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Programme: BSc Food Science

Code Faculty Duration Credits Download
02133406 Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences Minimum duration of study: 3 years Total credits: 433

Admission requirements

  • The following persons will be considered for admission: a candidate who is in possession of a certificate that is deemed by the University to be equivalent to the required Grade 12 certificate with university endorsement, a candidate who is a graduate from another tertiary institution or has been granted the status of a graduate of such an institution, and a candidate who is a graduate of another faculty at the University of Pretoria.
  • Life Orientation is excluded in the calculation of the Admission Point Score (APS).
  • Grade 11 results are used for the conditional admission of prospective students. Final admission is based on the Grade 12 results.

Minimum requirements

Achievement level

English Home Language or English First Additional Language

Mathematics

Physical Science 

APS

NSC/IEB

AS Level

NSC/IEB

AS Level

NSC/IEB

AS Level

5

C

5

C

5

C

30

*  Cambridge A level candidates who obtained at least a D in the required subjects, will be considered for admission. International Baccalaureate (IB) HL candidates who obtained at least a 4 in the required subjects, will be considered for admission.

Candidates who do not comply with the minimum admission requirements for BSc (Food Science), may be considered for admission to the BSc – Extended programme for the Biological and Agricultural Sciences. The BSc – Extended programme takes place over a period of four years instead of the normal three years.

BSc Extended Programme for the Biological and Agricultural Sciences

 Minimum requirements

Achievement level

English Home Language or English First Additional Language

Mathematics

Physical Science  

APS

NSC/IEB

AS Level

NSC/IEB

AS Level

NSC/IEB

AS Level

4

D

4

D

4

D

24

 

 

Other programme-specific information

Students may enrol for AIM 111 and AIM 121 instead of AIM 101 (the same content presented over 2 semesters).

ZEN 161 may be replaced with FNH 121
(This should be read in conjunction with the curriculum for the first year of study)

(GTS 251 and GTS 261) may be replaced with (LEK 210 and LEK 220)
(This should be read in conjunction with the curriculum for the second year of study)

A student must pass all the minimum prescribed and elective module credits as set out at the end of each year within a programme as well as the total required credits to comply with the particular degree programme. Please refer to the curricula of the respective programmes. At least 144 credits must be obtained at 300-/400-level, or otherwise as indicated by curriculum. The minimum module credits needed to comply with degree requirements is set out at the end of each study programme. Subject to the programmes as indicated a maximum of 150 credits will be recognised at 100-level. A student may, in consultation with the relevant head of department and subject to the permission by the Dean, select or replace prescribed module credits not indicated in BSc three-year study programmes to the equivalent of a maximum of 36 module credits.

It is important that the total number of prescribed module credits is completed during the course of the study programme. The Dean may, on the recommendation of the relevant head of department, approve deviations in this regard. Subject to the programmes as indicated in the respective curricula, a student may not register for more than 75 module credits per semester at first-year level subject to permission by the Dean. A student may be permitted to register for up to 80 module credits in a the first semester during the first year provided that he or she obtained a final mark of no less than 70% for grade 12 Mathematics and achieved an APS of 34 or more in the NSC.

Students who are already in possession of a bachelor’s degree, will not receive credit for modules of which the content overlap with modules from the degree that was already conferred. Credits will not be considered for more than half the credits passed previously for an uncompleted degree. No credits at the final-year or 300- and 400-level will be granted.

The Dean may, on the recommendation of the programme manager, approve deviations with regard to the composition of the study programme.

Please note: Where elective modules are not specified, these may be chosen from any modules appearing in the list of modules.

It remains the student’s responsibility to acertain, prior to registration, whether they comply with the prerequisites of the modules they want to register for.

The prerequisites are listed in the Alphabetical list of modules.

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 Senior Appeals Committee.
  • Any decision taken by the Senior Appeals Committee is final.

Pass with distinction

A student obtains his or her degree with distinction if all prescribed modules at 300-level (or higher) are passed in one academic year with a weighted average of at least 75%, and obtain at least a subminimum of 65% in each of the relevant modules.

Minimum credits: 140

Minimum credits:

Fundamental =    12

Core             =   128

Additional information:

Students who do not qualify for AIM 102 must register for AIM 111 and AIM 121.

ZEN 161 may be replaced with FNH 121

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:

    Basic plant structure and function; introductory plant taxonomy and plant systematics; principles of plant molecular biology and biotechnology; adaptation of plants to stress; medicinal compounds from plants; basic principles of plant ecology and their application in natural resource management.

