College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences

About the college

Click on the image to view the student orientation video

The college is situated strategically at the Unisa Science Campus in Johannesburg. Unisa has made science a priority and aims to grow research capacity and support research activities in the fields of agriculture and environmental sciences through the activities of the College. With its leading edge laboratories facilities not generally associated with open and distance e-learning institutions our students will have a place to grow their minds and do what every scientist lives to do - put theory into practice.

Through the Science campus the College strives to be the number one world-class science centre of excellence in teaching, research, innovation and community engagement for sustainable development.

The College offers a wide array of exciting qualifications in the science sphere. Its state-of the- art laboratories and equipment , and its dedicated group of science education professionals ensure that open distance learning students are afforded the very best support and practical exposure- unique to an open distance learning institution and indeed, on par with the very best on offer from residential universities.

The College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, consists of two schools (with two departments each) a centre and a unit.

School of Agriculture and Life Sciences

The School of Agriculture and Life Sciences is constituted out of two composite departments namely the Department of Agriculture and Animal Health and the Department of Life and Consumer Sciences. The primary goal in the school is to provide solutions to African based challenges through engaged scholarship that spawns from the interaction between a trilogy of Teaching and Learning, Research and Innovation and Community Engagement in areas of agriculture, animal health, life and consumer sciences.

Department of Agriculture and Animal Health

The Department of Agriculture, Animal Health the focus is on both plant and animal agricultural sciences, agricultural economics and extension, Animal health and Agribusiness.

Department of Life and Consumer Sciences

The Life Sciences focus on discipline such as human physiology, biochemistry, biomedical sciences, botany, biology, biotechnology, genetics, microbiology and zoology. The main focus of Consumer Sciences is on food science, clothing and textile, nutrition and hospitality management.

School of Ecological and Human Sustainability

The primary focus of the School is to use its scholarship to achieve higher levels of environmental responsibility and awareness for a sustainable future.  In order to achieve this, the School addresses social, economic and environmental sustainability challenges by integrating the human, ecological and environmental resources to create sustainable livelihoods and sustainable environments.

Department of Geography

Geography focuses on the relation between people, places, environments and societies. Studying geography will help you understand the role of different societal aspects in the formation of places and spaces. Of particular importance is our focus on the interaction between people and their environment in order to make sense of our world. Geography consists of both physical and human geography. Physical geography is concerned with the earth’s physical processes such as climate, soils, water, hazards, landforms and vegetation. Human geography focuses on the presence of people in places and spaces, for example, the distribution of people across the world, the development of places and spaces, sustainability, urban and regional planning and tourism. In the light of the global scale changes currently experienced by the world and the challenges thus posed for future sustainability, interactions between physical and human aspects of the world are increasingly studied in Geography as well.

Department of Environmental Sciences

This department has a number of core focus areas: environmental management and environmental science, nature conservation and horticulture and landscaping. The diverse academics in the department have a wide range of research interests including community- based and eco-tourism, environmental management, animal behaviour, soil science, water quality, vegetation studies and ecology, urban forestry and biodiversity management, and parks and recreation management to name but a few. The department also has a strong postgraduate student focus.

Centre for Sustainable Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

The College has contributed to the University of South Africa in its endeavors to use SLPs to serve South African and African societies by disseminating knowledge and improving on skills and capacity. During 2013, SLP activities within the College included short learning programmes in various formats, including Programmes, Courses, Conferences and Workshops. These have benchmarked activities and standards for the newly constituted Centre for Sustainable Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, (the Centre) and are the foundation upon which to build and expand SLP activities during 2012 and then into the future.

Applied Behavioural Ecology & Ecosystem Research Unit (ABEERU)

The Applied Behavioural Ecological & Ecosystem Research Unit (ABEERU) was established in 2003. The unit resulted from international academic research collaboration on a research project registered at UNISA. Different specialists involved in the project realised that their combined efforts had broad academic and practical application. The intention of ABEERU is to provide appropriate research training to learners from UNISA, other local academic institutions and abroad via coursework and research. ABEERU offers appropriate research services to the broader community and conservation bodies it collaborates with. Acquired basic knowledge is applied to improve the management and understanding of ecosystems to ensure sustainability and preservation of biodiversity.

Last modified: 2023/08/07