Best medical courses in Kenya [2022 update]

So, what are the best medical courses in Kenya? Find out all you need to know about Medical Courses including Medicine and Dental Surgery courses in Kenya in this article…

It is generally agreed that taking a course in health sciences is a wise move- it usually guarantees you employment on graduating.

However, it is an open secret that not all medical courses are marketable.

Put another way, you’re likely to get a better paying job (and faster) with some medical courses in Kenya than others.

Now, this article introduces you to the best medical courses in Kenya- for those who have met the minimum entry requirements for health-related programmes in Kenya.

I hope that it will help you make the right decision if you are unsure about the best medical course to take.

Read to the end.

List of the best medical courses in Kenya, their requirements, and a brief description

Best medical degree courses in Kenya

1.   Bachelor of Medicine &Bachelor of Surgery degree programme (MBChB)

Globally, there is a biting shortage of doctors and Kenya is no exception.

If you doubt it, take a look at these numbers:

  • One doctor in Kenya serves 5,000 people yet WHO(World Health Organisation) recommends 23 doctors per 10000 people!
  • According to KMPDC (Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council), Kenya only has about 12000 doctors in total (these are expected to serve over 50 million Kenyans!).

Can you now see why you should consider taking a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree- the specialist course for doctors in Kenya?

And have I mentioned that medicine and surgery in Kenya is one of the best paying medical courses in our nation by far.

Of course, the course is super competitive and only top students get a chance (Kenyan universities have limited vacancies for the course).

Entry requirements for medicine and surgery courses in Kenya

KCSE Holders

KCSE Mean Grade: C+ (You may need a better grade because as I have said above, the course is very competitive-  Some universities only accept A students!)

Subject requirements: You need a B plain(minimum) too in these cluster subjects..

  • Biology
  • Physics/Mathematics
  • English/Kiswahili
  • Chemistry

 

International Baccalaureate graduates

For International Baccalaureate(IB) , grade 5 (or above) is needed in International Baccalaureate

 

Diploma holders (in clinical medicine)

  1. C+ (plus) mean-grade and C+ in the above stated cluster subjects in your K.C.S.E.
  2. A 3-year diploma in clinical medicine with a credit pass (at least) from a recognized medical training institution (or any other equivalent diploma)

Note that in most cases, you must be already registered as a Clinical Officer (by the Clinical Officers Council) to be admitted.

Holders of Biological Sciences degree (or equivalent)

Also accepted for admission are applicants who hold a Biological Sciences degree(or an equivalent) from an accredited university.

However, here you must pass the GRE(Graduate Record Examination) exam prior to admission.

The following degrees are considered:

  • Zoology
  • Botany
  • Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Medical Laboratory Sciences
  • Nursing- As well shall see later in this article, this is another one of the very marketable medical courses in Kenya
  • Pharmacy
  • Clinical Medicine.

Extra requirements for International students

In all cases, you must be proficient in English language if you’re from another country.

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2. Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree programme

Out of the various medical courses offered in Kenya, few beats a Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree in terms of availability of jobs, pay, prestige, and more.

Now, for starters, this course prepares you for a career as a dental practitioner- your day-to-day work will entail providing oral health services to patients.

 

Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree requirements in Kenya

KCSE Holders

KCSE Mean Grade: C+ (You may need a better grade)

Subject requirements: You need a B plain(minimum) too in these cluster subjects..

  • Biology
  • Physics/Mathematics
  • English/Kiswahili
  • Chemistry

International Baccalaureate graduates

For International Baccalaureate(IB), grade 5 (or above) is needed in the following subject clusters:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics/Mathematics
  • English/Kiswahili

Diploma holders (in Medical Sciences)

  1. C+ (plus) mean-grade and C+ in the above stated cluster subjects in your K.C.S.E.
  2. A 3-year diploma in medical Sciences with a credit pass (at least) from a recognized medical training institution

Eligible diplomas

  • Dental technology
  • Dental hygiene
  • Dental surgery assistants
  • Clinical medicine
  • Laboratory technology
  • Community oral health
  • Radiography
  • Pharmaceutical technology
  • Nursing
  • Any other acceptable equivalent

Holders of Biological Sciences degree (or equivalent)

Like with the MBChB degree, applicants who hold a Biological Sciences degree from an accredited university can be admitted.

You again need to pass the GRE(Graduate Record Examination) exam prior to admission.

Additional requirements for international students

If you’re from a non-English speaking country, you need to prove that you’re Proficient in English language and so most institutions will ask for a TOEFL(Test of English as a Foreign Language) certificate in addition to the regular requirements.

 

3. Bachelor of Science in Clinical Medicine

Next in our most marketable medical courses in Kenya list is a clinical medicine degree.

The clinical medicine degree in Kenya is offered by JKUAT and Egerton University among a few other institutions.

You can go for this course directly instead of the KMTC diploma in clinical medicine (if you have met the requirements).

