Honours Geology at Wits University
As a minimum requirement for professional registration, an honours degree is essential to work as a geologist in South Africa. The honours programme at Wits is well-respected in industry, both in South Africa and internationally, and is an excellent option to improve your skills, knowledge and employability.
The Honours Course
At Wits, we offer both a general and an environmental option (environmental earth science) for Geoscience honours students. The general option, taught exclusively by the School of Geosciences, consists of a fixed curriculum covering the following nine topics:
1.) Geochemistry Term 1
2.) Igneous Petrology Term 1
3.) Geohydrology Term 2
4.) Structural Geology Term 2
5.) Mineralization Processes Term 2
6.) Exploration Geophysics Term 3
7.) Mining Geology Term 3
8.) Tectonics of Africa Term 4
9.) Sedimentary Basin Analysis Term 4
Environmental earth science, taught by the School of Geosciences, together with the School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Sciences, allows students to tailor their coursework to their interests. Topics in Geographic Information Systems, Meteorology, Geohazards and Geomorphology can be taken in place of specific topics in the general course. Topics in Palaeontology, or Animal and Plant Sciences can also be taken subject to approval by the School of Geosciences.
As part of the honours course, both general and environmental students also undertake a research project (the honours project). The honours project is a significant component of the course, and a well-designed honours project can result in the student learning valuable new skills, gaining familiarity with a piece of analytical equipment, or even authorship on a scientific publication. Each honours student is required to put a great deal of thought into how best to design and undertake his/her project.
All students who take the course in Mineralization Processes also attend the honours field trip, run for 10-14 days in May/June each year. This field trip involves visiting various mining operations around Southern Africa to investigate styles of mineralization, mining procedures, and also regional geology.
The School of Geosciences also offers honours courses in Geophysics and Palaeontology.
Part-time students complete the course over two years, completing Term 1 and 3 in one year and Term 2 and 4 in the other. Part-time students require a commitment of 3.5 to 4 months a year, during which they will be occupied all day, attending classes, presenting research and completing assignments. They will also attend the field trip in the year that they complete Term 2. Part-time study is only available to South African citizens and permanent residents. Part-time students are only able to study general geology, not environmental earth science.
How to Apply
Applicants are required to have passed Geology III with 60% or more to be considered for honours.
Internal applicants (those who are in the third year of their BSc degree at Wits at the time of application, or previous Wits graduates who have entered industry and wish to return to complete their studies) must complete application forms and submit them to the Student Enrolment Centre by the deadline (typically September each year).
External applicants (graduates of other institutions) must submit the application forms and a copy of their academic transcript which shows what courses they have done and the marks attained for the entire period of their studies. Please note that without a complete transcript, we are unable to
determine if you qualify for the course and will be unable to consider your application. Foreign applicants may be required to submit a SAQA (South African Qualification Authority) certification of their degree, as well as proof of English proficiency if their first degree was not at an English-medium institution.
All applicants with geology-related work experience (not vacation work) should include a CV detailing their experience (duration, responsibilities, etc), as well as a letter of support from their employer, if applicable.
For application forms, please go to the Wits Website>Study at Wits>Postgraduate>Applications>Completing and sending the form.
For up-to-date information on fees, please go to the Wits Website>Current Students>Fees.
For any other queries, please contact Zubair Jinnah (email@example.com).