• Postgraduate programmes and modules

Master of Science in Veterinary Science (MSc (Veterinary Science)

The MSc in Production Animal Studies is a research degree. Students with a BVSc or equivalent degree as well as students holding BSc degrees at the honours level or 4-year BSc (Agriculture) degrees or a relevant postgraduate diploma (on NQF level 8) can be considered.

Topics for research are defined by the student in conjunction with the supervisor. A module on Research Methodology (VRM 813) is required of all students, whereas other coursework may be required at the discretion of the supervisor. The minimum and maximum duration is one and two years for the MSc (Research) and two and three years respectively for MSc (Course Work). The degree is conferred based on assessment of a dissertation and submission of a manuscript suitable for publication. The dissertation is examined by one internal and/or two external examiners.

There are 5 MSc degrees offered by the Department.  These are:

•        MSc (Veterinary Science)

•        MSc (Veterinary Science) (option:  Reproduction)

•        MSc (Veterinary Science) (option:  Epidemiology)

•        MSc (Veterinary Science) (option:  Ruminant Health)

•        MSc (Veterinary Science) (option:  Wildlife, Health, Ecology)


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The PhD in Production Animal Studies is a research degree. An appropriate Masters degree is required for admission, and additional requirements may be stipulated by the Head of Department. Topics are defined by the student in conjunction with the supervisor and Head of Department. Coursework may be required at the discretion of the supervisor. The minimum duration of study is three years with one extension for completing the studies. The PhD is conferred based on a thesis, a minimum of one article for publication, one submitted and a draft article.  Before or on submission of the final copy of the thesis, a student must submit proof of acceptance of an article for publication issued by and accredited journal to the Head:  Student Administration. Three examiners are appointed.


Master of Veterinary Medicine (MMedVet)

This degree includes training in both theoretical and practical aspects of a specific discipline, and also includes a research component. The minimum period is 3 years. The maximum duration for the degree is 6 years, or 4 years in the case of candidates who have already completed an appropriate Honours degree.  Veterinarians holding a MMedVet degree may register with the South African Veterinary Council as specialists in the appropriate disciplines. Candidates are therefore advised not only of the University requirements for the degree, but also the SAVC requirements.

There are six MMedVet degrees offered by the Department. These are:

•        Bovine Health and Production (MMedVet (Bov));

•        Pig Herd Health (MMedVet (Suill));

•        Poultry Diseases (MMedVet (Altil));

•        Theriogenology (MMedVet (Gyn));

•        Small Stock Health (MMedVet (CaprOv));

•        Wildlife Diseases (MMedVet (Fer)).

The three components are further described as follows:

The theoretical components are structured into a specialist module, and ancillary modules drawn from related fields in support of the specialist module. The ancillary modules may be designated as core ancillaries required of all candidates, or elective ancillaries from which candidates may select a specified number.

Practical aspects of the discipline are taught during practical training embedded within the coursework and in the form of supervised clinical training. The duration of the clinical training is specified, and evidence of exposure must be submitted in the form of case logbooks.

The research project must lead to submission of a mini-dissertation and a manuscript suitable for publication. The final composition of a candidate’s MMedVet degree is agreed on by the supervisor and Head of Department.

Conferment of the degree is based on completion of all three components, although only the final marks for the specialist module and the mini-dissertation contribute to the final mark. For each degree, there are specific training requirements and outcomes. These are defined in the study guides for each MMedVet degree.


Admission Criteria


  1. Subject to the stipulations of General Regulations G.30 and G.62, a candidate must be in possession of the BVSc or an equivalent degree. In certain cases, the head of department under which a specific field of study for the MMedVet falls, may require that a candidate first obtains a BVSc Honours degree [Reg.v.2(c)], with modules applicable to the particular MMedVet degree programme. A minimum of 60% in each module may be required before a student may commence studies for the MMedVet degree
  2. A student who wishes to commence studies for the MMedVet degree, and already has a BVSc Honours degree and complies with the requirements already mentioned, will retain credit for the modules concerned for a period of two years, unless the head of department decides otherwise.
  3. Furthermore, a head of department has the prerogative to require, in addition to the requirements of the said regulation, an evaluation of a student, which may include practical components, or the setting of special conditions. A student may also be required to pass a proficiency test in English (TOEFL) at an acceptable level. 
  4. The number of students that can be admitted to the MMedVet degree programme annually depends on the training capacity of a department and the number of available posts.

Duration and attendance requirements

  1. For candidates who are already in possession of the BVSc Honours degree with the applicable modules, the degree programme extends over at least three years, with a maximum duration of four years. If all the required modules have to be included in the MMedVet curriculum, the programme extends over a maximum of six years.
  2. Unless stipulated otherwise, the Dean must be satisfied that the candidates will have sufficient access to appropriate facilities and, where necessary, supervision by an appropriate person to complete the work required for the degree at a satisfactory level.
  3. Attendance requirements are determined in each individual case by the Dean (as recommended by the head of department concerned).
  4. Candidates have to complete an acceptable module in research methodology successfully.
  5. Candidates will be required to keep a logbook or similar record of experiential training which is to be signed by the supervisor every 6 months. The logbook or other suitable record is to be made available for auditing when the specialist module is monitored by the South African Veterinary Council.


Elective modules will in all instances be determined in consultation with the head of department in which the proposed special field of study is offered. If deemed necessary, modules offered by other faculties of the University of Pretoria may form part of the prescribed programme.


PGDip Production Animals 

This programme is offered by the Department of Production Animal Studies.  The following persons may benefit from enrolling for the PGDip: 

  • The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) identified a need for further theoretical training for their staff in veterinary public health, veterinary epidemiology and animal disease management. This one-year diploma provides for their training needs.

  • BTech (or National Higher Diploma) graduates in Animal Health may apply for the diploma programme in order to prepare for masters’ study.

  • Veterinarians, who are undertaking or have completed their compulsory community service and require refreshment training in preparation for private practice, may benefit from enrolling for the diploma programme.

  • Registered veterinarians who require further education towards their continued registration as professionals with the South African Veterinary Council (Continual Professional Development) will benefit by obtaining a PGDip as another means to obtaining their CPD requirements.

  • Veterinarians who are in single person practices, who do not have the intention of being specialists due to the time commitments of specialist training, will gain advanced veterinary knowledge at level above that of an undergraduate while they are still resident at their practices.

  • Staff members of veterinary schools in Africa may enrol for the PGDip. As online modules are available to people who have the need for training, but do not necessarily have the funding for contact study in South Africa.

The curriculum consists of four compulsory core and elective theoretical modules of 30 credits each to the value of 120 credits.
Also consult General Regulations.


Further details can be found in the Faculty Yearbook:



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