Departmental Guidelines for students (2023)

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Contact Details
  3. Student Responsibilities
  4. Asessments
  5. Renewal of registration
  6. Guidelines for Practical Sessions/Fieldwork
  7. Information on Student Feedback on Teaching Survey (SFTS)
  8. Statement on Anti-Discrimination
  9. Support services



Welcome to the Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology (GGM), one of 13 departments in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. We are located in the Geography building on the Hatfield campus. The department welcomes you to a wide range of modules on topics including physical geography, urban and human geography, environmental science, cartography and geovisualization, geographic information systems (GIS), spatial analysis, remote sensing, geospatial data and services, and meteorology.

Purpose of this document

The purpose of this document is to provide uniform guidance for all undergraduate and postgraduate modules presented by this department. Instead of repeating the same information in the study guide of each module, this guide includes all the information that applies to every module. These guidelines are in line with the UP General Rules and Regulations, available at, go to Study > Yearbooks > General Rules and Regulations, and the Faculty Regulations at, go to Study > Yearbooks > Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences > Faculty Regulations.

Contact Details


All student administration matters (e.g., registration, program changes, etc.) are handled by the Dean’s Office. Tutor appointments and class representatives are handled by our department. Geospatial Information Services assists with finding geospatial data, preparing maps and conducting spatial analyses. Contact details are in the table below.

  Name Office Extension Email
GGM student administrator Ms Sandra Wilkinson Geography Building, Room 1-3 X3536 [email protected]
NAS student administrator for UG in GGM Ms Johannah Mashaba NAS Building, ground floor X2983 [email protected]
NAS student administrator for Honours in GGM Ms Cathy Barnard NAS Building, ground floor X4127 [email protected]
NAS student administrator for Masters and PhD in GGM Ms Dinah Bokaba NAS Building, ground floor X3577 [email protected]
Humanities student administrator        
Geospatial information Services Mr Lourens Snyman Geography Building 1-8.1 X2862 [email protected]

Student finance matters, as well as general queries regarding university life and studying at UP can be directed to the Student Service Centre ([email protected]), ground floor of the Humanities Building.

Faculty Student Advisors

The contact details for the Faculty Student Advisors are available on the NAS website at, click on Students > NAS Faculty Student Advisors.

The Faculty Student Advisors can advise you on goal-setting, adjustment to university life, time management, study methods, stress management and career exploration. Book an individual consultation or attend a workshop. For other support services see Section 5.

Lecturer contact details are available on the GGM website at Their consulting hours are announced in the study guide and/or next to their office door.

Student Responsibilities

Teaching and Learning

In its teaching, the department aims to follow the four UP drivers for curriculum transformation, namely responsiveness to social context, diverse epistemologies, inclusive pedagogies and classroom practices, and openness and critical reflection.

You have to take responsibility for your own learning by being actively engaged in the module. To successfully complete any module, you will have to apply yourself, participate in class, work diligently, submit all assessments, and attend all contact sessions, as some information may only be conveyed during contact sessions.

All module-related communication will take place during contact sessions and via clickUP announcements. It is the student’s responsibility to attend contact sessions and to regularly review the latest announcements in clickUP. For clickUP support, see

Each credit allocated to a module amounts to ten hours of learning. This implies that all modules require extensive self-study, as well as preparation for tests and examinations. To facilitate your learning, you should arrive at class on time and come prepared. This enables learning to build on common prior knowledge. Module study guides provide information on how to prepare for each contact session.

Finally, you should actively engage and discuss the study material with tutors, peers and lecturers. However, the views of others should be respected even if you do not agree with them. The lecture hall is a safe place where questions can be freely asked without fear of judgement. Competitiveness is healthy, but it should not be done at the expense of others. Respect other students who want to learn; don’t hinder them with noisy private discussions during contact sessions.

Code of Conduct

We are not only facilitating learning, we are also preparing you for the world of work. We expect you to adhere to the code of conduct as spelled out in the Escalation Policy of UP.

Communication via email

When you send an email to your lecturer, you have to use a respectful tone and include all the following aspects:

  • A clear and explanatory subject line (e.g., “Submission of sick note – P Mduli (21038274)”);
  • Your full name and surname at the end of the mail;
  • Your student number;
  • The module involved; and
  • Short and clear message.
Compliments and complaints

You are more than welcome to express your appreciation to your lecturer or tutor and supply feedback about aspects of the course that you enjoy and find valuable.

