Yearbooks

Programme: BScAgric (Plant Pathology)

Code Faculty Department
02133433 Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences Department: Plant Science
Credits Duration NQF level SAQA ID
Minimum duration of study: 4 years Total credits: 570 NQF level:  08 SAQA ID:  14859

Admission requirements

Important information for all prospective students for 2022

  • The admission requirements apply to students who apply for admission to the University of Pretoria with a National Senior Certificate (NSC) and Independent Examination Board (IEB) qualifications.
  • Applicants with qualifications other than the abovementioned should refer to:
    • Brochure: Undergraduate Programme Information 2022: Qualifications other than the NSC and IEB, available at click here.
  • Citizens from countries other than South Africa (applicants who are not South African citizens) should also refer to:
  • 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.

Transferring students

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.

Returning students

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.

University of Pretoria website: click here

Minimum requirements

Achievement level

English Home Language or English First Additional Language

Mathematics

Physical Sciences

APS

NSC/IEB

NSC/IEB

NSC/IEB

5

5

5

32

Candidates who do not comply with the minimum admission requirements for BScAgric (Plant Pathology), may be considered for admission to the BSc – Extended programme – Biological and Agricultural Sciences, which requires an additional year of study. Students who are placed in the BSc – Extended programme – Biological and Agricultural Sciences will take a minimum of five years to complete the BScAgric (Plant Pathology) programme.

BSc – Extended Programme – Biological and Agricultural Sciences

Minimum requirements

Achievement level

English Home Language or English First Additional Language

Mathematics

Physical Sciences

APS

NSC/IEB

NSC/IEB

NSC/IEB

4

4

4

26

Note:

*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

 

 

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.

1.1    Requirements for specific modules
A candidate who:

  1. does not qualify for STK 110, must enrol for STK 113 and STK 123;
  2.  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:
  • WST 111, WST 121, WST 212, WST 211, WST 221, WST 311, WST 312, WST 322, WST 321, and STK 353

or

  • WST 111, WST 121, WST 212, WST 211, WST 221, WST 311, WST 312, WST 322, STK320, STK353.

or

  • STK 110, STC 122, STK 210, STK 220, WST 212, STK 310, STK 320, STK 353.
  1. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Minimum credits: 142

Fundamental    =    14
Core modules   =   128

Fundamental modules

Core modules

  • Module content:

    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.

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  • Module content:

    Botanical principles of structure and function; diversity of plants; introductory plant systematics and evolution; role of plants in agriculture and food security; principles and applications of plant biotechnology; economical and valuable medicinal products derived from plants; basic principles of plant ecology and their application in conservation and biodiversity management.
    This content aligns with the United Nation's Sustainable Debelopment Goals of No Poverty, Good Health and Well-being, Climate Action, Responsible Consumption and Production, and Life on Land.

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  • Module content:

    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.

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  • Module content:

    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.

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  • Module content:

    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.

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  • Module content:

    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.

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  • Module content:

     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.

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  • Module content:

    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.

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  • Module content:

    *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.

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  • Module content:

    Animal classification, phylogeny organisation 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 in various animal phyla. In-class discussion will address the sustainable development goals #3, 12, 13, 14 and 15 (Good Health and Well-being. Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action, Life Below Water, Life on Land).

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Minimum credits: 147

Core modules

  • Module content:

    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.

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  • Module content:

    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 abiotic stress tolerant and disease resistant plants. Practicals: Basic laboratory skills in plant physiology; techniques used to investigate nitrogen metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, pigment analysis, water transport in plant tissue and response of plants to hormone treatments. 

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  • Module content:

    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.

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  • Module content:

    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.

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  • Module content:

    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.

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  • Module content:

    Introduction to the world of agricultural economics: where to find practising agricultural economics services, overview of South African Agricultural Economy, scope of agricultural economics. Introduction to consumption and demand: utility theory, indifference curves, the budget constraint, consumer equilibrium, the law of demand, consumer surplus, tastes and preferences, and measurement and interpretation of elasticities. Introduction to production and supply: condition for perfect competition, classification of inputs, important production relationships, assessing short-run business costs, economics of short-run decisions. Isoquants, iso-cost line, least cost combination of inputs, long-run expansion of inputs, and economics of business expansion, production possibility frontier, iso-revenue line and profit maximising combination of products. Introduction to market equilibrium and product prices: market equilibrium in a perfectly competitive market, total economic surplus, changes in welfare, adjustments to market equilibrium, market structure characteristics, market equilibrium in a imperfectly competitive market, government regulatory measures. 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. Elements of business plan, marketing planning and price risk. Financial structuring and sources of finance for farm business. Time value of money.

