Yearbooks

Program: BSc (Ecology)

Code Faculty Department
02133400 Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences Department: Zoology and Entomology
Credits Duration NQF level
Minimum duration of study: 3 jaar Totale krediete: 430 NQF level:  07

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 BSc (Ecology), 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

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:  Second year – 12 credits

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.

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 krediete: 142

Fundamental modules  =   14
Core modules               =   128

Fundamental modules

Core modules

  • Module-inhoud:

    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.

    Sien meer

  • Module-inhoud:

    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-inhoud:

    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-inhoud:

    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.

    Sien meer

  • Module-inhoud:

    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.

    Sien meer

  • Module-inhoud:

    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.

    Sien meer

  • Module-inhoud:

     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.

    Sien meer

  • Module-inhoud:

    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-inhoud:

    *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.

    Sien meer

  • Module-inhoud:

    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 krediete: 144

Core modules             =  120
Elective modules         =   24

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that no clashes will occur between modules as well as that the necessary prerequisites have been met.

Core modules

  • Module-inhoud:

    Analysis of variance: Multi-way classification. Testing of model assumptions, graphics. Multiple comparisons. Fixed, stochastic and mixed effect models. Block experiments. Estimation of effects. Experimental design: Principles of experimental design. Factorial experiments: Confounding, single degree of freedom approach, hierarchical classification. Balanced and unbalanced designs. Split-plot designs. Analysis of covariance. Computer literacy: Writing and interpretation of computer programmes. Report writing.

    Sien meer

  • Module-inhoud:

    Origin and affinity of South African flora and vegetation types; principles of plant geography; plant diversity in southern Africa; characteristics, environments and vegetation of South African biomes and associated key ecological processes; centra of plant endemism; rare and threatened plant species; biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management; invasion biology; conservation status of South African vegetation types.

    Sien meer

  • Module-inhoud:

    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. 

    Sien meer

  • Module-inhoud:

    Note: Enrolment is limited. Preference will be given based on choice of majors. Students should enquire at the department if they wish to register for the module, but are unable to do so.
    *GIS 221 does not lead to admission to any module at 300 level.
    Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS), theoretical concepts and applications of GIS. The focus will be on the GIS process of data input, data analysis, data output and associated technologies.This module teaches students to use GIS as a tool. Examples used throughout the course are drawn from South African case studies.

    Sien meer

  • Module-inhoud:

    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.

    Sien meer

  • Module-inhoud:

    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.

    Sien meer

  • Module-inhoud:

    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.

    Sien meer

  • Module-inhoud:

    Origin and extent of modern invertebrate diversity; parasites of man and domestic animals; biology and medical importance of arachnids and insects; insect life styles; the influence of the environment on insect life histories; insect herbivory; predation and parasitism; insect chemical, visual, and auditory communication. Examples used in the module are relevant to the sustainable development goals of Life on Land and Good Health and Well-being.

    Sien meer

  • Module-inhoud:

    Introduction to general vertebrate diversity; African vertebrate diversity; vertebrate structure and function; vertebrate evolution; vertebrate relationships; aquatic vertebrates; terrestrial ectotherms; terrestrial endotherms; vertebrate characteristics; classification; structural adaptations; habits; habitats; conservation problems; impact of humans on other vertebrates. The module addresses the sustainable development goals of Life below Water and Life on Land.

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Elective modules

  • Module-inhoud:

    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.

    Sien meer

  • Module-inhoud:

    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.

    Sien meer

  • Module-inhoud:

    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.

    Sien meer

  • Module-inhoud:

    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.

    Sien meer

  • Module-inhoud:

    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.

    Sien meer

  • Module-inhoud:

    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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Minimum krediete: 144

Core modules   =  144

Core modules

  • Module-inhoud:

    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-inhoud:

     Theory of plant community concepts, floristic and structural composition, plant diversity, ecological succession, landscape ecology. Data processing techniques. Species interactions and an evaluation of their effects on interacting species. Fundamentals of plant population biology: life tables; plant breeding systems and pollination; population dynamics; life history strategies; intraspecific competition; interspecific competition and co-existence.

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  • Module-inhoud:

    Basic principles and methods of plant classification. Sources of plant variation. Modern methods to ascertain evolutionary relationships among plants. The extent and significance of vascular plant diversity. General structural and biological characteristics of evolutionary and ecologically important plant groups. Botanical nomenclature. Plant identification in practice; identification methods, keys, herbaria and botanical gardens. Diagnostic characters for the field identification of trees, wild flowers and grasses. Family recognition of southern African plants. Available literature for plant identification. Methods to conduct floristic surveys. Nature and significance of voucher specimens.

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  • Module-inhoud:

    Scientific approach to ecology; evolution and ecology; the individual and its environment; population characteristics and demography; competition; predation; plant-herbivore interactions; regulation of populations; population manipulation, human population. Examples throughout the module are relevant to the sustainable development goals of Life on Land and Good Health and Well-being.

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  • Module-inhoud:

    The scientific approach; characteristics of the community; the community as a superorganism; community changes; competition as a factor determining community structure; disturbance as a determinant of community structure; community stability; macroecological environmental gradients and communities. A field trip will be conducted during the September vacation to the Sani Pass region of the Maloti- Drakensberg Mountains. The module addresses the sustainable development goals Good Health and Well-being, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Climate Action and Life on Land.

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  • Module-inhoud:

    This module focuses on micro and macro-evolutionary processes and patterns, from the population level (selection, drift, general population genetics) to clines, subspecies and species. Phylogeography, phylogenetic reconstruction, taxonomy and the genetic and developmental constraints operating at the different levels, are addressed. This module forms the basis for understanding and attaining sustainable development goals 14 and 15 (protection/conservation of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems), and acknowledges the importance of biodiversity for the sustainability of our own species.

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  • Module-inhoud:

    The history of behavioural ecology. A causal, developmental, evolutionary and adaptive approach. Sensory systems and communication. Sexual selection, mate choice and sperm competition. Kin selection and group living. Special reference to social insects. The behavioural ecology of humans. Phylogenetic basis of behavioural analysis. The role of behavioural ecology in conservation planning. The module covers sustainable development goals 1-10 and 12-15.

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  • Module-inhoud:

    This module is intended to provide students with the skills and knowledge that are essential for the conservation of biodiversity. The module focuses on conservation theory and practice (e.g. endangered species, habitat loss, overexploitation, climate change), and has a practical component. In addition, students will generate a multi-media project designed to inform the general public about a key conservation issue.Over the course of the module, students will be exposed to a number of issues that link directly to sustainable development goals Clean Water and Sanitation, Affordable and Clean Energy, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action, Life Below Water & Life on Land, and gain valuable theoretical and practical experience in the field of conservation biology. 

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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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