The following persons will be considered for admission: a candidate who is in possession of a certificate that is deemed by the University to be equivalent to the required Grade 12 certificate with university endorsement, a candidate who is a graduate from another tertiary institution or has been granted the status of a graduate of such an institution, and a candidate who is a graduate of another faculty at the University of Pretoria.
Life Orientation is excluded in the calculation of the Admission Point Score (APS).
Grade 11 results are used for the conditional admission of prospective students. Final admission is based on the Grade 12 results.
English Home Language or English First Additional Language
* Cambridge A level candidates who obtained at least a D in the required subjects, will be considered for admission. International Baccalaureate (IB) HL candidates who obtained at least a 4 in the required subjects, will be considered for admission.
Candidates who do not comply with the minimum admission requirements for BScAgric (Plant Pathology), may be considered for admission to the BSc – Extended programme for the Biological and Agricultural Sciences. The BSc – Extended programme takes one year longer to complete.
BSc Extended Programme for the Biological and Agricultural Sciences
English Home Language or English First Additional Language
Other programme-specific information
Electives are chosen as follows:
Third year – 12 credits
Compilation of curriculum Students must register for elective modules in consultation with the head of department who must ensure that the modules do not clash on the set timetable.
The Dean may, in exceptional cases and on recommendation of the relevant head of department, approve deviations from the prescribed curriculum.
Promotion to next study year
A student will be promoted to the following year of study if he or she passed 100 credits of the prescribed credits for a year of study, unless the Dean on the recommendation of the relevant head of department decides otherwise. A student who does not comply with the requirements for promotion to the following year of study, retains the credit for the modules already passed and may be admitted by the Dean, on recommendation of the relevant head of department, to modules of the following year of study to a maximum of 48 credits, provided that it will fit in with both the lecture and examination timetable.
Pass with distinction
The BScAgric degree is conferred with distinction if a student obtains a weighted average of at least 75% in the modules of the major subjects in the third and the fourth year of study, with a weighted average of at least 65% in the other modules of the third and the fourth year of study.
Minimum credits: 140
Minimum credits: 140
Fundamental = 12
Core = 128
Students who do not qualify for AIM 102 must register for AIM 111 and AIM 121.
Find, evaluate, process, manage and present information resources for academic purposes using appropriate technology. Apply effective search strategies in different technological environments. Demonstrate the ethical and fair use of information resources. Integrate 21st-century communications into the management of academic information.
Apply effective search strategies in different technological environments. Demonstrate the ethical and fair use of information resources. Integrate 21st-century communications into the management of academic information.
Simple statistical analysis: Data collection and analysis: Samples, tabulation, graphical representation, describing location, spread and skewness. Introductory probability and distribution theory. Sampling distributions and the central limit theorem. Statistical inference: Basic principles, estimation and testing in the one- and two-sample cases (parametric and non-parametric). Introduction to experimental design. One- and twoway designs, randomised blocks. Multiple statistical analysis: Bivariate data sets: Curve fitting (linear and non-linear), growth curves. Statistical inference in the simple regression case. Categorical analysis: Testing goodness of fit and contingency tables. Multiple regression and correlation: Fitting and testing of models. Residual analysis. Computer literacy: Use of computer packages in data analysis and report writing.
Basic plant structure and function; introductory plant taxonomy and plant systematics; principles of plant molecular biology and biotechnology; adaptation of plants to stress; medicinal compounds from plants; basic principles of plant ecology and their application in natural resource management.
General introduction to inorganic, analytical and physical chemistry. Atomic structure and periodicity. Molecular structure and chemical bonding using the VSEOR model. Nomenclature of inorganic ions and compounds. Classification of reactions: precipitation, acid-base, redox reactions and gas-forming reactions. Mole concept and stoichiometric calculations concerning chemical formulas and chemical reactions. Principles of reactivity: energy and chemical reactions. Physical behaviour gases, liquids, solids and solutions and the role of intermolecular forces. Rate of reactions: Introduction to chemical kinetics.
