candidates without this qualification.


To be admitted students need to have a Matric certificate, must be a registered nurse, must have at least two years clinical experience and must be employed in a primary health care setting.


A combination of assessment methods will be employed:

  • Portfolios (e.g. project reports)
  • Simulations/participation
  • Work-place assessments
  • Written examinations
  • Oral/Practical examinations


In year 1 there are 8 modules offered:

  • Orientation and introduction to PBL
  • Primary health care, health promotion and health education
  • Clinical assessment, diagnosis, treatment and care and pharmacology part 1
  • Communicable and non-communicable diseases and pharmacology
  • Clinical assessment, diagnosis, treatment and care and pharmacology part 2
  • Clinical assessment, diagnosis, treatment and care and pharmacology part 3
  • Adolescence health and integrated management of childhood illnesses and pharmacology
  • Clinical assessment, diagnosis, treatment and care skills

For those in option 2 there are another 4 modules in semester 1 of year 2:

  • Community and Family health
  • Environmental and occupational health
  • Management of community health services and projects
  • Community health skills

For more information you can contact the coordinator of the PDC programme:
Mrs. J.T. Mabunda
Tel no: 015-9628601

Diploma in primary health care and district health services management


The PDM programme at the University of Venda is South African Quality Assurance accredited programme, it falls under the field of health science and social sciences and the sub-field of education and training in health sciences. The programme is a combination of practical exercises and lectures from relevant university departments such as the Departments of Public Health, Nutrition and Psychology.


The programme has been designed to provide health and non-health professionals interested in primary health care, district health management and public health with the knowledge and skills to contribute towards the implementation and management of the district health services (DHS) and primary health care (PHC) programmes. This intention is in recognition of renewed emphasis on the PHC and the DHS as vehicles for efficient health service provision.


The specific programme objectives include to develop health workers and managers who will:

  • function effectively within the DHS.
  • be able to develop, implement, monitor and evaluate projects and programmes within the DHS
  • be able to contribute effectively to the restructuring of the health care system with a focus on community participation.
  • promote inter-sectoral collaboration within the DHS.

The programme’s critical cross-field outcomes are as follows:

  • Develop problem solving and critical thinking skills
  • Develop capacity to work effectively in multi-disciplinary teams and groups.
  • Ability to managing oneself and one’s activities responsibly and effectively.
  • Use science and technology effectively and critically in health system management
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem solving contexts do not exist in isolation.
  • Demonstrate an informed and critical understanding of the principles, theories and emerging issues and debates in PHC and district health management.
  • Practice effectively as a leader and as members of the health team.
  • Practice effectively as a counsellor for the individual, group and community

Duration of the programme

The PDM programme is a one year degree, offered using modular block system.

Admission and selection

Students should have NQF level 7 (general education).


A combination of ongoing and summative assessment methods will be employed. Assessment and evaluation will be based on knowledge, skills, values and attitudes or student contributions. Students will be required to provide a proof of their competency and proficiency in community health assessment, diagnosis and health service management. Specific assessment methods will include:

  • Individual and group assignments including projects, case studies and presentations
  • Portfolios
  • Simulations
  • Workplace assessments.
  • Written examinations and
  • Practical examination.


To complete the programme, a student has to accumulate 120 credits from the practical and theoretical exercises in the seven modules listed below:

  • Primary health care, community development, health promotion and health education (PHC1541; 20 credits)
  • Environmental and occupational health issues (PHC1542; 20 credits)
  • Management of PHC and district health services (PHC 1642; 20 credits)
  • National, regional and International public health issues (PHC 1641; 20 credits)
  • Common communicable, non-communicable, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV and AIDS (PHC1543; 20 credits)
  • Nutrition (RPH 1641; 10 credits)
  • Practicum: Basic Counselling skills (PSY3511; 10 credits)

For more information you can contact the coordinator of the PDM programme:
Mr. J. Igumbor
Tel no: 072-3202155

Master of Public Health


The Master of Public Health (MPH) is aimed at preparing professionals to play leadership roles in the management, improvement and evaluation of health, health interventions, and the health care system. Furthermore, to equip students with a broad insight into the many facets of health and health care, and into the many disciplines involved.


