Program: MSc Ruminant Health (Coursework)

Kindly take note of the disclaimer regarding qualifications and degree names.
Code Faculty Department
08251024 Faculty of Veterinary Science Department: Production Animal Studies
Credits Duration NQF level
Minimum duration of study: 2 jaar Totale krediete: 180 NQF level:  09


This programme is offered by the Department of Paraclinical Sciences.

This degree programme underlines the major health and production considerations in domesticated ruminants. It caters for the needs of candidates who wish to extend their knowledge and skills that they have gained during their undergraduate training and aims to allow them to practise at a higher level.

The curriculum consists of compulsory core and elective theoretical modules (90 credits) as well as a mini-dissertation (90 credits).

Also consult General Regulations. 
Students are required to confirm whether a module will be presented in any particular year. This enquiry should be directed to the relevant head of department according to the syllabi information provided in the list of modules in this publication.

Admission requirements

  1. BVSc (or equivalent) degree or relevant four-year BScAgric degree or relevant BSc honours degree or relevant postgraduate diploma (on NQF level 8)
  2. An admissions examination may be required
  3. The candidate may be required to submit proof of experience in their selected field of study

Examinations and pass requirements

A minimum examination mark of 50% is required in each of the modules where a semester or year mark is not required. However, where a semester or year mark is required, the latter will contribute 50% to the final mark. A subminimum of 40% is required in the examination and a final mark of at least 50 % to pass the module. Instructions regarding requirements for semester, year or examination marks are published in the study guides, for the specific attention of candidates. 

The MSc coursework degree is conferred by virtue of the successful completion of examinations on the coursework modules and a mini-dissertation. 

If a student fails a module, he/she will have to repeat the module the following year. A module cannot be repeated more than twice. 

Research information

Also consult the General Regulations. 

Candidates must submit a mini-dissertation which deals with an applied field of study. The topic is determined in consultation with the supervisor and the relevant head of department, and must be approved according to Faculty guidelines. The mini-dissertation is based on an applied research project or related research projects (which need not be original), planned and reported by the candidate. (Assistance with statistical processing, applied specialised procedures, etc. is allowed, but must be acknowledged.) 

An internal as well as external examiner will evaluate the mini-dissertation. The supervisor may not be an examiner.   

The average mark of the separate marks awarded by all examiners constitutes the final mark for the mini-dissertation. The minimum pass mark is 50%. The Dean, on the recommendation of the relevant head of the department, may permit a candidate who has failed, to submit an amended mini-dissertation for final adjudication. 

Pass with distinction

The degree is conferred with distinction on a student who has obtained at least 75% for the mini-dissertation and a weighted average of at least 75% in the other modules needed to comply with degree requirements, provided that a minimum pass mark of 60% in all the other modules have been obtained.

Minimum krediete: 90

Choose one of the two elective modules as well as any appropriate module on 800 level to the value of at least 10 credits, approved by the HoD

Fundamental modules

  • Module-inhoud:

    A web-based introductory module in research methodology that includes planning and undertaking a research project or clinical trial, collecting and analysing data, scientific writing, and enabling preparation and presenting of a research protocol.

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Core modules

  • Module-inhoud:

    Advanced theoretical training in ruminant health with emphasis on the pathophysiology, diagnosis, treatment and control of non-infectious diseases, specifically applicable to conditions of the gastro-intestinal tract, liver, production diseases, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, nervous system, musculo-skeletal system, skin and appendages.

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Elective modules

  • Module-inhoud:

    The primary aim of this module is to provide the candidate with the skills and competence to promote the health and production efficiency of cattle operations (dairy, beef and feedlots). The module will enable students to integrate and apply knowledge so that health and production can be monitored and problems can be identified and solved on a herd basis.

    The module content will be based on advanced theoretical training in bovine herd health with emphasis on principles of herd health and production programmes, animal health economics, monitoring dairy herd health and production (applied nutrition, fertility, udder health, foot health, general cow health, calves and replacement heifers), monitoring the health and performance of beef cow calf enterprises (resource base, forage and beef cow-calf stock flow, applied nutrition, fertility, young stock, integrated resource, health and management program), and beef feedlots

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  • Module-inhoud:

    The module content will be based on advanced theoretical training in small stock health with emphasis on principles of population health and production programmes, animal health economics, monitoring health and production. The module will enable students to integrate and apply knowledge so that health and production problems can be identified and solved on a flock basis and health status and production effectiveness of small stock flock can be raised from a holistic and cost effective viewpoint.

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Minimum krediete: 90


Die inligting wat hier verskyn, is onderhewig aan verandering en kan na die publikasie van hierdie inligting gewysig word.. Die Algemene Regulasies (G Regulasies) is op alle fakulteite van die Universiteit van Pretoria van toepassing. Dit word vereis dat elke student volkome vertroud met hierdie regulasies sowel as met die inligting vervat in die Algemene Reëls sal wees. Onkunde betrefffende hierdie regulasies en reels sal nie as ‘n verskoning by oortreding daarvan aangebied kan word nie.

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