Theory: General physical-analytical chemistry: Chemical equilibrium, acids and bases, buffers, solubility equilibrium, entropy and free energy, electrochemistry. Organic chemistry: Structure (bonding), nomenclature, isomerism, introductory stereochemistry, introduction to chemical reactions and chemical properties of organic compounds and biological compounds, i.e. carbohydrates and aminoacids. Practical: Molecular structure (model building), synthesis and properties of simple organic compounds.
Chromosomes and cell division. Principles of Mendelian inheritance: locus and alleles, dominance interactions, extensions and modifications of basic principles.. Probability studies. Sex determination and sex linked traits. Pedigree analysis. Genetic linkage and chromosome mapping. Chromosome variation.
The module will introduce the student to the field of Microbiology. Basic Microbiological aspects that will be covered include introduction into the diversity of the microbial world (bacteria, archaea, eukaryotic microorganisms and viruses), basic principles of cell structure and function, microbial nutrition and microbial growth and growth control. Applications in Microbiology will be illustrated by specific examples i.e. bioremediation, animal-microbial symbiosis, plant-microbial symbiosis and the use of microorganisms in industrial microbiology. Wastewater treatment, microbial diseases and food will be introduced using specific examples.
Introduction to the molecular structure and function of the cell. Basic chemistry of the cell. Structure and composition of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Ultrastructure and function of cellular organelles, membranes and the cytoskeleton. General principles of energy, enzymes and cell metabolism. Selected processes, e.g. glycolysis, respiration and/or photosynthesis. Introduction to molecular genetics: DNA structure and replication, transcription, translation. Cell growth and cell division.
Units, vectors, one dimensional kinematics, dynamics, work, equilibrium, sound, liquids, heat, thermodynamic processes, electric potential and capacitance, direct current and alternating current, optics, modern physics, radio activity.
*Students will not be credited for more than one of the following modules for their degree: WTW 134, WTW 165, WTW 114, WTW 158. WTW 134 does not lead to admission to Mathematics at 200 level and is intended for students who require Mathematics at 100 level only. WTW 134 is offered as WTW 165 in the second semester only to students who have applied in the first semester of the current year for the approximately 65 MBChB, or the 5-6 BChD places becoming available in the second semester and who were therefore enrolled for MGW 112 in the first semester of the current year. Functions, derivatives, interpretation of the derivative, rules of differentiation, applications of differentiation, integration, interpretation of the definite integral, applications of integration. Matrices, solutions of systems of equations. All topics are studied in the context of applications.
Animal classification, phylogeny, organization and terminology. Evolution of the various animal phyla, morphological characteristics and life cycles of parasitic and non-parasitic animals. Structure and function of reproductive, respiratory, excretory, circulatory and digestive systems.
Structural and ionic properties of amino acids. Peptides, the peptide bond, primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary structure of proteins. Interactions that stabilise protein structure, denaturation and renaturation of proteins. Introduction to methods for the purification of proteins, amino acid composition, and sequence determinations. Enzyme kinetics and enzyme inhibition. Allosteric enzymes, regulation of enzyme activity, active centres and mechanisms of enzyme catalysis. Examples of industrial applications of enzymes and in clinical pathology as biomarkers of diseases. Introduction to practical laboratory techniques and Good Laboratory Practice. Techniques for the quantitative and qualitative analysis of biological molecules, enzyme activity measurements . Processing and presentation of scientific data.
Nitrogen metabolism in plants; nitrogen fixation in Agriculture; plant secondary metabolism and natural products; photosynthesis and carbohydrate metabolism in plants; applications in solar energy; plant growth regulation and the Green Revolution; plant responses to the environment; developing drought tolerant and disease resistant plants.
Origin and development of soil, weathering and soil formation processes. Profile differentiation and morphology. Physical characteristics: texture, structure, soil water, atmosphere and temperature. Chemical characteristics: clay minerals, ion exchange, pH, buffer action, soil acidification and salinisation of soil. Soil fertility and fertilisation. Soil classification. Practical work: Laboratory evaluation of simple soil characteristics. Field practicals on soil formation in the Pretoria area.