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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:

    By 2050 the world will have to feed more than 8 billion people. This module provides the initial science base in Food, Nutrition and Health and introduces some scientific principles and fundamental concepts.
    Lectures: Introduction to food choice as affected by social factors, religious influences, ethnicity, health, safety, economics, food sensory properties; Introduction to the food supply chain with special emphasis on the nutritional, environmental, ethical and safety issues that are of importance to consumers; Hunger - food needs, including food and nutrition security, nature of nutritional problems, approaches to combat over- and undernutrition; Introduction to nutrition: Nutrients in foods; nutrient composition of foods; bioavailability of nutrients; diet and chronic diseases; the keys to healthy eating; Introduction to functional chemical components of food; Introduction to food processing and preservation; Introduction to food safety, hazards and risks; Introduction to food quality and consumer preferences; Importance of food legislation to ensure a healthy and safe food supply including nutritional labelling; health and nutrition claims; Food, Nutrition and Health issues in the News.
    Practical work: Principles and practice of basic concepts in food, nutrition and health.

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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, organization 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.

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Minimum credits: 149

Minimum credits: 149

Core             =  149

Additional information:

GTS 251 and GTS 261 may be replaced with LEK 210 and LEK 220

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. 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:

    Carbohydrate structure and function. Blood glucose measurement in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes. Bioenergetics and biochemical reaction types. Glycolysis,  gluconeogenesis, glycogen metabolism, pentose phosphate pathway, citric acid cycle and electron transport. Total ATP yield from the complete oxidation of glucose. A comparison of cellular respiration and photosynthesis. Practical techniques for the study and analysis of metabolic pathways and enzymes. PO ratio of mitochondria, electrophoresis, extraction, solubility and gel permeation techniques. Scientific method and design. 

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  • Module content:

    Biochemistry of lipids, membrane structure, anabolism and catabolism of lipids.  Total ATP yield from the complete catabolism of lipids. Nitrogen metabolism, amino acid biosynthesis and catabolism. Biosynthesis of neurotransmitters, pigments, hormones and nucleotides from amino acids. Catabolism of pureness and pyrimidines. Therapeutic agents directed against nucleotide metabolism. Examples of inborn errors of metabolism of nitrogen containing compounds. The urea cycle, nitrogen excretion. Practical training in scientific reading skills: evaluation of a scientific report. Techniques for separation analysis and visualisation of biological molecules. Hypothesis design and testing, method design and scientific controls.

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  • Module content:

    Biochemistry of nutrition and toxicology. Proximate analysis of nutrients. Review of energy requirements and expenditure, starvation, marasmus and kwashiorkor. Respiratory quotient. Requirements and function of water, vitamins and minerals. Interpretation and modification of RDA values for specific diets, eg growth, exercise, pregnancy and lactation, aging and starvation. Interactions between nutrients. Cholesterol, polyunsaturated, essential fatty acids and dietary anti-oxidants. Oxidation of fats. Biochemical mechanisms of water- and fat-soluble vitamins and assessment of vitamin status. Mineral requirements, biochemical mechanisms, imbalances and diarrhoea. Biochemistry of xenobiotics: absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME); detoxification reactions: oxidation/reduction (Phase I), conjugations (Phase II), export from cells (Phase III); factors affecting metabolism and disposition. Examples of genetic abnormalities, phenotypes and frequencies. Examples of toxins: biochemical mechanisms of common toxins and their antidotes. Natural toxins from fungi, plants and animals: goitrogens, cyanogens, cholineesterase inhibitors, ergotoxin, aflatoxins  Practical training in scientific writing skills: evaluating  scientific findings. Introduction to practical techniques in nutrition and toxicology. Experimental design and calculations in experiments: determining nutritional value of metabolites and studying the ADME of toxins.

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  • Module content:

    Lectures: Food Science as a discipline. Activities of Food Scientists and Nutritionists. How food is produced, processed and distributed (food pipeline). World food problem. Human nutrition and human food requirements. Constituents of foods: Functional properties. Food quality. Food deterioration and control (food preservation). Unit operations in food processing. Food safety, risks and hazards. Principles of food packaging. Food legislation and labelling. Food processing and the environment. Practicals: Group assignments applying the theory in practice; practical demonstrations in pilot plants; guest lecturers on the world of food scientists and nutritionists; factory visit/videos of food processing.

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  • Module content:

    Lectures: Food preservation technologies: concept of hurdle technology; heat (blanching, pasteurisation and sterilisation); cold (refrigeration and freezing); concentration and dehydration; food irradiation; fermentation; preservatives; new methods of food preservation. Effect of various food preservation technologies on the microbiological (shelf-life and safety issues), sensory and nutritional quality of foods. Practicals: Practical applications of above processes. Physical, chemical and sensory evaluation of processed foods. Assignment: Application of hurdle technology concept to a specific food product.

