WPCS 2.1.2
Tuition Fees:$4,412 /year
Part-time Study:2 years
Applications Begin:April 2021
Final Award: Master of Science in Resource Conservation Biology
Start Date:February 2022
Academic Unit:Faculty of Science
Campus:East Campus
Course Type:Masters of Science by coursework and research
Application Deadline: September 2021
Programme Overview

The Wits School of Animal, Plant, and Environmental Sciences is home to a number of world leaders in sustainability, savannah ecology, conservation, among other research areas. The School includes a diverse, research active and passionate staff and post-graduate cohort working on a variety of projects ranging from animal behaviour to plant systematics and evolution to ecology and aquatic ecology. The School prides itself on the extent of its research experience.


The MSc Resource Conservation Biology degree comprises a research project, and six elective courses (course offerings vary each year). Details below.
– Conserving Biodiversity: Foundations
– Statistical Research & Design
– Sustaining Populations & Resources: Foundations
– Sustaining Populations & Resources: Frontiers
– Management of African Savannas
– Maintaining Ecosystem Processes: Foundations
– EIAs- Concepts and Critical Review
– Sustainability Leadership
– Energy and Environment

The courses are usually presented as short courses over 2 weeks. Courses offered might vary from year to year depending on staff availability.

The coursework component for the full-time programme would normally be completed in the first six months of study, with the last six months dedicated to the research project.

Six courses must be completed. At least four of the courses MUST be from those offered by the School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences (course code APES). The other two courses can be chosen from the suite of courses offered as part of the MSc in Environmental Sciences. If the student does not have adequate previous training in statistics, then one of these two courses must be STATS7009A.

The research report is based on investigations extending over the equivalent of six months of full time work. Each student will be required to confirm selection of the research project and supervisor one month from the date of registration. Each student is required to present a formal project proposal and a final project seminar.

Admission Requirements

– A Bachelor of Science with Honours from Wits or another university
– A graduate of this or another university who holds a degree in another faculty whose curriculum has ordinarily extended over not less than four academic years of full-time study.

Additional Entry Requirements
A BSc Honours or equivalent four year degree with a good understanding of ecology. Acceptance into certain courses may be restricted to applicants with relevant undergraduate course credits.

Applications should include:
– A letter of motivation stating the reasons why you want to take this course and explaining your field of special interest.
– A comprehensive CV, including academic transcripts and the names and contact addresses of three referees.

Application Process
Application Fees for South African and SADC students: $13
Application Fees for International Students: $13

– Applications are handled centrally by the Student Enrolment Centre (SEnC). Once your application is complete in terms of requested documentation, your application will be referred to the relevant School for assessment.
Apply onlineUpload your supporting documents at the time of application, or via the Self Service Portal.
– Applicants can monitor the progress of their applications via the Self Service Portal, view academic application status, accept an offer (once certified hardcopies have been received by SEnC), apply and check residence application status, and generate a fees estimate.
– Selections for programmes that have a limited intake but attract a large number of applications may only finalise the application at the end of the application cycle.
– All students for this programme, pay an application fee of R200

Please note that the Entry Requirements are a guide. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee a place. Final selection is made subject to the availability of places, academic results and other entry requirements where applicable.

For more information, contact the Student Call Centre +27 (0)11 717 1888, or log a query at

Career Opportunities

Career opportunities for this programme include:
– Nature conservation: national or conservation agencies, private wildlife enterprises, environmental NGOs, environmental consultancy.
– Environmental Impact Assessment.
– Commerce and industry: private consulting firms, environmental divisions of large corporations, marketing, scientific services, mining and forestry companies.

Tuition Fees Details
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Tuition Fees for South African and SADC students: $4,412
Tuition Fees for International Students: $4,412

Tuition Fees per year for South African Students = R66,900
Tuition Fees per year for International Students = R66900
(The tuition fees for International students includes an additional International Registration fee R6,650 to the normal fees.)

**Students from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member countries pay also annual local tuition fees and related costs (The SADC member countries are Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe)

International Students should take note:
– 75% of the annual tuition fee is payable on or before registration, as well as 75% of the on-campus accommodation fee.
– This payment includes the annual tuition fees and other related costs.
– The balance of the fees is payable by 31 March for undergraduate students, and for postgraduate students 30 days after registration. This excludes students with Refugee status.
– Fees clearance is to be obtained from the Fees Office.
– If you are sponsored, your sponsorship letter has to be vetted by the Financial Aid and Scholarships
Office (FASO).
– All international students (those who are not South African citizens or who do not have permanent residence status in South Africa) are required by the Department of Home Affairs to provide proof of available funds for the tuition fee for the academic year prior to receiving his/her study visa.

Relevant Contact

Prof. Francesca Parrini
Programme co-ordinator