Horticultural Sciences
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Undergraduate Programme for Horticulture

BScAgric (with Horticulture as major)

To obtain a degree in horticulture, you will follow the Crop Production stream of the BScAgric (Plant & Soil Sciences) program consisting of two majors, namely Horticulture combined with one of the following: Entomology, Plant Pathology, Genetics or Agricultural Economics. To combine Horticulture with Soil Science as a second major you would follow the Soil and Water Management field of study.

Admission Requi​​re​​ments:

  • Basic admission requirements for university study:
  • A National Senior Certificate (NSC) or Independent Examinations Board (IEB) school-leaving certificate as certified by Umalusi with admission to bachelor's degree studies.
  • A university exemption certificate issued by the South African Matriculation Board to students with other school qualifications.
  • The minimum academic requirement for a bachelor's degree is:
  • 30% for a South African Language of Learning and Teaching (English or Afrikaans) and
  • An achievement rating of 4 (50% - 59%) in four 20-credit subjects
  • Only School of Tomorrow applicants have to write the National Benchmark Tests (NBTs) if applying for a programme in AgriSciences.​
  • Faculty requirements for BScAgric Plant and Soil Sciences with Plant Pathology as a major
  • An aver​age of at least 60% in the NSC, IEB or relevant final school examination. The average is calculated by taking your highest score in Language of Learning and Teaching subject (English or Afrikaans) + (5 x best results in 20-credit subjects excluding Life orientation and Mathematics 3). The total divided by 6 equals your NSC average.
  • ​Afrikaans or English (Home Language or First Additional Language) 4 (50%)
  • Mathematics 5 (60%)
  • ​Physical Sciences (Physics and Chemistry) 4 (50%)
    ​​​Take note:
    All programmes are selection programmes and applications will be considered according to the rules and procedures as set out in the Selection guidelines and admission policy for undergraduate programmes for the Faculty of AgriSciences. For full detail, visit: http://www.sun.ac.za/english/maties/Documents/AgriSciences.pdf

Undergraduate Horticultural based modules:

For a more detailed expose on all modules and combinations depending on your second major, please consult the Faculty of AgriSciences Calendar Part 7 which can be found on the Prospective Students webpage of the AgriSciences website Prospective students

Crop Production 152 - Introduction to applied plant science
Classification systems and classification of agricultural crops; structure of plants of agricultural significance; plant growth regulators; ecological principals and introductory agricultural ecology. ​

Crop Production 214 - Plant propagation
Principles and practices of plant propagation: brief overview of different crop types and ​the aim of plant propagation. Plant life cycles and phases and their relative importance in plant propagation. Principles of sexual versus asexual propagation. Seed propagation and seed production. Asexual propagation by means of cuttings, grafting, layering and tissue culture. Propagation of plants from specialised roots and stems. Pathogens during the propagation process and their control. Propagation of specific commercial crops.​

Horticulture 314 - Deciduous fruit production
Biology and technology of deciduous fruit production (pome fruit, stone fruit and table grapes). Bearing habits, rootstocks, nursery tree quality, vegetative development, shoot and root growth, growth reactions to bending and pruning of shoots. Eco-, para- and endo-dormancy. Carbohydrate and nitrogen reserves. Reproductive development, flower formation, fruit set, regulation of yield, fruit growth, fruit colour development, fruit ripening.

Horticulture 342 - Citrus production
Biology and technology of citrus production. Rootstocks, nursery tree quality, vegetative development, shoot and root growth. Reproductive development, fruit growth, external and internal fruit quality.

Horticulture 352 - Ornamental, foliage and aromatic plant production systems
Biology and technology of the production of cut flowers, foliage and herbs/aromatic plants, including orchard-based fynbos production. Production prerequisites for selected flower types, fynbos, culinary herbs and lavender as an essential oil producing plant. Control of flower initiation, scheduling of flowering time and harvesting, colour and flavour development and other quality characteristics.

Applied Plant Physiology 414 - Ecophysiology of horticultural and agronomical crops
Advanced principles of stomatal conductance, transpiration, photosynthesis and respiration. Micro-climatological influences on gas exchange. Effects of excess energy – temperature and light. The use of chlorophyll fluorescence as stress indicator. Upscaling of gas exchange and carbon balance of crops. Water relations of cells, tissues and whole plant. Stress physiology and advantageous aspects of stress. Climate change and agriculture. Theory and application of ecophysiological measurement techniques. ​

Horticultre 434 - Applied plant physiology and tree architecture
Lectures: Underlying physiology of growth, development and production practices of horticultural crops. Correlative phenomena and the role of plant hormones supported by an overview of relevant cell, tissue and organ anatomy as well as basic genetic principles. Overview of environmental perception and acclimation/adaptation. Dormancy as morphogenetic and survival mechanism. Physiology of growth cessation, hardening, induction and progression of dormancy, rest breaking and branching. Tree architecture and training systems, principles and techniques of tree manipulation and the role of rootstocks. Integration of the above with knowledge on production practices gained in preceding modules. Practicals: Inter alia lectures by industry specialists on relevant pre-harvest topics as well as visits to fruit production areas to illustrate and support the module content. ​

Horticulture 444 - Postharvest physiology and technology
Postharvest physiology of fresh plant products: structure and composition of the product, role of respiration and ethylene metabolism, fruit ripening and senescence, physiological defects or disorders, ​food safety. Postharvest technology: water relations and psychrometrics, quality and maturity parameters, harvest and packing, cooling and storage technology such as controlled atmosphere, transport of fresh plant products. Plant products that are discussed to illustrate principles include deciduous fruit (pome, stone and table grapes) as well as some tropical and subtropical crops, cut flowers and vegetables. Practicals: A research project as well as a series of lectures by industry specialists on topics such as postharvest problems, profitability of certain deciduous fruit types, market trends, and alternative crops like fynbos. Visits to the Cape Town market in Epping, pack houses and cold stores, cut facilities and the Cape Town port for handling of export products.

Applied Plant Physiology 464 - Nutrition of horticultural and agronomical crops
Phloem transport and carbohydrate partitioning. Root anatomy, mineral application, uptake and partitioning. Crop-based nutritional requirements and application strategies; management of vegetative and reproductive balances and the role of rootstocks. Factors affecting mineral uptake. Practicals: An orchard report, amongst others. Cultivation of alternative crops.​