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Programme: BScAgricHons Crop Science

Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences
Minimum duration of study: 1 year
Total credits: 135

Programme information

The MSc degree is conferred on the grounds of a dissertation and such additional postgraduate coursework as may be prescribed.

Renewal of registration
As long as progress is satisfactory, renewal of the registration of a master’s student will be accepted for the second year of the study. Registration for a third and subsequent years will only take place when the Student Administration of the Faculty receives a written motivation that is supported by the head of department and Postgraduate Studies Committee.

Candidates are required to familiarise themselves with the General Regulations regarding the maximum period of registration and the requirements on the submission of a draft article for publication.

Admission requirements

The admission requirement is a BScAgric (Applied Plant and Soil Sciences) degree or equivalent qualification, or an appropriate BSc degree after consultation with the Head of Department. A South African equivalent aggregate mark of 60% is required for all the modules taken in the final year of undergraduate studies. Students are selected on merit.

Other programme-specific information

Electives can be chosen out of the modules listed or any other 700-module that is presented in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, chosen in consultation with the Head of Department of Plant and Soil Science.

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

Minimum credits:  135

Core credits:         60

Elective credits:    75

Core modules

PGW 701 Research project in crop science 701 Credits: 30.00

Module content:

Students will design, execute and write up a research project in any one of the subdisciplines of Crop science, eg Agronomy, Horticultural science or Pasture science.

PGW 702 Scientific communication 702 Credits: 15.00

Module content:

Principles of the scientific process. Literature accessing and article assessment. Manuscript preparation and presentation of seminars. Use of visual aids.

PGW 704 Research methodology 704 Credits: 15.00

Module content:

Basic experimental designs. Measurements and control over experimental error. Factorial experiments and interactions. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and data interpretation.

Elective modules

AGR 785 Crop production systems (I): Field crops 785 Credits: 15.00

Module content:

Integrated agronomic, climatic, soil, botanical, economic and managerial considerations in crop production systems aimed at maximum economic yield and sustainability. Case studies of specific field crops.

AGR 786 Crop production systems (II): Vegetable crops 786 Credits: 15.00

Module content:

Integrating agronomic, climatic, soil, botanical, economic and managerial considerations in crop production systems aimed at maximum economic yield and sustainability. Case studies of specific vegetable crops.

APS 761 Crop physiology 761 Credits: 15.00

Module content:

An overview of photosynthesis and respiration, with the aim of examining the physiological basis of yield in cropping systems. this includes an assessment of parameters for determining plant growth, factors governing yield, partitioning of photoassimilates within plants and opportunities for increasing yield. Crop growth and yield will be put into context of a changing global climate. Evaluation of the manner in which plants respond to various abiotic stresses and how plants sense changing environments. The various roles of plant growth regulators in plants and the importance of these compounds in agriculture.

GDK 773 Plant nutrition, soil biology and soil fertility 773 Credits: 15.00

Module content:

Study of the latest trends and developments in plant nutrition, soil biology and soil fertility.

HSC 780 Fruit tree crops 780 Credits: 30.00

Module content:

An overview of the South African fruit industry indicating economic importance and the areas of production of the various crops. Principles governing orchard establishment and orchard management, including location and site selection, crop and cultivar choices, site preparation, orchard layout and design, irrigation, fertilisation, pruning and training, the application of plant growth regulators and disease and pest management. Harvesting practices and the post-harvest physiology of fruit which determines storage protocols and the quality of the fruit reaching the consumer. Climatic requirements, phenological models, cultivars and rootstocks, fruit manipulation, physiological disorders and pest and disease complexes of subtropical and deciduous fruit crops produced in South Africa.

LKM 750 Environmental biophysics 750 Credits: 15.00

Module content:

Environmental variables. Quantitative description and measurements of atmospheric environmental variables and water in organisms. Mass and energy fluxes. Quantitative description of energy fluxes in organisms' environments. Energy balances of animals and plant communities will be derived.

PPR 712 Plant production: Herbicides and control 712 Credits: 15.00

Module content:

Weeds and their importance in Southern Africa. Properties and uses of herbicides.
Herbicides in soils and their mode of action in plants.

PPR 713 Agroforestry 713 Credits: 15.00

Module content:

Agro-ecological zones (climate and soil); trees for fruit, fodder, fuel and/or timber; intercropping or alley cropping with grains, vegetables or pastures; management (including aspects such as nursery production, establishment, fertilization, pest control) and utilization/marketing.

WDE 781 Rangeland management 781 Credits: 15.00

Module content:

The development of rangeland management strategies integrating ecological and
physiological principles with economic and sociological constraints to achieve desired objectives whilst ensuring the conservation, and where necessary, the recuperation of natural resources.

WDE 782 Pasture science 782 Credits: 15.00

Module content:

The identification of adapted pasture and fodder species (including grasses, legumes, fodder trees and drought tolerant crops) for different agro-ecological areas. The establishment, fertilization and irrigation requirements of different pastures. The management requirements when utilized as green grazing, standing hay or conserved feed.