Programme: MAgric Rural Development

Kindly take note of the disclaimer regarding qualifications and degree names.
Code Faculty
02256003 Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences
Credits Duration NQF level
Minimum duration of study: 2 years Total credits: 180 NQF level:  09

Programme information

On the recommendation of the relevant head of department, the Dean may set specific residential requirements for the MScAgric degree.

Renewal of registration
As long as progress is satisfactory, renewal of the registration of a master’s student will be accepted for the second year of the study. Registration for a third and subsequent years will only take place when the Student Administration of the Faculty receives a written motivation which is supported by the relevant head of department and Postgraduate Studies Committee.

Subject to programme-specific requirements, the curriculum for the MScAgric degree consists of the following:

  1. A dissertation; and
  2. Further study in the major subject/s, augmented by ancillary modules prescribed by the Postgraduate Studies Committee, on the recommendation of the head of department. Such ancillary modules may be taken simultaneously with the major subject/s. Candidates in possession of the BScAgricHons degree may be exempted from additional ancillary modules.
  3. Please note that not all modules will be offered in any one year.

Candidates are required to familiarise themselves with the General Regulations regarding the maximum period of registration and the requirements on the submission of a draft article for publication.

Admission requirements

  • The BInstAgrarHons/BAgricHons degree of the University of Pretoria or another appropriate degree equivalent to or higher than the status thereof as evaluated by the Director of the School and the head(s) of the relevant department(s).

Examinations and pass requirements

  1. The examinations in the ancillary modules should be successfully completed prior to, or simultaneously with, the examinations in the major subject/s, unless the Faculty Board decides otherwise.
  2. General Regulation G.12.2 applies to the calculation of marks.
  3. In order to obtain the MScAgric degree, the candidate must pass all prescribed modules, including the examination in the major subject/s, as well as the dissertation.

Pass with distinction

The MScAgric degree is conferred with distinction on candidates who obtain a final average mark of at least 75% and a mark of at least 75% for the dissertation/mini-dissertation from each of the members of the examination panel. Where a member of the examination panel awards a mark of less than 75% for the dissertation/mini-dissertation, that member of the examination panel must offer, in writing, support for his/her decision, or indicate in writing that he/she supports the examination committee’s decision to confer the degree with distinction.

Minimum credits: 75

Programme information:

Minimum credits:  180

Core credits:         105

Elective credits:      75

Please note: LEK 885 (15 credits) to be taken in the second semester.

Core modules

  • Module content:

    The concept and interrelated causes of food insecurity (production, markets and socio-economic climate) and the global food economy.  Household coping strategies and response to risk and shocks.  Household dynamics (including livelihoods, purchasing behaviour and nutrition).  Practical tools for programme and policy analysis and targeting.  Evaluation of possible programme and policy options and their effectiveness in terms of achieving comprehensive and pro-poor growth.

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  • Module content:

    Indicators, scores, indexes, measurement approaches, systems and analysis methods, for food security monitoring and evaluation.  Best practice for surveys and qualitative methodologies.  Communicating research results and food security information for decision makers.  The data included in the module will cover agricultural crop and livestock, food stocks, nutrition, health, agrometerological, behavioural and sanitation related information.

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  • Module content:

    Institutional and behavioural economics. This module will expose students to the principles of the New Institutional Economics paradigm and how it can be utilized to improve the analysis of agricultural economic and agricultural development problems and issues. Major themes covered are: The agricultural development challenge: stylised features; new institutional economics: distinctive features and concepts; institutions and development: A historical and macro-perspective techno-economic characteristics and agricultural systems and products in poor countries; NIE analysis of markets and markets structures; the State: Political and institutional determinants of agricultural policy; collective action; transactions costs in smallholder agriculture; case studies.

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  • Module content:

    Overview of rural finance: conceptual issues. Role of financial services in economic development. Relationship between financial development and economic growth. Economic theory underlying rural financial markets: market and government failure, imperfect information, transaction costs, agency theory, and pecking order theory. Supply of and demand for financial services in rural areas: theory and measurement issues. Estimating credit demand, supply and constraints. Institutions involved in the provision of rural financial services and innovations in rural finance. Assessing performance of institutions providing rural financial services.

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  • Module content:

    Review of theories and principles of growth and development. The role of agriculture in rural and economic development. The economic nature of smallholder agriculture. Problems and policies in agricultural and rural development: issues, options and challenges. Strategies for modernising agriculture (lessons from experience). Poverty dynamics, food and the environmental nexus. Land tenure reforms and policy.

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The information published here is subject to change and may be amended after the publication of this information. The General Regulations (G Regulations) apply to all faculties of the University of Pretoria. It is expected of students to familiarise themselves well with these regulations as well as with the information contained in the General Rules section. Ignorance concerning these regulations and rules will not be accepted as an excuse for any transgression.

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