Anatomical Pathology

The Bachelor of Health Sciences in Anatomical Pathology allows students to explore the field of Anatomical Pathology, including basic pathology, the functioning of a routine histopathology laboratory and undertake research in the field.


This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the fascinating discipline of Anatomical Pathology. It provides an opportunity for practical experience in the histopathology laboratory, discovering the journey of a specimen from the time of arrival in the laboratory to the issuing of a report including ancillary techniques employed. The basic pathology behind diseases is taught and there is the opportunity to observe medical autopsies. The course will also provide the student with an opportunity to conduct independent research.

Career Opportunities

Completion of the Honours in Anatomical Pathology programme will strengthen application to the Graduate Entry Medical Programme (GEMP) and Medical Scientist Programmes should the student wish to pursue a career as a medical scientist. In particular, the knowledge gained in this course is a valuable foundation to the Anatomical Pathology Intern Scientist Training Programme.


The Honours programme in Anatomical Pathology comprises two parts which run concurrently. Part 1 constitutes 60% of the qualification and it encompasses the coursework. Part 2 which constitutes 40% of the year mark entails the research component, which encompasses research methodology and the completion of a mini dissertation.

The coursework includes theory and/or practical skills in the following basic pathology; laboratory safety and workflow; embedding, sectioning and H&E staining; special stains; immunohistochemistry; immunofluorescence; molecular pathology; cytology; electron microscopy; observation of medical autopsies and basic gross anatomy and histology

The research component encompasses rigorous training in independently designing and completing a research project in the sciences. It will cover both research projects of a laboratory nature as well as of a record review nature. Students will be trained in every part of the research cycle including proposal development and research question formulation; ethical clearance; laboratory skills and planning; data analysis; literature review and research write up.

Entry Requirements

For admission into this course you should have at least 60% in your undergraduate degree.  Graduates with a BHSc or BSc with majors in disciplines which are applicable to anatomical pathology including Anatomy, Histology, Molecular cell biology and Genetics, are preferable. Please note that meeting the minimum entry requirement does not guarantee students a place in the programme; students with the higher marks will be given preferential acceptance.

Note: Meeting the minimum entry requirements for the programme does not guarantee students a place in this programme.

  • Compulsory registration with the Health Professions Council of South Africa
  • The student’s CV with copies of the undergraduate degree certificate and the academic transcripts must be submitted with the online application.

University Application Process

  • Applications are handled centrally by the Student Enrolment Centre (SEnC). Once your application is complete in terms of requested documentation, your application will be referred to the relevant School for assessment. Click here to see an overview of the Wits applications process.
  • Please apply online. Upload your supporting documents at the time of application, or via the Self Service Portal.
  • Applicants can monitor the progress of their applications via the Self Service Portal.
  • Selections for programmes that have a limited intake but attract a large number of applications may only finalise the application at the end of the application cycle.

Please note that the Entry Requirements are a guide. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee a place. Final selection is made subject to the availability of places, academic results and other entry requirements where applicable.

International students, please check this section.

For more information, contact the Student Call Centre +27 (0)11 717 1888, or log a query at

University Fees and Funding

Click here to see the current average tuition fees. The Fees site also provides information about the payment of fees and closing dates for fees payments. Once you have applied you will be able to access the fees estimator on the student self-service portal.

For information about postgraduate funding opportunities, including the postgraduate merit award, click here. Please also check your School website for bursary opportunities. NRF bursaries: The National Research Foundation (NRF) offers a wide range of opportunities in terms of bursaries and fellowships to students pursuing postgraduate studies. External bursaries portal: The Bursaries South Africa website provides a comprehensive list of bursaries in South Africa.