Yearbooks

Programme: BSc (Meteorology)

Code Faculty Department
02133313 Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences Department: Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology
Credits Duration NQF level SAQA ID
Minimum duration of study: 3 years Total credits: 404 NQF level:  07 SAQA ID:  14393

Admission requirements

Important information for all prospective students for 2022

  • The admission requirements apply to students who apply for admission to the University of Pretoria with a National Senior Certificate (NSC) and Independent Examination Board (IEB) qualifications.
  • Applicants with qualifications other than the abovementioned should refer to:
    • Brochure: Undergraduate Programme Information 2022: Qualifications other than the NSC and IEB, available at click here.
  • Citizens from countries other than South Africa (applicants who are not South African citizens) should also refer to:
  • School of Tomorrow (SOT), Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) and General Education Development Test (GED): The University of Pretoria no longer accepts qualifications awarded by these institutions.
  • National Certificate (Vocational) (NCV) Level 4: The University of Pretoria may consider NCV candidates, provided they meet the exemption for bachelor’s status criteria and the programme requirements.

Transferring students

A transferring student is a student who, at the time of application for a degree programme at the University of Pretoria (UP) –

  • is a registered student at another tertiary institution, or was previously registered at another tertiary institution and did not complete the programme enrolled for at that institution, and is not currently enrolled at a tertiary institution, or has completed studies at another tertiary institution, but is not currently enrolled at a tertiary institution, or has started with tertiary studies at UP, then moved to another tertiary institution and wants to be readmitted at UP.

A transferring student will be considered for admission based on

  • an NSC or equivalent qualification with exemption to bachelor’s or diploma studies (whichever is applicable); and meeting the minimum faculty-specific subject requirements at NSC or tertiary level; or having completed a higher certificate at a tertiary institution with faculty-specific subjects/modules passed (equal to or more than 50%), as well as complying with faculty rules on admission;
  • previous academic performance (must have passed all modules registered for up to the closing date of application ) or as per faculty regulation/promotion requirements;
  • a certificate of good conduct.

Note: Students who have been dismissed at the previous institution due to poor academic performance, will not be considered for admission to UP.

Returning students

A returning student is a student who, at the time of application for a degree programme –

  • is a registered student at UP, and wants to transfer to another degree at UP, or was previously registered at UP and did not complete the programme enrolled for, and did not enrol at another tertiary institution in the meantime (including students who applied for leave of absence), or has completed studies at UP, but is not currently enrolled or was not enrolled at another tertiary institution after graduation.

A returning student will be considered for admission based on

  • an NSC or equivalent qualification with exemption to bachelor’s or diploma studies (whichever is applicable); and meeting the minimum faculty-specific subject requirements at NSC or tertiary level; or previous academic performance (should have a cumulative weighted average of at least 50% for the programme enrolled for);
  • having applied for and was granted leave of absence.

Note: Students who have been excluded/dismissed from a faculty due to poor academic performance may be considered for admission to another programme at UP.  The Admissions Committee may consider such students if they were not dismissed more than twice. Only ONE transfer between UP faculties will be allowed, and a maximum of two (2) transfers within a faculty.

Important faculty-specific information on undergraduate programmes for 2022

  • The closing date is an administrative admission guideline for non-selection programmes. Once a non-selection programme is full  and has reached the institutional targets, then that programme will be closed for further admissions, irrespective of the closing date. However, if the institutional targets have not been met by the closing date, then that programme will remain open for admissions until the institutional targets are met.
  • The following persons will be considered for admission: Candidates who have a certificate that is deemed by the University to be equivalent to the required National Senior Certificate (NSC) with university endorsement; candidates who are graduates from another tertiary institution or have been granted the status of a graduate of such an institution, and candidates who are graduates of another faculty at the University of Pretoria.
  • Life Orientation is excluded when calculating the Admission Point Score (APS).
  • Grade 11 results are used for the conditional admission of prospective students. Final admission is based on the final NSC/IEB results.

University of Pretoria website: click here

Minimum requirements

Achievement level

English Home Language or English First Additional Language

Mathematics

Physical Sciences

APS

NSC/IEB

NSC/IEB

NSC/IEB

5

5

5

34

Candidates who do not comply with the minimum admission requirements for BSc (Meteorology), may be considered for admission to the BSc – Extended programme – Physical Sciences, which requires an additional year of study.

BSc – Extended Programme – Physical Sciences

Minimum requirements

Achievement level

English Home Language or English First Additional Language

Mathematics

Physical Sciences

APS

NSC/IEB

NSC/IEB

NSC/IEB

4

4

4

28

 
Note:

*The BSc – Extended programmes are not available for students who meet all the requirements for the corresponding mainstream programme.

*Please note that only students who apply in their final NSC or equivalent qualification year will be considered for admission into any of the BSc – Extended programmes.

Other programme-specific information

1.1    Requirements for specific modules
A candidate who:

  1. does not qualify for STK 110, must enrol for STK 113 and STK 123;
  2.  egisters for Mathematical Statistics (WST) and Statistics (STK) modules must take note that WST and STK modules, except for STK 281, may not be taken simultaneously in a programme; a student must take one and only one of the following options:
  • WST 111, WST 121, WST 212, WST 211, WST 221, WST 311, WST 312, WST 322, WST 321, and STK 353

or

  • WST 111, WST 121, WST 212, WST 211, WST 221, WST 311, WST 312, WST 322, STK320, STK353.

or

  • STK 110, STC 122, STK 210, STK 220, WST 212, STK 310, STK 320, STK 353.
  1. registers for a module presented by another faculty must take note of the timetable clashes, prerequisites for that module, subminimum required in examination papers, supplementary examinations, etc.

