The Honours Geography and Environmental Studies degree consists of four courses and an independent research essay.
Eight courses are offered at honours level. You may select four courses from our offerings or you may select three courses from this list and one course from another discipline.
Geog 4001: Water challenges for Southern Africa (Chris Curtis) (First Block)
Geog 4031: Rural Geography (Gijsbert Hoogendoorn) (First Block)
Geog 4006: Synoptic Climatology and Air Pollution (Raeesa Moolla) (Second Block)
Geog 4010: Advanced GIS (Yashon Ouma) (Second Block)
Geog 4007: Geomorphology (Stefan Grab) (Third Block)
SCED 4005: Environmental Education (Cheryl Chamberlain) (Third block)
Geog 4019: Climate Change (Kristy Ross) (Third Block)
Geog 4022: Environmental Studies: Geohazards and Risk (Jasper Knight) (Third block)
Geog 4025: Understanding Cities in Africa (Teresa Dirsuweit) (Fourth block)
The independent research essay
At honours level, there is a strong emphasis on developing research skills. One of the requirements for the completion of the honours degree is an independent research essay of between 8 000 and 12 000 words.
- The student is supported and mentored through the research process by a supervisor selected from the teaching staff in Geography. Included in this is a writing retreat.
- While research topics are not limited, the teaching staff in Geography has a range of research specialisations and we encourage students to select topics within these specialisations. These specialisations are advertised in the honours orientation programme at the beginning of the year, alternatively, links to the research profile of the supervisors can be found on the staff page.
- Each supervisor takes on between two and three students per year and it is advisable to contact your preferred supervisor as soon as possible.
- Students present a research proposal at a seminar at the beginning of April to the department.
- Students present a second seminar on their research findings in September.
- The final research essay is submitted at the end of October to the supervisor who will then mark the essay.
- The supervisors mark is then moderated by an external examiner.
Entry requirements : The requirements for entry to the programme are as follows:
- An undergraduate BA/BSc degree in Geography from a recognised university.
- A minimum mark of 65% in Geography (applicant with marks lower than 65% will not be considered).
- If applying from a university other than the University of the Witwatersrand, we may request a written piece of work (preferably independent research). This work should be authored solely by the applicant and written in English.
Length of the degree The BA/BSc Honours degree full time extends for one academic year. Part time studies extend over two academic years.
Applying for Honours in Geography and Environmental Studies
- Applications can be submitted at any time of the year to the Faculty of Humanities for the BA or Faculty of Science for the BSc, however, the student may commence studies only in February or July. Please note that mid-year intake is highly restricted as the places for the Geography Honours course are usually taken at the beginning of the year.
- The application form for postgraduate study can be found at http://www.wits.ac.za/Prospective/Postgraduate/ApplicationInfo/ApplicationForm.htm
- Note than general information pertaining to the admission system, applications from foreign universities, international students, financial aid and scholarships, fees, accommodation can be found on pages 11 and 12 of the application form (see also useful contacts below). Please do not request information pertaining to these matters from the Geography Department.
- The respective Faculty will forward your application to Geography. We will contact you if we need you to submit a sample of written work (please make sure that you write you e-mail clearly on the application form).
- Remember to include a transcript of results with your application to the Faculty if you hold an undergraduate degree from a university other than the University of the Witwatersrand.
Evaluation and Assessment:
The BA/BSc (Hons) Geography and Environmental Studies is made up of 5 modules (4 courses and a research essay). Each course and the research essay are treated as separate modules. You need to pass all courses and the research essay (5 modules) to be granted an Honours degree. The courses and research report are weighted as follows: 18.75% x 4 individual courses 25% research essay.