Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need for admission to study Geology at UP? 

Grade 12 certificate with university exemption. The admissions test of the University of Pretoria is also strongly recommended. In addition, an admission point score of 30 is required, with two languages at a rating code of 4, Mathematics at 5 and Physical Science at 4. It is also strongly recommended that students have written the third paper in Mathematics as geometry is a critical skill in any geological science.

What are the employment opportunities?

Geologists will be mostly be either in the mining industry (SA has many operating mines) or in the exploration sector, who search for new deposits of minerals and other commodities. Both types of companies tend to be fully international and therefore job opportunities exist all over the world. The major Sunday newspapers have several jobs on offer almost every weekend throughout the year, and the website “Earthworks” offers a large range of vacancies throughout all sectors of the earth sciences.

Engineering Geologists and Hydrogeologists will be employed in consulting and some government and parastatal companies. Both will work to acquire field data that will undergo laboratory testing and interpretation. 

Engineering Geologists will typically work in consulting or mining to determine the physical and hydraulic properties of soil and rock. The applications are for geological risks, foundations, construction materials, and large infrastructure such as roads, dams, and tunnels.

Hydrogeologists will work in consulting or mining to acquire groundwater data and/ or to model it. Specialisation is in water acquisition and supply, contaminant transport and pollution studies, water quality assessments, and modeling. 

What is needed to qualify and practise as a geologist in South Africa?

A BSc (Honours) degree with Geology as a major subject and following either the Geology Study Programme or the Engineering and Environmental Geology Study Programme (see elsewhere on this website under Academic Programmes). In addition, all such geoscientists must register with SACNASP (SA Council for Natural Scientfic Professions) and once in the industry and involved in ore reserve estimations, or consulting engineering geological or hydrogeological practices, adherence to certain local and international statutory codes will be necessary. It should be emphasized that the practice of any type of geology is a profession with all the relevant attributes of integrity, ethical values and professionalism implicit therein. 

What is needed to qualify and practise as an engineering geology or hydrogeologist in South Africa

Engineering geologists and hydrogeologists are sought after in South Africa and occupation opportunities are available. To become employable and practice in your own name you need an honours degree (SAQA level 8) majoring in these subjects. Following that you can apply from professional registration after three years of vocational experience. It is also important to become members of the voluntary associations, and to maintain your registration with the required continuous professional development points (25 points = 25 days in a 5-year period). The conditions above for geology also applies.

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