Botany & Zoology
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Honours guide for prospective students

Frequently Asked Questions
<< back |                

What is the first step in applying?
All applications must be submitted through the Faculty of Science / Stellenbosch University online application system (SUNStudentand a copy of the electronic application must be sent to the Honours Coordinator, Dr Victor Rambau ( any queries to Dr Rambau at the email address above

I don’t have all my final marks (grades) now?
Apply with the grades you have available, we will consider your application and provide provisional acceptance to the programme. As soon as you have all your grades forward it to us for the final consideration.

I don’t have an average of 60% for my final year subjects?
You can still apply. The Postgraduate Committee will screen your application and the ask the Academic Committee to consider your application. The Academic Committee may ask you to come for an interview. They will them make a final recommendation regarding your application.

I have subjects like Biochemistry, Genetics, Microbiology and only limited Botany and Zoology subjects to my credit? Can I still apply?
Yes, we will consider your application. In the case of international students, we will consult with the International Office about the level of reconition of the subjects on your record.  

When do I apply to be accepted and/or for bursaries?
Applications can be done anytime until the 31 October.
Bursary applications must be done by the 31 October.
Obviously you must have acceptance or provisional acceptance into the programme before applying for a bursary.

How do I apply for a bursary?
Write a letter to the Head of the department, include a certified copy of your full academic record, two letters of recommendation from academic referees, and a CV. Applicants must hand their documents to the Departmental Secretary by 31 October.

When will I know about acceptance into the programme?
We will consider you application immediately, and provide provisional acceptance. After we received your final grades we will contact you with the final outcome. Should be done within a week after we received your final grades.

I am from another South Africa university, how do I apply?
Go to the University website and find  E-Applications. Proceed from here.  You will have to pay the application fee of R150.  The application will reach us and we will process it. If you don’t receive a letter of acknowledgement from us, please contact Dr Victor Rambau (

I am from outside South Africa, how do apply?
Please contact the International Office (LINK) and apply through them. The application will reach us and we will process it. If you don’t receive a letter of acknowledgement from us, please contact Dr Victor Rambau (

I am from outside South Africa, how much will it cost?
Contact the International Office for advice. Make sure you find out about University fees for internationals, accommodation and living costs.

When do I choose modules and a research project?
You are welcome to study the choice modulles offered on the website, and enquire about these, but you will only have to choose modules after the orientation day. We will then have a special registration session.

The research project will only be selected as soon as possible, in consultation with potential supervisors.

I am not sure about which choice modules to select?
Don’t worry, after listerning to all the presentations of the module coordinators you will have a better idea.

I don’t see an interesting project listed?
The projects listed are examples of projects that supervisors thought would be interesting, but you will have time to talk to several, if not all, supervisors and negotiate a project that you would like.

Is honours just a fourth academic year?
No, it will be more than just another undergraduate year. We will teach you important skills to become a good scientist and we will build your knowledge base in the fields of your choice. BUT, we will expect from you to work hard, read and interpret scientific papers, be able understand, comprehend and summarize what you read. Not to be afraid to be critical. Confidently speak about what you have learned and do oral presentations and answer questions about your presentations. One of the critical learning areas will be scientific writing.

What other benefits will I get?
We will sponsor the group to attend a scientific conference in South Africa! You will go as observers to see scientists in action at a scientific conference. You will meet fellow post-graduate students studying at other universities.

You will have lots of opportunities to get into the field. The Natural History Field excursion is an experience you will remember in years to come.

You will get a chance to tutor undergraduate students.

Can a student with a Technikon degree apply to do  BSc honours in Botany or Zoology?
We are investigating this possibility and if allowed, our department would recommend that such students be allowed to complete the BSc (Biodiversity and Ecology ) third year as a full-time student.  Selection to do honours will be done, along with the BSc students, under the same selection criteria.  An average of 60% for the the third year modules, will be required to enter the selection process.  

I still have more questions!

Contact Dr Victor Rambau (