Infectious Disease

Masters' Programme


Associate Professor and Head:
B S Eley, BSc(Hons) (Med Biochem) MBChB Cape Town FCP SA

Senior Lecturer Full-time:
J C Nuttall, MBChB Cape Town DipObst DCH FCPaed SA DTM&H Witwatersrand

Contact: 0027 21 6585321


See more detail and a comprehensive overview of the training programme at:

Training in paediatric infectious diseases is based at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital (RCWMCH) in the paediatric infectious diseases unit, the outpatients department, and the wards of RCWMCH where referred patients are based. Children are also assessed in the emergency ward and are accepted from, or management care is discussed with, referral centres local and further afield. The unit is dedicated to paediatrics and cares for paediatric infectious diseases conditions from primary to quaternary level needs. 

The service is extremely busy caring for a wide range of infectious diseases conditions inclusive of common conditions such as HIV infection, tuberculosis, and other viral and bacterial infections. The training is weighted towards clinical exposure and much of the training is through involvement in patient assessment and care. 

Trainees participate as full members of the clinical team. Out of hours attendance is optional, but daytime attendance (08.00-17.00) is essential to attain adequate teaching and clinical exposure time. Trainees are registered for a 2 year attachments and thus participate in active patient care. All trainees are expected to complete the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa paediatric ID sub-specialist examinations within the two-year training period.

Research projects are encouraged and the supervisors will facilitate this. Trainees are encouraged to become involved in the under and postgraduate teaching program when necessary

TRAINING OPTIONS: The training rotation comprised 18 of clinical ID work plus 6 months of laboratory training in microbiology, virology and immunology. Practical research training focuses on completing the MPhil (paediatric ID) dissertation.


Duration of training:
24 months
Convener: Prof B Eley (Department of Paediatrics & Child Health: Paediatric Infectious Diseases)

Admission requirements

Duration of training
FMC47 18 months of clinical training and 6 months of laboratory training, plus completion of the MPhil (paediatric ID) dissertation.

Curriculum outline:
FMC48 The curriculum outline is as follows:

   NQFcredits  HEQSFlevel
PED7033W - MPhil Paediatric Infectious Diseases Part 1     120  9
PED7034W - Paediatric Infectious Diseases minor dissertation    60  9
                                                                                                             Total NQF credits: 180  

NQF credits and
HEQSF course levels: 
All South African tertiary institutions are required to align their qualifications with the prescriptions of the Higher Education Qualifications Subframework (that forms part of the National Qualifications Framework). Each qualification has an exit level that relates to the skills that may be expected of candidates who have completed a qualification or course at that HEQSF level. Each qualification also has a minimum number of NQF credits at that HEQSF level. One credit equals 10 notional hours of learning.

The NQF requires the following minimum credits per qualification:
•    Postgraduate Diploma (exit level 8): Minimum total credits: 120. Minimum credits at HEQSF level 8: 120.
•    Master’s degree (exit level 9): Minimum total credits: 180. Minimum credits at HEQSF level 9: 120; maximum credits at
HEQSF level 8: 60 (a full dissertation master’s will be 180 credits at HEQSF level 9). A Professional Master’s degree may
     have a 
reduced research component of at least 45 credits.


NQF credits: 120 at HEQSF level 9
Convener: Assoc Prof B Eley
Course entry requirements: None.
Course outline: This training programme forms part of the credentialling process of specialist paediatricians to become subspecialists in paediatric infectious diseases. Students follow the relevant curriculum of the College of Paediatricians of South Africa and, on successful completion of the relevant Part 1 examination of the College, are granted credit towards PED7033W. Training combines clinical experience with laboratory training in microbiology and virology, and provides exposure to principles of communicable diseases epidemiology, infection prevention and control, and tropical public health. The ID subspecialist will have true expertise in all aspects of diagnosis and management of organ, organ system and organism-specific infections. Content includes laboratory microbiology and virology (6 months), during which time the trainee is exposed to mycology, parasitology, epidemiology, hospital infection prevention and control; and clinical infectious diseases (18 months) in both inpatient and ambulatory settings; while clinical training includes a consulting service at the accredited hospital. 

Document Links:
Cert Infectious Diseases (SA) Paed Portfolio   
Cert Infectious Diseases (SA) Paed Regulations  

DP requirements:  Certification of having completed the required time in an accredited subspeciality unit; a written report from the head of the institution/programme; a completed logbook; presentation or acceptance for presentation of an original first-author research poster or paper at a local or international congress, or submission or acceptance for publication of an original first-author or co-authored manuscript in a peer-reviewed journal.
Assessment: Candidates write the relevant examination of the College of Paediatricians of South Africa. The final examination comprises two three-hour written examinations, a three-hour OSCE, an oral examination,, and an assessment of ability to perform research or at least to scrutinise and appropriately evaluate research data and scientific articles.

NQF credits: 60 at HEQSF level 9
Convener: Assoc Prof B Eley
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 paediatric infectious diseases. 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.