Programme: BScHons Biochemistry

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Code Faculty
03241011 Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences
Credits Duration
Duration of study: 1 year Total credits: 135

Programme information

Renewal of registration

  1. Subject to exceptions approved by the Dean, on the recommendation of the head of department, and in the case of distance education where the Dean formulates the stipulations that will apply, a student may not sit for an examination for the honours degree more than twice in the same module.
  2. A student for an honours degree must complete his or her study, in the case of full-time students, within two years and, in the case of after-hours students, within three years of first registering for the degree and, in the case of distance education students, within the period stipulated by the Dean. Under special circumstances, the Dean, on the recommendation of the head of department, may give approval for a limited extension of this period.

In calculating marks, General Regulation G.12.2 applies.

Apart from the prescribed coursework, a research project is an integral part of the study.

Admission requirements

Organic and Analytical chemistry at 200-level; a final mark of 60% or more in Biochemistry at 300-level and depending on availability of supervisor/s and/or projects within the department.


Other programme-specific information

  • A pass mark is required for all the components of the honours programme and the average mark is calculated proportionally to the credits.
  • Additional modules can be prescribed to remedy shortcomings in a candidate’s undergraduate training.


Pass with distinction

The BScHons degree is awarded with distinction to a candidate who obtains a weighted average of at least 75% in all the prescribed modules and a minimum of 65% in any one module.

Minimum credits: 135

Core modules

  • Module content:

    Study and discussion of topical research results from recent scientific publications.

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  • Module content:

    Principles and applications of recombinant DNA, and other novel molecular and genomics technologies, to address questions in the biological sciences and/or biotechnology.  Strong emphasis is placed on the principles of research planning, including identifying suitable research objectives, formulating a research strategy and understanding the relevance and feasibility of research.  The module is assessed by means of a research project proposal, conceived and formulated by each student.  The proposal must focus on the use of molecular technologies in addressing realistic questions in biology and/or biotechnology.  There is also an oral defense of the project proposal. 
    This module is jointly presented in the departments of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology and Plant Pathology.

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  • Module content:

    Students are guided through the methodology of research planning and data handling, as well as science communication skills.  They are offered hands-on experience in a range of advanced techniques employed in biochemistry, molecular technologies and biochemical analysis.  Scientific writing and presentation skills required for research in biochemistry, are also addressed.  Ethical and philosophical issues in the broader field of the Cellular and Molecular Sciences are also addressed.  Several of these aspects will be presented collaboratively by the Department of Genetics and the Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology.

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  • Module content:

    The latest trends towards a biological systems approach of metabolism, functional genomics and control.  This includes integration of metabolic pathways, mechanisms of regulation and metabolic control analysis.

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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 students to familiarise themselves 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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