The chemical nature of DNA. The processes of DNA replication, transcription, RNA processing, translation. Control of gene expression in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Recombinant DNA technology and its applications in gene analysis and manipulation.
Chromosome structure and transposable elements. Mutation and DNA repair. Genomics and proteomics. Organelle genomes. Introduction to genetic analysis of populations: allele and genotypic frequencies, Hardy Weinberg Law, its extensions and implications for different mating systems. Introduction to quantitative and evolutionary genetics.
Introduction to financial management in agriculture: Farm management and agricultural finance, farm management information; analysis and interpretation of farm financial statements; risk and farm planning. Budgets: partial, break-even, enterprise, total, cash flow and capital budgets. Time value of money. Introduction to production and resource use: the agricultural production function, total physical product curve, marginal physical product curve, average physical product curve, stages of production. Assessing short-term business costs; Economics of short-term decisions. Economics of input substitution: Least-cost use of inputs for a given output, short-term least-cost input use, effects of input price changes. Least-cost input use for a given budget. Economics of product substitution. Product combinations for maximum profit. Economics of crop and animal production.
The agribusiness system; the unique characteristics of agricultural products; marketing functions and costs; market structure; historical evolution of agricultural marketing in South Africa. Marketing environment and price analysis in agriculture: Introduction to supply and demand analysis. Marketing plan and strategies for agricultural commodities; market analysis; product management; distribution channels for agricultural commodities, the agricultural supply chain, the agricultural futures market.
Growth, replication and survival of bacteria, Energy sources, harvesting from light versus oxidation, regulation of catabolic pathways, chemotaxis. Nitrogen metabolism, iron-scavenging. Alternative electron acceptors: denitrification, sulphate reduction, methanogenesis. Bacterial evolution, systematic and genomics. Biodiversity; bacteria occurring in the natural environment (soil, water and air), associated with humans, animals, plants, and those of importance in foods and in the water industry.
Organisation and molecular architecture of fungal thalli, chemistry of the fungal cell. Chemical and physiological requirements for growth and nutrient acquisition. Mating and meiosis; spore development; spore dormancy, dispersal and germination. Fungi as saprobes in soil, air, plant, aquatic and marine ecosystems; role of fungi as decomposers and in the deterioration of materials; fungi as predators and parasites; mycoses, mycetisms and mycotoxicoses; fungi as symbionts of plants, insects and animals. Applications of fungi in biotechnology.
Development and importance of crop protection. Basic principles in crop protection i.e. epidemic development of disease and insect pest populations, ecology of plant diseases and abiotic factors that affect plant health i.e. environmental pollution and pesticides, nutrient deficiencies and extreme environmental conditions. Ecological aspects of plant diseases, pest outbreaks and weed invasion. Important agricultural pests and weeds. Life cycles of typical disease causing organisms. Basic principles of integrated pest and disease management.
Influence of climate on cropping systems in South Africa. The surface energy balance. Hydrological cycles and the soil water balance. Sustainable crop production. Simple radiation and water limited models. Potential yield, target yield and maximum economic yield. Crop nutrition and fertiliser management. Principles of soil cultivation and conservation. Climate change and crop production – mitigation and adaptation.
The emphasis is on the efficiency of the mechanisms whereby C3-, C4 and CAM-plants bind CO2 and how it impacted upon by environmental factors. The mechanisms and factors which determine the respiratory conversion of carbon skeletons and how production is affected thereby will be discussed. Insight into the ecological distribution and manipulation of plants for increased production is gained by discussing the internal mechanisms whereby carbon allocation, hormone production, growth, flowering and fruitset are influenced by external factors. To understand the functioning of plants in diverse environments, the relevant structural properties of plants, and the impact of soil composition, water flow in the soil-plant air continuum and long distance transport of assimilates will be discussed. Various important techniques will be used in the practicals to investigate aspects such as water-use efficiency, photosynthesis and respiration of plants.
