Programme: PGDip Laboratory Animal Science

Code Faculty
08220062 Faculty of Veterinary Science
Credits Duration NQF level
Minimum duration of study: 1 year Total credits: 120 NQF level:  08

Programme information

  • 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 a 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.
  • 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

  • The minimum admission requirement is an appropriate bachelor's degree, an appropriate advanced diploma or a bachelor of technology degree (SAQA level 7). Entry into clinical modules will however be restricted to persons with the relevant veterinary qualification.
  • Additional requirements:
  • In cases where web-based/online modules are offered, basic computer skills are required in order to successfully participate in the diploma programme.
  • In certain cases, it remains the prerogative of the head of department to require, in addition to the entrance requirements, the successful completion of an admissions test before registration.A student may also be required to pass a proficiency test in English (TOEFL).

Examinations and pass requirements

The PGDip is conferred by virtue of the successful completion of tests/assignments and an examination on four 30 credit coursework modules.
Every module will be evaluated by a written or oral test or assignment or practical work (a year mark will be determined) and an examination. The year mark and examination mark will each 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 year or examination marks are published in the study guides.
If a student fails a module, he/she will have to repeat the module the following year. A candidate has two chances to pass a module.

Pass with distinction

The diploma is conferred with distinction on a student who has obtained an average of at least 75%, provided that a minimum final mark of 60% in each of the modules have been obtained.

Minimum credits: 120

The two core modules are compulsary.

Choose 2 elective modules from the list of electives.

(Clinical subjects are limited to veterinary graduates only.)

Core modules

  • Module content:

    Section 1: (10 credits)
    Application of procedures within an accredited laboratory animal facility, with focus on laboratory animal management (rats and mice), including housing and care; enrichment; breeding; methods of dosing and methods of sample collection.

    Section 2: (20 credits)
    The biology of laboratory animals, their management and use as models in biomedical research.
    The aim is to extend the activities concerning the care and use of laboratory animals for research, training and testing. Further to affirm the concept on which the modern practice of experimenting with animals is based, to take into consideration the controversy evoked in the climate of animal rights. The special professional role required of the veterinary and paraveterinary professions to enhance humane practice with regard to animal experiments as well as the promotion of a productive scientific effort in the biomedical sciences.

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  • Module content:

    An advanced module in research methodology for veterinarians involved in laboratory animals and/or laboratory work. The study will focus on animal ethics, animal ethics committee, evaluation of protocols and study design. Focus will also be placed on legislation for the use and protection of animals.

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Elective modules

The information published here is subject to change and may be amended after the publication of this information. The General Regulations (G Regulations) apply to all faculties of the University of Pretoria. It is expected of each student to familiarise himself or herself well with these regulations as well as with the information contained in the General Rules section. Ignorance concerning these regulations and rules will not be accepted as an excuse for any transgression.

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