1.2    Fundamental modules

  1. It is compulsory for all new first-year students to satisfactorily complete the Academic orientation (UPO 102) and to take Academic information management modules (AIM 111 and AIM 121) and Language and study skills (LST 110). Please see curricula for details.
  2. Students who intend to apply for admission to MBChB or BChD in the second semester, when places become available in those programmes, may be permitted to register for up to 80 module credits and 4 core modules in the first semester during the first year provided that they obtained a final mark of no less than 70% for Grade 12 Mathematics and achieved an APS of 34 or more in the NSC.

Transitional measures

Please note that changes were approved to the curriculum and is applicable as from 2022 for all students who registered for this programme from 2021 onwards. The following transitional measures need to be taken into consideration:

  • Students who registered for the first time in 2021 will switch to the revised programme in 2022.
  • Students who registered for the first time in 2021 and fail some core modules, will have to repeat the corresponding core modules of the new curriculum in 2022.
  • Students who registered for the first time prior to 2021, will complete that existing curriculum. The modules WKD 351 and WKD 366 will be discontinued once all these students have graduated.

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

Minimum credits: 136

Fundamental  = 14
Core               =  90
Elective          =  32

Additional information:
Students are advised to choose elective modules based on the requirements for a second major of interest. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that all prerequisites are taken into account. Electives must be chosen according to the combinations below with a view to pursuing specialisation in the relevant field. Students continue with the electives pertaining to the specific second major chosen, through to the second and third years of study.

  • Applied mathematics as second major: WST 111, WTW 123, WTW 162 (32 credits)
  • Geography and environmental science as second major: GGY 156, GGY 166, ENV 101 and one of [ZEN 161, WTW 123] (32 credits)
  • Geoinformatics as second major: INF 154, INF 112, INF 164, WTW 123 (38 credits)
  • Statistics as second major: STK 110, STC 122, WTW 123 (34 credits)
  • Zoology as second major: ZEN 161, BOT 161, MLB 111 (32 credits)

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:

    History, present and future of cartography. Introductory geodesy: shape of the earth, graticule and grids, datum definition, elementary map projection theory, spherical calculations. Representation of geographical data on maps: Cartographic design, cartographic abstraction, levels of measurement and visual variables. Semiotics for cartography: signs, sign systems, map semantics and syntactics, explicit and implicit meaning of maps (map pragmatics). Critique maps of indicators to measure United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in South Africa.

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  • Module content:

    SI-units. Significant figures. Waves: intensity, superposition, interference, standing waves, resonance, beats, Doppler. Geometrical optics: Reflection, refraction, mirrors, thin lenses, instruments. Physical optics: Young-interference, coherence, diffraction, polarisation. Hydrostatics and dynamics: density, pressure, Archimedes’ principle, continuity, Bernoulli. Heat: temperature, specific heat, expansion, heat transfer. Vectors. Kinematics of a point: Relative, projectile, and circular motion. Dynamics: Newton’s laws, friction. Work: point masses, gasses (ideal gas law), gravitation, spring, power. Kinetic energy: Conservative forces, gravitation, spring. Conservation of energy. Conservation of momentum. Impulse and collisions. System of particles: Centre of mass, Newton’s laws. Rotation: torque, conservation of angular momentum, equilibrium, centre of gravity.

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  • Module content:

    Introduction to weather and climate. Climate of South Africa. Urban and rural climate. Meteorological instruments. Motion of the earth. Atmospheric mass and pressure. Energy and heat budget. Moisture in the atmosphere. Cloud development. Climate change. ENSO. Electromagnetic spectrum and remote sensing in meteorology. Synoptic weather systems of South Africa.

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  • Module content:

    *This module serves as preparation for students majoring in Mathematics (including all students who intend to enrol for WTW 218 and WTW 220). Students will not be credited for more than one of the following modules for their degree: WTW 114, WTW 158, WTW 134, WTW 165.
    Functions, limits and continuity. Differential calculus of single variable functions, rate of change, graph sketching, applications. The mean value theorem, the rule of L'Hospital. Definite and indefinite integrals, evaluating definite integrals using anti-derivatives, the substitution rule.

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  • Module content:

    *Students will not be credited for more than one of the following modules for their degree:
    WTW 124, WTW 146, WTW 148 and WTW 164. This module serves as preparation for students majoring in Mathematics (including all students who intend to enrol for WTW 218, WTW 211 and WTW 220).

    The vector space Rn, vector algebra with applications to lines and planes, matrix algebra, systems of linear equations, determinants. Complex numbers and factorisation of polynomials. Integration techniques and applications of integration. The formal definition of a limit. The fundamental theorem of Calculus and applications. Vector functions and quadratic curves. 

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Elective modules

  • Module content:

    Botanical principles of structure and function; diversity of plants; introductory plant systematics and evolution; role of plants in agriculture and food security; principles and applications of plant biotechnology; economical and valuable medicinal products derived from plants; basic principles of plant ecology and their application in conservation and biodiversity management.
    This content aligns with the United Nation's Sustainable Debelopment Goals of No Poverty, Good Health and Well-being, Climate Action, Responsible Consumption and Production, and Life on Land.

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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:

    Introducing the basic concepts and interrelationships required to understand the complexity of natural environmental problems, covering an introduction to environmental science and biogeography; including a first introduction to SDGs and Aichi targets.

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  • Module content:

    This module begins by fostering an understanding of human geography. Then follows with the political ordering of space; cultural diversity as well as ethnic geography globally and locally; population geography of the world and South Africa: and four economic levels of development. The purpose is to place South Africa in a world setting and to understand the future of the country.

