3 years
Full time
Bachelor's degree
Scholarships available
On campus
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About this program

BSc (Engineering and Environmental Geology)

The degree offers further specialisation in engineering geology and hydrogeology. Engineering geology is the study of the behaviour of ground (soil and rock) and how likely it is to affect engineering works. It comprises geotechnical studies and relates to construction (eg founding or excavation) on and with geological materials (eg construction materials), and to the influences of geological, geomorphological and hydrological processes on construction and development. Hydrogeology refers to the occurrence, distribution and movement of water below the Earth’s surface. The study of groundwater is generally both quantitative (eg water supply, safe abstraction and the influences of pumping) and qualitative (eg contamination, remediation and drinking water).

Very few universities offer professional qualifications in engineering geology and hydrogeology. UP offers both, which places it in a strong position on the interface between infrastructure development and subsurface water. The qualification complies with the requirements for professional registration.

The program requires a strong understanding of mathematics and mechanics. Genuine concern for Planet Earth, a desire to work outdoors and an interest in geology or geomorphology will be an advantage. Depending on your personality, you can choose how you would like to divide your time between doing fieldwork and working on a computer.

Engineering geologists work closely with civil engineers, mining engineers, town planners and environmental scientists. Your work will require you to identify geological hazards, source building materials and supply foundation solutions.

As a hydrogeologist you will be involved in the supply of water for urban, agricultural and industrial use. Nowadays many graduates work in contaminant transport and remediation, which involves identifying sources of pollution and finding suitable remediation solutions.

Admission requirements

  • The admission requirements apply to students who apply for admission to the University of Pretoria with a National Senior Certificate (NSC) and Independent Examination Board (IEB) qualifications.
  • Applicants with qualifications other than the abovementioned should refer to Brochure: Undergraduate program Information 2022: Qualifications other than the NSC and IEB/
  • Citizens from countries other than South Africa (applicants who are not South African citizens) should also refer to Brochure: Newcomer’s Guide 2021.
  • School of Tomorrow (SOT), Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) and General Education Development Test (GED): The University of Pretoria no longer accepts qualifications awarded by these institutions.
  • National Certificate (Vocational) (NCV) Level 4: The University of Pretoria may consider NCV candidates, provided they meet the exemption for bachelor’s status criteria and the program requirements.

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Program content

Curriculum: Year 1

Fundamental modules

  • Academic information management 111
  • Academic information management 121
  • Language and study skills 110
  • Academic orientation 102

Core modules

  • General chemistry 117
  • General chemistry 127
  • Introduction to geology 155
  • Earth history 163
  • First course in physics 114
  • Statics 122
  • Calculus 114
  • Mathematics 124

Curriculum: Year 2

Core modules

  • Geographic information systems introduction 221
  • Introductory soil science 250
  • Sedimentology 253
  • Fundamental and applied mineralogy 255
  • Igneous and metamorphic petrology 263
  • Geological field mapping 266
  • Strength of materials 210

Curriculum: Final year

Core modules

  • Soil chemistry 320
  • Soil classification and surveying 350
  • Structural geology 365
  • Groundwater 366
  • Advanced Geological field mapping 368
  • Engineering geology and rock mechanics 369
  • Soil mechanics 311

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please visit the university website for more information.


Undergraduate Tuition fees per faculty in 2022

  • 1st year: 56000 + 15% VAT
  • 2nd year: 52 000 - 61 000 + 15% VAT
  • 3rd year: 39 000 - 51 000 + 15% VAT


Total credits: 420

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About this institute

University of Pretoria - Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences

The pandemic has allowed us to re-imagine what a university should look like and how it should conduct its core business of research, teaching and learning, and community engagement. We have moved away from emergency online teaching, and we are...

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Why study at University of Pretoria - Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences

Our excellence in teaching and research is recognised by our large number of partners outside of academia. We work together with several companies, non-profit organisations, industry bodies, and government departments, which means that the qualification you receive from NAS gives you a unique edge for employment. The excellent research and teaching you are exposed to during your training, combined with valuable real-world experience, will make you a sought-after candidate for employment.

We are known for our expertise in forestry and agriculture, the life sciences and mathematical and statistical sciences—all supported by genuine scholarship and excellence in the basic sciences. We offer some unique degrees (in Meteorology and Nutrition, for example), and even though there may be similar offerings elsewhere, we have attractive double major options (and even a unique triple major in Human Physiology, Genetics and Psychology). Food- and water security in Africa, which are two of our many focus areas, can be approached from many angles: climate change, biotechnology, crop development, breeding, data science, agricultural economics, insurance risk, consumer behaviour, indigenous crops, pests and diseases, carbon cycling and environmental change, to name but a few.

Contact info

University of Pretoria - Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences

cnr Lynnwood Road and Roper Street
South Africa

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Want to know more about BSc (Engineering and Environmental Geology)? Fill out the following form and we'll pass your details on to a representative from the school, who will respond to your enquiry.


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