School of Tomorrow (SOT), Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) and General Education Development Test (GED): The University of Pretoria no longer accepts qualifications awarded by these institutions.
National Certificate (Vocational) (NCV) Level 4: The University of Pretoria may consider NCV candidates, provided they meet the exemption for bachelor’s status criteria and the programme requirements.
A transferring student is a student who, at the time of application for a degree programme at the University of Pretoria (UP) –
is a registered student at another tertiary institution, or was previously registered at another tertiary institution and did not complete the programme enrolled for at that institution, and is not currently enrolled at a tertiary institution, or has completed studies at another tertiary institution, but is not currently enrolled at a tertiary institution, or has started with tertiary studies at UP, then moved to another tertiary institution and wants to be readmitted at UP.
A transferring student will be considered for admission based on
an NSC or equivalent qualification with exemption to bachelor’s or diploma studies (whichever is applicable); and meeting the minimum faculty-specific subject requirements at NSC or tertiary level; or having completed a higher certificate at a tertiary institution with faculty-specific subjects/modules passed (equal to or more than 50%), as well as complying with faculty rules on admission;
previous academic performance (must have passed all modules registered for up to the closing date of application ) or as per faculty regulation/promotion requirements;
a certificate of good conduct.
Note: Students who have been dismissed at the previous institution due to poor academic performance, will not be considered for admission to UP.
A returning student is a student who, at the time of application for a degree programme –
is a registered student at UP, and wants to transfer to another degree at UP, or was previously registered at UP and did not complete the programme enrolled for, and did not enrol at another tertiary institution in the meantime (including students who applied for leave of absence), or has completed studies at UP, but is not currently enrolled or was not enrolled at another tertiary institution after graduation.
A returning student will be considered for admission based on
an NSC or equivalent qualification with exemption to bachelor’s or diploma studies (whichever is applicable); and meeting the minimum faculty-specific subject requirements at NSC or tertiary level; or previous academic performance (should have a cumulative weighted average of at least 50% for the programme enrolled for);
having applied for and was granted leave of absence.
Note: Students who have been excluded/dismissed from a faculty due to poor academic performance may be considered for admission to another programme at UP. The Admissions Committee may consider such students if they were not dismissed more than twice. Only ONE transfer between UP faculties will be allowed, and a maximum of two (2) transfers within a faculty.
Important faculty-specific information on undergraduate programmes for 2022
The closing date is an administrative admission guideline for non-selection programmes. Once a non-selection programme is full and has reached the institutional targets, then that programme will be closed for further admissions, irrespective of the closing date. However, if the institutional targets have not been met by the closing date, then that programme will remain open for admissions until the institutional targets are met.
The following persons will be considered for admission: Candidates who have a certificate that is deemed by the University to be equivalent to the required National Senior Certificate (NSC) with university endorsement; candidates who are graduates from another tertiary institution or have been granted the status of a graduate of such an institution, and candidates who are graduates of another faculty at the University of Pretoria.
Life Orientation is excluded when calculating the Admission Point Score (APS).
Grade 11 results are used for the conditional admission of prospective students. Final admission is based on the final NSC/IEB results.
English Home Language or English First Additional Language
There is a limited number of places available in the first year of BSc (Medical Sciences). Students who apply for BSc (Medical Sciences) as their first choice before 30 September, and who meet the minimum requirements, will be admitted until the places are full.
Candidates who do not comply with the minimum admission requirements for BSc (Medical Sciences), may be considered for admission to the BSc – Extended programme – Biological and Agricultural Sciences, which requires an additional year of study.
BSc – Extended Programme – Biological and Agricultural Sciences
English Home Language or English First Additional Language
*The BSc – Extended programmes are not available for students who meet all the requirements for the corresponding mainstream programme.
*Please note that only students who apply in their final NSC or equivalent qualification year will be considered for admission into any of the BSc – Extended programmes.
Other programme-specific information
1.1 Requirements for specific modules A candidate who:
does not qualify for STK 110, must enrol for STK 113 and STK 123;
egisters for Mathematical Statistics (WST) and Statistics (STK) modules must take note that WST and STK modules, except for STK 281, may not be taken simultaneously in a programme; a student must take one and only one of the following options:
registers for a module presented by another faculty must take note of the timetable clashes, prerequisites for that module, subminimum required in examination papers, supplementary examinations, etc.
1.2 Fundamental modules
It is compulsory for all new first-year students to satisfactorily complete the Academic orientation (UPO 102) and to take Academic information management modules (AIM 111 and AIM 121) and Language and study skills (LST 110). Please see curricula for details.
Students who intend to apply for admission to MBChB or BChD in the second semester, when places become available in those programmes, may be permitted to register for up to 80 module credits and 4 core modules in the first semester during the first year provided that they obtained a final mark of no less than 70% for Grade 12 Mathematics and achieved an APS of 34 or more in the NSC.
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.
General promotion requirements in the faculty All students whose academic progress is not acceptable can be suspended from further studies.
