The Centre for Environmental Studies is a graduate school for multidisciplinary training and research focusing on the environment. Training aims to satisfy the need for environmental professionals for implementing current environmental legislation as well as industry-driven environmental management systems.
Coordinated by the Department of Zoology and Entomology.
The purpose of this focus area is to train environmental graduates who specialised in careers in the ecology of the environment, including conservation planning, environmental management and air quality management. On completion of the training, candidates should be conversant and be able to partake in, or render advice concerning, all aspects involved in the management of the ecological consequences of human existence. This includes a thorough grounding in ecosystem structure, composition and function, ecosystem services, notions of ecosystem health, the management of declining and small populations, captive propagation, control of invasive species, species and community restoration, conservation education, local communities and conservation, as well as aspects of biogeography and macro-ecology, conservation planning and monitoring, the structure, composition and function of biological communities, population and community variability.
The MSc degree is conferred on the grounds of a dissertation and such additional postgraduate coursework as may be prescribed.
Renewal of registration
As long as progress is satisfactory, renewal of the registration of a master’s student will be accepted for the second year of the study. Registration for a third and subsequent years will only take place when the Student Administration of the Faculty receives a written motivation that is supported by the head of department and Postgraduate Studies Committee.
Candidates are required to familiarise themselves with the General Regulations regarding the maximum period of registration and the requirements on the submission of a draft article for publication.
Before application for admission to the MSc (Environmental Ecology) degree programme candidates must be in possession of a four-year degree qualification BScHons or equivalent degree status (SAQA NQF 8) which includes appropriate subjects in ecology. Admission is subject to the approval of the Director of the Centre and the appropriate head of department outside the Centre.
Candidates must demonstrate proficiency in the English language up to the level required by either the TOEFL test (www.ets.org/toefl) or the IELTS language proficiency test (www.ielts.org).
Other programme-specific information
One of the listed specialisation modules may be substituted with an elective module subject to the approval of the Director of the Centre. Choice of an elective is based on the academic background and/or anticipated career of the student but is expected to be relevant to either conservation biology or sustainable forestry management.
Promotion to next study year
The progress of all master's candidates is monitored biannually by the supervisor and the postgraduate coordinator. A candidate's study may be terminated if the progress is unsatisfactory or if the candidate is unable to finish his/her studies during the prescribed period.
Subject to exceptions approved by the dean, on recommendation of the head of department, and where applicable, a student may not enter for the master's examination in the same module more than twice.
Pass with distinction
The MSc degree is conferred with distinction to candidates who obtain a final average mark of at least 75% and a mark of at least 75% for the dissertation/mini-dissertation from each of the members of the examination panel. Where a member of the examination panel awards a mark of less than 75% for the dissertation/mini-dissertation, that member of the examination panel must offer, in writing, support for his/her decision, or indicate in writing that he/she supports the examination committee's decision to confer the degree with distinction.