Field Epidemiology Training Programmes (FETP) have been established in over 55 countries globally. These programmes are based on the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention two-year residency training programme in applied epidemiology, which commenced in the 1950’s.

The South African FETP is hosted by the NICD for the National Department of Health (NDoH).  The programme is a combination of didactic and practical training in which the resident is grounded in the academic basics of applied epidemiology and is assigned to field sites where s/he learns by doing while being mentored by supervisors in projects that address key public health priorities within the respective countries and within the regions.

Masters in Public Health (MPH) from the University of Pretoria OR a Master of Science in Epidemiology (MSc) in field  of Epidemiology from the University of the Witwatersrand.

This residency programme is a two-yearfull-time training, from which residents graduate with either a Masters in Public Health (MPH) from the University of Pretoria OR a Masters in Epidemiology (MSc) in Field Epidemiology from the University of the Witwatersrand. The 2020 cohort will begin in January 2020 and end in December 2021 and applicants are required to apply at both the University of Pretoria and the University of the Witwatersrand.

Work experience requirements

  • Professional experience in a health field or other fields relevant to health.
  • Experience of working in the public health system is desirable.

Minimal Educational requirements (all degrees should be in health, laboratory or public health-related fields from an accredited university):

  • A medical, veterinary or dentistry degree; OR
  • A doctorate in a medical/health related field; OR
  • A master’s degree in a medical or health-related field; OR
  • An honour’s/bachelor’s degree with prior research experience.

Please note that a B Tech degree does not fulfil the minimum educational requirements of the University of Pretoria, the University of the Witwatersrand and the SAFETP.

Key requirements

Applicants must:

  • Be registered with their respective professional bodies.
  • Be fluent in spoken and written English.
  • Be computer literate and proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook for use in communication, word processing, analysis, presentation and report generation. Knowledge of a statistical package will be an advantage.
  • Have a valid driver’s license and be willing to drive a hired car.
  • Provide proof of current physical residential address for future purposes of Domicilium citandi et executandi.

If you meet all the requirements, download and complete the application and two reference forms 


Additional forms/documents required are:

    1. Certified copies of qualification certificates.
    2. Statement of Purpose: In 700 words or less describe your career goals and your interest in applying for this programme.
    3. Curriculum Vitae (CV).
    4. Results of the National Bench Mark Test –please visit the website of the National Bench Mark Test on and Tel: +27 21 650 3523 for more information on dates and venues of the test. Please note that this is a University of Pretoria requirement and NOT a University of the Witwatersrand requirement.
    5. Foreign students who are accepted must do the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) and have their original degrees accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).
    6. Proof of the online application from the University of Pretoria and the University of the Witwatersrand are as follows:

University of Pretoria – follow the process for applying online.

University of the Witwatersrand: Evidence of application to study Field Epidemiology in the MSc Epidemiology Programme of the University of the Witwatersrand.  Wits postgraduate application forms can be accessed online at visit the following page for the discipline-specific requirements:

Applicants should note to apply for accommodation if they require itThe deadline for accommodation application is 30 October 2019.

All these completed forms should be submitted to: SAFETP via: Gloria Motshudi, e-mail and

You may also hand deliver the above application forms to Gloria Motshudi, SAFETP Administration Office, Room L6, PRF Reception Building, NICD, No 1 Modderfontein Road, Sandringham, Johannesburg.

Closing Dates

University of Pretoria – 31 July 2019

University of the Witwatersrand – 31 July 2019

The call for SAFETP applications will be 1 May-  31 July 2019
Correspondence will be made with shortlisted candidates only. If you have not heard from SAFETP within six weeks of the closing date, please consider your application to be unsuccessful.

Bursaries/stipends may be available for select South African applicants fulfilling predefined criteria. South African applicants working currently within the South African government at various levels, who plan to take study leave to participate in the programme and afterwards return to their workplace, must have written approval from their departments for the entire two years. NICD staff that have been funded and granted study leave will be required to continue working for the NICD for at least two (2) years after completing the MPH OR MSc programme.

South Africans and permanent residents who are funded by their employers must ensure that this funding covers their salaries/stipends, as well as university registration and tuition fees for the two-year training period.

For applicants applying from other African countries – the eligibility requirements still apply and the international applicant must have the required visa and permissions to study in South Africa.  The applicants must ensure that all the costs related to participation in SAFETP are fully covered for the 2 years of training – salaries/stipends, university registration and tuition fees, accommodation, travel and accommodation to investigate outbreaks – by their respective governments.

For enquiries or more information please contact:

SAFETP: Gloria Motshudi, telephone +27 11 386 6542 e-mail

University of Pretoria: Mrs. René de Waal at   or Mr Reuben Semenya at

University of the Witwatersrand: Lerato Podile, telephone: +27 11 717 2605, email

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