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  • Module content:

    Note: Students cannot register for both GGY 166 and GGY 168.

    Investigating southern African landscapes and placing them in a theoretical and global context. The geomorphological evolution of southern Africa. Introduction to the concepts of Geomorphology and its relationships with other physical sciences (e.g. meteorology, climatology, geology, hydrology and biology). The processes and controls of landform and landscape evolution. Tutorial exercises cover basic techniques of geomorphological analysis, and topical issues in Geomorphology.

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  • Module content:

    Solar system; structure of solid matter; minerals and rocks; introduction to symmetry and crystallography; important minerals and solid solutions; rock cycle; classification of rocks. External geological processes (gravity, water, wind, sea, ice) and their products (including geomorphology). Internal structure of the earth. The dynamic earth – volcanism, earthquakes, mountain building – the theory of plate tectonics. Geological processes (magmatism, metamorphism, sedimentology, structural geology) in a plate tectonic context. Geological maps and mineral and rock specimens. Interaction between man and the environment, and nature of anthropogenic climate change.

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  • Module content:

    This module will give an overview of earth history, from the Archaean to the present. Important concepts such as the principles of stratigraphy and stratigraphic nomenclature, geological dating and international and South African time scales will be introduced. A brief introduction to the principles of palaeontology will be given, along with short descriptions of major fossil groups, fossil forms, ecology and geological meaning. In the South African context, the major stratigraphic units, intrusions and tectonic/metamorphic events will be detailed, along with related rock types, fossil contents, genesis and economic commodities. Anthropogenic effects on the environment and their mitigation. Practical work will focus on the interpretation of geological maps and profiles.

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  • Module content:

    Introduction to information systems, information systems in organisations, hardware: input, processing, output, software: systems and application software, organisation of data and information, telecommunications and networks, the Internet and Intranet. Transaction processing systems, management information systems, decision support systems, information systems in business and society, systems analysis, systems design, implementation, maintenance and revision.

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  • Module content:

    Introduction to programming.

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  • Module content:

    Programming.

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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:

    Simple harmonic motion and pendulums. Coulomb’s law. Electric field: dipoles, Gauss’ law.Electric potential. Capacitance. Electric currents: resistance, resistivity, Ohm’s law, energy, power, emf, RC-circuits. Magnetic Field: Hall-effect, Bio-Savart. Faraday’s and Lenz’s laws. Oscillations: LR-circuits. Alternating current: RLC-circuits, power, transformers. Introductory concepts to modern physics. Nuclear physics: Radioactivity.

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  • Module content:

    Students from all faculties are welcome to join us in our exploration of the universe from an earth-bound perspective. We reflect on the whole universe from the sub microscopic to the vast macroscopic and mankind’s modest position therein. To what degree is our happiness determined by stars? Echoes from ancient firmaments - the astronomy of old civilisations. The universe is born with a bang. Stars, milky ways and planets are formed. Life is breathed into the landscape on earth, but is there life elsewhere? The architecture of the universe – distance measurements, structure of our solar system and systems of stars. How does it look like on neighbouring planets? Comets and meteorites. Life cycles of stars. Spectacular exploding stars! Exotica like pulsars and black holes.

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  • Module content:

    Inferential concepts. Experimental and observational data. Measures of association, uncertainty and goodness of fit. Sampling error and accuracy of estimation. Introduction to linear regression, reduction of variation due to regression. Conditional distributions of residuals.  Simulation based inference: conditional means and prediction intervals. Bivariate data visualisation. Supporting mathematical concepts. Statistical concepts are demonstrated and interpreted through practical coding and simulation within a data science framework.
    This module is also presented as a summer school for students who initially elected and passed STK 120 with a final mark of at least 60% and then decides to further their studies in statistics as well as for students who achieved a final mark of between 40% - 49% in STC 122 during semester 2.

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  • Module content:

    Descriptive statistics:
    Sampling and the collection of data; frequency distributions and graphical representations. Descriptive measures of location and dispersion.
    Probability and inference:
    Introductory probability theory and theoretical distributions. Sampling distributions. Estimation theory and hypothesis testing of sampling averages and proportions (one and two-sample cases). Supporting mathematical concepts. Statistical concepts are demonstrated and interpreted through practical coding and simulation within a data science framework.

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  • Module content:

    Characterisation of a set of measurements: Graphical and numerical methods. Random sampling. Probability theory. Discrete and continuous random variables. Probability distributions. Generating functions and moments.

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  • Module content:

    Sampling distributions and the central limit theorem. Statistical inference: Point and interval estimation. Hypothesis testing with applications in one and two-sample cases. Introductory methods for: Linear regression and correlation, analysis of variance, categorical data analysis and non-parametric statistics.  Identification, use, evaluation and interpretation of statistical computer packages and statistical techniques.

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  • Module content:

    Non-linear equations, numerical integration, initial value problems for differential equations, systems of linear equations. Algorithms for elementary numerical techniques are derived and implemented in computer programmes. Error estimates and convergence results are treated.

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  • Module content:

    *Students will not be credited for more than one of the following modules for their degree: WTW 162 and WTW 264.

    Introduction to the modelling of dynamical processes using elementary differential equations. Solution methods for first order differential equations and analysis of properties of solutions (graphs). Applications to real life situations.

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  • Module content:

    Animal classification, phylogeny organisation 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 in various animal phyla. In-class discussion will address the sustainable development goals #3, 12, 13, 14 and 15 (Good Health and Well-being. Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action, Life Below Water, Life on Land).

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Minimum credits: 124

Core          =  64
Elective     =   60

Additional information:
Students must continue with electives pertaining to the second major chosen in the first year of study.

