University Of Johannesburg Zoology

University Of Johannesburg Zoology, Zoology is the study of animals, i.e. organisms that are not plants, fungi or bacteria. Zoology is concerned, for example, with the study of fishes, sponges, insects, reptiles and mammals – including humans.


Careers that you can pursue include nature conservationist, environmentalist, ecologist, entomologist, pathologist, parasitologist, geneticist, food technologist, etc.


The Department of Zoology at UJ offers a suite of courses that are relevant in today’s society, and our students acquire skills that are highly sought after in the workplace. We have a very high student success rate (90%), and the department’s academic staff are exceptionally well qualified (all 11 staff members have doctorates, and 9 have an NRF rating). Our particular research strengths are in the fields of Aquatic Toxicology and Physiology, Cave Ecology, Parasitology, Population Genetics and Respiratory Physiology.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​



The Honours course is only presented on a full-time basis. Therefore, students must be available full-
time from Monday to Friday for lectures from Mid-January until the end of November.
In the Zoology Department it is assumed that no student should leave the University before obtaining at least four years of training (Honours). Therefore, courses are developed to run from the first year to the fourth. Since standard and competition increase gradually, all potential students cannot be accepted and therefore prospective students should apply for admission, no later than the last Friday in October of the year proceeding the study year.
Financial Aid
Prospective students should note that a number of bursaries are available for students with merit and
you must apply on the dates specified by the bursar. See information elsewhere on the CD.
You may also additionally to the bursary apply for an assistantship in the department.  Successful candidates will be deployed as demonstrators, research assistants or for general maintenance in the department.
In addition to the various courses, each student must hand in a project.   Lecturers provide the various
themes and under their supervision each student must complete the project and present it orally and as a project report. A list of previous projects presented over the last four years, is attached.  Subject to approval, students are welcome to submit their own projects.
Assessments are not limited to exam periods but are also of a continuous nature.

Masters (coursework-based)​​


Coursework Masters’ Degree (Magister Scientiae) / Short Courses

Programme in Rivers and Wetlands
Presented by the Department of Zoology,
University of Johannesburg (UJ)

Course Aim
To provide training at a professional scientific level that qualifies candidates on a nationally and internationally recognised expertise level in managing riverine and wetland ecosystems.


  • Enable in-service training of civil servants at various levels (single module certificates to a Masters degree) in managing riverine and wetland ecosystems.
  • Raise awareness of the value of all wetlands types and rivers.
  • Ensure an understanding of the complexity of the interaction between increasing capacity to manage the diverse aquatic ecosystem types.
  • Ensure that managers have an understanding of impacts and the rehabilitation of wetlands and river ecosystems.

Study Options 
UJ offers a flexible suite of advanced study options:

  • Accredited (SAQA) individual modules and short courses, which are credit-baring towards the MSc.
  • A full-time Master of Science programme completed over one year encompassing coursework modules and a research project.
  • A two-year part-time Master of Science programme encompassing coursework modules and a research project.

Entrance Requirements:
Short courses (Note: successful completion of short courses does not automatically lead to entrance to the Masters Programme).

  • A Bachelor’s degree or diploma in an appropriate field or appropriate work experience in aquatic ecosystems.

Coursework MSc (Note: UJ entrance requirements for admission to the Masters programme).

  • A BSc Hons or equivalent 4-year degree in a biological science field, or equivalent qualifications in environmental sciences for cross-disciplinary studies.
  • Candidates lacking an adequate ecological foundation may be required to complete additional modules as co-requisites during a preliminary year (2-year programme).

Short Course and Module Content

Study Unit 1: Functional freshwater and wetland ecology
The aim of this course is to provide students with the relevant background information of different wetland and river types found in South Africa and the intricate interactions between the various components of these ecosystems. This will provide them with the necessary skills to engage in research and management in these ecosystems.

Study Unit 2: Wetland and river management
The aim of this course is to give the learner the relevant background information on policy, strategy, and management instruments that will facilitate the management of riverine and wetland resources.

Study Unit 3: Estuaries and the near-shore marine environment
The aim of this course is to provide the student the relevant background information on the function and structure of estuaries and the near-shore marine environment and to demonstrate the intricate interactions between the various components of freshwater and the near shore marine environment with the focus on estuaries.

Study Unit 4: Monitoring of wetlands and rivers
This course is aimed at providing the students with the knowledge and skills to plan and conduct monitoring and biomonitoring surveys in rivers and wetlands as well as enabling them to interpret the results of biomonitoring surveys.

Study Unit 5: Legislative aspects related to rivers and wetlands
The aim of this course is to introduce students to the different environmental laws, which may have an influence on the use and management of rivers and wetlands. This includes international conventions, common law and other important legislative developments that will impact on water resource management.

Study Unit 6: Water quality and pollution
The aim of this course is to provide students with the relevant background information on water quality and pollution to evaluate the consequences that the various water users have on the environment, to support measures aimed at controlling water-related diseases, and to protect ecosystems.

Study unit 7: Wetland and river remediation and rehabilitation
The aim of this course is to provide students with the necessary information to identify factors affecting river and wetland functioning and the strategies involved in remediating these factors and rehabilitation of the systems.

Study Unit 8: Research Project
The research project will require the completion of a project management phase (including project proposal, project budget and development of the research proposal (presentation to the higher degree committee). For the one-year full-time and two year part-time degree, data gathering, analysis and write-up must be completed within the specified registration period. Research projects are encouraged within the fields of expertise of the candidate. 

Short course modules (modules 1 to 7)
Registration, tuition and certification costs for individual 5-day short course modules: R6600.00 per module. Module costs exclude accommodation, meals and travel.

Masters Programme (module 8)
Refer to the Faculty of Science.

Department of Zoology, University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park Campus. Various other venues will also be utilised for certain modules. This will be indicated closer to the relevant module date.


  • Study Unit 1: Functional freshwater and wetland ecology. (UJ, APK Campus)
  • Study Unit 2: Wetland and river management. (UJ, APK Campus)
  • Study Unit 3: Estuaries and the near-shore marine environment. (Tsitsikamma)
  • Study Unit 4: Monitoring of wetlands and rivers. (UJ, APK Campus)
  • Study Unit 5: Legislative aspects related to rivers and wetlands. (UJ, APK Campus)
  • Study Unit 6: Water quality and pollution. (UJ Island, depending on numbers)
  • Study Unit 7: Wetland and river remediation and rehabilitation. (Lajuma – Soutpansberg)

Further Information

  • Only 20 participants will be accepted for the short courses.
  • For more information, write to The River and Wetland Course Coordinator, Department of Zoology, University of Johannesburg, PO Box 524, Auckland Park, 2006; Tahla Ansara-Ross; Fax +27 (0)11 559 2286, email
  • The general outline for the seven different modules has been placed into the brochures. Please download the front and back of the brochure for this information.

Contact us

Department of Zoology
University of Johannesburg
PO Box 524
Auckland Park
South Africa

Ms Thumeka Nakani
Administration Assistant
D3 LAB 229, APK
Tel: +27 (0)11 559 2441
Fax: +27 (0)11 559 2286