Environmental Sciences

Postgraduate Admission requirements for the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences
Contact details for the Department of
Environmental Sciences
Purpose of Research Proposal Modules:
Application dates
Admission requirements for the MPENV90 and
DFENS91 modules
Department of Environmental Sciences
MSc: Environmental Sciences
Prof SJ Moja, Postgraduate coordinator for the MSc Environmental Science program:
Tel: +27 11 471 2241
Email: [email protected]
A research proposal module (MPENV90) and a dissertation (DFENS91). Students are
required to first register and comply with the requirements for the research proposal
module before registration for the dissertation will be allowed.
The purpose of this module is for students to gain the knowledge and skills required to
execute a research project that falls within the scope of the research groups particular to
Environmental Sciences. The learner accredited with this module will be able to:
 Identify a research problem
 Formulate the problem, research questions and/or set appropriate hypothesis
 Set well defined research objectives
 Compile a literature review
 Present a suitable methodology and data analysis for the research project
 Identify the contribution the research will make to the Body of Knowledge
 Draft a research proposal that addresses all of the above
Students interested in the MSc in Environmental Science program need to apply during the
bulk application dates of Unisa.
An appropriate Bachelor Honours Degree, B.Tech, Postgraduate Diploma or a 480 credit
Bachelor's Degree with a minimum of 96 credits at NQF level 8 (or equivalent) in
Environmental Sciences, Natural Sciences, Applied Sciences, or Physical Sciences or related
field. or related field. A student who is admitted on the strength of an equivalent
qualification and who has not completed a module in research methodology may be
required to complete such a module at NQF level 8 for non-degree purposes (NDP) before
he/she will be allowed to register for the research proposal.
International students must meet the English language requirement as provided for in
paragraph 2.1 of the Procedures for studies for Master’s and Doctoral Degrees.
In addition to the above requirements, ALL applicants must submit a 4 page concept
Selection criteria
Selection procedure
document (PDF) describing their intended research.
Students will be accepted on the following criteria:
1. Suitability and viability of the intended research as presented by the student
2. English writing skills as reflected in the submitted documentation
3. The supervision capacity within the specific research group
4. The full academic record will be evaluated and ranked (aspects that will be
taken into account with the ranking is the number of supplementary
opportunities a candidate has used to obtain the graduate degree; the
percentages obtained for other modules in the graduate degree; the
number of times a student repeated a module; the length of time the
student took to complete the graduate degree.
5. Should it be determined that more students from a specific group are
registering for the qualification, the correction of this bias will be included in
the ranking criteria for admission.
6. All students from outside the borders of South Africa will only be considered
if their application is accompanied by the name and curriculum vitae of a
possible supervisor located in the country in which the research is to be
7. Due to the gender bias of the present cohort of students, preference will be
given to female applicants during the selection process.
8. Due to the racial bias of the present cohort of students, preference will be
given to South African Indian, Coloured and Black applicants, followed by
South African White applicants and lastly foreign nationals during the
selection process.
 Apply online for a student number and appropriate qualification
 Application should reach the student admission office no later than 15 November
 The application will be forwarded to the Department of Environmental Sciences for
 A selection committee will complete the review process of the application by 31
January 2015
 In cases where clarity is required on the application the research field/theme leader
may consider requesting an interview (telephonic or in person) with the candidate
 Applications of selected candidates will be submitted to the College Research
Innovation and Higher Degrees committee for final approval
Procedures for unsuccessful applications
Documents to support application
Successful candidates will be notified by 15 February or as soon as possible
thereafter. Successful applicants must formally register by 15 March.
 Candidates who were not successful may apply to the COD of the Department for
the reasons for rejection of the application.
 A further appeal may be submitted through the appropriate Unisa procedures
A Candidate will be requested to provide the following documentation:
 An updated CV
 A five page research concept document within the scope of the research group
Assessment mode for MPENV90
The research concept document will be assessed through the use of an assessment rubric
Assessment criteria for Research proposal
The assessment is based on the vetting of each research concept document within the
Department of Environmental Sciences. The vetting committee consist of two appropriate
internal departmental experts of which one should at least be familiar with the field of
research. The concept document is then discussed at a Departmental Vetting committee
meeting which consists of staff members who are conform to the following criteria: senior
staff members and/or may have NRF rating and/or are supervisors or co-supervisors of
students and/or have examined concept document before and/or have been requested to
do act as an external examiner for other universities.
Assessment criteria for Concept Document for MSc in Environmental Sciences
Research proposal evaluation grid
Mode of delivery of MPENV90
Online delivery will be followed through means of study units on myUnisa,
discussion forums and the submission of two assignments on myUnisa related to the
research proposal.
Contact sessions may be organised by the post graduate programme coordinator for
all masters students in the Department of Environmental Sciences
A seminar may also be organised for the presentation of completed research
Mode of supervision for MPENV90
External supervision
New intake for 2015
Motivation for intake
Name of the Research Group
proposals which may be delivered through video conferencing or on the Florida
Supervision may be delivered in different modes depending on the requirement of the
supervisor and study design. One-on-one contact sessions may be required which can be
delivered through video conferencing for students in remote areas or through personal visits
to the supervisor
Should the need arise to include an external supervisor the decision will be made based on
the expertise or assistance required from an external supervisor on a particular part of the
project. This will only be implemented if the internal capacity of supervision cannot support
the requirement of the research project.
Enrolment plan 2015
Seven (7) new students can be accommodated in the MSc Environmental Sciences program
for 2015. The number of students will be accommodated in the research themes indicated in
the columns below. The Department is not obliged to accept all applicants that apply.
Applicants will be approved on the basis of the submitted research concept document.
The Masters in Environmental Sciences programme will continue a selected intake in each
year. Currently there are two Environmental Management lecturers with Doctoral degrees
who will continue with the bulk of M&D supervision.
Research Group
Environmental Pollution, Ecotoxicology and Remediation Studies (EPERS)
Team leaders of Research Group
Team members of Research Group
Prof M Tekere and Prof SJ Moja
Team members
Prof M Tekere
Prof SJ Moja
Mr N Baloyi
Mr KW Maphangwa
Ms M Matlala
Ms ME Brand
Goal and Purpose of the Research Group
The focus of this research group includes but is not limited to quality, risk and impact
assessments, monitoring, analyses and management of environmental pollutants in the
environment, ecotoxicology, modelling and environmental remediation (bio- and
phyto-) studies; optimization and application of analytical chemistry and
Specialization of Team member
Environmental Biotechnology
Environmental Analytical Chemistry
Environmental Chemistry
Environmental Science
Aquatic Science
Aquatic Science
biotechnological techniques in environmental and industrial research areas.
Key focuses of the Research Group
The group is interested in finding innovative and sustainable solutions to the declining
quality of the air, water and soil due to anthropogenic activities. Treatment and
management of solid and effluent waste are also handled by this group.
Members will look at innovative and cost effective environmental sample collection
methods, extraction methods; extract purification methods; synthesis of novel adsorbent
material and their application in different environmental and industrial scenarios;
analytical method developments; eco-toxicological studies; pollution control, treatment
and management activities, etc.
Research Themes in the Research Group
MSc or PhD level capacity
1 Project name: Environmental Analytical Chemistry
Capacity for each research
2 Project name: Environmental biotechnology
3. Project name: Aquatic science and environmental
4. Project name: Environmental Chemistry
5. Project name: Aquatic Science
Possible supervisor
Prof SJ Moja
011 471 378
[email protected]
Prof M Tekere
011 471 2270
[email protected]
Mr KW Maphangwa
[email protected]
Mr N Baloyi
[email protected]
Ms Matlala
[email protected]
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