Programme: MPH

Code Faculty Department
10256502 Faculty of Health Sciences Department: School of Health Systems and Public Health
Credits Duration NQF level
Minimum duration of study: 2 years Total credits: 190 NQF level:  09

Programme information

The curriculum will include four compulsory modules and a range of elective modules. These modules will have a blended learning approach, combining online, distance based learning and face-to-face teaching modalities, depending on the module.

The MPH programme comprises the following three components:

  • Core modules (30 credits)
  • Elective modules (50 credits)
  • Mini-dissertation (100 credits)

Admission requirements

  1. PGDip (Public Health) or equivalent with an average of at least 60% or equivalent learning (study for non-degree purposes or equivalent coursework at another institution) provided that the applicant is in possession of a: (i) Relevant honours degree or (ii) relevant four-year bachelor’s degree and at least two years’ applicable practical (work) experience or (iii) relevant three-year bachelor’s degree and at least five years’ applicable practical (work) experience

Additional requirements

Registration as a special student in the Faculty in order to pass a status examination

  1. Candidates will be required to first register as a special student in the Faculty, in order to pass in a status examination, in the following instances:
  • A three-year bachelor's degree with less than five years' applicable practical (work) experience; or
  • A four-year bachelor’s degree with less than two years’ applicable practical (work) experience; or
  • Any applicant in possession of an approved bachelor’s degree, who the School’s Selection Committee deems fit to register as a special student.

In accordance with the criteria of the Senate of the University, the applications for admission of all such candidates must, apart from any Faculty requirements, also be submitted to the University Senate for approval.
All candidates accepted for postgraduate study (MPH or the Postgraduate Diplomas) must be in possession of a National Senior Certificate with admission for degree purposes.

  1. Pass requirements for the status examination
  • At least 60% must be obtained in the status examination.
  • The status examination will be written in June.
  1. The application of a student who has passed the status examination must be submitted to the Senate of the University for approval. Successful students may then enrol for the degree programme in the following academic year.

Other selection criteria
(Each on a scale of one to five.)

  • Academic merit
  • National/International need for public health
  • Under-represented groups in public health
  • Public health related employment
  • Track record – e.g. employment, academic, community-building, etc.

Other programme-specific information

Please note: All MMed students must register for, and attend (TNM 800) Applied research methodology, satisfactorily.

Also consult General Academic Regulations G30-G41.

Examinations and pass requirements

Students must participate in all activities and should successfully complete all written and/or online tasks, as required, to the satisfaction of the Chairperson of the School. Written, oral and/or practical examinations must be passed in each prescribed and each elective module including TNM 802 Applied research methodology 802 and HMS 873 Scientific writing 873.

The minimum pass mark for the modules and the dissertation is 50% in all cases. 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 his or her 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.

i.    Examination of modules

  1. Each module has its individual (own) evaluation, which may consist of more than one mode of evaluation. To pass in a module, a student must obtain a minimum pass mark of 50%.
  2. If a student fails a module but obtains 40% to 49%, a second examination in the module in question must be written. The student must arrange with the lecturer who presents the module, in consul-tation with the Academic Programme Coordinator, in this regard.
  3. If a student fails a module but obtains a mark of less than 40%, the module must be repeated in full in the following year.
  4. If a core module is still not passed after two attempts, the student will not be allowed to continue with the MPH programme.
  5. A compulsory module in the student’s track can only be repeated once. If it is not passed after the second attempt, the student will be requested to change the track. If the student fails after two attempts in the second track, he or she will not be allowed to continue with the MPH programme.
  6. If an elective module is failed after two attempts, the student will have to select another elective module.

Examination of the mini-dissertation.

The mini-dissertation will be examined by one internal examiner and one external examiner. A third (external) examiner may be appointed at the discretion of the chairperson of the school. The mini-dissertation must be passed independently with at least 50%.

Research information

Research protocol
After registration, a student is required to submit a complete research protocol regarding the proposed mini-dissertation to the student’s division head for internal review. Thereafter the protocol is submitted to the Faculty of Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee for approval. No data collection may begin until the Research Ethics Committee has approved the protocol for implementation. 

A mini-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.

  1. The mini-dissertation contributes 100 credits (the equivalent of 1 000 notional hours of learning according to the SAQA criteria).
  2. The expected outcome of the mini-dissertation is that the student will be able to identify and investigate health and health systems problems in a comprehensive manner, and that he or she will be able to formulate appropriate interventions.
  3. The student’s research protocol is submitted for approval to the MPH Division for review, and, once approved, submitted to the Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee for their approval. Data collection may not begin until the protocol has been approved by the Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee.

Pass with distinction

The MPH degree is awarded with distinction to a student who has obtained a mark of at least 75% for the dissertation as well as a simple (unweighted) average of at least 75% of all the marks (not rounded) for the other required modules for the degree (excluding the marks for TNM 802 and PHM 880).

General information

Concurrent registration for two study programmes

  1. In accordance with the stipulations of the General Academic Regulations, concurrent registration for two postgraduate programmes is not allowed, except in the case of exceptional academic achievement, and 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 (or the track co-ordinator in the case of the MPH), 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.
  5. If the current field of study is a postgraduate diploma, then the second field of study can be another postgraduate diploma.

Minimum credits: 80

ACM872, 874 and 875 are available only under exceptional circumstances and with the approval of the Dean acting on the advice of the Chairperson of the SHSPH.

Core modules

Elective modules

Minimum credits: 100

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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