Programme: MSc (Epidemiology and Biostatistics)

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Code Faculty Department
10253335 Faculty of Health Sciences Department: School of Health Systems and Public Health
Credits Duration NQF level
Minimum duration of study: 1 year Total credits: 180 NQF level:  09

Programme information

The following requirements are set:
Advanced instruction by means of blended learning
Students must pass the module TNM 802 Applied research methodology 802
Students must pass the module HMS 873 Scientific writing 873
Students must select and pass one of the elective 30-credit modules 
Students must pass a dissertation that carries 150 credits. 

Admission requirements

  1. BScHons degree with Epidemiology and Applied Biostatistics (or equivalent) or relevant honours degree or relevant four-year bachelor’s degree with two years of applicable experience or relevant bachelor’s (or equivalent) degree with five years of applicable experience
  2. A cumulative weighted average of at least 60% for the honours or bachelor’s degree

Additional requirements

All MSc students must register for, and attend TNM 802 Applied research methodology 802 satisfactorily. (Exemption may be granted, on application, if the module has already been passed for the BScHons degree.) Also consult General Academic Regulations.

Other programme-specific information

Concurrent registration for two study programmes

  1. In accordance with the stipulations of the General Academic Regulations, which is mutatis mutandis applicable in the case of postgraduate diploma study, the permission of the Dean is required for concurrent registration, subject to the regulations applicable to the fields of study in question and to any other stipulations the Dean may prescribe. Such a concession may be withdrawn by the Dean if the student does not perform satisfactorily – all assignments and coursework must be completed on time. Concurrent registration will not be accepted as a reason for poor performance or not meeting deadlines for both study programmes.
  2. In the case of registering concurrently for two study programmes in the School of Health Systems and Public Health and elsewhere, students must obtain the written consent of both the coordinator of their current programme and the coordinator of the second programme, and submit it with a substantiating letter to the School’s Academic Programme Committee, for recommendation by the Chairperson of the School, after which the application is submitted to the Dean for approval.
  3. The School of Health Systems and Public Health states that concurrent registration for two study programmes is a privilege and not a right.
  4. Concurrent registration must be applied for annually and is granted based on academic performance in the primary degree/diploma programme. If the current field of study is a master’s degree, then the second field of study can be a postgraduate diploma.

Examinations and pass requirements

Students must attend all lectures and practical classes (as may be required), and should successfully complete all online and/or distance-based tasks, as required, to the satisfaction of the head of department or the Chairperson of the School. Written, oral and/or practical examinations must be passed in the elective module as well as in TNM 802 Applied research methodology 802 and HMS 873 Scientific writing 873.
The minimum pass mark for the modules and the dissertation is 50%. Only with the approval of the Chairperson of the School, on the recommendation of the head of department, will a student be allowed to continue their studies after having failed a module twice. A second examination in a module is arranged in conjunction with the head of department for any student obtaining less than 50% and more than 39% for any module. In addition:

  1. The prescribed modules must be passed independently of each other.
  2. No second examinations will be granted in modules in which less than 40% has been obtained. Instead, the module must be repeated in its entirety.

Research information

Research protocol
After registration, a student is required to submit a complete research protocol regarding the proposed dissertation to the Academic Advisory Committee and also to the Faculty of Health Sciences Ethics Committee for approval.

A dissertation on an approved research project must be passed. The stipulations of the General Academic Regulations regarding the preparation and submission, the technical editing and the résumé of the dissertation apply.

A systematic literature review (Cochrane type) on an approved subject, which is undertaken in such a manner that bias in minimised, may be presented as an alternative to the dissertation for awarding the MSc degree, provided it also incorporates the appropriate use of meta-analysis. It requires, inter alia, a research protocol with clearly formulated objectives and methods. Inclusion and exclusion methods for the study must be determined. A meta-analysis is required as part of a systematic review offered for the dissertation; with applicable statistical methods.

Pass with distinction

The MSc (Epidemiology and Biostatistics) degree is awarded with distinction to a student who has obtained a mark of at least 75% for the dissertation as well as a weighted average of at least 75% of all the marks for the other required modules for the degree (with weighting in proportion to the credit value of the module).

Minimum credits: 180


Select only ONE module.

Core modules

Elective modules

The regulations and rules for the degrees published here are subject to change and may be amended after the publication of this information.

The General Academic Regulations (G Regulations) and General Student Rules apply to all faculties and registered students of the University, as well as all prospective students who have accepted an offer of a place at the University of Pretoria. On registering for a programme, the student bears the responsibility of ensuring that they familiarise themselves with the General Academic Regulations applicable to their registration, as well as the relevant faculty-specific and programme-specific regulations and information as stipulated in the relevant yearbook. Ignorance concerning these regulations will not be accepted as an excuse for any transgression, or basis for an exception to any of the aforementioned regulations.

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