  • Applied mathematics as second major: WTW 218, WTW 286, WTW 248, WTW 211, WTW 220 (60 credits)
  • Geography and environmental science as second major: GGY 201, GGY 252, GGY 283, GIS 220, GMA 220 (68 credits)
  • Geoinformatics as second major: GMA 220, GGY 283, GIS 220, INF 214, INF 225, INF 261 (77 credits)
  • Statistics as second major: STK 210, STK 220, WST 212 and one of [GGY 283, GMA 220, GIS 220] (66 credits)
  • Zoology as second major: ZEN 251, ZEN 261, GGY 283, GMA 220 and choose one of [BOT 251, PLG 251, PPK 251, WTW 218, WTW 264, WTW 286] (64 or 67 credits).

Core modules

  • Module content:

    Introduces basic concepts and interrelationships required to understand our atmosphere, with a strong focus on an introduction to weather and climate. A key component of the course is an introduction to climate change, including the science of climate change, introducing climate change projections, and climate change impacts. A key focus of the second part of the course will be climate change implications for the attainment of SDGs and Aichi targets on the African continent, under a range of plausible scenarios.

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  • Module content:

    Meteorological data acquisition. Manipulation of multidimensional meteorological data sets. Spatial representation and interpretation of weather data. Application and interpretation of dynamic equations.

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  • Module content:

    Basic thermodynamic laws for dry and humid air. The equation of state. Adiabatic processes and temperature lapse rates. The Clausius-Clapeyron equation. Cloud microphysics. The physical basis of climate change.

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  • Module content:

    Mathematical methods for meteorology, second law of motion in spherical coordinates. Acceleration in rotating co-ordinates, fundamental forces, momentum equation. Three dimensional flow balance, conservation of mass, heat equation, thermodynamic energy equation. Introduction to finite difference methods. Numerical estimation of the geostrophic wind, vorticity and divergence. Advection of temperature. Development of a two-dimensional temperature advection model.

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  • Module content:

    Display formats of remote sensed data, projections and color schemes. Active and passive sensing systems, quantitative and qualitative data, atmospheric and surface data observation. Characteristics of geostationary and low-earth orbiting satellites. Common channels available from meteorological satellite sensors, combination of channels and RGB images. Observation of synoptic and mesoscale weather systems, natural hazards and clouds.

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Elective modules

  • Module content:

    Origin and affinity of South African flora and vegetation types; principles of plant geography; plant diversity in southern Africa; characteristics, environments and vegetation of South African biomes and associated key ecological processes; centra of plant endemism; rare and threatened plant species; biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management; invasion biology; conservation status of South African vegetation types.

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  • Module content:

    The module introduces students to urban settlement patterns, processes and structures. Using a series of case studies, it aims to develop an understanding of the challenges facing urban areas both in South Africa and globally.

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  • Module content:

    Physical processes that influence the earth’s surface and management. Specific processes and their interaction in themes such as weathering; soil erosion; slope, mass movement and periglacial processes. Practical laboratory exercises and assignments are based on the themes covered in the module theory component.

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  • Module content:

    Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS), theoretical concepts and applications of GIS. The focus will be on the GIS process of data input, data analysis, data output and associated technologies. This module provides the foundations for more advanced GIS and Geoinformatics topics. Practical assessments and a mini-project make use of South African and African examples and foster learning and application of concepts aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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  • Module content:

    The nature of geographical data and measurement.Application of statistics in the geographical domain. Probability, probability distributions and densities, expected values and variances, Central Limit theorem. Sampling techniques. Exploratory data analysis, descriptive statistics, statistical estimation, hypothesis testing, correlation analysis and regression analysis. Examples used throughout the course are drawn from South African and African case studies and taught within the framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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  • Module content:

    Origin and development of soil, weathering and soil formation processes. Profile differentiation and morphology. Physical characteristics: texture, structure, soil water, atmosphere and temperature. Chemical characteristics: clay minerals, ion exchange, pH, buffer action, soil acidification and salinisation of soil. Soil fertility and fertilisation. Soil classification. Practical work: Laboratory evaluation of simple soil characteristics. Field practicals on soil formation in the Pretoria area.

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  • Module content:

    This module aims to provide students with a working knowledge and skills to learn methods and techniques for collecting, processing and analysing remotely sensed data. Throughout the module, emphasis will be placed on image processing, image analysis, image classification, remote sensing and applications of remote sensing in geographical analysis and environmental monitoring. The module is composed of lectures, readings, practical exercises research tasks and a project or assignments of at least 64 notional hours. In particular, the practical exercises and research tasks incorporate South African examples using satellite remotely-sensed data, as well as field spectral data measurements, to promote understanding of the state of land cover and land use types (e.g. spanning agricultural resources, water resources, urbanization) and how changes over time could impact on the changing climate in accordance with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

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  • Module content:

    Database design: the relational model, structured query language (SQL), entity relationship modelling, normalisation, database development life cycle; practical introduction to database design. Databases: advanced entity relationship modelling and normalisation, object-oriented databases, database development life cycle, advanced practical database design.

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  • Module content:

    An overview of systems infrastructure and integration.

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  • Module content:

    Database management: transaction management, concurrent processes, recovery, database administration: new developments: distributed databases, client-server databases: practical implementation of databases.