If you have a query or complaint, you have to submit it in writing with specifics of the issue or the nature of the complaint. It is imperative that you follow the procedure outlined below in order to resolve your issues:

  1. Consult the lecturer concerned about your complaint/concerns.
    If the matter has not been resolved,
  2. consult the class representative(The primary function of the Class Representative is to serve as a two-way communication channel between the class and the lecturer)
    If the matter has not been resolved,
  3. consult the module co-ordinator (large modules with multiple lecturers)
    If the matter has not been resolved,
  4. consult the Head of Department
    If the matter has still not been resolved,
  5. consult with the Dean of the Faculty
Plagiarism prevention

Plagiarism is a serious form of academic misconduct. It involves both appropriating someone else’s work and passing it off as one’s own work afterwards. Thus, you commit plagiarism when you present someone else's written or creative work (words, images, ideas, opinions, discoveries, artwork, music, recordings, computer-generated work, etc.) as your own. Only hand in your own original work. Indicate precisely and accurately when you have used information provided by someone else. Referencing must be done in accordance with a recognised system. Indicate whether you have downloaded information from the Internet. For more details, visit the library’s website:

Declaration of originality

All assignments submitted by a student must be accompanied by a signed declaration of originality.

Reporting of plagiarism incidents

As indicated in the plagiarism prevention policy, plagiarism incidents and the penalty decided by the lecturer will be reported in the university’s Plagiarism Register.


Assessment plan

The module study guide contains an assessment plan, listing assessment opportunities. A formula for calculating the semester and final marks is included.

Assessment criteria

The module study guide specifies assessment criteria that will be used to assess each learning opportunity. If you are required to perform a task or submit an assignment, the assessment criteria are usually in the form of a rubric. For most assessments, such as class and semester tests, you will be marked according to a memorandum. Memoranda are not necessarily made available to students.

Assessment rules

The rules in the table below apply to assessments in modules offered by this department. These rules should be read in conjunction with the UP General Rules and Regulations, available at, go to Study > Yearbooks > General Rules and Regulations, and the Faculty Regulations at, go to Study > Yearbooks > Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences > Faculty Regulations.

Assessment Rules
Late submissions Unless otherwise indicated by your module coordinator, late submissions will result in a zero mark
Sick assessment Unless otherwise indicated by your module coordinator, the following applies if you miss a scheduled assessment (excluding exams):
  • Submit a sick note or affidavit to the module coordinator within 72 hours of the assessment. See rules about sick notes and affidavits below.
  • Scheduled assessments are announced in the study guide and/or on clickUP. It is your responsibility to confirm when and where scheduled assessments take place.
  • Another semester test on the same day but not at the same time is not sufficient grounds for a sick test or sick assignment.
  • If sick tests are not announced in the study guide, the date of a sick test will be announced within four working days of the test that was missed. Note that this applies to semester tests only, not to assignments.
  • If permission to attend the sick test is approved, this will be the last opportunity to attempt the test.
Mark queries Marks shall be published within reasonable time after an assessment. We aim to publish them before the next assessment of the same kind takes place but for large classes this may be difficult. You may query the mark for your assessment on the day when the marks are discussed in class and/or on the day of perusal. Strictly no mark queries after that! While memoranda may be discussed in class or available during perusals, memoranda are not necessarily made available for students to take home.
Assessment types Assessment in modules is conducted either through summative examination or continuous assessment. Exam entry, sick exam and supplementary exams are not applicable in the case of continuous assessment.
Continuous assessment Some modules in the department are completed via continuous assessment and therefore do not have summative exams and supplementary exams. The final mark is calculated from assessments completed during the semester, however, in some instances, final assignments or assessments may be scheduled during the examination period. Students enrolled in such modules must adhere to continuous assessment guidelines as communicated in the module study guide. A final mark of 50% is required to pass the module. An additional semester assessment opportunity may be considered if:
  • the student has achieved a final mark of 45-49% and
  • the student has submitted all assessment opportunities and
  • the student has achieved more than 40% in all other assessment opportunities.
Admission to summative examination

A year or semester mark of at least 40% is required for admission to the summative examination in any module presented by the department at undergraduate, Honours and Masters levels. If you write the exam without admission to the examination, the exam script will not be marked.

As stipulated in the NAS Faculty Regulation 1.6.1, “Class attendance is compulsory for all students in all modules for the full duration of all programmes. A student may be refused admission to the examination or promotion to a subsequent year of study if he/she fails to comply with the attendance requirements.”

Module-specific criteria for class attendance and admission to summative examinations are published in the study guide.