A student who is excluded from further studies in terms of the stipulations of the abovementioned regulations, will be notified in writing by the Dean or Admissions Committee at the end of the relevant semester.
A student who has been excluded from further studies may apply in writing to the Admissions Committee of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences for re-admission.
Should the student be re-admitted by the Admissions Committee, strict conditions will be set which the student must comply with in order to proceed with his/her studies.
Should the student not be re-admitted to further studies by the Admissions Committee, he/she will be informed in writing.
Students who are not re-admitted by the Admissions Committee have the right to appeal to the Senate Appeals Committee.
Any decision taken by the Senate Appeals Committee is final.
Minimum credits: 142
Fundamental = 14 Core = 130
Students intend applying for MBChB, or BChD selection, have to enrol for MGW 112(6) and MTL 180(12) with the understanding that they defer doing WTW 134 in the first semester, however, should they not be selected and want to continue with a BSc programme, WTW 165 must be taken in the second semester of the first year.
Please note: Students who have not passed all the first year, first-semester modules in BSc MedSci are excluded from continuing with BSc MedSci in the second semester and need to change to another BSc programme.
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.
Introduction to osteology, bone function and classification, humerus, radius, ulna, femur, tibia, fibula, clavicle, scapula, ribs, sternum, vertebrae, pelvis, hand and foot bones, sesamoid bones, skull, mandible, joints.
General introduction to cells and tissue, terminology, the cell and cytoplasm, organelles and inclusions, surface and glandular epithelium, general connective tissue, specialised connective tissue, namely cartilage, bone, blood and haemopoietic tissue, muscle and nervous tissue.
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.
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.
This module consists of two components: first, a philosophy of science component which provides an introduction to scientific reasoning and philosophical debates on scientific method; and secondly, a philosophy of medicine component which focuses on the relation between causation and the concept of disease and on the nature of evidence-based medicine.
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.
*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 165 does not lead to Mathematics at 200 level and is intended for students who require Mathematics at 100 level only. WTW 165 is offered in English 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.
Functional review of the cell and cell content. Normal and abnormal cell function in relation to structure. Control of the human cell, heredity and the human genome. Cell communication, growth and development, adhesion and division. Aspects of cellular research. Techniques on how to study cells. Medical cell and molecular biology application. NOTE: This module is not open to all students and may only be taken by BSc (Medical Sciences) students.
Introduction to paleoanthropology, focusing on hominid fossil record, principles of evolution, principles of heredity, human variation, introduction to primatology, hominid taxonomy, time-frames and dating methods, fossilisation and taphonomy, trends in hominid evolution, hominid sites. Australopithecus, homo habilis, homo erectus, homo sapiens neanderthalensis, the origin of anatomically modern human beings, DNA studies, palaeo-environments, hominid diets, introduction to the development of culture, South African populations, human adaptation and modernisation.
NOTE: This module is not open to all students and may only be taken by BSc (Medical Sciences) students.
General introduction to organ structure. Terminology. The eye, ear, skin, circulatory system, nervous system, lymphoid system, gastrointestinal tract, gastrointestinal tract glands, respiratory system, urinary system, male and female reproductive systems, endocrine system. NOTE: This module is not open to all students and may only be taken by BSc (Medical Sciences) students.
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. Online activities include 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.
Carbohydrate structure and function. Blood glucose measurement in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes. Bioenergetics and biochemical reaction types. Glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, glycogen metabolism, pentose phosphate pathway, citric acid cycle and electron transport. Total ATP yield from the complete oxidation of glucose. A comparison of cellular respiration and photosynthesis. Online activities include techniques for the study and analysis of metabolic pathways and enzymes; PO ratio of mitochondria, electrophoresis, extraction, solubility and gel permeation techniques; scientific method and design.
Chemical foundations. Weak interactions in aqueous systems. Ionisation of water, weak acids and weak bases. Buffering against pH changes in biological systems. Water as a reactant and function of water. Carbohydrate structure and function. Biochemistry of lipids and membrane structure. Nucleotides and nucleic acids. Other functions of nucleotides: energy carriers, components of enzyme cofactors and chemical messengers. Introduction to metabolism. Bioenergetics and biochemical reaction types. Online activities include introduction to laboratory safety and Good Laboratory Practice; basic biochemical calculations; experimental method design and scientific controls, processing and presentation of scientific data.
Biochemistry of lipids, membrane structure, anabolism and catabolism of lipids. Total ATP yield from the complete catabolism of lipids. Electron transport chain and energy production through oxidative phosphorylation. Nitrogen metabolism, amino acid biosynthesis and catabolism. Biosynthesis of neurotransmitters, pigments, hormones and nucleotides from amino acids. Catabolism of purines and pyrimidines. Therapeutic agents directed against nucleotide metabolism. Examples of inborn errors of metabolism of nitrogen containing compounds. The urea cycle, nitrogen excretion. Online activities include training in scientific reading skills; evaluation of a scientific report; techniques for separation analysis and visualisation of biological molecules; hypothesis design and testing, method design and scientific controls.