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  • Module content:

    Vibrating systems and waves (14 lectures)
    Simple harmonic motion (SHM). Superposition (different frequencies, equal frequencies). Perpendicular vibrations (Lissajous figures). Damped SHM. Forced oscillations. Resonance. Q-value. Transverse wave motion. Plane wave solution using method of separation of variables. Reflection and transmission at a boundary. Normal and eigenmodes. Wave packets. Group velocity.
    Modern physics (30 lectures)
    Special relativity: Galilean and Lorentz transformations. Postulates. Momentum and energy. 4 vectors and tensors. General relativity. Quantum physics. Failure of classical physics. Bohr model. Particle-wave duality. Schrödinger equation. Piece-wise constant potentials. Tunneling. X-rays. Laser. Nuclear physics: Fission. Fusion. Radioactivity.
    Heat and thermodynamics (12 lectures)
    Heat. First Law. Kinetic theory of gases. Mean free path. Ideal, Clausius, Van der Waals and virial gases. Entropy. Second Law. Engines and refrigerators. Third Law. Thermodynamic potentials: Enthalpy Helmholtz and Gibbs free energies, Chemical potential. Legendre transformations (Maxwell relations). Phase equilibrium. Gibbs phase rule.
    Modelling and simulation (7 practical sessions)
    Introduction to programming in a high level system: Concept of an algorithm and the basic logic of a computer programme. Symbolic manipulations, graphics, numerical computations. Applications: Selected illustrative examples.
    Error Analysis (7 practical sessions)
    Experimental uncertainties. Propagation of uncertainties. Statistical analysis of random uncertainties. Normal distribution. Rejection of data. Least-squares fitting. Covariance and correlation.

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  • Module content:

    Classical mechanics (28 lectures)
    Fundamental concepts, energy and angular momentum, calculus of variations and Lagrangian mechanics, conservative central forces and two body problems, scattering, mechanics in rotating reference frames, many body systems.
    Physical Optics (14 lectures)
    Maxwell’s equations, wave equation and plane wave solution, coherence, interference,
    diffraction, polarisation.
    Physics of Materials (14 lectures)
    Classification of materials. Atomic bonding. Crystallography. Defects. Material strength.
    Phase diagram's, Ceramics. Polymers. Composites. Fracture. Electrical and
    magnetic properties. Semiconductors. Smart materials Nanotechnology.
    Experiments (14 sessions)

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  • Module content:

    Development and importance of crop protection. Basic principles in crop protection i.e. epidemic development of disease and insect pest populations, ecology of plant diseases and abiotic factors that affect plant health i.e. environmental pollution and pesticides, nutrient deficiencies and extreme environmental conditions. Ecological aspects of plant diseases, pest outbreaks and weed invasion. Important agricultural pests and weeds, globally as well as in African context. Life cycles of typical disease causing organisms. Basic principles of integrated pest and disease management. The importance of crop protection in the context of sustainable development will be highlighted.

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  • Module content:

    Influence of climate on cropping systems in South Africa. The surface energy balance. Hydrological cycles and the soil water balance. Sustainable crop production. Simple radiation and water limited models. Potential yield, target yield and maximum economic yield. Crop nutrition and fertiliser management. Principles of soil cultivation and conservation. Climate change and crop production – mitigation and adaptation.

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  • Module content:

    Statistical problem solving. Causality, experimental and observational data. Probability theory. Multivariate random variables. Discrete and continuous probability distributions. Stochastic representations. Measures of association. Expected values and conditional expectation. Simulation techniques. Supporting mathematical concepts. Statistical concepts are demonstrated and interpreted through practical coding and simulation within a data science framework.

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  • Module content:

    Multivariate probability distributions. Sampling distributions and the central limit theorem. Frequentist and Bayesian inference. Statistical learning and decision theory. Simulation techniques enhancing statistical thinking. Supervised learning:  linear regression, estimation and inference. Non-parametric modelling. Supporting mathematical concepts. Statistical algorithms. Statistical concepts are demonstrated and interpreted through practical coding and simulation within a data science framework.

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  • Module content:

    Adjustment and use of following instruments: Plane table, level, compass and theodolite. Elementary site surveying and leveling, tachometry. Definition of survey. Co-ordinate systems and bearing. Connections and polars. Methods of determining points. Elevation. Tachometry.

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  • Module content:

    Set theory. Probability measure functions. Random variables. Distribution functions. Probability mass functions. Density functions. Expected values. Moments. Moment generating functions. Special probability distributions: Bernoulli, binomial, hypergeometric, geometric, negative binomial, Poisson, Poisson process, discrete uniform, uniform, gamma,exponential, Weibull, Pareto, normal. Joint distributions: Multinomial, extended hypergeometric, joint continuous distributions. Marginal distributions. Independent random variables. Conditional distributions. Covariance, correlation. Conditional expected values. Transformation of random variables: Convolution formula. Order statistics. Stochastic convergence: Convergence in distribution. Central limit theorem. Practical applications. Practical statistical modelling and analysis using statistical computer packages and the interpretation of the output.

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  • Module content:

    Introductory machine learning concepts. Data base design and use. Data preparation and extraction. Statistical modelling using data base structures. Statistical concepts are demonstrated and interpreted through practical coding and simulation within a data science framework.

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  • Module content:

    Stochastic convergence: Asymptotic normal distributions, convergence in probability. Statistics and sampling distributions: Chi-squared distribution. Distribution of the sample mean and sample variance for random samples from a normal population. T-distribution. F-distribution. Beta distribution. Point estimation: Method of moments. Maximum likelihood estimation. Unbiased estimators. Uniform minimum variance unbiased estimators. Cramer-Rao inequality. Efficiency. Consistency. Asymptotic relative efficiency.
    Bayes estimators. Sufficient statistics. Completeness. The exponential class. Confidence intervals. Test of statistical hypotheses. Reliability and survival distributions. Practical applications. Practical statistical modelling and analysis using statistical computer packages and the interpretation of the output.

