​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Prospective postgraduate students

​Below you will find the application procedures for honours as well as MSc and PhD students:

IMG_20170605_113351small.jpgES Honours programme

The Honours year is an intense and exciting journey through a multitude of subjects and your research project. 

The Honours Programme module information (status 2021) ​​This compilation serves as a general content guideline to give students interested in the programme further insight. Updated frameworks with additional details will be posted on SUNLearn and will be available to students enrolled in the programme of the specific year.
The honours course is taught in English.

Please also find information in the Honours Handbook 2021 (updated).

​1. Honours application for students currently enrolled in the BSc programme in Earth Sciences: Applied Geology or Geo-environmental Science streams


If you wish to apply for the Applied Earth Science or Geo-Environmental Science Honours courses offered within the Department of Earth Sciences and you are a current  SU student, you have to 

  • apply with the Department of Earth Sciences using th​is internal application form: Inte​rn​al Application Honours 2022​​​ (Deadline: 1 October 2021)
    This deadline is independent of the SU application deadline. Please send the filled internal applicaton form to the honours co-ordinator.


​apply on-line with the university by their deadline. Information about the SU application and their deadline is found here:

​​https://web-apps.sun.ac.za/HuidigAansNg/Apply.jsp?pLang=english ​


​​Plan your honours research project:

It's time to start thinking about your Honours Research Project during the 2nd term of your final year! Find more information on possible research topics offered by members of the department in the "potential projects" list​. It is essential to contact potential supervisors before your internal application.

Be proactive with regard to bursaries e.g. check out our website, but search also for other opportunities.​

Admission process and timeline:

The Department of Earth Sciences only finalizes the evaluation of all applications in December. Successful applicants (i.e. students that were offered a place in our Honours courses) will be informed thereafter, typically by mid-December. Only successful students will be contacted. If you did not receive a positive response by the end of the y​ear, your application was unfortunately unsu​ccessfull. 

If you were successful you will receive further information about deadlines for acceptance, updated timetables and guidelines for registration via email. It is very important that you provide us with an email address that we can contact in December/January as you may miss the deadline for acceptance otherwise. We will contact you via email only. We will not make use of any other form of correspondance. It is therefore very important that you check your email account regul​arly in December/January or provide us with an alternative email of a person of your trust who does check regularly. 

​If you were successful you will also receive further information about the begin of the Honours course.  We expect all successful candidates to have registered with the university before the first day of class. The first day of class of the Honours programmes within the Department of Earth Sciences is typically the third Monday of the year, e.g. Monday 22nd of January 2018. This date varies from year to year though. Successful candidates will receive further information once they accepted the place.  


2. Honours application for external student​s

If you are an external  student interested in applying for Honours with the Department of Earth Sciences at SU, you have to apply via the university first. The faculty will forward the list of external applicants and we may contact some candidates to request additional information regarding their academic record. ​

Admission information for external students: http://www0.sun.ac.za/pgstudies/application-to-su-1.html

Be proactive with regard to bursaries e.g. check out our website, but search also for other opportunities.


3. MSc and PhD​ application

Interested in the Department's research? All our higher degrees (MSc and PhD) are by research only, which means that you will work on a specific research topic and finalize this with a thesis and an oral defence.

Do not apply 'blindly' online with the university for an MSc or PhD in Earth Sciences!

Students interested in doing a research project at Stellenbosch Earth Sciences are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the research fields offered by the Department and respective academic members of staff. Search the list of academic staff and their research interests

If there is a staff member whose research interests seem interesting to you, please contact that staff member directly to discuss if they would accept you as a research student under their supervision. When you contact an academic staff member in our department, always state your academic background (e.g. field of BSc/Hons studies), your research interests and why you decided to apply for MSc or PhD at the Earth Sciences Department in Stellenbosch. You may also provide your academic record and a brief CV. 

If there is mutual interest, the next step is for the student and supervisor to jointly work on producing a research project proposal for submission to the Earth Sciences Departmental Research Student Committee (ES RSC) for consideration. Your research proposal must be approved by the ES RSC prior to registration with the university. (If you are an international student please see below.)

For this Departmental application to the Research Student Committee (RSC) the proposal must include the following information:

  • departmental application form​​​ (word file - please use SU login if you are a current student. If you are an external student and can not access the form please contact your supervisor)

  • a short CV of the student (maximum one A4 page)
  • a description of the study area or field of research
  • a projected timeframe for completion of the project
  • details of the logistics of the research project
  • details of the budget and financing required to complete the research project​

Only after the Research Student Committee approves the proposal it can recommend the student for registration with the Science Faculty. The student may then register for the chosen degree with the Faculty of Science.

​Note that, if you are an international student applying from another country, your initial application (after discussions with the potential supervisor, but prior to departmental approval) must go through the university's Postgraduate and International Office. The Postgraduate Office​ will determine your eligibility to apply at different degree levels. Please see the following URL for details:

 https://www0.sun.ac.za/international/​   PGIOroundel2015[1].jpghttp://www0.sun.ac.za/pgstudies/​​​

All students must meet the primary Faculty requirements for admission to the particular degree and must abide by Faculty deadlines for admission. For this information students should refer to the Sc​ience Facult​y website or contact the Faculty Officer, Mr Bevin Abels, email or +27 21 808 9111.​

Please read the handbook​ which contains all  re​levant information for Earth Sciences M.Sc. and Ph.D students:

 For general enquiries contact earthsciences@sun.ac.za


Living in Stellenbosch.jpg

For more information around the campus, admission requirements, residences etc. prospective postgraduate students are referred to SUN's Postgraduate Office: http://www0.sun.ac.za/pgstudies/​

Direct enquiries about postgraduate funding: Enquiries desk: Postgraduate Student Funding

General SU admissions information:http://www0.sun.ac.za/pgstudies/application-to-su-1.html



If you still have time, visit us during the Open Day held in February every year. Find info here: SU Maties - Events