African Paediatric Fellowship Programme

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Short-term attachment

Masters' Programme


Prof P De Vries, MBChB, MRCPsych, PhD 


Secretary: Rehana Effendi

See more detail at:

The Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry is part of Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.The Department's physical base is at 46 Sawkins Road, Rondebosch, which includes 3 historic buildings opposite Rondebosch Common on a very pleasant and ‘child & family friendly’ site. The department run a busy outpatient service in two clinical buildings (referred to as Building A and B). Our inpatient unit (the Therapeutic Learning Centre – TLC) for children under 13 years is based in Building C.The Department also run neuropsychiatry clinics and consultation-liaison activities on the Red Cross site.

The Child and Adolescent Outpatient Service provides assessments and individual, family and group therapy to children and adolescents aged 3 -18 years with a range of emotional and/or behavioural problems. The Infant Mental Health Service provides services to infants under the age of three years and their parents. The Neuropsychiatry Clinic sees children and adolescents with complex neurodevelopment disorders and co-morbidities.

The M.Phil programme combines clinical training (through supervised clinical casebased work), academic training (through a formal academic programme, and informal seminars and courses), and research (through participation in and completion of a minor research project). 
Clinical training is provided across four clinical teams, and all candidates will have an opportunity to rotate through all teams. The clinical teams include an Outpatient team (which includes a Neuropsychiatry Clinic), an Infant Mental Health Team (for under 3-year olds), a Consultation-Liaison team (consulting to Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital Inpatient wards), and an Inpatient Team (for pre-adolescent admissions).  
Clinical placements are allocated at the start of the training programme in partnership between the candidate and M.Phil training committee, based on candidates’ clinical needs, prior experience and expertise. Placements are reviewed every 6 months, and additional training opportunities are sought in a flexible way to ensure adequate clinical exposure to e.g. adolescent inpatient care, forensic psychiatry and educational liaison. Candidates will receive a minimum of 1 hour individual supervision per week to support their clinical case work and their clinical and professional development.  
As part of the clinical training, candidates are also supported to develop their therapeutic skills and to meet the minimum requirements for psychotherapy as set out in the Curriculum for the Certificate in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at the Colleges of Medicine (SA). Psychotherapy cases will be supervised by appropriately qualified staff. 
Detail of the Curriculum for the Certificate in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry is available on the website of the Colleges of Medicine (SA), at

Candidates will participate in the academic programme of the Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. This includes a formal academic programme on Thursday mornings, consisting of case presentations, seminars and journal clubs. Candidates will be expected to present cases, lead journal clubs and deliver seminars under supervision.  
Apart from the formal academic programme in the Division, candidates will also join a dedicated seminar programme for senior registrars in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, run jointly between the University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University. These seminars are led by candidates, and facilitated by senior academic staff from both institutions. The programme is a rolling 12 month programme, and covers all core topics in the Curriculum. Candidates have the option of requesting or arranging additional seminars to meet their training needs, and have access to seminars and journal clubs in the Department of Psychiatry, and throughout the University. 
Over the course of the two years, candidates are also encouraged to seek out specific training courses, such as in the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2), and to attend local, regional, national and international conferences relevant to Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. Candidates will have access to skills development funding through the Provincial Government of the Western Cape for some of these activities.  

The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) requires that psychiatrists gain two years of supervised experience in child and adolescent psychiatry and complete the Certificate in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry of the College of Psychiatrists of South Africa before being able to register in the subspeciality of child psychiatry.       

The M.Phil (Child & Adolescent Psychiatry) is a two-year postgraduate degree by course work and dissertation for psychiatrists who are registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa. Candidates are able to do the degree part-time, with a minimum duration of 24 months full-time equivalent. At present HPCSA regulations require that at least 12 months of supervised training should be full-time. 


Duration of training: 24 months
Conveners: Prof P De Vries

Admission requirements:
To be eligible for consideration a candidate must have a Master of Medicine in Psychiatry of the University or another university recognised for this purpose, or a qualification recognised by Senate as an equivalent (such as the fellowship in psychiatry from the College of Medicine of South Africa).