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  • Module content:

    This is an introduction to linear algebra on Rn. Matrices and linear equations, linear combinations and spans, linear independence, subspaces, basis and dimension, eigenvalues, eigenvectors, similarity and diagonalisation of matrices, linear transformations.

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  • Module content:

    Calculus of multivariable functions, directional derivatives. Extrema and Lagrange multipliers. Multiple integrals, polar, cylindrical and spherical coordinates.

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  • Module content:

    *This module is recommended as an elective only for students who intend to enrol for WTW 310 and/or WTW 320. Students will not be credited for more than one of the following modules for their degree: WTW 220 and WTW 224.

    Properties of real numbers. Analysis of sequences and series of real numbers. Power series and theorems of convergence. The Bolzano-Weierstrass theorem. The intermediate value theorem and analysis of real-valued functions on an interval. The Riemann integral: Existence and properties of the interval.

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  • Module content:

    Vectors and geometry. Calculus of vector functions with applications to differential geometry, kinematics and dynamics. Vector analysis, including vector fields, line integrals of scalar and vector fields, conservative vector fields, surfaces and surface integrals, the Theorems of Green, Gauss and Stokes with applications.

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  • Module content:

    *Students will not be credited for both WTW 162 and WTW 264 or both WTW 264 and WTW 286 for their degree.


    Theory and solution methods for ordinary differential equations and initial value problems: separable and linear first order equations, linear equations of higher order, systems of linear equations. Laplace transform.

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  • Module content:

    *Students will not be credited for more than one of the modules for their degree: WTW 264, WTW 286
    Theory and solution methods for ordinary differential equations and initial value problems: separable and linear first-order equations, linear equations of higher order, systems of linear equations. Application to mathematical models.  Numerical methods applied to nonlinear systems.Qualitative analysis of linear systems.

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  • Module content:

    Origin and extent of modern invertebrate diversity; parasites of man and domestic animals; biology and medical importance of arachnids and insects; insect life styles; the influence of the environment on insect life histories; insect herbivory; predation and parasitism; insect chemical, visual, and auditory communication. Examples used in the module are relevant to the sustainable development goals of Life on Land and Good Health and Well-being.

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  • Module content:

    Introduction to general vertebrate diversity; African vertebrate diversity; vertebrate structure and function; vertebrate evolution; vertebrate relationships; aquatic vertebrates; terrestrial ectotherms; terrestrial endotherms; vertebrate characteristics; classification; structural adaptations; habits; habitats; conservation problems; impact of humans on other vertebrates. The module addresses the sustainable development goals of Life below Water and Life on Land.

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Minimum credits: 144

Core          =  72
Elective     =   72

Additional information:
Students must continue with electives pertaining to the second major chosen in the previous years of study.

  • Applied mathematics as second major: WTW 382, WTW 383, WTW 386 and WTW 387 (72 credits)
  • Geography and environmental science as second major: ENV 301, GGY 301, GGY 361 and GIS 310 (76 credits).
  • Geoinformatics as second major: GMA 320, GIS 310, GIS 311, GMC 310 (88 credits). Students who are accepted for BScHons Geoinformatics will have to complete GIS 320 in addition to the other honours modules.
  • Statistics as second major: STK 310, STK 320 and STK 353 (75 credits)
  • Zoology as second major: ZEN 351, ZEN 352, ZEN 353, ZEN 354 (72 credits)

Core modules

  • Module content:

    Mean state, major patterns of atmospheric variability in the mid-latitudes and polar regions. Air masses. Synoptic scale cold, warm, occluded and quasistationary fronts, frontogenesis. Mid-latitude depressions, Norwegian cyclone model, conveyor belts. Basic cyclone model, Shapiro-Keyser model hybrid models, cyclogenesis. Polar weather systems; katabatic winds, barrier winds, cold-air damming, polar lows. Jet stream and jet streaks. Extreme weather and impacts. Conceptual models.

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  • Module content:

    Mean state, major patterns of atmospheric variability in the tropics. Tropical weather systems and their temporal variability, inter tropical convergence zone, tropical waves, trade inversions, trade winds, tropical and sub-tropical jet streams, cloud clusters, tropical depressions, Africánes, sub-tropical ridges, upper-level anticyclones. Tropical cyclones and warnings. Analysis techniques. Tropical waves, Kelvin waves, equatorial Rossby waves and Madden Julian Oscillation. Physical and dynamical process in monsoon circulation. Hazardous weather. Conceptual models and case studies.

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  • Module content:

    Scale analyses and simplification of the basic equations. The geostrophic, thermal and gradient wind. The vorticity equation and divergence. Potential vorticity. Vertical motion and surface pressure tendency. Vorticity in barotropic fluids. Vorticity and divergence fields in a present and future climate

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  • Module content:

    Tendency and Omega equations. Model of a boroclinic system. Introduction to numerical models. Application in meteorological display and analysis software.Ascending and subsiding motion in a present and future climate.

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Elective modules

  • Module content:

    The module serves as an introduction to human-environment relations, on contemporary environmental issues in Africa. 
    The module begins with different theories and schools of thought in human-environment relations, followed by recent and future impacts of human pressures on natural resources, the state of the environment in South Africa, management of critical resources, population trends, biodiversity loss, pollution, water scarcity, desertification, climate change, waste accumulation and management, environmental management tools, environmental education and environmental management legislation. A key focus here is future scenarios for the African continent in terms of SDGs and Aichi targets; given current and projected driving forces.