Structure, gas exchange and non-respiratory functions of the lungs; structure, excretory and non-urinary functions of the kidneys, acid-base balance, as well as the skin and body temperature control. Practical work: Practical exercises to complement the theory.
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.
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.
Introduction to forensic anthropology, detection of graves, excavation of graves, human vs. animal bone, forensic entomology, osteometry, cranial and post-cranial measurements, non-metric features of the skeleton, age determination, sex determination, race determination, ante-mortem stature, dental analysis, osteopathology, factors of individualisation, measurements of the face, introduction to face mapping and skull-photo superimposition, legal aspects. NOTE: This module is not open to all students and may only be taken by BSc (Medical Sciences) students.
General introduction to light and electron microscopic techniques: fixation, processing, imbedding, staining. Principles of different staining techniques for LM and EM: routine stains, proteins, carbohydrates, amino acids, metachromasia, immunocytochemistry, lectin stains, specialised stains. Principles of the operation of LM and EM: general LM, fluorescent microscopy, differential contrast microscopy, dark field microscopy, phase contrast microscopy, transmission and scanning electron microscopy.
NOTE: This module is not open to all students and may only be taken by BSc (Medical Sciences) students.
Practical aspects of cell biology. Cell, tissue, organ, and organism culture. The biology of the culture environment. Cellular basic of morphogenesis, cleavage patterns and gastrulation. The early vertebrate development; neurilation, ecto-, meso- and endoderm derivatives. Cell destiny and embryonic axis including malformations. Development of the tetrapod limb and cell death. Cell interactions at a distance through hormones and metamorphosis. NOTE: This module is not open to all students and may only be taken by BSc (Medical Sciences) students.
Regional approach to human anatomy. Cadaver dissection of the head, neck as well as neuro-anatomy. Anatomical techniques. NOTE: This module is not open to all students and may only be taken by BSc (Medical Sciences) students.
The undergraduate pharmacology module introduces students to general pharmacological principles, routes of administration, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Furthermore, disease treatment with relation to disorders of the cardiovascular, inflammatory and autonomic nervous system is discussed, as well as anaesthesia, asthma, diabetes, diuresis, obesity and pain.
Hormones, drugs that act on the histaminergic, serotonergic, and dopaminergic receptors. Pharmacotherapy of diabetes mellitus, schizophrenia, depression, obesity, anxiety, insomnia, gastro-intestinal diseases. Anticoagulants, antimicrobial drugs.
Overview of higher cognitive functions and the relations between psyche, brain and the immune system. Practical work: Applied practical work with specific examples drawn from South African case studies taught within the framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 (Good Health and Well-being).
During this module the biology of cellular processes such as the cell cycle, cell death, migration and their related cellular signalling pathways will be discussed as well as their role in early stage embryology and age-related pathologies. Practical work: Exposure to applied molecular biology techniques with specific examples drawn from South African case studies taught within the framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goal of Good Health and Well-being (Sustainable Development Goal 3).
Mechanisms of muscle contraction and energy sources. Cardio-respiratory changes, thermo-regulation and other adjustments during exercise. Use and misuse of substances to improve performance. Practical work: Applied practical work with exercise descriptions for the South African context taught within the framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 (Good Health and Well-being).
Regulation of gene expression in eukaryotes: regulation at the genome, transcription, RNA processing and translation levels. DNA elements and protein factors involved in gene control. The role of chromatin structure and epigenetic changes. Technology and experimental approaches used in studying eukaryotic gene control. Applications of the principles of gene control in eg cell signaling pathways, development cancer and other diseases in humans.
A unifying framework for biology. Mechanisms involved in the evolution of genes, genomes and species. Comparative genomics across the kingdoms of life. Phylogenetic inference. Applications of phylogenetics and evolutionary genomics research, including relevance to sustainable development goals for food security, good health and the biosphere.
Processes that affect genetic evolution: mutation, drift, natural selection and recombination. Fisher-Wright and coalescence models. Groupings of genes: linkage, inbreeding, population structure and gene flow. Neutral and nearly neutral theory. Quantitative genetics and the phenotype. Optimality. Adaptation. Levels of selection in sex ratios and conflict. Reproductive value and life history. Relatedness and kin selection. Sexual reproduction and selection. Genomic complexity and neutrality.
Application of modern genetics to human variability, health and disease. Molecular origin of Mendelian and multifactorial diseases. The use of polymorphisms, gene mapping, linkage and association studies in medical genetics. Genetic diagnosis: application of cytogenetic, molecular and genomic techniques. Congenital abnormalities, risk assessment and genetic consultation. Prenatal testing, population screening, treatment of genetic diseases and gene-based therapy. Pharmacogenetics and cancer genetics. Ethical aspects in medical genetics.
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.
Postal Address: University of Pretoria Private Bag x 20 Hatfield 0028