Programme: 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 years Total credits: 180 NQF level:  09

Programme information

The curriculum consists of one compulsory core module (RUM 801 for 40 credits) and a choice of one of two elective modules (BHH 801 or SSH 801 for 40 credits each), as well as a mini-dissertation (90 credits). In addition, students should elect any appropriate module on 800 level to the value of at least 10 credits (to make up the total of 90 credits for the coursework), approved by the head of department. Students should also register for (and pass) the module Research methodology (VRM 813) (non-credit-bearing).

Also consult the General Academic Regulations G30 – G41 and Faculty regulations.

A coursework master’s degree requires a high level of theoretical engagement and intellectual independence, and in some cases demonstration of the ability to relate knowledge to a range of contexts for professional practice.

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

Also consult the General Academic Regulations G35 - 38.

  1. Each module requires a certain amount of contact sessions and the balance may be presented online. The detail of the contact sessions for each module is published in the study guides.
  2. A minimum number of students could be prescribed (as per the discretion of the module coordinator) for the presentation of any given module. When the required minimum number of students for a particular module is not reached, the module will not be presented in that academic year but will be offered again in the next academic year. For prescribed modules a maximum number of students who can enrol may be set. The details for each module are published in the study guides.
  3. Students are required to confirm whether a module will be presented in any particular year. This enquiry should be directed to the Faculty PG Student Administration co-ordinator according to the syllabi information provided in the list of modules in this yearbook.

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

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

The Faculty does make provision for supplementary and special examinations as per General Academic Regulations G37.4 and G37.5.

For the coursework, 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.

If a student fails a coursework module, he/she will have to repeat the module the next year. A module may not be repeated more than twice. Please refer to other specific conditions stipulated in the study guide of each module.

Examinations and pass requirements related to mini-dissertations
Also consult the General Academic Regulations G39 for Preparation and submission of dissertation, Technical editing of the dissertation, Evaluation of the dissertation, Appointment of the examination panel, Criteria for evaluation, Examiners’ reports, Finalisation of reports.

A mini-dissertation is submitted to the Head: Student Administration, before the closing date for the relevant graduation ceremonies as announced annually (i.e. 31 October or 31 March to qualify for the Autumn or Spring graduation, respectively), after permission is granted by the supervisor and co-supervisor(s). (Also consult the General Academic Regulation G39 with regard to the submission and technical editing of the thesis).

If a mini-dissertation is submitted after the due date specified above, the student takes the risk that the examination of the dissertation may be delayed and the student will not be considered for the graduation concerned. A student will only be allowed to graduate if the student has successfully complied with all the requirements for the particular programme.

The dissertation will be examined by one internal and one external examiner as stipulated by the UP regulations. The average mark of the two separate marks awarded by the 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.

Compliance with degree requirements

Also consult the General Academic Regulation G40.

  1. A coursework master’s degree, will be conferred on a student only after the successful completion of every requirement of each component of the relevant degree programme, including the achievement of a pass mark for each of the prescribed coursework modules, the submission and successful evaluation of the mini-dissertation or other research-relevant output, and compliance with all the requirements for the particular programme.
  2. A coursework master’s degree is not deemed to be completed if the electronic version of the mini-dissertation has not been submitted to the relevant faculty administration prior to the date of closure of the graduation/finalist list for the forthcoming graduation ceremony.
  3. No one is entitled to any privileges pertaining to a coursework master’s degree before the qualification has been conferred on him or her at a graduation ceremony. In respect of professional registrations, faculties may issue confirmation letters to the relevant professional bodies prior to the graduation ceremonies.

Research information

Retention and preservation of research data
Also consult the General Academic Regulations G39.

The data generated through the research conducted must be managed in accordance with the University of Pretoria’s Research Data Management policy and the related Research Data Management procedure.

Non-disclosure of the contents of a study (Embargo): Where part or all of the contents of the master’s study must remain confidential, the supervisor will be required to submit an application in writing to Faculty Postgraduate and Research committee setting out the grounds for such a request and indicating the duration of the period of confidentiality. This period would normally not exceed 2 (two) years. The committee considers the application and either approves it or refers it back to the supervisor. The faculty must keep record of the decisions and the embargo, and the information must be shared with the Department of Library Services.

Pass with distinction

Qualification with distinction: A coursework master’s degree is awarded with distinction if a student meets the following requirements:

  1. Obtained a weighted average of at least 75% (not rounded) in the coursework modules needed to comply with degree requirements, and
  2. Obtained a final mark of 75% or above for the mini-dissertation; and
  3. Completed the qualification within the maximum period allowed for master’s study, but not in less than the prescribed minimum period of one academic year. Note: the maximum allowable time is twice that of the prescribed duration time period in relation to postgraduate students who study part-time (i.e. study while working full-time).
  4. In the case of a coursework master’s degree, did not fail or repeat any module during an additional examination. The result of a discontinuation of a module(s) will not be considered when calculating a qualification with distinction.

Minimum credits: 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 content:

    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 content:

    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 content:

    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 content:

    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 credits: 90


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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