Best medical courses in Kenya [2021 update]

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 this is one of the best paying medical courses in Kenya 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

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 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
  • Pharmacy
  • Clinical Medicine.

Extra requirements for International students

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

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

2.     Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree programme

Another course I will recommend is the Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree.

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

 

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).

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 available medical degree courses

·         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. But in general, it 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.

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

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

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 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
  • Clinical medicine
  • Dental 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

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 [2021 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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