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  • Module content:

    The agribusiness system; the agricultural value chain, the unique characteristics of agricultural products; marketing functions and costs; historical evolution of agricultural marketing in South Africa. The marketing environment. Consumer behaviour and consumer trends. Introduction to supply and demand analysis. Developing a marketing plan and strategies for agricultural commodities; market analysis; product management; distribution channels for agricultural commodities, the agricultural supply chain. Introduction to the agricultural futures market. Marketing in the 21st century. Online marketing, social media. Market structure.

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  • Module content:

    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.

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  • Module content:

    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.

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  • Module content:

    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, globally as well as in African context. Life cycles of typical disease causing organisms. Basic principles of integrated pest and disease management. The importance of crop protection in the context of sustainable development will be highlighted.

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  • Module content:

    Fundamental principles of plant pathology. The concept of disease in plants. Causes of plant diseases. Stages in development of plant diseases. Disease cycles and selected examples relevant to Africa. Diagnosis of plant diseases and the sustainable development goals that articulate with plant pathology.

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  • Module content:

    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.

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Minimum credits: 136

Core modules

  • Module content:

    Botanical characteristics, classification, growth requirements, production practices and utilization of crops rich in starch, oil, sugar and protein, fibre crops, narcotic and medicinal plants. The use of conservation agriculture (CA) in field crop production is becoming ever increasingly important, especially since it is directly related to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2 (food), 6 (water), 7 (energy) 13 (climate) and 15 (soil). During the semester applicable AC and SDG examples will be highlighted. Practicals will consist out of a trial on the experimental farm and visits to research institutions and producers.

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  • Module content:

    Introduction to plant ecophysiology and plants response to environmental stress. Understanding how various biotic and abiotic factors affect plant metabolic processes, including photosynthesis and respiration. Emphasis is placed on the efficiency of the mechanisms whereby C3-, C4 and CAM-plants bind CO2 and how they are impacted by the environment. To understand the functioning of plants in diverse environments, the relevant structural properties of plants, the impact of soil composition, water flow in the soil-plant air continuum and long distance transport of assimilates will be discussed. Students will research a topic relevant to plant ecophysiology and present this in the form of an oral presentation. Students will conduct a practical project to study the effects of environmental factors on C3 and C4 plant growth and physiology. Students will present the report in a written format according to the guidelines of a relevant scientific journal. Relevant readings will be used to highlight the alignment of the module with the Sustainable Development Goals, with emphasis placed on climate action.

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  • Module content:

    Plant genetics and genomics: gene control in plants, epigenetics, co-suppression, forward and reverse genetics, structural and functional genomics. Plant development: flowering, genetics imprinting. Plant-environment interactions. Crop genetic modification: food security, GMO regulation, plant transformation, whole-chromosome transformation, synthetic biology, homologous recombination. Crop molecular markers: marker types, genotyping, QTL mapping, marker-assisted breeding. Future of crop biotechnology: applications of genomics, biopharming, genetical genomics, systems biology

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  • Module content:

    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.

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  • Module content:

    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.

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  • Module content:

    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.

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  • Module content:

    Principles and examples of plant diseases and their socio-economic importance particularly in the context of Africa and South Africa. Pathogens causing disease of seeds, seedlings, foliage, roots, stems, grains and fruit. Diagnosis, symptom expression and selected disease cycle examples caused by fungi, bacteria, viruses and nematodes.

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  • Module content:

    Principles of plant disease control and how it resonates with the sustainable development goals. Non-chemical control including biological control, disease resistance, regulatory measures, cultivation practices, physical methods. Modern chemo-therapy: characteristics, mode of action and application of bioproducts, fungicides, bactericides and nematicides. Principles of integrated disease management. The module will also cover applicable South African legislation, the local crop protection industries and the procedure of registering new chemicals.

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Minimum credits: 145

Core modules

  • Module content:

    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 content:

    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.

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  • Module content:

    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.

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  • Module content:

    A practical research project of limited extent under the supervision of one of the lecturers within the department. Any topic in plant pathology can be selected that reflect a current plant disease in South Africa.

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  • Module content:

    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 and modelling for quantifying and comparing epidemics. Classical case studies from South African disease epidemiological models will be discussed i.e. citrus black spot. Impact of climate change on plant disease development and how this relates to achieving the sustainable development goal #13 Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact. In-depth discussions on plant-pathogen interactions and plant defence mechanisms. 

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  • Module content:

    Advanced aspects of chemical and biological control of plant diseases as well as disease resistance. The importance of plant disease control in the context of sustainable development will be emphasised.

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  • Module content:

    This module will address the most recent concepts in plant pathology with a focus on diseases that is unique in the African context and the unpacking of the sustainable development goals in plant pathology.

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  • Module content:

    Impact of insects on economies, human health and well-being. Protection of crops 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. Lectures will be complemented by practical experiences that provide students with skills in the design, analysis, interpretation and reporting of applied entomological research. Examples used in this module are directly relevant to the sustainable development goals of Life on Land, No Poverty, Zero Hunger and Good Health and Well-being.

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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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