Our honours programmes are in the process of being restructured. The information on this page is current up to the 2018 academic year and will be updated for the 2019 academic year.

The BSc (Hons) degree is a postgraduate specialisation qualification, characterised by the fact that it prepares students for further, research-based study at postgraduate level. The qualification follows on a bachelor’s degree and is aimed at consolidating and deepening a student’s expertise in geology, and to develop research capacity in the methodology and techniques of the discipline. The qualification demands a high level of theoretical engagement and intellectual independence. The degree, in conjunction with practical, post-qualification experience, also serves as the minimum entry requirement for registration as a professional natural scientist with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP).

More specifically, the intention of this degree is to help students to:

  • Develop the ability to identify problems in the geosciences that are amenable to scientific inquiry and to formulate suitable research questions and research avenues / methodologies.
  • Become familiar with contemporary, primary literature and classic literature in the discipline and the resources available to them to do so.
  • Develop the ability to generate data and to interpret data.
  • Develop their critical reading skills.
  • Develop their scientific writing skills.
  • Presenting data acquired through experiments, mapping, analyses, observations etcetera in a scientific way.

The following modules are presented by the department at honours (NQF 8) level. A total of 120 credits are needed for the successful completion of the BSc (Hons) degree.

First semester

  • GLGY6816 - Plate Tectonics - 24 credits
  • GLGY6836 - Advanced and Applied Mineralogy - 24 credits
  • GLGY6853 - Advanced Igneous Petrology - 12 credits
  • GLGY6856 - Advanced Structural Geology - 24 credits
  • GLGY6873 - Advanced Environmental Geochemistry - 12 credits

Second semester

  • GLGY6826 - Advanced Economic Geology - 24 credits
  • GLGY6823 - Advanced Sedimentology - 12 credits
  • GLGY6843 - Advanced Metamorphic Petrology - 12 credits
  • GLGY6846 - Advanced Geochemistry - 24 credits
  • GLGY6863 - Mineral Exploration - 12 credits
  • GLGY6883 - Capita Selecta (currently Geophysics) - 12 credits
  • GLGY6808 - Short research essay - 32 credits
  • All modules include a research component.

Module syllabi

      GLGY6816 – Plate tectonics

  • Prerequisites
    • Selected for BSc (Hons) programme
  • Syllabus
    • Plate tectonic theory; rift valleys and passive continental margins; mid-ocean ridges, hot spots and flood basalts; subduction zones; transform faults; continental drift, the Wilson cycle and supercontinents through time; ancient plate tectonics; crust formation processes through time
  • Learning material
    • Study guide; videos; primary literature
    • Frisch, W., Meschede, M., Blakey, R.C. (2011) Plate tectonics: Continental Drift and Mountain Building. Springer
  • Field work
    • None
  • Assessments
    • Assignments; Semester test; Final examination

     

    GLGY6836 – Advanced and Applied Mineralogy

  • Prerequisites
    • Selected for BSc (Hons) programme
  • Syllabus
    • Calculation of complex mineral formulae; determination of specific gravity (theory); heavy mineral separation and zircon picking (theory); thin and thick section preparation (theory); ore microscopy (theory); X-ray Diffractometry (theory); crystallographic stereonet measurements (goniometry) and construction
    • Practical: SG determination; electron microscopy; X-ray Fluorescence and X-ray Diffractometry; zircon extraction (magnetic separation, Wilfley table, stereo microscopy); transmitted and reflected light microscopy; measurement of crystals with goniometer and presentation of results on stereonets
  • Learning material
    • Study guide; Study notes; Additional notes and handouts
  • Field work
    • 5 day Northern Cape Fieldtrip (pegmatites, metamorphic minerals, alluvial diamonds)
  • Assessments
    • Applied mineralogy project; Seminars and presentations; Class tests and assignments; Field trip report; Final examination

     

    GLGY6853 – Advanced Igneous Petrology

  • Prerequisites
    • GLGY3714; GLGY3754
  • Syllabus
    • Interpretation of phase diagrams (under equilibrium conditions & conditions of fractional crystallization); variation diagrams and the use of major element data; introduction to trace element modeling as applied to igneous rocks; the application of isotopes in igneous petrology; selected topical themes in igneous petrology.
  • Learning material
    • Study guide; Primary literature
  • Assessments
    • Assignments; Seminars; Reports; Final Examination

     

    GLGY6873 – Advanced Environmental Geochemistry

  • Prerequisites
    • GLGY3784
  • Syllabus
    • Environmental geochemical processes; environmental geochemical systems (sources and sinks); sampling and laboratory analysis; data analysis; Legislative context (Geochemical risk assessments, waste classification, water contamination assessments, soil contamination assessments); geochemical modelling; basic equilibrium thermodynamics; box models (as applied to mine water and salt balances and global geochemical cycling); enrichment factors and environmental pollution (backgrounds, baselines and thresholds)
    • Practical: Practical geochemical assessment project based on real datasets
  • Learning material
    • Study guide; Study notes; Relevant legislation; Suggested reading
  • Assessments
    • Semester test; Practical geochemical assessment project; Final examination (open book)

     

