Yearbooks

Program: BScHons (Medicinal Plant Science)

Code Faculty Department
02240706 Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences Department: Plant Science
Credits Duration NQF level
Minimum duration of study: 1 jaar Totale krediete: 135 NQF level:  08

Admission requirements

  1. Relevant BSc degree
  2. A weighted average of at least 60% at final-year level
  3. A minimum of at least 60% in Phytomedicine (or equivalent)
  4. An admission examination may be required

Minimum krediete: 135

Core credits:        105

Elective credits:     30

Additional information:

Students may register for modules to the maximum of 20 credits presented by another department, which forms part of the elective modules.

Apart from the compulsory and elective modules, a project, leading to a research report (60 credits), forms an essential part of the programme. One seminar (15 credits) must also be written and presented. Field excursions are undertaken. In addition to the compulsory modules, electives are selected in consultation with the supervisor.

Core modules

  • Module-inhoud:

    Pharmacological action of low molecular plant constituents and high molecular weight compounds. Plant constituents as anticancer, antibacterial, antiviral, hypoglycaemic, freeradical scavengers, hypotensive and as anti-inflammatory agents. Cell culturing, cell growth and apoptosis, cell mediated immune responses. Drug development in TB as models for research. Enzymes, receptors and plant constituents. The unique challenges of plant-based medicines.

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  • Module-inhoud:

    Basic concepts of toxicology. Systemic, developmental, genetic and organ-specific toxic effects. Hallucinogenic, allergenic, teratogenic and other toxic plants. Plant constituents, contradictions and interactions. Phytotoxicity unrelated to plant constituents. Safety and efficacy issues of commonly used Phyto-drugs with emphasis on pharmaceutical applications. Practical aspects related to the manufacture of good quality plant-based medicines. Phyto-drug formulation, standardisation and aspects concerning different dosage forms.

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  • Module-inhoud:

    Metabolism and functions of secondary compounds such as tannins, alkaloids, terpenoids, flavonoids and free amino acids. Importance of secondary compounds in the defence mechanisms of plants. Isolation and identification of medicinal bioactive compounds from plants. Their current scope and potential applications in ethnobotany. Strategies to discover new pharmaceuticals from ethnomedicine.

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  • Module-inhoud:

    A mini research project with defined limits is undertaken under the guidance of a supervisor. The students identify potential projects by contacting supervisors from the different research programmes in the department. A list of projects on offer can be obtained from the Honours coordinator, and in exceptional circumstances a student can propose a project not listed. The module also has a strong theoretical component since emphasis is placed on writing and presenting a detailed project proposal. Additional relevant technical and analytical training is provided by the respective supervisors. The project is concluded with a final mini dissertation, presented in the format of a short manuscript, as well as an oral presentation.

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  • Module-inhoud:

    Literature study, discussion and oral presentation of a subject related to the main discipline.

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Elective modules

  • Module-inhoud:

    An overview of photosynthesis and respiration, with the aim of examining the physiological basis of yield in cropping systems. this includes an assessment of parameters for determining plant growth, factors governing yield, partitioning of photoassimilates within plants and opportunities for increasing yield. Crop growth and yield will be put into context of a changing global climate. Evaluation of the manner in which plants respond to various abiotic stresses and how plants sense changing environments. The various roles of plant growth regulators in plants and the importance of these compounds in agriculture.

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  • Module-inhoud:

    The principles of experimental design as required for the selection of an appropriate research design. Identification of the design limitations and the impact thereof on the research hypotheses and the statistical methods. Identification and application of the appropriate statistical methods needed. Interpreting of statistical results and translating these results to the biological context.

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  • Module-inhoud:

    Theory of plant anatomy, understanding of basic tissue types and arrangement within organs. Evolutionary modifications to the basic anatomy. Introduction to seed anatomy/palynology. Understanding of developmental anatomy – ontogeny of tissues/organs. Advantages/disadvantages of different stains/techniques. Microscopy, including electron microscopy. Ethics and protocols of image manipulation. Practical understanding of tissue preservation, staining and sectioning techniques will be learnt and a portfolio of evidence submitted for assessment.

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  • Module-inhoud:

    An overview of phylogenetics sets the scene, and sources of taxonomic information (morphology, anatomy, chemotaxonomy, cytogenetics, reproductive biology, palynology, ethnobotany and paleobotany) and how these data are used are discussed. This is followed by a section on the use of phylogenies as tools to understand ecological and geographical patterns and processes. Modern plant distribution patterns are assessed from the framework of the competing explanations of dispersalisn and vicariance.

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  • Module-inhoud:

    Plant tissue culture. Plant gene transfer technologies (Agrobacterium-based, biolistics and other). Design of plant gene transfer constructs, including synthetic biology. New plant breeding technologies, including plant gene editing. Applications of genetically modified (GM) and gene edited crops and their impact on modern agriculture. Biosafety evaluation and regulation of GM and new plant breeding technologies.

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  • Module-inhoud:

    Literature study of recent publications in a subject related to one of the elective disciplines.

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  • Module-inhoud:

    Principles of identification, classification and nomenclature; identification of plants; family recognition; collection of plant specimens for identification; herbarium as a source of information. Variation in seed plants and breeding systems. Legal and ethical aspects of plant collection and permit requirements. Specimen preparation, including pressing, sterilisation, mounting, labelling and data capture. Introduction to herbarium databases. Herbarium curation and upkeep, including nomenclatural and taxonomic updates and classification systems, and aspects of pest control and health and safety. Practical work involves an excursion.

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  • Module-inhoud:

    Mapping and analysing spatial data. Theory and basic techniques of analysing and manipulating spatial data using geographical information systems. Mapping of vegetation types, species distributions and diversity, species traits. Understanding the spatial drivers of biodiversity patterns. The influence of scale on biodiversity analyses. Relevance for conservation planning for mapping biodiversity risk and prioritsing conservation, especially in a South African context.

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  • Module-inhoud:

    Introduction to Community Engagement (CE) in the South African and University of Pretoria context; plant blindness. Identification of community engagement topic and activities, field work and submission of report on these activities.

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The regulations and rules for the degrees published here are subject to change and may be amended after the publication of this information.

The General Academic Regulations (G Regulations) and General Student Rules apply to all faculties and registered students of the University, as well as all prospective students who have accepted an offer of a place at the University of Pretoria. On registering for a programme, the student bears the responsibility of ensuring that they familiarise themselves with the General Academic Regulations applicable to their registration, as well as the relevant faculty-specific and programme-specific regulations and information as stipulated in the relevant yearbook. Ignorance concerning these regulations will not be accepted as an excuse for any transgression, or basis for an exception to any of the aforementioned regulations.

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