Preference shall be given to candidates who are currently working in the field of paediatric psychiatry who have demonstrated a need for this training to the benefit of their home setting.

Applicants may be asked to attend an interview or to take part in a telephonic or Skype interview.

Duration of training
A candidate shall be registered for at least two years of full-time study or the part-time equivalent.  In order to meet the HPCSA’s ratio requirement, psychiatrists need to spend at least 12 months in full-time training.  An additional year is required for the dissertation.  

Curriculum Outline
FMC14  The curriculum outline is as follows:       

   NQFcredits  HEQSFlevel
PRY7006W  -   MPhil Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Part 1  120  9
PRY7010W   -  Child and Adolescent Psychiatry minor dissertation    60  9
                                                                                          Total NQF credits:  180  

For registration with the Health Professions Council of South Africa in the subspecialty of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, psychiatrists must pass the examination for the Certificate in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry set by the College of Medicine of South Africa. The examination consists of a three hour written paper, a clinical examination, and an oral examination. 

There is ongoing assessment of performance through regular supervision sessions and at seminars.There is also continuous in-course evaluation my means of observed clinical interviews, and oral examination every six months. Following these assessments, there is a critical evaluation of the candidate’s progress. At the end of the programme,candidates are formally assessed by means of: 
a)  Certificate of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry examination as set by the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa (CMSA)
b)  in-course assessment reports 
c)  presentation and external examination of a dissertation 
Courses for MPhil subspecialisation in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry:

NQF credits: 120 at HEQSF level 9
: Prof P De Vries
Course entry requirements: None.
Course outline: This training programme forms part of the credentialling process of specialist physicians as subspecialists in child psychiatry. Students follow the relevant curriculum of the College of Psychiatrists of South Africa and, on successful completion of the relevant Part 1 examination of the College, are granted credit towards PRY7006W.  The aim of this course is to provide foundational knowledge in a range of disciplines that underpin child psychiatry (such as neurology), as well as to train candidates in the application of such foundational knowledge to clinical psychiatry conditions and management strategies.  Training includes assessment, diagnosis formulation and treatment in child and adolescent psychiatry; paediatrics and neurodevelopment; and social and applied psychology relevant to child and adolescent psychiatry.
DP requirements:  The candidate must have at least 18 months’ full-time experience or the part- time equivalent thereof.  This experience must involve primary clinical responsibility for children and adolescents suffering from emotional and behavioural problems and psychiatric disorders. 
Assessment:   Candidates write the relevant clinical examination of the College of Psychiatrists.  There is ongoing assessment of performance through regular supervision sessions and at seminars.  There is also continuous in-course evaluation by means of observed clinical interviews, and an oral examination every six months.  Following these assessments, there is a critical evaluation of the candidate’s progress.  The examination consists of clinical examinations, an interview with a child or adolescent patient and their family/caregiver, an oral examination based on the clinical examination, a three-hour written examination and a general oral examination.  

NQF credits: 60 at HEQSF level 9
Convener: Prof A Berg
Course entry requirements: None.
Course outline:  The minor dissertation, prepared under supervision, is a requirement for those senior registrars who wish to graduate with the MPhil degree.  Those who choose not to complete a dissertation may register with the HPCSA as subspecialists after successful completion of the relevant College of Medicine Part 1 examination.  The dissertation must be between 15 000 and 20 000 words in length, and must be on a topic in the same branch of the medical subspeciality in which the candidate is registered.  It must be based, moreover, on a study the work for which was commenced while the candidate was registered as a postgraduate student.  The dissertation should generally be on a clinical topic and of a standard publishable in a peer-reviewed medical journal.  Students are trained in statistics, in research methods, in conducting literature reviews, and in designing a research proposal.  Having obtained formal ethics approval, where necessary, they analyse the results of their research and write up the dissertation.  The candidate may also be required to present the work at a congress and submit the research for publication
DP requirements: None.
Assessment: External examination of the minor dissertation.



Short term attachments are not accepted in the department.