How Long Does It Take To Study Forensic Pathology In South Africa?

What is Forensic Pathology?

Forensic pathology is a pathology that focuses on determining the cause of death by examining a corpse.


A post-mortem examination is performed by a medical examiner or forensic pathologist, usually during the investigation of criminal law cases and civil law cases in some jurisdictions.

How Long Does It Take To Study Forensic Pathology In South Africa?

It takes at least 13 years of training and education to become a forensic pathologist.

Schools That Offer Forensic Pathology Courses In South Africa

Pretoria, University of Cape Town, University of Stellenbosch, University of Free State, and the University of KZN.

How To Become Forensic Pathology In South Africa

Below are steps To Become A Forensic Pathologist In South Africa

Step 1: Graduate high school

(four years) – A high school diploma or GED is required to pursue a forensic pathology career. Students should do their best to excel in all areas in order to be admitted to a well-respected undergraduate program and have the best chance of earning a spot at a good medical school.

Step 2: Complete an undergraduate degree

(four years) – Those pursuing this career will need to complete a bachelor’s degree. Some students may choose a “pre-med” major, but sciences such as biology, chemistry, or microbiology are all highly relevant as well.

Step 3: Complete medical school

(four years) – From the initial application to the final certification exams, medical school is a grueling process. Students should be prepared to spend a good deal of their lives in class, clinical work, or studying for exams. In medical school, students take classes in advanced anatomy, physiology, medical law, and microbiology, to name a few.

They must also complete supervised clinical rotations to apply their newfound abilities in internal medicine, surgical, obstetrics, and other types of medical settings.

Step 4: Earn a medical license

To become a medical doctor, students have to complete their board exams. The licensing process includes a three-step examination that begins the second year of medical school with the final exam taking place after one year of residency.

Licensing requirements beyond this exam can vary between states, so those pursuing a medical career should be sure to consider where they plan to live and work prior to becoming licensed.

Step 5: Obtain a pathology residency

(three years) – After completing medical school, students will need to be admitted to a specialized residency program where they can learn about the specifics of pathology and begin practicing as a physician.

Most residencies take at least three years to complete. Applicants should look for programs that have been accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Most of these residencies instruct students in clinical pathology (CP) or anatomic pathology (AP).

Is it hard to become a pathologist?

Becoming a forensic pathologist is not easy. It takes a minimum of 13 years of education and training after high school to become a forensic pathologist.

It also takes a strong stomach because it can be a gruesome, smelly, and disgusting job.