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BOTANY HONOURS

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The Honours programme in Botany allows the learner to specialize in particular areas of study, according to preference.  The learner selects two options from the study areas listed below (BOT 501 - BOT 505), as their Major and Minor options. In addition, the student must complete three compulsory modules (BOT 506, 507 and 508). Prerequisites for Botany Honors are BOT 311 and BOT 321. A passmark of 50% in all five modules (two electives and three compulsory) must be achieved for the Hons degree.

 

ELECTIVES

 

BOT 501:         Plant Anatomy

 

Purpose:            Through self-directed reading, students will acquire reading and writing skills as well as advanced knowledge of the subject area.

Contents:            Under the guidance of the supervisor, 6 topics will be selected for research and synthesis in the form of referenced essays.

Instruction:          Self-directed reading and essay writing for the selected topics, and tutorials and individual discussion of selected topics with supervisor.

Credit value:       25

Assessment:        Learners will provide, by way of a 3-hour theory examination, essays that reflect ability to synthesize information from a variety of sources and show development of logical argument. The exam will be accessed by an external examiner in addition to the internal supervisor.

Prerequisites:     BOT 311 and BOT 321

 

 

BOT 502:         Plant Ecology

 

Purpose:            Through self-directed reading, students will acquire reading and writing skills as well as advanced knowledge of the subject area.

Contents:            Under the guidance of the supervisor, 6 topics will be selected for research and synthesis in the form of referenced essays.

Instruction:          Self-directed reading and essay writing for the selected topics, and tutorials and individual discussion of selected topics with supervisor.

Credit value:       25

Assessment:        Learners will provide, by way of a 3-hour theory examination, essays that reflect ability to synthesize information from a variety of sources and show development of logical argument. The exam will be accessed by an external examiner in addition to the internal supervisor.

Prerequisites:     BOT 311 and BOT 321

 

 

BOT 503:          Botany Honours - Plant Physiology

Purpose:             Students will be required to plan, execute and write-up a research project dealing with a topic of interest, selected with the assistance of their supervisor. 

Contents:            The students will select a project topic in conjunction with a supervisor.

Instruction:          Teaching of research skills through supervision of directed research project.

Credit value:       25

Assessment:        Learners will be assessed (both internally and externally) on the basis of their written project report and in form of a written 3-hour examination. Students will need to demonstrate ability to make use data collection methods, data analysis and display and the discussion of results obtained.

Prerequisites:     BOT 311 and BOT 321

 

 

BOT 504:         Botany Honours - Plant Systematics

 

Purpose:             The module has four main objectives:

i)         to expand on the basic systematic principles learnt in the Bot 321 course;

ii)       to apply these principles in the context of modern taxonomic revisions;

iii)      to show how systematic principles are important to contemporary botanical and environmental issues from a world perspective;

iv)      to teach students to conduct independent research on systematic/ taxonomic problems.

Contents:            1. Theory: The learner will be required to independently research the following topics, and write essays to be presented weekly at a discussion group:

a)       Linnaeus - encyclopaedist and teacher;

b)       The concept of a species;

c)       Continental drift and land-bridges - the explanation of inter-continental plant distributions;

d)       Origin of the Cape Flora;

e)       Weighting in Numerical Taxonomy;

f)         An appraisal of the modern systems of Angiosperm classification;

g)       Chemotaxonomy - a tool for modern Biosystematists and Phytomedicine.

                     In addition, learners electing Systematics as the Major option, are expected to acquire a reasonable knowledge (in theory and practical) of a single large family of the flowering plants (eg Orchidaceae).

               2.  Practical: Learners will be taught all aspects of plant identification using keys, the herbarium and other means, as well as the practical implications of the revision of a genus.  A visit to a major herbarium in the region will be undertaken to illustrate the practical running and operation of such a facility.

    3.  Project:     Each student will be required to collect, identify and preserve a number of plants of a chosen family, according to the learner's interest.

Instruction:          Independent research (under guidance), essays and discussions and practicals, Critically analyze and interpret the results obtained and submit a comprehensive write-up of the practical work and herbarium visit.

Credit value:       25

Assessment:        At least two seminars from the above essay topics are to be presented as seminars, and evaluated by staff of the department. In addition, the course will be examined (internally and externally) by a formal 3-hour examination paper, as well as by continuous assessment of tasks, assignments, practicals and projects

Prerequisites:     BOT 311 and BOT 321

BOT 505:         Botany Honours - Horticultural Sciences

Purpose:             Students will be required to plan, execute and write-up a mini-research project dealing with a chosen horticultural topic .

Contents:            The student will select a project topic in conjunction with a supervisor.

Instruction:          Teaching of research skills through supervision of directed research project.

Credit value:       25

Assessment:        Learners will be assessed on the basis of their written project report and by a written 3-hour exasmination which will be accessed internally and externally. Students will need to demonstrate ability to make use data collection methods.

Prerequisites:     BOT 311 and BOT 321

 

 

COMPULSORY MODULES

 

BOT 506:         General Botany

Purpose:             To broaden the student's view and encourage scientific thinking and analysis of information.

Contents:            Essays on varied aspects of botanical and scientific issues in general.

Instruction:          Discussions and the use of library and internet material.

Credit value:       26 credits

Assessment:        The course will be examined by a formal 3-hour examination paper (accessed internally and externally), as well as by continuous assessment of tasks, assignments, and essays.

Prerequisites:     BOT 311 and BOT 321

 

 

BOT 507:         Module work

 

Purpose:             To train the learner to access and analyze information on various topics.

Contents:            Essays on varied aspects of botanical and scientific issues in general.

Instruction:          Discussions and the use of library and internet material.

Credit value:       26 credits

Assessment:        5 seminars must be presented, as well as a seminar and written project on the topic of choice for the Minor option.  

Prerequisites:     BOT 311 and BOT 321

 

 

BOT 508:         Major Project dissertation

 

Purpose:             To train the learner in research methodology and scientific thinking and analysis. On completion of this module, the student should be capable of independent research, and have the ability to write up and submit a research paper for publication.

Contents:            The learner will select a topic of research as the Major option.

Instruction:          Under supervision, the learner will conduct research on the selected topic, and prepare the results for publication.

Credit value:       26 credits

Assessment:        The project will be submitted in typed form as a short dissertation, and will be accesses by an external examiner appointed by the programme unit, as well as by the internal supervisor.

Prerequisites:     BOT 311 and BOT 321