Degree in clinical medicine entry requirements

Direct entry requirements

Mean grade(KCSE): C+

You also need a C+ in the following subjects:

  • Mathematics/Physics
  • English/Kiswahili
  • Chemistry

Entry requirements under Upgrading program

  • Hold the Diploma in Clinical Medicine from any accredited institution
  • Be registered with the COC (Clinical Officers Council)

 

4. Degree in nursing in Kenya

With a nursing degree, tons of opportunities exist in both the private and public sectors in Kenya and even abroad (countries like the USA and UK keep hiring qualified nurses from Kenya).
In short, you cannot go wrong with a nursing course in Kenya..

Bachelor of science in nursing requirements

Mean grade(KCSE): C+

You also need a C+ in the following subjects:

  • Biology/Biological Sciences
  • English/Kiswahili
  • Chemistry
  • Physics/Mathematics

Best medical courses in Kenya – Other medical degree courses you can consider

·  Bachelor of Radiography

It may not be as popular as nursing and clinical medicine but a Bachelor of Radiography it is not a bad course either.

You will be working as a Radiographer/Radiographer on graduating.

Bear in mind that radiographers capture images of organs, bones, and human tissue to help medical professionals diagnose patients.

They, of course, use a plethora of imaging equipment(and this is what you’re trained to do) for this.

I should mention that WHO recommends one Radiographer(at least) for 20000 citizens which is very far from the current radiographer:citizen ratio in Kenya.

Bachelor of Radiography requirements in Kenya

Mean grade(KCSE): C+

Cluster subjects requirements:

  • Biology – C+
  • Math/Chemistry – C+
  • Physics- C+
  • English/Kiswahili – C+

Alternative Cluster subjects combination

  • Biological Sciences- B – (Minus)
  • Physical Sciences- B – (Minus)
  • English/Kiswahili – C+

Note: Holders of a Diploma(Or Higher National Diploma) in Medical Imaging science can be admitted too (and at the 3rd year). Please also remember that this course is offered at JKUAT only (at the time of writing this).

· Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science

This prepares you to work as a medical laboratory technician. And while its not a bad course,  it, in general,doesn’t pay as well as the other medical degree courses.

Bachelor of medical laboratory science requirements

Mean grade(KCSE): C+

Cluster subjects requirements:

  • Biology- B
  • Chemistry- B
  • Mathematics/Physics- C+
  • English/Kiswahili- B

Alternative Cluster subjects combination

  • Biological Sciences- B+
  • Physical Sciences- B+
  • Mathematics -C+
  • English/Kiswahili -B

You can also be admitted to the course if you hold a diploma in medical laboratory science from any accredited institution.

Bachelor of Pharmacy

This is not very marketable these days compared to the days gone-by – jobs are now fewer because a hospital can operate with less than 5 pharmacists and that explains why most people with this course have opened chemists all over the place.

Here are the minimum entry requirements:

Mean grade(KCSE): C+

Cluster subjects requirements:

  1. Biology-C+
  2. Chemistry-C+
  3. Physics or Mathematics-C+
  4. English or Kiswahili-C+

It’s another super competitive course so having a C+ does not guarantee admission.

Best medical diploma courses in Kenya

Here now are the best medical diploma courses in Kenya (and going by the courses we have listed above, you should have an idea about the best medical diplomas by now).

1. Diploma in Nursing

Nursing diploma requirements in Kenya

Mean grade: C plain

Cluster subjects requirements:

  • Biology: C plain
  • English: C plain
  • Mathematics/chemistry: C-

You may also be accepted with a certificate in nursing(under the upgrading program) as long as you have met the above cluster subjects requirements.

2. Diploma in Clinical Medicine

Diploma in clinical medicine requirements

KCSE mean grade-C plain

Cluster subjects requirements:

  • English or Kiswahili- C
  • Biology/Biological Sciences- C
  • Chemistry/Physical Science- C-
  • Mathematics/Physics/Physical Sciences- C-

3. Diploma in Dental Technology

Diploma in dental technology requirements

KCSE mean grade-C plain

Cluster subjects requirements:

  • English or Kiswahili- C
  • Physical Science/Physics or Chemistry- C
  • Biology – C-
  • Metal work/Mathematics/Physics or Chemistry- C-

4. Diploma in medical imaging sciences

With this you can work as a radiologist (Daktari wa picha) – you can start with it if you did not grade the grades to join a degree in radiology directly.

