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What Subjects are Needed to Study Genetics in South African Universities?

On this page, we explore what High School subjects are needed or required to study Genetics in South African Universities and Colleges? We also look at what APS Score is required for Genetics Degree and Diploma courses. You should know that every learning institution, internationally or locally, will have its own set of requirements for Genetics studies.

What Genetics Career is all about

Genetics is a branch of biology that studies the inheritance of physical and behavioural characteristics of living things, and how these traits are passed down through generations.

Genetics deals with the molecular structure and function of genes, gene behaviour in the context of a cell or organism (e.g. dominance and epigenetics), patterns of inheritance from parent to offspring, and gene distribution, variation and change in populations, such as through Genome-Wide Association Studies. Given that genes are universal to living organisms, genetics can be applied to the study of all living systems, from viruses and bacteria, through plants and domestic animals, to humans.

List of subject required to study Genetics courses

Well, let us explore what subjects are required in order to study Genetics in South African Universities and Colleges.

This is a Health Sciences field of study, therefore there are specific High School subjects that are required to study in this field. You also need to meet the minimum APS score in the University you are going to study at. The following subjects are needed and essential for the curriculum:

  • Physical Science,
  • Mathematics,
  • Life Sciences,
  • English Home Language, or English First or Second Additional Language.
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What is the APS Score for Genetics

In order for you to get accepted at a University in South Africa, or (Colleges that use APS scores) for a qualification in Genetics, you should possess a National Senior Certificate (Grade 12) with an APS score of between 35 – 45. APS score is determined by the Grade 12 marks or results. It is also good to know that Universities and Colleges may use your Grade 11 marks if you applied before your matric results came out.

The minimum requirements for a candidate to obtain a Grade 12 National Senior Certificate?

The minimum requirements are:

  • Achieve 40% in three subjects, one of which is an official language at Home Language level and 30% in three subjects.
  • Provide full evidence in the SBA component in the subjects offered

Correct Subject Choice is Important

When it comes to subject choices, every learner should ensure that their subject choice (from Grade 10 already) will lead them in pursuing the careers they want.

The subject choice at the end of Grade 9, or Grade 10 according to The Department of Education, could determine the field of study learners can follow once they complete school. In other words, if learners do not select the correct combination of subjects, they could find themselves unable to enter into certain higher or further education programmes. So when making this important subject choice, learners should consider their options for when they complete school and select accordingly.

How much does it cost to study Genetics?

Although every learning institution will have its own fees structure and costing, studying Genetics courses can range from R15 000 to R60 000 per annum. It is always advisable for learners to contact the institution they want to learn at in order to confirm the study fees amounts for the year.

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Universities that offer Genetics in South Africa

There are many universities in South Africa that offer courses on Genetics studies. Below are some of them:

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