On completion of this degree, students will have acquired:

  • a comprehensive understanding of health, the health care system, public health problems and of measures that can be taken to address these problems and to promote and maintain health
  • a broad understanding of the core disciplines of public health
  • an expertise in at least one area within the broad field of public health
  • skills of critical and analytical thinking

Educational approach

The educational approach in the MPH programme will include the following:

  • All courses will be offered in a modular format.
  • The content of all modules will include an analysis of general as well as of African and South African materials.
  • All modules will cover theoretical as well as practical issues.
  • The presentation of specific problems in tutorial groups.

Duration of the programme

The MPH progamme can be completed within a minimum of 24 months and within a maximum of four years.

Admission and selection

An applicant must have a basic degree in any field of study to be considered for admission. Students without a health background should have successfully completed a Diploma in primary health care and district health services management to be considered for selection for the MPH programme. Applicants with at least one year experience in health services are preferred. Applicants are selected by a selection committee on the basis of the following criteria:

  • academic merit
  • prior work experience
  • future career plans
  • employer support
  • preference will be given, in cases where the above criteria are equal, to applicants, from underrepresented groups in the public health field. Race, gender, physical disabilities, and primary professional training will be considered under this criteria.


Each module is concluded with an oral, written or practical examination or an assignment, or a combination of these. The minimum mark to pass a module is 50%. Credits are awarded for each module that is successfully completed. Modules for which a student has obtained less than 50% must be repeated. To satisfy the requirement for the MPH degree the student must complete the modules prescribed and, obtain a minimum of 120 credits. In addition a publishable research report should be submitted. A student will be subjected to a panel of external examiners for oral examination. The research report must be passed with a minimum of 50%. The MPH degree is conferred with distinction on a student who has obtained a minimum of 75% for both the course work as the research report.

MPH curriculum structure

The MPH programme has the following three components:

  • Core modules
  • Elective modules
  • Research report

Core modules
These modules provide an overview of the essential disciplines of public health. They are compulsory for all MPH students.

  • Introduction to Public Health
  • Introduction to Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  • Social and behavioural context to health
  • Research methodology

Elective modules
These modules are grouped into areas of concentration or tracks. The track is selected by students in line with their prior training and experience and with their future career paths.
The following tracks are currently available:

  1. Health measurement
  2. Health policy and management
  3. Environmental and occupational health
  4. Health education and promotion
  5. Primary health care administration

Overview of modules in the different tracks:

Health measurement (track convener: Dr. A.A.M. Gerritsen)

  • Advanced epidemiology
  • Advanced biostatistics
  • Health informatics

Health policy and management (track convener: Prof. T.X. Maluleke)

  • International health management, health policy, health care and development
  • Strategic planning management and organizational theory
  • Financial management and health economics
  • Health resources management and development

Occupational and environmental health (track convener: Prof. H.A. Akinsola)

  • Occupational health
  • Environmental health
  • Communicable diseases control

Health education and promotion (track convener: Prof. H.A. Akinsola)

  • Health education and promotion
  • Major social problems of family functioning

Primary health care administration (track convener: Prof. T.X. Maluleke)

  • Primary health care
  • District health systems
  • Health informatics
  • Strategic planning management and organizational theory
  • Financial management and organization theory

Research report
Depending on the area selected by the student, the report may be more oriented towards

  • implementing change in the system (an intervention project); or
  • a quantitative and/or qualitative assessment of health or health care (a research project).

The work should be of publishable standard, the subject of which should fall within the scope of public health.

Information on this page currently unavailable

The following is a list of staff members and their contact details in the Department of Public Health:

Designation Name Contact

Prof. H.A Akinsola

Tel: +27 15 962 8424

Ms. J.T Mabunda

Tel: +27 15 962 8601

Ms. N.S. Mashau

Tel: +27 15 962 8622
Part-time Lecturer

Mr. J Igumbor

Tel: +27 15 962 8137