Department of Ecology and Resource Management

School of Environmental Sciences

About Us

An overview of the Department

The Department of Ecology and Resource Management was established as an anchor for the diverse academic programmes in the School of Environmental Sciences. It offers core modules that all students in the School have to take and pass irrespective of the type of degree being pursued.

Its teaching and research activities are geared towards integrating the geographical, geological, hydrological, planning and ecological perspectives on the environment and its management. Through its teaching and research activities, the Department seeks to impart knowledge and skills, and to develop sound strategies for restoring, sustaining and enhancing environmental quality for sustainable development.


To take center stage in up-to-date, socially relevant ecological research and to equip its students with all the knowledge and skills they require to be leaders in the field of environmental science and its applications.


The Department will pursue excellence in ecology and resource management by being a community of critical and imaginative thinkers, well versed in established principles and sound research practices, and up-to-date with the latest developments in our field.


 Admission requirements

The minimum admission requirement for the above-mentioned degree programme is as follows:

  • A Matriculation Certificate or Senior Certificate endorsed for university admission.
  • Mathematics, Physical Science and English– 50% on NSC level. Matric passes at D=50% (HG) or C=60% (SG).
  • Life Sciences or Geography- 50% on NSC level. Matric passes at D=50% (HG) or C=60% (SG).

There is a limited number of places and therefore meeting the minimum entry requirement does not guarantee a place. Selection will be based on a student’s M score (the sum of the points) obtained on the basis of results achieved in the matriculation examination. Points are awarded for the six best symbols of the matriculation examination results (including English, Mathematics, Physical Science, Life Science but excluding Life Orientation).


The Department is in a continuous process of acquiring necessary facilities to support high quality teaching and research activities. At the moment, it has a 60-seater Pollution teaching laboratory and with Pollution research laboratory. These are being equipped. Already a Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrometry has been donated from Anglo platinum and a Gas chromatography with both flame ionisation detector and electron capture is being purchased. The teaching laboratory is equipped with 8 PCs for students.

Career Prospects

Graduates of Ecology and Resource Management have proved to be marketable. They have been absorbed by:

  • Government Departments of Environmental Affairs and Tourism; Agriculture, Conservation and Land Affairs; Forestry and Water Affairs; Local Government at both National and Provincial levels. Graduates have been employed as far as Springbok in Northern Cape and East London in Eastern Cape. Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo Province have so far absorbed the majority of ERM graduates.
  • Private sector and parastatal including mining companies, ESKOM and TELKOM
  • The National Parks Board
  • Local Councils and Municipal Councils
  • Academic and vocational institutions such as Technikons, Technical Colleges, Universities and Southern African Wildlife Colleges.
  • Environmental Consultancy Companies
  • Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) dealing with environmental issues
  • Research Institutions such as the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Agricultural Research Centre (ARC).

Qualifications offered

  • Bachelor of Environmental Sciences (BEnvSc)
  • Bachelor of Environmental Sciences Honours (BEHERM)
  • Master of Environmental Sciences by Research and Thesis (MEnvSc)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Sciences (PhD – EnvSc)
ERM 1541 The Natural Environment as System  
ERM 1641 Ecology Principles for environmental Management  
ERM 2541 Principles of Resource Management ERM 1541
ERM 2641 Pollution and Environmental Quality ERM 1641
ERM 3541 Resource Evaluation and Information Systems ERM 2541
ERM 3641 Environmental Impact Assessment and Modelling ERM 2641
ERM 5740 Research Methods and Mini-Dissertation ERM 3541
ERM 5541 Land Information Technology ERM 3541
ERM 5542 Pollution Modelling and Control ERM 3541
ERM 5543 Resource and Environmental Economics ERM 3541
ERM 5544 Rangeland Management ERM 3541
ERM 5641 Habitat and Biodiversity Management ERM 3641
ERM 5642 Ecotoxicology ERM 3641
ERM 5643 Energy Resource Management ERM 3641
ERM 5644 Wildlife Management ERM 3641
ERM 6740 Research and Mini-Dissertation  
ERM 6990 Research and Dissertation: ERM 6990  
ERM 7990 Research and Thesis  
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