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The department offers intensive Honours programmes in either Applied Geology or Environmental & Water Science, as well as Masters (MSc), doctoral (PhD) and postdoctoral supervision.

Student research projects are funded through research grants secured by staff from agencies such as the National Research Foundation, the Water Research Commission, the Upstream Training Trust, CIMERA, various mining houses, the Danish Government, Eskom, GMES African Union, EO Africa, and various municipalities and government departments.

Before applying for a Masters or PhD degree, it is important that you make contact with a potential supervisor whose research profile aligns with your interests. Staff research profiles are available at the ‘People’ tab of our website. Admission to higher research degrees is highly competitive and requires a willing supervisor with capacity to take on new students, and proof of funding to cover fees, living expenses and research expenses.

The Applied Geology section of the department offers a general stream Honours course designed to prepare graduates for entry either into industry or further postgraduate studies. This is through a well-rounded curriculum designed to impart both theoretical and practical skills. 

You can expect courses in African geology, introducing you to the general geology of the continent, structural geology, advancing and building on your undergraduate training, applied geochemistry, economic geology and exploration techniques, petroleum geology and a seven to ten day field school hosted by Vedanta in Aggeneys, Northern Cape Province. You will also be expected to complete and present a year-long research project in the style of a mini-thesis individually supervised by one of our academic staff.

For MSc and PhD projects, please refer to the staff biographies and contact members of the academic person who has research interests in fields you would like to further your studies in. For general MSc and PhD information requests, please contact Prof. Russel Bailie.

Our Honours programme is nationally unique in its coverage of all Earth surface processes of the full water cycle (surface water, groundwater, hydrogeochemistry, geomorphology), as well as environmental management and impact assessment, and advanced geospatial analysis and remote sensing. Students have the opportunity to develop an independent research project under the supervision of a member of staff or research associate.

Our postgraduate diploma and taught MPhil programmes in Integrated Water Resources Management have strong links to the SADC WaterNet programme, which hosts annual conferences at inspirational southern African venues.

Visit the ‘People’ tab of our website to review staff profile pages for insights into the research interests and potential MSc/PhD projects offered by staff in environmental & water science.