Programme: BScHons Option: Medicinal Plant Science

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Code Faculty
03241090 Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences
Credits Duration
Duration of study: 1 year Total credits: 135

Programme information

The programme consists of compulsory modules (30 credits) and elective modules (60 credits). Students may register for modules to the maximum of 20 credits presented by another department, which forms part of the elective modules.

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

Renewal of registration

  1. Subject to exceptions approved by the Dean, on the recommendation of the head of department, and in the case of distance education where the Dean formulates the stipulations that will apply, a student may not sit for an examination for the honours degree more than twice in the same module.
  2. A student for an honours degree must complete his or her study, in the case of full-time students, within two years and, in the case of after-hours students, within three years of first registering for the degree and, in the case of distance education students, within the period stipulated by the Dean. Under special circumstances, the Dean, on the recommendation of the head of department, may give approval for a limited extension of this period.

In calculating marks, General Regulation G.12.2 applies.

Apart from the prescribed coursework, a research project is an integral part of the study.

Admission requirements

BSc in Plant Science or a recommendation from the head of department if the candidate did not major in Plant science. A minimum of 60% in Phytomedicine 365 (BOT 365), which is offered at third-year level in the Department of Plant Science.
The recommended modules at BSc third-year level are as follows:
1. BOT 366 Plant diversity (Department of Plant Science)
2. BOT 356 Plant ecophysiology (Department of Plant Science)
3. BCM 368 Molecular basis for disease (Department of Biochemistry)
4. BCM 357 Biocatalysis and integration of metabolism (Department of Biochemistry)
5. FAR 382 Pharmacology (Department of Pharmacology)
6. CMY 282 Physical chemistry (Department of Chemistry)
7. CMY 284 Organic chemistry (Department of Chemistry)

Pass with distinction

The BScHons degree is awarded with distinction to a candidate who obtains a weighted average of at least 75% in all the prescribed modules and a minimum of 65% in any one module.

Minimum credits: 135

Core modules

  • Module content:

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

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  • Module content:

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

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  • Module content:

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

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  • Module content:

    Teaching and planning, execution and documentation of a research project.

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  • Module content:

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

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Elective modules

The information published here is subject to change and may be amended after the publication of this information. The General Regulations (G Regulations) apply to all faculties of the University of Pretoria. It is expected of students to familiarise themselves well with these regulations as well as with the information contained in the General Rules section. Ignorance concerning these regulations and rules will not be accepted as an excuse for any transgression.

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