School of Environmental Sciences

University of Venda

About Us

The School of Environmental Sciences was established in 1995 with only 35 students. Currently, the School is one of the largest and has the most comprehensive programmes in Environmental Sciences in the whole of South Africa and even in the SADC region.

The major goal of the School is manpower training and applied research in environmental sciences. The object of manpower training and applied research is first to understand the nature and characteristics of the “natural” and human environment and second to apply that understanding to analyse and evolve strategies and policies that promote sustainable development of resources in order to help alleviate poverty and other socio-economic woes within the region through the dissemination of knowledge and skills on sustainable resource allocation, development and management.


To be the centre of excellence in environmental sciences through active generation and dissemination of knowledge and skills so as to enhance sustainable utilization of natural resources for national and regional development


To provide professional training in environmental sciences at all levels and to undertake applied research that links the University to the needs of the region, nation and international community.
Statistics The School has seen a steady growth-rate in students’ population.



In addition to the admission requirements for the bachelor’s degree stipulated by the University, the School of Environmental Sciences will admit students on the basis of either (a) matriculation option or (b) Professional Experiences. (e.g. Technikon diplomas or Employment with Nature Conservation, Planning, Mining and Water Resources). Admission requirements for various programmes within the school is outlined in the table below.

Programmes Admission Requirements
Bachelor of Environmental Science
Matriculation Exemption + E (HG) or D (SG) in at least two of the following: Agriculture, Biology, Economics, Geography and Physical Science
Bachelor of Mining and Environmental Geology
Matriculation Exemption + D (HG) or C (SG) in Physical Science and one of the following: Maths, Geography, Economics, and Biology
Bachelor of Hydrology and Water Resources
Matriculation Exemption + D (HG) or C (SG) in Physical Science and one of the following: Maths. Geography, Economics, Biology, and Agriculture.
Bachelor of Environmental Management
Matriculation Exemption + D (HG) or C (SG) in any two of the following: Biology, Economics, Geography, Physical Science and Agriculture
Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning
Matriculation Exemption + E (HG) or D (SG) in any two of the following: Physical Science, Biology, Agriculture, Geography, Economics and Mathematics.
Dip. in Mining Impact and Post Mining Rehabilitation
Senior Certificate + Technikon Experience
Dip. in Mine Health and Safety
Senior Certificate + Technikon Experience
Cert. in Geographical Information System
Matriculation Exemption + a pass in Geography and Mapping Experience
Cert. in Post Mining Rehabilitation
Senior Certificate + a pass in Mathematics and Physical Science
Cert. in Mine Inspection
Senior Certificate + a pass in Mathematics and Physical Science
Cert. in Mine Infrastructure: Operation and Management
Senior Certificate + a pass in Mathematics and Physical Science

Dean's Profile

Prof. J.O. Odiyo

The Dean of the School is Prof. J.O. Odiyo.  He holds PhD in Civil Engineering (Water Engineering Specialization) from University of the Witwatersrand, MSc in Water Resources Engineering from University of Dar es Salaam and BSc (Hons.) in Agricultural Engineering from Egerton University. He has taught in the University since 1990.  The modules he has lectured include hydrology, hydrogeology, water supply, fluid mechanics, water treatment processes, soil and water conservation engineering, water resources engineering and water resources management. He has  published 23 peer reviewed scientific  articles, presented and published 28 conference papers and written 9 professional technical reports. He has supervised 64 honours research mini-dissertations, 12 masters’ dissertations and 1 PhD thesis.  The details of the Dean’s publications and professional reports are listed under the Department of Hydrology and Water Resources in this website. The Dean has extensive experience in handling professional Water Resources Engineering consultancy projects and he is leading a Water Research Commission (WRC) project on “Groundwater yield-reliability analysis and operating rules for rural areas”, which is aimed at PhD capacity building.

The Dean has extensive University administrative experience. He has served as Head of Department of Hydrology and Water Resources for the last 11 years (2003-2013) and Vice Dean of the School of Environmental Sciences of the University of Venda for three years (2009-2012). He has externally examined a number of dissertations/theses from other Universities, reviewed a number of WRC and NRF research proposals including South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) proposal evaluations, DWA annual state of the Water Resources Report 2010 and a number of journal manuscripts for recommendation for publication. He champions and promotes postgraduate training as a way of producing high level manpower in scarce skilled areas in South Africa and in particular for mentoring young people into academics.

Career opportunities

Environmental Geologist, Hydrologist, Consultant, Education Officer, Waste Management & Recycling Officer, Surveyor, Transport Route Planner, Building Planner, Mine Planner and Officer or Manager in parastatals, public & private sector, Lecturer, Meteorologist, Nature Conservationist, Environmental Officer, Energy Officer, Environmental Consultant.


Ecology and Resource Management

Department of Hydrology and Water Resources

Environmental Advisory and Assessment Unit

Institute of Semi-Arid Environment and Disaster Management

Geography and Geo-Information Sciences

Mining and Environmental Geology

GIS Resource Centre

Department of Urban and Regional Planning

News and Announcements

Thirty two graduates receive prestigious awards during 2020 UNIVEN virtual graduation

2 months ago
The University of Venda held an unprecedented virtual graduation on Friday, 18 September 2020 in which thirty two graduates were conferred...
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UNIVEN Chancellor Adv. Mojankunyane Gumbi confers 3068 degrees during virtual graduation ceremony

2 months ago
On Friday, 18 September 2020, the University of Venda graduates celebrated the major milestone achievement through the first ever online...
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Tshianeo Ndou benefits from JRS Biodiversity Foundation Grant

October 7, 2019
Ms Tshianeo Ndou, a second year MSc student in the School of Environmental Sciences won an award to participate in...
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UNIVEN confers a total of 56 Doctoral degrees during 2019 academic year PhD graduates

September 25, 2019
“Our doctoral degree output for this Spring graduation ceremony is the highest number of doctoral degrees ever produced by this...
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UGO plants Five trees to celebrate Arbor Day UNIVEN Students

September 3, 2019
The Universal Greening Organisation (UGO) in partnership with the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), Vhembe Biosphere Reserve (VBR) and...
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Water Research Commission (WRC) Roadshow to UNIVEN

March 27, 2019
Staff of the Directorate of Research and Innovation (DRI) at University of Venda recently hosted a delegation from the Water...
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Contact the School of Environmental Sciences

Tel: +27 15 962 8511
Office: New Environmental Science Building, Room FE-01

School of Environmental Sciences Staff