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Environmental Studies Environmental Studies includes relationships between people and the environment. This programme discusses practical methods for understanding and addressing contemporary environmental problems, using case studies from South Africa and beyond.
Environmental Studies Environmental Studies includes relationships between people and the environment. This programme discusses practical methods for understanding and addressing contemporary environmental problems, using case studies from South Africa and beyond.

Qualification: BSc

Faculty: Science

Study mode: Full-time

Overview

This programme focuses on the principles and theoretical background of the discipline of Environmental Studies, which includes relationships between people and the environment on different spatial and temporal scales and from local to global contexts and drawn from both Natural Science and Social Science disciplines.

These principles are developed through real-world examples of human-environmental relationships and contemporary environmental problems and challenges facing Africa, and specifically South Africa. Throughout, the programme discusses practical methods of data collection and analysis in Environmental Studies, and solving environmental problems, using real case studies from South Africa and beyond.

  • Environmental management
  • Environmental planning
  • Conservation
  • Heritage management
  • Environmental services auditing
  • Risk assessment
  • Sustainability, recycling and waste management
  • Pollution monitoring and management
  • Environmental remediation
  • Community health and wellbeing
  • Development planning
  • Climate change mitigation
  • Environmental communication and outreach
First-year

There is no specific course in Environmental Studies at year 1 level. Entry to the Environmental Studies Major programme is at year 2 level only. To enrol on the Environmental Studies II curriculum, students must have gained a minimum of 108 credits at first-year level in any suite of subjects offered through the Faculty of Science or the Faculty of Humanities.

Second-year
  • GAES2000A People and the Environment in Africa

    This course describes the deep time history of people in Africa and their interactions with, uses of, and impact on their environments. Social and cultural responses to climate change and resource availability are explored specifically. This encourages sensitivity and understanding for the long term context of environmental change, a perspective vital in developing a sense of responsible interaction with the environment. Themes examined in the course include human evolution, exploration, colonization and settlement history in Africa, up to the present. This course draws from interdisciplinary ideas in Archaeology, Geography, Geology, Anthropology, History, Cultural Studies and Politics.

  • GAES2001A Nature, Climate and Society

    This course describes how people make use of environmental resources, the values attributed to the physical environment and its varied resources by society and in different contexts, environmental management and environmental governance properties, and societal responses to climate change, using contemporary examples focusing on South Africa.

AND

Any two other Level II majors depending on other course sets

Third-year

Four block-long courses from the offerings available in Environmental Studies III 

AND

Any other Level III major depending on other course sets

Entry to the Environmental Studies Major programme is at year 2 level only. Students must have gained a minimum of 108 credits at first-year level in any suite of subjects offered through the Faculty of Science or the Faculty of Humanities.

Students must have gained a minimum of 108 credits at first-year level in any suite of subjects offered through the Faculty of Science or the Faculty of Humanities.

  • The Student Enrolment Centre at Wits handles all student applications.
  • Please click here for an overview of the application process.
  • Check the admission requirements for your degree. Check if any additional selection requirements apply. 
  • Submit your application, required documentation and application fee before the closing date.
  • Once you have applied, an admissions consultant will be assigned to your application.
  • Applicants can monitor the progress of their applications via the Self Service Portal.
  • If you are an international applicant and/or have a foreign qualification, please click here.

Compliance with the minimum requirements does not guarantee a place at the University. The University has a specific number of places for first year undergraduates, approved by the Department of Higher Education and Training. Final selection is made subject to the availability of places, academic results and other entry requirements where applicable.

Click here to see the current average tuition fees for the first year of study. The Fees Office website 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. 

The Financial aid office provides information about on student funding and scholarships. University funded Scholarships include Vice-Chancellor's Scholarships, University Entrance Scholarships, Equality Scholarships, Sports Scholarships and National Olympiad winner awards. For information about NSFAS funding, please visit the NSFAS websiteExternal bursaries portal: The Bursaries South Africa website provides a comprehensive list of bursaries in South Africa.