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  • Module content:

    Classic economic development theories and frameworks. Spatial development history and legacy in South Africa. Rural and agricultural reconstruction. Land reform. Urban development and strategy. Urban spatial reconstruction. National spatial development frameworks. Integration of environmental, economic, and social components of sustainable development, including challenges, actors and actions in sustainable development.

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  • Module content:

    *Note: The module is available for BSc (Geography) and BSc (Environmental Sciences) students only. The theory content of this module is the same as GGY 363 and students are not allowed to earn credits for both GGY 361 and GGY 363.


    Interactions of geomorphic processes within the physical and built environments; themes such as geomorphology and environmental change, slope processes and the environment, geomorphic risks and hazards, soil erosion and conservation, geomorphology in environmental management, applied weathering. Practicals involve fieldwork including sampling and mapping and subsequent laboratory analysis.

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  • Module content:

    Advanced theory and practice of Geographic Information Systems; GIS applications; design and implementation of GIS applications. A project or assignments of at least 64 notional hours. Diverse South African examples will be used to expose the students to various data sources, geospatial analyses, and data representation to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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  • Module content:

    Advanced geoinformatics topics in geovisualisation and geocomputation. A project or assignments of at least 64 notional hours. The topics will be discussed using various local and international examples with the project focusing on at least one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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  • Module content:

    The more exact chemistry of soils systematically explained by understanding the particular chemical principles. Charge origin. Chemical equilibriums. Manifestations of sorption. Ion exchange. Acidic soils, saline soils and the organic fraction of soil. The chemistry of the important plant nutrient elements P, K and N is explained.

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  • Module content:

    This module aims to provide students with a working knowledge and skills to learn methods and techniques for collecting, processing and analysing remotely sensed data. Throughout the module, emphasis will be placed on image processing, image analysis, image classification, remote sensing and applications of remote sensing in geographical analysis and environmental monitoring. The module is composed of lectures, readings, practical exercises research tasks and a project or assignments of at least 64 notional hours. In particular, the practical exercises and research tasks incorporate South African examples using satellite remotely-sensed data, as well as field spectral data measurements, to promote understanding of the state of land cover and land use types (e.g. spanning agricultural resources, water resources, urbanization) and how changes over time could impact on the changing climate in accordance with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

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  • Module content:

    Spherical trigonometry. Geometrical Geodesy: Datum surfaces and coordinate systems in Geodesy, Calculations on the ellipsoid, Datum transformations. Map projections: Projection principles, distortion determination, construction of conformal, equivalent and equidistant projections, the Transverse Mercator projection and UTM projection of an ellipsoidal earth, projection transformations. Space Geodesy: Time systems, Celestial and observer coordinate systems, Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), Satellite orbits and orbital parameters, 3¬ D positioning. A project or assignments of at least 64 notional hours. Examples using data from South Africa are implemented.

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  • Module content:

    Electronics (14 lectures)
    Thévenin and Norton equivalent circuits, superposition principle, RC, LC and LRC circuits. Semiconductor diode. Bipolar transistor. Operational amplifiers. Computer controlled instrumentation.
    Electromagnetism (21 lectures)
    Electrostatics: Coulomb’s law, divergence and curl of E, Gauss’ law, Laplace’s equation, image charge problems, multipole expansion.
    Magnetostatics: Lorenz force, Biot-Savart law, divergence and curl of magnetic field strength, Ampère’s law, magnetic vector potential, multipole expansion, boundary conditions.
    Electrodynamics: Electromotive force, electromagnetic induction, Maxwell’s equations, wave equation.
    Electric and magnetic fields in matter: Polarisation, electric displacement and Gauss’s law in dielectrics, linear dielectrics. Magnetisation (diamagnets, paramagnets, ferromagnets), auxiliary field H and Ampère’s law in magnetised materials, linear and nonlinear media.
    Quantum mechanics (28 lectures)
    The Schrödinger equation, the statistical interpretation of the wave function, momentum, the uncertainty principle, the time-independent Schrödinger equation, stationary states, the infinite square well potential, the harmonic oscillator, the free particle, the Delta-Function potential, the finite square well potential, Hilbert spaces, observables, eigen functions of a Hermitian operator, Dirac notation, the Schrödinger equation in spherical coordinates, the hydrogen atom, angular momentum spin.

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  • Module content:

    Statistical mechanics (28 lectures)
    Isolated systems in thermodynamical equilibrium. Systems in equilibrium with a heat bath: the canonical ensemble, Gibbs' entropic formula, classical statistical mechanics, energy equipartition theorem, thermodynamic potentials, paramagnetism.
    The classical limit of perfect gases: non-distinguishable character of quantum particles, the equation of state of the classical ideal gas. Quantum perfect gases: Black body radiation, the grand canonical ensemble, Fermi-Dirac distribution, the free electron gas in metals, the Bose-Einstein distribution, Bose-Einstein condensation.
    Solid state physics (28 lectures)
    Crystal structures, the reciprocal lattice, x-ray diffraction, lattice vibration, the Debye model, characteristics of solids, the free electron model, Pauli paramagnetism, electronic heat capacity, the relaxation time, electrical conduction, the classical Hall effect, thermal conduction in metals, failures of the free electron model, the independent electron model, band theory of solids.
    Computational Physics and modelling. Assessment will be done through a portfolio of project reports. The topics for the projects will be selected from various sub-disciplines of Physics.

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  • Module content:

    Supervised learning.  Linear and non-linear regression. Ordinary least squares and maximum likelihood estimation. Violations of the assumptions, residual analysis. Cross validation. Statistical inference. Bootstrap inference. Supporting mathematical concepts. Statistical concepts are demonstrated and interpreted through practical coding and simulation within a data science framework.

