Programme: BEngHons Bioengineering

Code Faculty
12240203 Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology
Credits Duration NQF level
Minimum duration of study: 1 year Total credits: 128 NQF level:  08

Programme information

The curriculum is determined in consultation with the relevant heads of departments. A student is required to pass modules to the value of at least 128 credits.

The degree is awarded on the basis of examinations only.

Admission requirements

  • A BEng degree awarded by the University of Pretoria (or equivalent); or a four-year bachelor’s degree in engineering that ECSA regards as acceptable for registration as a candidate engineer and for eventual registration as a professional engineer.
  • The departmental Postgraduate Committee reserves the right to make a thorough assessment of the applicant's academic transcript and CV, and to decide if the applicant is suitable for postgraduate studies. This assessment may include an oral or written entrance examination.

Other programme-specific information

Students may take modules to the value of 32 credits from other fields of specialisation or from other departments, with approval of the Coordinator: Postgraduate studies.

It is a requirement that a student must complete all three the bioengineering honours modules, as well as Introduction to research 732 (EIN 732), to enroll for a master’s or a PhD in Bioengineering.

Examinations and pass requirements

  1. The examination in each module for which a student is registered, takes place during the normal examination period after the conclusion of lectures (i.e. October/November or May/June).
  2. A student registered for the honours degree must complete his or her studies within two years (full-time), or within three years (part-time) after first registration for the degree: Provided that the Dean, on recommendation of the relevant head of department, may approve a stipulated limited extension of this period.
  3. A student must obtain at least 50% in an examination for each module where no semester or year mark is required. A module may only be repeated once.
  4. In modules where semester or year marks are awarded, a minimum examination mark of 40% and a final mark of 50% is required.
  5. No supplementary or special examinations are granted at postgraduate level.

Pass with distinction

A student passes with distinction if he or she obtains a weighted average of at least 75% in the first 128 credits for which he or she has registered (excluding modules which were discontinued timeously). The degree is not awarded with distinction if a student fails any one module (excluding modules which were discontinued timeously).

Minimum credits: 128

EIN 732 is a compulsory module. With permission from the department it may be substituted with:

EPT 732 OR

EPT 733

EIN 732 is 'n verpligte module. Met toestemming van die departement mag dit vervang word met:

EPT 732 OF

EPT 733

Core modules

  • Module content:

    The objective of the module is to teach the engineering student how to apply engineering tools to the analysis of biological systems for the purpose of (i) developing understanding of the anatomy and physiology of specific biological systems from an engineering perspective, (ii) deriving appropriate mathematical descriptions of biological systems, and (iii) engineering applicable therapeutic interventions. We will expand on the single nerve fibre studies considered in bioelectricity and electronics: where the latter examined the biophysics of single excitable cells (and electrostimulation thereof), this module will develop it into an analysis of the characteristics of populations of neurons. We will systematically develop a systems-level perspective, working our way through the hierarchical organisation of neural encoding and computation. Furthermore, we will discuss how to measure characteristics and parameters of a particular system (the auditory system) and how to glean information about lower hierarchical levels from these measurements. This is a course in modelling and measurement, using tools from signal processing, control systems, dynamics, probability theory, systems engineering and psychoacoustics.

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  • Module content:

    This module focuses on electrophysiology, using a quantitative approach. Topics covered in the first part of the module are: electrical properties of the nerve cell membrane, action potentials and the Hodgkin-Huxley model, cable theory, the neuromuscular junction, and extracellular fields. The second part of the module builds on this background to discuss the theory and practice of electrical nerve stimulation. Applications of the theoretical work is discussed, including functional electrical stimulation (e.g. electrostimulation used for standing and walking in paraplegics), and cochlear implants for the deaf.

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  • Module content:

    The course provides an introduction to modelling of bioelectromagnetic systems using numerical methods. It focuses on the study of the interaction of electromagnetic fields with biological systems and application of this knowledge in the modelling of biological volume conduction problems. The finite element technique is used to analyse volume conduction problems. Students are introduced to an industry standard finite element software package, ANSYS, that is used to complete the practical component of the course.

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  • Module content:

    *This is a compulsory module.

    The aim of this module is to teach students to critically evaluate research literature, including conference papers and journal articles, in order to determine the current state of knowledge in a particular specialist area. It will also provide students with the principles of research to enable them to conduct research and prepare an original project in their particular specialist area.

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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 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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