Environmental Studies

The BSc Honours in Environmental Studies is taught by a team of academics who are passionate about their research and the topics they teach.


Why study Environmental Studies?

All living beings on Earth depend on the environment. The study of the environment places us in a unique position to contribute to solving some of the largest environmental issues ever experienced. In environmental studies the focus is placed on various environmental factors such as integrated environmental management, policies and practice and research methods in environmental studies.

Why study Environmental Studies at Wits?

The Environmental Studies stream is one of the fastest growing divisions in the Wits School of GAES. The School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental studies hosts a highly skilled body of staff who are highly qualified in specialised fields.

Our honours students stand a chance to complete research projects alongside world leading experts in their fields, relating to water science, climate change, atmospheric science and many more. The School of GAES also proudly hosts the Claude Leon Chair in Water Research and the Centre for Water Research and Development (CiWaRD).

Programme Code: SHA00 NQF Exit Level: 8 | Plan Code: SFAENVS40 Total NQF Credits: 120

Career Opportunities

  • Environmental consulting – Aquatic and terrestrial
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Environmental control officer
  • Environmental education


The BSc Honours in Environmental Studies curriculum consists of four compulsory courses and one elective course from the existing Faculty of Science Geography or Archaeology Honours degree curriculums that is worth at least 20 credits.

The four compulsory courses are:

  1. GAES4002A Research Report: Environmental Studies – Full Year course, Dr Simone Dahms-Verster
  2. GAES4003A Research Methods in Environmental Studies – Blocks 1 and 2, Prof Jasper Knight
  3. GAES4001A Environmental Policy and Practice – Block 1, Prof Mulala Simatele
  4. GAES4000A Integrated Environmental Management – Block 4, Dr Serge Kubanza

Elective courses:


  • GEOG4034A Water Challenges in Southern Africa: Block 1
  • GEOG4033A Advanced GIS and Remote Sensing: Block 2
  • GEOG4039A Local and Regional Economic Development: Block 2
  • GEOG4044A Global Atmospheric Change: Block 3
  • GEOG4045A Disaster Risk and Geohazards: Block 3
  • GEOG4042A Air Pollution and Synoptic Climatology: Block 4
  • GEOG4043A Integrated Environmental Management: Block 4
  • GEOG4015A Geographic Information Systems: Block 1
  • GEOG4041A Understanding Cities in Africa


  • ARCL4027A Theory of Archaeology
  • ARCL4020A Geoarchaeology
  • ARCL4018A Archaeometry
  • ARCL4016A Archaeology in the Field / Laboratory
  • ARCL4024A Rock Art of Africa
  • ARCL4022A Archaeology of the last 2000 years

Entry Requirements

The BSc Honours programme is open to candidates with a BSc or BA degree in Environmental Studies or any cognate discipline in Science, Social Science or Humanities, and who reach the minimum entry requirements of the Faculty of Science for an Honours programme (65% weighted average).


This is a highly competitive programme and therefore this minimum requirement allows your application to be considered, and does not guarantee admission.

University Application Process

  • 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 www.wits.ac.za/askwits.

University Fees and Funding

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.