Geography & Environmental Science

Geography is the study of the earth and its features, inhabitants and phenomena. Geography is a broad discipline that seeks to understand the world and all its human and natural complexities – not simply where objects are, but how they have changed and come to be. As “the bridge between the human and physical sciences,” geography is divided into two main branches – human geography and physical geography.

Geographers investigate relationships between physical and human processes (e.g. soil erosion, conservation policies, and changing urban and regional policies) that explain the geographical patterns on earth.

Because space and place affect a variety of factors such as economics, health, climate, plants and animals, geography is highly interdisciplinary.

Employment opportunities

  • National and Provincial government
  • District and local municipalities
  • Non-governmental organisations
  • South African weathers service
  • Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • Remote Sensing
  • Research department and units (HSRC, CSIR)
  • Environmental management
  • Climatology

Why is it important

Geography and Environmental Science develop spatial skills and promote a holistic perspective for understanding the world. In post-apartheid South Africa and in the context of global transformation and change, where the challenges of the environmental management and planning, of research and development and of economic and social reconstruction head the agenda, such skills are critically important.

The skills of human and physical geographers and environmental scientists are coming more and more to the fore in the current job market. Geographical and Environmental Studies can develop these skills, providing a firm base for lifelong learning and employability.

Our mission

The Department of Geography and Environmental Science is committed towards excellence in teaching, research and community engagement.

The Department’s principal objective is to build and sustain a strong, vibrant and critical cohorts of postgraduate and undergraduates students, dedicated to challenging established modes of thinking and research in selected Geographical and Environmental niche areas.

The Department offers eight compulsory undergraduate modules, with the modules at the first and second year geared towards providing a thorough understanding of the principal subfields in the discipline.

For more information on the Department, its modules and postgraduate qualifications offered, we invite you to contact us or consult the Faculty of Science and Agriculture prospectus.