Yearbooks

Programme: BScHons Zoology

Code NQF level Faculty Duration Credits
02240703 NQF level:  08 Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences Minimum duration of study: 1 year Total credits: 135

Programme information

Renewal of registration

  1. Subject to exceptions approved by the Dean, on the recommendation of the relevant head of department, 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. Under special circumstances, the Dean, on the recommendation of the relevant 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

  • An appropriate BSc degree or on recommendation from the head of department
  • A final grade point average of at least 60% at final-year level
  • Additional modules may be prescribed by the head of the department where deemed necessary.
     

Examinations and pass requirements

A pass mark is required for all the components of the honours study programme.

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 credits:          81

Elective credits:     54

Core modules

Elective modules

  • Module content:

    This module will provide students with the skills to use biophysical information and data obtained by undertaking a natural resource inventory. This will be supported by taught methods of critically evaluating data and information obtained through assessment methodologies and an understanding of sampling design (choosing reference sites, spatial replication) and monitoring methods (e.g. recording biomass vs vegetation cover vs species richness; aspects of seed biology etc.). Through the additional understanding of ecological and agricultural concepts (e.g. productivity, decomposition rate, carbon uptake, pollinator abundance, erosion protection, dust reduction) students will acquire the skills to provide reclamation and restoration solutions to land degradation challenges in South Africa.
    A site visit or field trip during which students will get exposed to the realities of reclamation and restoration and apply their knowledge and skills will be a compulsory component of this module.

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  • Module content:

    The object of this module is to introduce students to several contemporary problem areas in systematics, evolutionary theory and biogeography, and to use this as a basis for exploring current approaches and methods in systematics.

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  • Module content:

    Photoperiodism and chronobiology – the ability of animals to measure daylength, the concept of circadian rhythm and the nature of the clock which drives such processes. Water availability and temperature – physiological responses of animals to changing water availability and temperature in the context of global climate change. Regulation of reproduction – physiological mechanisms which couple reproduction to external and internal environmental factors.

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  • Module content:

    The module focuses on forces that drive population and community patterns and processes across temporal and spatial scales.  Attention is given to the scientific application of ecological and macro-ecological principles that relate to short- and long-term population and community responses to environmental change.  Group discussions based on current literature provide opportunities to apply theoretical principles to problem solving.

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  • Module content:

    Pest outbreaks and the practice of integrated pest management using different control methods; philosophy of IPM; socio-economic implications; politics and legislation; pest models; decision tools and techniques.

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  • Module content:

    Contemporary issues in mammal ecology; the focus will be on current understanding at individual, population, community and ecosystem levels.

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  • Module content:

    The use of ecological and evolutionary processes to explain the occurrence and adaptive significance of behaviour patterns.  Empirical, comparative analyses relating behaviour to environment will be addressed, including the use of behavioural processes to predict ecological patterns.

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  • Module content:

    An overview of the complex world of insect-plant interactions.  Insects and plants have co-occurred and co-evolved on this planet for at least 400 million years, and in many systems insects are the primary consumers of plant tissue.  The diverse strategies and counter-strategies that have evolved at the interface between herbivory and plant defences will be examined, using case studies and applying unifying theory wherever possible.

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  • Module content:

    The module aims to provide students with an understanding of global climate change and its impact on the conservation of biodiversity.

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  • Module content:

    Stable isotope ecology – applications of stable isotope-based techniques in zoological research, including (i) tracking animal movements, (ii) dietary reconstruction, (iii) delineation of trophic levels, (iv) tracing nutrient allocation to reproduction, (v) forensic applications, and (vi) doubly-labelled water and water tracer applications. Stress hormones – the spectrum of stress molecules, how they are regulated, what their impacts are, and how they are measured to reflect acute and chronic stress. Photogrammetry – (i) appropriate equipment for photogrammetry, (ii) photographic techniques for photogrammetric use, (iii) photogrammetry software, (iv) building three-dimensional models, (v) measuring models. Applications of molecular biology to conservation genetics, infectious disease epidemiology and ecology, forensics (host and pathogen-based) and diagnostics.

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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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