Sick exam in the case of summative examination If you are prevented from preparing for an exam, or from sitting for it, owing to unforeseen circumstances or illness, you must apply to the dean for a sick exam (aegrotat) within three days of the exam that you missed AND inform the module coordinator that you have submitted the application. Note that the module coordinator cannot grant you a sick exam, only the dean can.
Supplementary examination in the case of summative examination

Supplementary examinations are granted in undergraduate modules under the following circumstances:

  • A supplementary examination must be granted to students who obtained a final mark of between 40% and 49% in any module at first-year level.
  • In all other cases, a student may be admitted to a supplementary examination if:
    • the final mark is at least 45% and up to 49% AND either the exam mark or the semester mark is above 50%, OR
    • the exam mark is below 40% and the final mark is at least 50%

Supplementary examinations at Honours and Masters level are only granted under exceptional circumstances at the end of a year, and in two modules at the most.

Chancellor’s examinations See General Regulation G12.5 for undergraduate students. Chancellor’s examinations are not granted for modules at Honours and Masters level.
Sick notes and affidavits

Valid original sick notes are accepted if signed and stamped by a medical doctor registered at the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). The only other type of sick note that is accepted are those issued by an Advanced Practice Nurse (a registered nurse with a postgraduate qualification) as determined by the South African Nursing Council who has a BHCF practice number, provided that the diagnosis falls only within their specific field of specialisation.

An affidavit will only be accepted if accompanied by substantiating supporting documentation, e.g. a signed and stamped original case report or criminal charge with case number obtained from a police station, valid medical certificate for injuries, a death certificate for a funeral, newspaper obituary, invitation to the funeral, etc.

Submission of fraudulent sick notes and affidavits is a criminal offense, which will lead to disciplinary action and may result in dismissal.

In the case of representation in sport, you have to submit a signed, original letter from the coach or leader of the group, as well as an official notice of the event that includes the date and location of the event.

In the case of a clash with another test, you have to submit the study guide or a copy of an email from the module coordinator indicating the date and time of the test. Evidence for a clash must be presented prior to the test.

Special needs If you have special requirements for assessment (e.g. requiring additional time), you must inform your lecturer a minimum of 5 working days prior to the assessment so that arrangements can be made. Students must bring a letter from the appropriate faculty office confirming their special requirement. Students are requested to communicate with the Division of Student Support (012 420 4281 / 012 420 2582) regarding all matters pertaining to special needs

Renewal of Registration
Honours programmes

With reference to general regulation G.18.2, Renewal of registration:

  • If you are studying part-time, i.e. you are working and plan to complete the Honours programme over two years, you have to inform the programme coordinator of this at the start of the year. They will inform Faculty student administration that you are a part-time student.
  • You will be excluded at the end of year, if you:
    • Fail any module.
    • Take more than one year to complete the Honours programme, if you are a full-time student, or more than two years, if you are a part-time student.
  • If you are excluded, you will need to do the following:
    • Contact the programme coordinator who will advise you on the process.
    • Collect your supporting information, for example, a letter from your employer or from a psychologist.
    • Write a motivation letter in which you explain your specific circumstances and provide a plan for successfully completing the program in the upcoming year.
    • The programme coordinator will submit the documentation to the HOD and dean for approval.

If, for the above reasons, you want to deregister from a module without any financial penalties, you have to contact Faculty before 20 March 2023 for Semester 1, and before 22 August for Semester 2.

Master’s by coursework

With reference to general regulation G.32.2, Renewal of registration:

  • You have to complete the program within two years and you may not enrol for the same module more than twice.
  • For renewal of registration after two years, you will need to do the following:
    • Contact the programme coordinator who will advise you on the process.
    • Collect your supporting information, for example, a letter from your employer or from a psychologist.
    • Write a motivation letter in which you explain your specific circumstances and provide a plan for successfully completing the program in the upcoming year.
    • The programme coordinator will submit the documentation to the HOD and dean for approval.

If, for the above reasons, you want to deregister from a module without any financial penalties, you have to contact Faculty before 20 March 2023 for Semester 1, and before 22 August for Semester 2.

Guidelines for Practical Sessions/Fieldwork

For each field trip or excursion, each student must submit a signed indemnity declaration together with a signed Annexure A with medical information about the student. The forms will be provided to the students by the module coordinator.

Information on Student Feedback on Teaching Survey (SFTS)

The University of Pretoria is committed to the improvement of teaching and learning through dedicated support to lecturers and students. Students particularly are important participants in the improvement of the teaching practices of lecturers, and as such, their feedback on the SFTS is of value to the lecturer. EvaluationKIT enables students to provide feedback on the SFTS through a single sign-on in clickUP; anywhere and from any device, including phones.

The purpose of the evaluation of teaching is to assist lecturers in continuously improving their teaching, learning and assessment practices and the general quality of the modules they teach. Student feedback on the general quality of teaching and learning is regarded as one of the ways in which these practices can improve. Lecturers can also submit up to seven questions to enquire into the specific contexts of their modules.