    GLGY6856 – Advanced Structural Geology

  • Prerequisites
    • GLGY3734
  • Syllabus
    • Principles and techniques of structural geology and applications thereof; planning and execution of structural mapping projects; collection, interpretation, processing and presentation of structural data
    • Practical: Surface and underground geological and structural mapping
  • Learning material
    • Study guide; Primary literature; List of recommended texts
  • Field work
    • 5 day Upington-Copperton fieldtrip involving surface mapping and underground mine mapping
  • Assessments
    • Reports and presentations; Literature reviews; Underground mine mapping exercise; Surface mapping exercise and strain analysis; Final examination

     

    GLGY6826 – Advanced Economic Geology

  • Prerequisites
    • Selected for BSc (Hons) programme
  • Syllabus
    • South African Economic Geology (Kimberlites, Witwatersrand Au deposits, the Bushveld Complex, Banded Iron Formations, Energy resources)
    • Practical: Visits to South African mineral deposits and mining operations
  • Learning material
    • Study guide; Prescribed reading from primary literature
  • Field work
    • 9 day field trip to South African mineral deposits and mining operations
  • Assessments
    • Field notes; Debate; Presentations; Paper discussions; Final examination

     

    GLGY6823 – Advanced Sedimentology

  • Prerequisites
    • Selected for BSc (Hons) programme
  • Syllabus
    • Concepts of scale in sedimentology (spatial and temporal); basin analysis; topical issues in sedimentology
    • Practical: Sedimentological profiling, data acquisition and reporting
  • Learning material
    • Study guide; Compulsory reading from various sources
  • Field work
    • 6 day fieldtrip to the Vanderkloof area
  • Assessments
    • Class test; Presentations; Fieldwork exercises; Poster; Final examination

     

    GLGY6843 – Advanced Metamorphic Petrology

  • Prerequisites
    • GLGY3744
  • Syllabus
    • Basic thermodynamics as applied to problems in metamorphic petrology; the construction of phase diagrams using the approach of Schreinemakers: complex systems including the presence of degenerate reactions and the use of thermodynamics to calculate the slopes of reaction lines; temperature-composition (TX) diagrams and their application to the study of phase relations in carbonate-bearing protoliths; geothermometry and geobarometry; metamorphism under extreme conditions
  • Learning material
    • Study guide; Primary literature
  • Assessments
    • Assignments; Seminars; Reports; Final Examination

     

    GLGY6846 – Advanced Geochemistry

  • Prerequisites
    • GLGY3754; GLGY3774; GLGY3784
  • Syllabus
    • Analytical methods for isotope determination; radioactive isotopes and their uses in geochemistry; deep Earth geochemistry; stable isotope geochemistry; applications of isotope studies to ores; applications of isotope studies to sedimentary and metamorphic rocks; surface geochemistry
    • Practical: Semester project and practical exercises using real datasets
  • Learning material
    • Study guide; Primary literature
  • Field work
    • 1 day fieldtrip to Jagersfontein to study mantle nodules
  • Assessments
    • Student project; Semester tests; Assignments; Final examination

     

    GLGY6863 –Mineral Exploration

  • Prerequisites
    • Selected for BSc (Hons) programme
  • Syllabus
    • Exploration techniques; use of indicator minerals in mineral exploration; ore resource and reserve estimation; drilling practice
    • Practical: Visits to South African mineral deposits and mining operations; thin section description and interpretation; practical resource / reserve estimation (manual and computer-based)
  • Learning material
    • Study guide; Primary literature
  • Field work
    • 9 day field trip to South African mineral deposits and mining operations (as for GLGY6826)
    • 1 day fieldtrip to Jagersfontein (as for GLGY6846)
  • Assessments
    • Field notes; Assignments; Resource / reserve estimation exercise; Final examination

     

    GLGY6883 – Capita Selecta (Geophysics)

  • Prerequisites
    • Selected for BSc (Hons) programme
  • Syllabus
    • Introduction to the magnetic method; gravity method; radiometric method; seismic method; electrical methods (Self potential method, induced polarization method; resistivity method, electromagnetic method); geophysical wireline logs, case studies
    • Practical: Geophysical interpretation task using real datasets
  • Learning material
    • Study guide; Study notes; Powerpoint slides
  • Assessments
    • Geophysical interpretation task; Semester test; Final examination

     

    GLGY6808 – Geology Research Report

  • Prerequisites
    • Selected for BSc (Hons) programme
  • Syllabus
    • Identifying a research project and formulating a research question; consultation of primary literature relevant to the chosen topic of inquiry; consideration of research ethics and development of an appreciation of the scientific method; generation of data relevant to a specific research project; development of critical reading and scientific writing skills; presentation of research data in a final report; reaching conclusions that are grounded on the data collected; identifying (where necessary) the need for further research
  • Learning material
    • Study guide
  • Field work
    • Project dependent
  • Assessments
    • Research proposal; Draft research project reports; Final research project report


FACULTY CONTACT

Faculty Manager: Ms Lee-Ann Frazenburg
T: +27 51 401 3199
E: damonsle@ufs.ac.za

Marketing Manager: Mrs Elfrieda Lötter
T: +27 51 401 2531
E: lottere@ufs.ac.za

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