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The Faculty of Science is able to offer you a unique and enriching undergraduate experience, and a qualification that is respected throughout the world. As a Faculty within Africa’s top ranked university, we are home to many world-ranked researchers, and you will be taught by leaders in their fields. You will join over 2000 undergraduate students registered for the Bachelor of Science degree.

We offer a wide range of majors designed to build the intellectual and technical capacity of our graduates so you can critically engage in, and find creative solutions for, the challenges facing society, or subsequently pursue postgraduate studies at this or any university around the world. The conceptual and practical training offered will prepare you for leadership in research, policy and decision-making and equip you for a wide range of professional and academic career paths in and beyond South Africa, and to be able to compete competitively in the international arena. Over 15% of our undergraduate students and 35% of our staff are international, which will provide you with a multi-cultural experience and exposure to a variety of perspectives that will shape your future.

Degrees Offered

The BSc degree provides a graduate with the specific discipline knowledge, together with a range of related skills, essential for the workplace, or to allow continuation to postgraduate study. Curricula are designed to provide adequate foundations and depth in the chosen majors, but also to attain generic skills such as numeracy, problem solving, and computer and communication skills which are necessary to function as a graduate.

Basic structure of the BSc:

  • A minimum of 3 years to complete.
  • 2 majors are selected. Students may include a major from another faculty.
  • 9 full year courses or the equivalent in half courses are completed over the degree period.
    • Typically, 4 or 5 courses are taken at first-year level, 2 or 3 at second-year level and 2 at third-year level.
    • Courses comprise a mixture of lectures, tutorials, practicals and field work.
    • Unlike school, it is not necessary to do all first-year courses during the first year at university.
    • Courses include compulsory ones required for each major, as well as elective ones (which are not prescribed but chosen out of interest to fulfil the degree requirement of completing nine full courses).
    • All students are required to do a mathematics course. For some majors, a statistics course is also required.

Details of the courses required for each major can be found in the Faculty Handbook.


Studies in the mathematical and scientific disciplines are challenging. Many students find the transition from school to university difficult – the quantity of work, the pace at which material is covered and conceptual complexity are all greater than at school, even though some of the topics covered appear similar.

Our experience shows that many first-year students can overcome this difficult transition by spreading their curriculum over a four-year period, thus giving themselves sufficient time to understand and master the challenging material. To help students perform optimally, many first-year courses have two options:

  • 1 year option.
  • 1.5- or 2-years option, with extra support offered.
Students who choose a 4-year curriculum currently qualify for an extra year of NSFAS funding.

All students write a set of formal class tests after four weeks of lectures. Using the marks achieved in these tests, together with the results of the school-leaving examinations and the National Benchmark Tests (NBTs), each student is guided on the best plan for their degree.

The Faculty provides individual consultations with Student Advisors, who are lecturers with experience in assisting students to plan a curriculum that gives them the best chance of fulfilling their potential in their chosen majors.




Last updated 9 Jan 2024