Diploma in radiology requirements

KCSE mean grade-C plain

Cluster subjects requirements- option 1:

  • English Language- C (plain)
  • Physics -C plain
  • Chemistry -C plain
  • Biology -C plain
  • Maths -C plain

Cluster subjects requirements- option 2:

  • English Language -C (plain)
  • Physical Sciences -C+ (plus)
  • Biological Sciences- C+ (plus)
  • Maths- C (plain)

5. Diploma in medical engineering

With this course, you main job will be to make sure that all the equipment/machines/tools used in the hospital that employs you work (you’ll be the fundi of all those machines/equipment in the labs/wards, etc )

Diploma in medical engineering entry requirements

KCSE mean grade-C plain

Cluster subjects requirements:

  • English or Kiswahili- C
  • Math- C
  • Physical Science/Physics – C
  • Biology (or Biological Sciences)/Chemistry/Electricity/Metal Work/ Technical Drawing – C-

Note that medical engineers main work is to repair and maintain the machines and devices used in hospitals/medical centres(think of x-ray machines, imaging machines, etc.)

Best medicine courses in Kenya: Other health and health-related courses you can pursue (certificate/diploma/degree)

  1. Exercise and sport science
  2. Health Promotion and Health Science
  3. Recreation and sport management
  4. Medical Biochemistry
  5. Medical Microbiology
  6. Physiotherapy
  7. Population Health
  8. Community Health & Development/ Community Health Education/Community Health and HIV Management/Community Health and Nutrition/Community oral Health
  9. Occupation Health and safety
  10. Optometry and Vision Science
  11. Paramedic science
  12. Midwifery
  13. Oral Health
  14. Food Nutrition and Dietetics
  15. Food Science and Nutrition
  16. Technology Nutrition and Dietetics
  17. Human Nutrition and Dietetic
  18. Biomedical Science and Technology
  19. Medical Psychology
  20. Pharmaceutical Technology

 

Medicine and Dental Surgery courses in Kenya: more about medicine courses in Kenya

Professional in medical or health sector protect, promote, and restore the health and well-being of individuals and members of community.

Their focus is mainly to identify, diagnose and treat illnesses.

And as you might be aware, medical professionals operate within all branches of healthcare, including medicine, surgery, dentistry, midwifery, pharmacy, psychology, nursing, public/community health, and allied health professions.

Depending on the area of specialization during study, you can qualify as a doctor, dentist, pharmacist, public health worker, clinician, medical lab assistant, etc.

Don’t forget that every medical professional must abide and fully commit to the ethical principles and values of the profession.

Key skills and interests required to pursue a career in this field

  • Compassionate and passionate about handling unwell people
  • Active listening skills
  • Effective communication skills
  • Empathy
  • Team spirit
  • Ability work under extreme pressure
  • Decent ICT Skills
  • Ability to manage change

 

What the job/career/profession entails

Health professional work in teams and provide varied services to patients depending on their area of specialty.

Typically they carry out the following tasks:

  • Administer appropriate treatment to patients
  • Make ward visits to monitor patients
  • Meet patients in private clinics and public hospitals
  • Dispense drugs
  • Provide nursing care
  • Take X-rays and other images
  • Research on new drugs

Best medical courses in Kenya: Career Prospects in Medicine and Dental Surgery

Craft certificate holders

  • Health Record Officer
  • Orthopedic
  • Morgue Attendant

Diploma holders

  • Community Health Worker
  • Nutritionist
  • Nurse
  • Clinical Officer
  • Dental Assistant
  • Food Technologist
  • Nutritionist
  • Midwife
  • Radiologist
  • Laboratory Technician

Graduates

  • Doctor
  • Researcher
  • Medical Officer
  • Dentist
  • Radiographer
  • Public Health Officer
  • Epidemiologist
  • Biostatistician
  • Veterinarian
  • Medical Doctor
  • Pharmacist
  • Researcher
  • Teacher
  • Clinical Instructor

 

Best medical courses in Kenya – frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Which medical course is best in Kenya?

As mentioned, some of the best medical courses in Kenya (when it comes to the number of available opportunities and pay) are:

  • Medicine and surgery
  • Nursing
  • Dental medicine
  • Clinical medicine
  • Radiography/radio imaging

Wrap up

Needless to say, not all medical courses in Kenya will give a job immediately. Plus, medical courses in Kenya do not pay the same.

The good news is that this list has educated you about the top medical courses in Kenya and the grades you need to study them.

Use it to make an informed decision.

Good luck.

PS: Follow Kenya Education Guide on Facebook here for more educational tips and advice.

 

ALSO READ:

Best medical schools in Kenya / best medical colleges in Kenya including Universities offering medicine and surgery in Kenya

Requirements to study medicine in Kenya (for all courses)

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CPA John Gitahi is a former college lecturer and has been involved in education all his life. He's passionate about helping young people make great career choices. He studied Commerce and ICT at the University and runs several successful online entreprises. He is also an avid traveller.

4 thoughts on “Best medical courses in Kenya [2022 update]”

  1. i would like to thank you for the gud work more so i need your guidance i finished form four April and i got a mean grade of c- and subjects were eng c,kisw D-,AGR B+,histB,bioD-,math D- pliz help mh nicourse gani naeza npend nursing sana

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