This degree primarily aims to address an international audience involved in tropical livestock and wildlife health, management and production in support of rural development, also wishing to integrate the impact of the diseases and control activities on the local ecosystems in order to increase knowledge and effectiveness of control strategies. The degree is more geared towards veterinarians and professionals with a background in Animal Health and Zoology, but it may also be of interest to medical professionals who want to broaden their scope. The modular programme is structured in such a way that a learner can, by selecting the appropriate elective and skills modules, achieve a qualification that will support various career paths, including microbiology or parasitology, veterinary field services, or general veterinary practice, to name a few.
This degree is offered as a combination of e-learning, face-to-face teaching and a compulsory collaborative induction/field-workshop. It has the following components:
- A two week compulsory induction/field-workshop
- Compulsory core modules
- Elective modules (Theory-based and Skills-based)
For the MSc Tropical Animal Health the mini-dissertation will include an oral examination conducted face to face or via video conference. The oral examining panel will include an examiner from each institute (not the supervisor). A mark will be given which will constitute 10% of the final mini-dissertation mark. The dissertation will also be examined by one internal and one external examiner as stipulated by the UP regulations; a mark will be given which will constitute 90% of the final mini-dissertation mark.
Subject to the stipulations of General Regulations of UP, a BVSc, a four-year BSc in Animal Science, Biological Science, or an equivalent degree is required. According to the Bologna Bachelor-Master structure, a Masters degree is required to register at ITM. (Note: A four-year BSc degree in the South African context is equivalent to a Masters degree in the Bologna system). Two years of professional experience might be required in certain cases. It remains the prerogative of the head of department (UP) or course director (ITM) to require, in addition to the entrance requirements already mentioned, the successful completion of an admissions test before registration. A student may also be required to pass a proficiency test in English (TOEFL) at an acceptable level. The web-based/online nature of the modules requires basic computer skills in order to successfully participate in the degree programme.
Also consult the General Regulations. Students are required to confirm whether a module will be presented in any particular year.
Examinations and pass requirements
The MSc degree is conferred by virtue of the successful completion of coursework and a mini-dissertation within the prescribed time period. The final mark will be calculated as follows:
Coursework: 50%; Mini-dissertation: 50%. The latter will include an oral examination conducted face to face or via video conference. The oral examining panel will include an examiner from each institute (not the supervisor); a mark will be given which will constitute 10% of the final Dissertation mark. The dissertation will also be examined by one external examiner as stipulated by the UP regulations; a mark will be given which will constitute 90% of the final mini-dissertation mark.
If a student fails a module, he/she will have to repeat the module the following year. In the case of the skills-based modules, if a student fails either the online (theory) or the practical component of a module, he/she will have to repeat the module (online and practical component) the following year. Any module can only be repeated twice; if such a module is failed in both instances, the degree will not be conferred.
On an appropriate topic depending on the field of interest of the student, a research project of limited scope must be undertaken and written in the format of a dissertation to fulfill the requirements of the MSc. The research topic is determined in consultation with the supervisor and head of department and the research project must be approved according to Faculty/Institute guidelines. (Consult UP General Regulations)
Before or together with the dissertation, a student must submit at least one draft article in the correct format for publication in an acknowledged journal to the Faculty Administration, failing which the degree will not be conferred. The draft article must be based on the research for the dissertation and must be acceptable to the supervisor and meet subsidy requirements. (Also consult UP General Regulations)
A dissertation may not be conditionally accepted: it is either accepted (> 50%) or rejected (< 50%). In the event of a dissertation being rejected, a candidate may submit an amended version or another dissertation within two years and will bear the full cost of the examination.
Pass with distinction
The degree is conferred with distinction when a student has obtained at least 75% for the dissertation and an average of at least 75% for the modules chosen.