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A Madagascan hissing cockroach appreciatively hugs the Wits logo above the university's state-of-the-art insectary credit Blair Cowie
Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences The School offers a fourth year of training in a range of subject areas.
Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences The School offers a fourth year of training in a range of subject areas.

Qualification: BScHons

Faculty: Science

Duration: 1 year

School: Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences

Study mode: Full-time


Why study Animal, Plant, and Environmental Sciences?

The combination of these topics facilitates a degree of understanding about the world around us works and the role of different organisms on Earth. Research in the school broadly addresses questions about the diversity we observe, how best to explain processes we observe, and how to conserve biodiversity for the future. Further,the Honours degree is the minimum requirement needed to work as a professional scientist.

Why study Animal, Plant & Environmental Sciences at Wits?

The Wits School of Animal, Plant, and Environmental Sciences is home to a number of world leaders in sustainability, savannah ecology, among other research areas. Our School includes a diverse, research active and passionate staff and post-graduate cohort working on a variety of projects ranging from animal behaviour to plant systematics and evolution to ecology to aquatic ecology.

Our School prides itself on the extent of its honours experience. Students in our programme choose from a number of specialist theory topics, a techniques course that provides a solid analytical foundation, and an option to participate in the Organization of Tropical Studies.

Career opportunities available with your honours degree in Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences include:

  • Museum researcher
  • Data analyst at various companies (Deloitte, Ernst & Young)
  • Consultants for environmental impact assessments
  • Research and lecturing in Biology departments

The BSc Honours degree comprises a research project, one compulsory courses and three elective courses (course offerings vary each year). Details below.

  • Animal Behaviour
  • Animal Ecophysiology& Adaptation
  • Biocontrol
  • Biogeography
  • Entomology
  • Ethnoecology
  • Evolutionary Ecology
  • Global change: Impact on soils, plants and animals - The next 50 years
  • Herpetology
  • Histology
  • Medical Entomology
  • Parasitology
  • Plant and Algal Cell Biology
  • Plant Variation & Nomenclature
  • Plant Population Dynamics and Regeneration Ecology
  • Pollination Biology
  • Resource Ecology and Conservation
  • Range Limitation
  • River and Wetland Ecology
  • Stable Isotope Ecology

NB. Each student must choose three courses from the above list, i.e. a student is NOT restricted in their selection of theory topics other than by time tabling constraints.

The number of theory topics offered is dependent on the availability of staff. The theory topics differ in the manner in which they are presented. For example, a student may be required to attend regular tutorials over a set period of time OR prepare written assignments. Each theory topic has its own assignments which are used to assess progress and understanding.

A research project is conducted in the discipline of choice of the student. The projects are well defined and interesting. Through these projects students learn to plan, implement an experimental protocol, and collect, analyse and interpret data. The project is written up as a formal dissertation at the end of the year and each student is required to present a formal project proposal and a final project seminar.


  • A Bachelor of Science degree or equivalent
  • A pass in the relevant major course at this University or any other university whose programme has been approved by Senate.
  • At least 60% average in the final undergraduate course.

Contact School.

30 November 2021

  • Applications are handled centrally by the Student Enrolment Centre (SEnC). Once your application is complete in terms of requested documentation, your application will be referred to the relevant School for assessment. Click here to see an overview of the Wits applications process.
  • Please apply online. Upload your supporting documents at the time of application, or via the Self Service Portal.
  • Applicants can monitor the progress of their applications via the Self Service Portal.
  • Selections for programmes that have a limited intake but attract a large number of applications may only finalise the application at the end of the application cycle.

Please note that the Entry Requirements are a guide. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee a place. Final selection is made subject to the availability of places, academic results and other entry requirements where applicable.

International students, please check this section.

For more information, contact the Student Call Centre +27 (0)11 717 1888, or log a query at

Click here to see the current average tuition fees. The Fees site also provides information about the payment of fees and closing dates for fees payments. Once you have applied you will be able to access the fees estimator on the student self-service portal.

For information about postgraduate funding opportunities, including the postgraduate merit award, click here. Please also check your School website for bursary opportunities. NRF bursaries: The National Research Foundation (NRF) offers a wide range of opportunities in terms of bursaries and fellowships to students pursuing postgraduate studies. External bursaries portal: The Bursaries South Africa website provides a comprehensive list of bursaries in South Africa.