Honours Degrees BSc. (Hons.)

The Department of Geology offers three programmes at honours level.  The honours programmes consist of theoretical modules as well as substantial practical and project work components. 

The honours degree in Geology (code 02240141) follows on the undergraduate study programme in Geology and employment is generally within the mining industry with additional options in forensic geology, exploration geology and analytical services. 

The honours degrees in Engineering Geology (code 02240370) and Hydrogeology (code 02240373) build knowledge in rock mechanics, soil mechanics, and fluid mechanics. This is applied to the mining and civil industries. It establishes a strong understanding of geological materials and the anthropogenic impact on the environment and vice versa. 

Admission to the Honours Programmes

Geology: Candidates with a BSc (Geology) degree are admitted only if the candidates comply fully with the undergraduate requirements.  In some instances the Head of Department may prescribe additional modules prior to a candidate being allowed into the honours programme.   Thorough understanding of all fundamental geology modules forming parting of the undergraduate programme is required.

Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology: A BSc degree in Geology or Environmental and Engineering Geology with an average of 60% for all the modules in applied geology at second-year and third-year level. These modules must include soil mechanics, rock mechanics, engineering geology and hydrogeology. In the selection procedure the candidate’s complete undergraduate academic record will be considered. The positions available are limited to 15 and candidates who have progressed faster through their undergraduate degree will take preference. Outside applicants and those with unusual degree structures may be admitted after perusal of their academic records and at the discretion of the head of department.

Available Positions: In the event of the course being oversubscribed, candidates with a poor undergraduate academic record and/ or poor performance in the Introduction to Technical Reporting and Scientific Writing course may be refused entry into the course, as well as students exceeding the minimum period for completion of the bachelors degree.  The number of positions available in the programmes will be determined annually.  In general, a maximum of four students are allowed per full-time available lecturing staff member.  If some of the staff members are on leave or sabbatical, less students may be allowed into the programme for that year.  Subject to the additional limitations noted above, a maximum of 25 students may be allowed into the B.Sc. (Hons.) Geology programme, and 15 students into the B.Sc. (Hons.) Engineering and Environmental Geology programme.

Full programme details are available at Academic Programmes.


- Author Matthys Dippenaar

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