The organised nursery industry in South Africa. Principles: seed production; seed germination; rooting of cuttings; budding and grafting; propagation using specialised organs; micro propagation (tissue culturing). Practices: Greenhouse construction, lighting in the nursery; cooling and heating; soil-based and soil-less growing media; container types; irrigation and fertilisation; growth manipulation; pest and disease management. Management, economic and marketing aspects of a typical nursery operation. Students will get hands-on experience and will visit nurseries.
Introduction to the viruses as a unique kingdom inclusive of their different hosts, especially bacteria, animals and plants; RNA and DNA viruses; viroids, tumour viruses and oncogenes, mechanisms of replication, transcription and protein synthesis; effect on hosts; viral immunology; evolution of viruses.
Isolation of clonable DNA (genomic libraries, cDNA synthesis) cloning vectors (plasmids, bacteriophages, cosmids) plasmid incompatibility and control of copy number. Ligation of DNA fragments, modification of DNA end and different ligation strategies. Direct and indirect methods for the identification of recombinant organisms. Characterization (polymerase chain reaction, nucleic acid sequencing) and mutagenisis of cloned DNA fragments. Gene expression in Gram negative (E.coli) Gram positive (B.subtilis) and yeast cells (S.cerevisea). Use of Agrobacterium and baculoviruses for gene expression in plant and insect cells respectively. Applications in protein engineering, diagnostics and synthesis of useful products.
Interactions between microbes and their abiotic environment; microbial interaction with other strains of the same and other species; microbial interactions across kingdoms; pathogenic interactions between microbes and plant or animal hosts; mutualistic interactions between microbes and their hosts; introduction to systems biology.
Principles and examples of plant diseases and their socio-economic importance. Current trends in plant pathology such as biosecurity, sanitory and phytosanitary issues of trade. Risk assesment and international food safety standards. The use of global information systems to assess disease spread and impact of global warming. Supply chain analysis, postharvest technology and food trade aspects.
Principles of plant disease control. Non-chemical control including biological control, disease resistance, regulatory measures, cultivation practices, physical methods. Modern chemo-therapy: characteristics, mode of action and application of fungicides, bactericides and nematicides. Principles of integrated disease management.
Identification of important weeds of crops, gardens and recreational areas. Identification of alien invasive and indigenous encroaching species. Impacts of weeds on desirable vegetation. Interference between crop and weed species through allelopathy and competition phenomena. Role of weeds in plant-biodiversity and crop production potential. Weeds in annual and perennial crop situations. Weed biology and ecology. Mechanical, cultural, biological and chemical weed management practices. Integrated weed management. Herbicide formulations and application techniques. Modes of action of herbicides, and their behaviour and fate in the environment.
Basic principles of the scientific process. Literature accessing and article assessment. Manuscript preparation and presentation of seminars. Basic instruction on the use of visual aids, etc. for effective oral presentations.
Understanding of how plant disease epidemics occur in nature and how they can be monitored and analysed. In-depth knowledge how of plant diseases cause crop losses, how these losses are quantified, and how losses are predicted. Examples of how epidemiology is used to set the strategy of plant disease control. Use of some statistical procedures for quantifying and comparing epidemics. Impact of climate change on plant disease development. In-depth discussions on plant-pathogen interactions and plant defence mechanisms.
*It is strongly recommended that students first complete ZEN 355: Insect diversity 355 Impact of insects on economies, human health and well-being. Protection of corps from insect herbivores through monitoring, forecasting and application of the principles of integrated pest management; epidemiology and modern developments in the control of insect vectors of human and animal diseases; insects as a tool in forensic investigations; ecological and economic significance of insect pollinators and current threats to their survival and health. Lecturers will be complemented by practical experiences that provide students with skills in the design, conduct, analysis, interpretation and reporting of applied entomological research.
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.
Postal Address: University of Pretoria Private Bag x 20 Hatfield 0028