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  • Module content:

    Stationary and non-stationary univariate time series. Properties of ARIMA processes. Identification, estimation and diagnostic testing of a time series models. Forecasting. Multivariate time series. Supervised learning: introduction to generalised linear models.  Modelling of binary response variables, logistic regression. Supporting mathematical concepts. Statistical concepts are demonstrated and interpreted through practical coding and simulation within a data science framework.

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  • Module content:

    Data exploration. Data wrangling. Statistical coding. Algorithmic thinking.  Sampling: basic techniques in probability, non-probability, and resampling methods. Text mining and analytics. Machine learning: classification and clustering. Statistical concepts are demonstrated and interpreted through practical coding and simulation within a data science framework.

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  • Module content:

    The influence of biotic and abiotic factors on the productivity of different strata and components of natural pastures. This will enable the student to advise users, with the necessary motivation, on the appropriate use of these strata and components and will form a basis for further research on this system. The principles of veld management s and the influence of management practices on sustainable animal production from natural pastures. This will enable the student to advise users on veld management and veld management principles. It will also form a basis for further research on veld management.

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  • Module content:

    Multivariate statistical distributions: Moments of a distribution, moment generating functions, independence. Multivariate normal distribution: Conditional distributions, partial and multiple correlations. Distribution of quadratic forms in normal variables. Multivariate normal samples: Estimation of the mean vector and covariance matrix, estimation of correlation coefficients, distribution of the sample mean, sample covariance matrix. Principal component analysis.The linear model: Models of full rank, least squares estimators, test of hypotheses.The generalised linear model: Exponential family mean and variance, link functions, deviance and residual analysis, test statistics, log- linear and logit models. Practical applications: Practical statistical modelling and analysis using statistical computer packages and interpretation of the output.

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  • Module content:

    Note: Only one of the modules WST 321 or STK 320 may be included in any study programme. 

    Stationary and non-stationary univariate time-series. Properties of autoregressive moving average (ARMA) and autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) processes. Identification, estimation and diagnostic testing of a time-series model. Forecasting. Multivariate time-series. Practical statistical modelling and analysis using statistical computer packages, including that of social responsibility phenomena.

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  • Module content:

    Matrix exponential function: homogeneous and non-homogeneous linear systems of differential equations. Qualitative analysis of systems: phase portraits, stability, linearisation, energy method and Liapunov's method. Introduction to chaotic systems. Application to real life problems.

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  • Module content:

    Direct methods for the numerical solution of systems of linear equations, pivoting strategies. Iterative methods for solving systems of linear equations and eigenvalue problems. Iterative methods for solving systems of nonlinear equations. Introduction to optimization. Algorithms for the considered numerical methods are derived and implemented in computer programmes. Complexity of computation is investigated. Error estimates and convergence results are proved.

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  • Module content:

    Conservation laws and modelling. Fourier analysis. Heat equation, wave equation and Laplace's equation. Solution methods including Fourier series. Energy and other qualitative methods.

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  • Module content:

    Kinematics of a continuum: Configurations, spatial and material description of motion. Conservation laws. Analysis of stress, strain and rate of deformation. Linear constitutive equations. Applications: Vibration of beams, equilibrium problems in elasticity and special cases of fluid motion.

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  • Module content:

    Scientific approach to ecology; evolution and ecology; the individual and its environment; population characteristics and demography; competition; predation; plant-herbivore interactions; regulation of populations; population manipulation, human population. Examples throughout the module are relevant to the sustainable development goals of Life on Land and Good Health and Well-being.

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  • Module content:

    Mammalian origins and their characteristics: evolution of African mammals; structure and function: integument, support and movement; foods and feeding; environmental adaptations; reproduction; behaviour; ecology and biogeography; social behaviour; sexual selection; parental care and mating systems; community ecology; zoogeography. Special topics: parasites and diseases; domestication and domesticated mammals; conservation. The module addresses the sustainable development goals of Life on Land and Good Health and Well-being.

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  • Module content:

    The scientific approach; characteristics of the community; the community as a superorganism; community changes; competition as a factor determining community structure; disturbance as a determinant of community structure; community stability; macroecological environmental gradients and communities. A field trip will be conducted during the September vacation to the Sani Pass region of the Maloti- Drakensberg Mountains. The module addresses the sustainable development goals Good Health and Well-being, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Climate Action and Life on Land.

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  • Module content:

    This module focuses on the integration of physiological systems in the context of animal form and function, and the ways in which evolution shapes the physiological processes that determine the energy, water and nutrient fluxes between animals and their environments. Topics covered include: (i) circulation, gas exchange and excretion; (ii) nutritional ecology; (iii) osmoregulation and thermoregulation; and (iv) reproductive physiology. The major focus of this module is to understand the major sources of physiological diversity, namely scaling, phylogenetic inertia, adaptation and phenotypic plasticity, and applying this knowledge to conceptually link physiological processes at the cellular level to macrophysiological patterns at a global scale. Many examples used in this module are directly relevant to the sustainable development goals of Good Health and Well-being, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Climate Action and Life on Land.

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The regulations and rules for the degrees published here are subject to change and may be amended after the publication of this information.

The General Academic Regulations (G Regulations) and General Student Rules apply to all faculties and registered students of the University, as well as all prospective students who have accepted an offer of a place at the University of Pretoria. On registering for a programme, the student bears the responsibility of ensuring that they familiarise themselves with the General Academic Regulations applicable to their registration, as well as the relevant faculty-specific and programme-specific regulations and information as stipulated in the relevant yearbook. Ignorance concerning these regulations will not be accepted as an excuse for any transgression, or basis for an exception to any of the aforementioned regulations.

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