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.
This programme is coordinated by the Department of Plant Production and Soil Science.
The purpose of this option is to equip graduates with a biological and/or agricultural background to specialise further to obtain skills in environmental management and in sustainable forest resource use and management. On completion of the training, candidates should be conversant with the multifunctional nature of the forest resource base and be equipped to render advice concerning forest resource use and management with an understanding of the environmental consequences associated with exploitative use of natural resources. This includes grounding in forest resource use and management, including yield regulations in natural and commercial forest systems, participatory approaches to natural resource management, ecosystem structure, composition and function, ecosystem services, notions of ecosystem health, control of invasive species and community restoration, understanding of local communities, forestry and rural development, participatory planning and monitoring, the forest harvesting schedules and logistics, non-timber forest products, the science of wood and forest wood products utilisation, understanding of the basic economics of natural resources and social development and planning.
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.
Candidates must have either a three-year BSc and a BScHons or a four-year degree qualification in agricultural forestry or biological sciences. Admission is subject to the approval of the Forestry Chair in consultation with the Director of the Centre for Environmental Studies.
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).
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.