Programme: BAgricHons Extension

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Code Faculty Department
02241000 Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences Department: Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development
Credits Duration NQF level
Minimum duration of study: 1 year Total credits: 135 NQF level:  08

Programme information

The aim of this degree programme is to produce graduates qualified to operate as professional extension or development agents. On completion of the degree the candidate will be able to design, develop and execute or manage scientifi­cally sound situation-specific and community adapted extension or develop­ment programmes, conforming to the principles of participatory develop­ment with maximum community involvement and impact.

To enable them to do this they should:

  • be aware and knowledgeable of the philosophies and the different con­cepts and approaches of development and extension as well as its organisation and management;
  • have an understanding of the principles of human behaviour with specific reference to decision making and behaviour change and the theories involved in understanding and facilitating change;
  • be knowledgeable of the theory and practical implementation of commu­nity development, group dynamics and leadership for the formulation and execution of development plans;
  • have an understanding of the principles of communication and be skilful in the identification and use of the most appropriate communication methods and combinations thereof;
  • be knowledgeable and skilled in the development, execution and evaluation of situation-specific extension programmes;
  • have the ability to conduct and report a research study under supervision, in a manner that is appropriate to the discipline of the field of study.

Admission requirements

  1. Relevant bachelor’s degree (or equivalent)
  2. A weighted average of at least 60% at final-year level
  3. An admission examination may be required
  4. A CV with contactable references may be required

Note: Additional modules may be required in order to reach the desired level of competency

Other programme-specific information

A module in Agricultural economics or any other field of specialisation may be included as an elective module, in consultation with the head(s) of department(s).

Elective coursework that may be required will be decided upon by the head(s) of the particular department(s).

Additional required modules as prescribed for the specific fields of specialisation will be jointly determined by the head(s) of the particular department(s) in question.

Examinations and pass requirements

In order to obtain the degree, the candidate must achieve a minimum of 50% in each of the prescribed modules.

Pass with distinction

An average of 75% in all the prescribed modules must be obtained in order to pass the degree with distinction.

Minimum credits: 135

Additional information:

  • A module in Agricultural economics or any other field of specialisation may be included as an elective module, in consultation with the head(s) of department(s).
  • Elective coursework that may be required will be decided upon by the head(s) of the particular department(s).
  • Additional required modules as prescribed for the specific fields of specialisation will be jointly determined by the head(s) of the particular department(s) in question.

Core modules

  • Module content:

    Nature, philosophy and objectives of Extension.  The group as channel and instrument in extension; definitions and characteristics of groups; group formation; theories regarding the functioning of groups; group norms; group goals;  small group techniques;  rural groups and their engagement;  definitions and theories of leadership;  behaviour and attitude in group work;  the extensionist as professional leader;  group analysis in group context and process;  training of leaders.  Conflict resolution, mediation and negotiation.  Ethics in extension and agricultural development.  Management in extension;  Strategic planning;  functions of management.

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  • Module content:

    Introduction to the Communication Process, its role and importance.  Communication and perception - role of Extension in AKIS.  Clarification of principles and definitions; theory of  communication;  Strategies for communication and Extension methods.  Key elements and channels of communication;  credibility;  persuasion;  public speaking;  audio visual aids; mass media and their effect;  new reporting;  articles and newsletters.  Designing communication interventions.  Impact assessment approaches and tools.  Appreciative Communication Inquiry:  5-D Approach.

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  • Module content:

    Overview of the origin, role, development of extension; Philosophy and principles of extension.  International approaches to extension delivery:  Training and Visit, Farming system development, Project approach,  Farmer Field Schools, Participatory Extension and Participatory Technology Development.  Extension's role in sustainable agriculture development;  Adult learning principles, privatizing and outsourcing of agricultural extension;  the role of non-governmental organisations (NGO's) in extension delivery.  Decentralisation of extension.  Participation and coordination of stakeholders in the planning of linkages between extension, research and the farming community.

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  • Module content:

    Nature, purpose and principles of a programmed and purposeful Extension.  The philosophy, principles and assumptions of program development.  Institutional framework for community participation, ownership and empowerment;  linking with complementary and support services.  Overview of the program cycle:  consideration, survey, planning, action and evaluation phases.  Participatory need appraisal, problem identification and delimination;  problem conceptualisation and development of survey instrument;  situation surveys and analysis;  formulation of objectives;  identification and scheduling of methods and activities;  Work plan of calendar construction, budgeting.  The project management process.  Personnel management and administration.

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  • Module content:

    Meaning, scope and place of evaluation in extension; the research- and evaluation process; problem identification; theory and hypotheses; objectives; literature research and information sources; sampling; methods of data collection; evaluation criteria; quality of measuring instruments; scale construction; interviewing. Conducting research and reporting research findings. Preparation of an evaluation report of an extension programme/project.

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  • Module content:

    Understanding change and the time lag phenomenon.  Principles of human behaviour and its influence on change.  Theoretical perspectives on behaviour change.  Understanding resistance and barriers to change.  Adoption and diffusion of new innovations.  Theories and models of decision-making.  Introduction to organisational dynamics;  Role of Extension organisations in Rural Development.  Theoretical perspectives on organisational change;  organisations as rationale and open systems.  Understanding organisations and society;  organisational pathologies;  organisational effectiveness.

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  • Module content:

    Overview of the concepts and theories of rural development including evolution of rural development theories, role of agriculture in rural developments, natural resource base and role of government. Rural livelihood systems focusing on household farming systems, decisions and operation of farming systems, the farm as a social system, nonfarm, off-farm small, micro and medium enterprises in the rural economy, development intervention and household food security. Rural institutions including local governance, community based and farmer organisations, agricultural credit and rural finance, input and output markets, human capital formation, land tenure and land reform, policy making institutions, and institutions of the agricultural knowledge triangle (research, teaching and extension).  The relationship between rural sociology, community development and extension;  physical and social structures of communities;  cultural relativism;  sustainability;  indigenous knowledge;  social stratification;  development as change;  principles and functions of community development;  development barriers;  participatory development methodologies, rural poverty.  Methodologies for rural development including farming systems approach, participatory appraisal techniques, assessment of land-use patterns and agrarian systems in rural settings: zoning techniques, socio-economic and technical assessment of the farming system, topological techniques and gender sensitive methodologies. Communication for rural development and planning rural development at local levels. Practical assignment in collaboration with rural communities managed by the School’s outreach department.

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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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