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Frequently-asked Question on Our Programmes

This page provides answers to questions frequently asked in connection with our postgraduate programmes in Biomedical Engineering or Healthcare Technology Management - from career prospects to programme codes needed for application for admission. Please review the information provided here, and on the pages on our Research, Programmes and Student funding before contacting us.


General

Where can I get information on the application for admission to BME and HTM postgraduate programmes?
Information is provided on the UCT Postgraduate Application web page and the postgraduate application web page of the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS). You can also contact the FHS Postgraduate Office.

I do not live in South Africa. Where can I get information on the application process for international students?
In addition to the web pages mentioned above, specific information for international applicants can be found here and obtained from the International Academic Programmes Office and the FHS Postgraduate Office.


Biomedical Engineering Programme

What are the career options and employment opportunities for Biomedical Engineers?
Biomedical Engineering graduates are usually involved in product assessment, design and development, as well as in basic and/or applied research. They may be employed by private companies, or by large institutions such as hospitals, universities, statutory government departments (such as the Department of Health) or research organisations (the Medical Research Council or the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research). Opportunities also exist in the field of sports medicine and biomechanics, rehabilitation engineering and product marketing.

What are suitable undergraduate degrees to enter the UCT BME programme?
Most of our students enter the MSc programme with bachelor degrees in electrical engineering (including mechatronics and electrical/computer engineering) and with mechanical engineering. We have had students enter with Honours degrees in Physics, and we may in some cases also consider students with Honours in Mathematics/Statistics or Computer Science.

Will I receive credit for undergraduate courses?
For the full dissertation MSc option, students who have completed required courses as part of their undergraduate degree may apply for exemption from these courses. For the MSc option with coursework and minor dissertation, students have to substitute other courses for the ones already taken, as a certain number of course credits are required.

What are the tuition fees for the MSc degree?
The tuition fee for the MSc is course-based, and can be calculated by adding up the course fees (given in the Fees Handbook) for individual courses required for the degree as listed in the rules for the MSc(Med) in Biomedical Engineering in the Faculty Handbook for Health Sciences.

Are there prerequisites in terms of subjects undertaken or marks achieved during the undergraduate studies?
There are no particular prerequisites beyond an engineering or related degree (see also the question on suitable undergraduate degrees). We assess students' transcripts and consider their interests on an case-by-case basis when selecting students for the programme.

Are bursaries provided for all dissertation projects?
Supervisors may offer bursaries for particular projects. However, students may hold free-standing bursaries, e.g. from the NRF, as well. This will give more freedom in selecting a dissertation project. Applications for free-standing bursaries need to be submitted in most cases during the year prior to starting the MSc programme. Also see our pages on student funding.

How do I enter UCT's MSc programme in BME?
You need to apply for the MSc programme in Biomedical Engineering (see the Programmes pages) but you do not have to select a dissertation topic at the time of application. Students complete course work for the first 6 months and select their research topic during that time. Some students do start the programme with a pre-selected research topic - in particular those who need bursaries. They select a supervisor and topic early in order to secure funding.

What research topics are offered in the BME programme?
Information on the various research areas are provided on the Research pages. To find out more about a particular topic, available dissertation projects and bursaries, you can contact the principal investigators mentioned on the research pages, e.g. for MRI Prof Ernesta Meintjes and Dr Marcin Jankiewicz, for 3D image reconstruction Dr Tinashe Mutsvangwa, for X-ray imaging Mr Stef Steiner, for electrophysiology, brain-computer interfaces and robotics Dr Lester John, for biomechanics and medical devices Dr Sudesh Sivarasu, for cell and tissue mechanobiology Prof Thomas Franz, and for MRI, X-ray and health innovation Prof Tania Douglas.

Are there different options for the BME MSc programme?
There are two options: Students can select to undertake their MSc by (a) dissertation only or (b) by coursework and minor dissertation. The dissertation-only option has however some prerequisite courses during the first year to prepare the student for the dissertation. The Programmes page provides further information.

What are the academic plan codes I need to use in my application for the MSc programme?
The MSc by dissertation only has plan code MM051HUB05, and the MSc by coursework and minor dissertation has plan code MM052HUB05.


Healthcare Technology Management Programme

Why Healthcare Technology Management?
Proper management of medical technologies and physical infrastructure is essential for the attainment of affordable and sustainable quality healthcare delivery. Healthcare Technology Management (HTM) aims for optimal acquisition and utilisation of healthcare technologies as part of efficient and cost-effective healthcare services (see guide to best-practice HTM). It is equally important to address the physical environment/s within which healthcare is provided, as well as the information systems supporting healthcare delivery.

What are career options in Healthcare Technology Management?
Graduates of the healthcare technology management programme would typically work – either as employees or consultants – in the healthcare delivery sector, advising health service organisations on how to optimise healthcare technology interventions. Career possibilities also exist with international health and development organisations and agencies.

Who can benefit from the Healthcare Technology Management programme?
The Programme will be of interest to a wide range of healthcare practitioners including health system planners, health technology policy makers, healthcare funders, health service- and hospital managers, nursing managers, clinical- and hospital engineering practitioners, medical physicists, radiographers, clinical technologists and e-health/medical informatics practitioners in both public and private sectors, as well as to NGO's and private consultants. UCT's HTM Programme – offered by a leading academic institution conscious of its role in Africa – will enrich your skills base and provide you with new career opportunities.

What options does the HTM programme offer?
Candidates may complete individual courses as "occasional students" or register for the Postgraduate Diploma. Those wishing to pursue a programme with a higher research component can register for either the MPhil (dissertation only) or MSc (coursework & dissertation) programmes. Candidates who are suitably qualified may enter the PhD programme.

Where can I get further information on the HTM programme?
Please visit the web page of UCT's Healthcare Technology Management Programme.