Reduction in the years for Studying Medicine to make Zambian Students Competitive on the international market

UNZA Vice Chancellor Luke Mumba flanked by Deputy Vice Chancellor Enala Mwase (l) and UNZA Registrar Wamundila Sitali speaking during media brief at UNZA
UNZA Vice Chancellor Luke Mumba flanked by Deputy Vice Chancellor Enala Mwase (l) and UNZA Registrar Wamundila Sitali speaking during media brief at UNZA

The duration of the Medicine and Nursing Sciences Degree programs at the University of Zambia (UNZA) have been reduced.

The Medicine Degree has been reduced from seven to six years while that of Nursing Sciences has been reduced to four years.

The Schools of Medicine and Natural Sciences revised their curricula with the assistance of the Strengthening Health Professional Workforce Education Programs for Improved Quality Health Care in Zambia (SHEPIZ).

UNZA Spokesperson Brenda Bukowa said that this has been done to ensure the competitiveness of Zambian students on the international market and bring value to the students’ academic journey.

Speaking to ZNBC News in a telephone interview yesterday, Dr. Bukowa says the revised curricula will ensure that students are not limited to the Ministry of Health alone by ensuring that they are more rigorous and versatile in their practice as entrepreneurship and management courses have been added.

Meanwhile, UNZA Vice-Chancellor Professor Luke Mumba said that with the right support, the Schools of Medicine and Nursing Sciences have the capacity to train health care providers at the specialist level in response to the growing demand.

Prof. Mumba said that the University has a deliberate policy aimed at encouraging innovative strategies for improving the programs it offers, adding that the SHEPIZ project is one such strategy.

And SHEPIZ Project Manager who is also Dean – School of Nursing Sciences, Patricia Mukwato thanked the participants for responding to the invitation and their willingness to impact the health care training through their individual contribution by developing

In another development, the UNZA Senate has revised the phased re-opening for students in their first and second year of study.


  1. If students were required to do Form 6 or A levels in designated special schools or colleges before going to UNZA it could reduce atleast by a year in duration of courses they do at UNZA like what they do in East Africa. This would reduce the pressure on resources at our highest learning institution.

    • Musonda Chiwila Davis, you are right, allowing student doing A level at college would reduce the years spent at university. In the UK medical students studying medicine spend 5 years, but overall take 7 years from the time they leave High school. In Zambia at UNZA in particular, you take 2 years doing Natural Sciences before you go into your chosen career path or alternative. Most full tine degrees in the UK take 3 years. Accelerated degree programmes take 2 years. For part time normally company sponsored students take 5 years for a degree.
      Again if you want to do a PhD you do not need a MSc, you can go straight and do a PhD if you got a 1st Class (1:1) or (2:1) but you have to demonstrate that you can do an excellent research. This is done by reviewing your dissertation at degree…

  2. Interesting that this move is being welcomed by those that have not studied medicine.

    You can not take shortcuts when studying medicine.

    Cutting corners will dilute the quality of our medical professionals.

    “Doctors must complete a four-year undergraduate program, along with four years in medical school and three to seven years in a residency program to learn the specialty they chose to pursue. In other words, it takes between 10 to 14 years to become a fully licensed doctor”

    The above is what happens in a developed country with world class laboratory facilities and professors.

    So would foreign countries want to hire a Zed doctor that trained for 6 years, or a UK doctor trained for 10 years++?

  3. Our education is revered globally. In fact many of our people educated in Zambia are working in health sector in many developed countries. I don’t mean those lousy angry upnd diasporans cleaning toilets. I mean highly skilled Zambians

  4. My Nephew undertook a 4 year prequalifying degree before getting into Med School. He’s now undertaking a 4 year program in School of Medicine to qualify to qualify as a graduate doctor, after which he is headed for minimum 2 years internship as a resident in a hospital before he is called a doctor. There’s too much drunkenness and smoking going on in Zed. Stop cutting corners please.

  5. Trial and error programming! For all these years and with experiences gathered around training institutions around the world attended by most among specialized staff in the medical field I still do not understand how Zambia tailors its whole education system for its like theory is distinctively separated from practical skills development. Thus each demands specific time allotment and one can be a graduate in theory without skill but can not be a skilled graduate without having the theoretical part! The Zambian education system does not prepare any pupil/student with ability for self sustaining insights should the unforeseen interfere with further classroom/lecture halls participation! Why had Zambia got infiltrated with so many Congolese medical professionals at some point for example?…

  6. It looks like kuwayawafyee…you claim you have introduced entrepreneurial courses in the core program and yet you reduce the duration of the program? So, somewhere,somehow you have diluted the core program.We can only agree with you if the Dean of Medicine, Resident Doctors Association and other high level organisations for medical doctors support you!!

  7. UNZA Medical graduates have always been competitive. Just look at how many Zambian medical graduates are shining in the world in spite of Zambia’s population being so small.

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