Welcome to Stellenbosch University

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Department of Earth Sciences​​

The South African geological record is extraordinary and unique, providing a world-class natural laboratory for those interested in research in the earth sciences. New technologies and the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies have, in recent years, opened up a wide variety of opportunities for geologists in the exploration of 'green' metals, besides the more traditional mineral exploration.

Environmental issues related to human activities and the broad topic of climate change provide an important research focus for the field of environmental geochemistry: research in hydrogeology centres around the distribution, movement and properties of groundwater, an increasingly scarce and valuable commodity in sub-Saharan Africa and South Africa, in particular. These diverse fields are being taught and researched by staff and students in the department and offer a wide range of careers in South Africa and abroad.

​The postgraduate population of the Department is cosmopolitan, and in recent years we have attracted students from Brazil, Canada, France, Gabon, Germany, Italy, Japan, Namibia, the UK, US, Netherlands and DRC, and Zimbabwe.


  • Tectonics and orogenic processes
  • Petrogenesis of granite rocks​
  • Trace-element and isotope geochemistry
  • Shear-zone hosted gold deposits
  • Massive sulphide deposits​
  • Heavy mineral placer deposits
  • Metallogenesis of mobile belts
  • Experimental petrology
  • Metamorphic petrology
  • Marine geochemistry
  • Hydro-geochemistry and pollution​​​​​​​​​


Application Process