Statement on Anti-Discrimination

The University of Pretoria is committed to building an inclusive, affirming and transformed institutional culture, curriculum and campus life. It rejects and condemns racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, ethnic chauvinism, religious intolerance, unfair discrimination, hate speech, sexual harassment, gender-based violence and retaliation, and all other forms of discrimination. The University has committed itself to the eradication of these practices, and in 2019 adopted an Anti-Discrimination Policy, in order to realise procedural and substantive equality in all respects. As the lecturer and presenter of this course, I acknowledge the extreme harm that racism, sexism, xenophobia and other forms of discrimination have inflicted and continue to inflict on our society and communities. I commit to ensuring that there is an open dialogue between myself and all the students in the module on curriculum content and teaching methods which may be interpreted as discriminatory or exclusive. I undertake to ensure that any such concerns are raised without fear of intimidation or recrimination. Moreover, I resolve to continuously improve the teaching of this course in a way that allows the inclusion of all the students enrolled for this course, building their self-confidence and self-efficacy, and supporting the ultimate goal of substantive equality for all persons. The choices that we make about curriculum content and pedagogy (what and how we teach) are also choices about what kind of society we wish to build. In this declaration of intent, I resolve to be part of and give substance to the University’s anti-discrimination and transformation endeavours. It is furthermore proposed that the above statement be appropriately amended in cases where modules or courses are co-taught by more than one lecturer.

Support services

Please download a QR code reader on your cell phone. To download a QR code reader, open your mobile app store (App Store, Google Play or Windows Marketplace) and search for QR code readers.

Faculty Student Advisors (FSAs)

Your Faculty Student Advisor can advise you on goal-setting, adjustment to university life, time management, study methods, stress management and career exploration. Book an individual consultation or attend a workshop.

Safety in the evening and emergencies
  • For any safety or emergency-related matters, e.g. if you need a security officer to accompany you from your residence to campus, phone the Operational Management Centre (details on the back of your student card).
  • The 24-hour, multi-disciplinary UP Crisis Line offers professional and confidential support to victims of crime in times of trauma. For assistance and immediate action, phone the UP Crisis Line on 0800 00 64 28.
  • Hatfield residence students: From 18:00 till 06:00 security officers are available to escort you (on foot) to and from your residence or campus anywhere east of the Hatfield Campus through to the Hillcrest Campus.
E-learning support
  • Report a problem you experience to the Student Help Desk on your campus.
  • Visit the open labs in the Informatorium Building or IT labs on your campus to report problems at the offices of the Student Help Desk.
  • Approach the assistants at the help desks—campus specific (for example: adjacent to the Student Computer Laboratories in IT Building, NW2, CBT or Aldoel Building IT labs, etc).
  • Call 012 420 3837.
  • Email [email protected]
  • Student online clickUP training course:
Other support services
FLY@UP:The Finish Line is Yours
  • Think carefully before dropping modules (after the closing date for amendments or cancellation of modules).
  • Make responsible choices with your time and work consistently
  • Aim for a good semester mark. Don’t rely on the examination to pass.


Email: [email protected]

Disability Unit Academic support for students with learning disabilities:
  • Assistive technological services
  • Facilitation of test and examination accommodations
  • Test and exam concession applications
  • Accessible study venues and a computer lab
  • Referrals for recommended textbooks in electronic format


Tel: 012 420 2064

Email: [email protected]

Student Counselling Unit Provides counselling and therapeutic support to students Tel: 012 420 2333
Student Health Services Promotes and assists students with health and wellness

Tel: 012 420 5233

Tel: 012 420 3423

The Careers Office Provides support for UP students and graduates as they prepare for their careers

Website: [email protected]

Tel: 012 420 2315

Department of Security Services

24-hour Operational

Management Centre

24-hour Operational Manager

Crisis Line

Tel: 012 420-2310

Tel: 012 420-2760

Tel: 083 654 0476

Tel: 0800 006 428

Department of Student Affairs Enquiries concerning studies, accommodation, food, funds, social activities and personal problem

Tel: 012 420 2371/4001

Roosmaryn Building, Hatfield campus

Centre for Sexualities, AIDS and Gender Identifies and provides training of student peer counsellors 012 420 4391
Fees and funding  


Tel: 012 420 3111



Tel: 012 420 2235/6

IT Helpdesk For student IT related queries

Website: [email protected]

Tel: 012 420 3051

Copyright © University of Pretoria 2023. All rights reserved.

COVID-19 Corona Virus South African Resource Portal

To contact the University during the COVID-19 lockdown, please send an email to [email protected]

FAQ's Email Us Virtual Campus Share Cookie Preferences