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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 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. Time value of money. Introduction to production and resource use: the agricultural production function, total physical product curve, marginal physical product curve, average physical product curve, stages of production. Assessing short-term business costs; Economics of short-term decisions. Economics of input substitution: Least-cost use of inputs for a given output, short-term least-cost input use, effects of input price changes. Least-cost input use for a given budget. Economics of product substitution. Product combinations for maximum profit. Economics of crop and animal production.

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  • Module content:

    The agribusiness system; the unique characteristics of agricultural products; marketing functions and costs; market structure; historical evolution of agricultural marketing in South Africa. Marketing environment and price analysis in agriculture: Introduction to supply and demand analysis.
    Marketing plan and strategies for agricultural commodities; market analysis; product management; distribution channels for agricultural commodities, the agricultural supply chain, the agricultural futures market.

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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:

    Primary sources of migroorganisims in food. Factors affecting the growth and survival of microorganisms in food. Microbial quality, spoilage and safety of food. Different organisms involved, their isolation, screening and detection. Conventional approaches, alternative methods rapid methods. Food fermentations: fermentation types, principles and organisms involved.

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  • Module content:

    The study of nutrients and water regarding their chemical composition, characteristics, basic digestion, absorption, metabolism, functions, food sources and symptoms of deficiency and toxicity. Energy metabolism. Dietary recommendations and guidelines, dietary guides and meal planning. The use and application of food composition tables in dietary analysis.

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Minimum credits: 144

Minimum credits: 144

Core             =  144

Core modules

  • Module content:

    Literature studies and seminar presentations on topics in food science, nutrition and health.

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  • Module content:

    Lectures - Chemistry of major food components: Carbohydrates. Proteins. Lipids. Water. Chemical and nutritional aspects of food processing: implications of different processing techniques on the major food components. Functional properties of the major food components. Modification of functional properties of the major food components. Food analysis methodology. Practical work: Food analysis.

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  • Module content:

    Lectures - Basic food analysis and chemistry of the minor food components: Basic food analysis, vitamins, minerals, additives, contaminants. Chemical and nutritional aspects of food processing: implications of different processing techniques on minor food components. Functional properties of the minor food components. Food analysis methodology. Practical work: Food analysis.

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  • Module content:

    Lectures: Mass and energy balance. Heat transfer theory: Convection, conduction and radiation. Energy for food processing. Fluid flow and rheology. Unit operations: materials handling, cleaning, sorting, grading, peeling, disintegration, separation (e.g. membrane technology), pumping, mixing and forming, heating, concentration, drying, extrusion, refrigeration, freezing. Tutorials/practicals: Calculations on mass and energy balances, psychrometry, refrigeration and freezing.

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  • Module content:

    Cereal and legume grains, oilseeds and fruits and vegetables: Composition and
    structure. Quality assessment and grading. Post-harvest storage and physiology.
    Cleaning and sorting principles and technologies. Milling – principles and technologies, and their effects on product functionality and nutrient composition. Juice and oil extraction – principles and technologies, and their effects on product functionality and nutrient composition. Bread and baked goods making – principles and technologies, and their effects on product functionality and nutrient composition. Practical work: Laboratory analyses of components and products of cereals, oilseeds, legumes and fruits and vegetables; Determination of quality; Factory visits.

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  • Module content:

    Dairy science: Composition of milk; some physical properties of milk; factors affecting composition of milk; microbiological aspects of milk production; lactation; mechanical milking; milk defects; nutritive value of milk and milk products. Practical work: Chemical and microbiological tests of milk. Demonstration of the cheese-making process. Meat, poultry, fish and egg science: The composition, nutritional value and quality of meat, poultry, fish and eggs; factors affecting quality from slaughter or harvesting to consumption. Practical work: Visits to red meat and poultry abattoirs; quality determinations, egg quality and protein functionality.

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  • Module content:

    With an integrated focus on animal and plant food commodities, this module considers food properties and processing operations that impact on the growth, survival and biochemical activity of microorganisms as they relate to spoilage, safety and fermentation. Temperature effects on microbial growth and survival including thermal destruction and cell and spore injury. Microbial stress response (adaptation) during processing. Selection for stress resistant and more virulent pathogenic variants and virulence mechanisms (toxin structure/function) of food-borne pathogens during food processing. Theory and practice of new advances in microbial detection and identification methods. Tools for the production of safe foods including food safety objectives (FSOs) and risk analysis. Practicals will include advanced microbial detection and identification methods applied to animal and plant foods as well as the food supply chain.

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  • Module content:

    Generation, interpretation and application of food composition data in nutrition programmes. Chemical composition of foods: sampling for food analysis, assessing methods of food analysis for inclusion in food composition data. Interpretation of food composition data. Nutritional labeling of food. Use of nutritional data in food formulations. Dietary supplementation, enrichment and fortification of foods.

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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 each student to familiarise himself or herself 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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