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Honours in Ichthyology and Fisheries Science

The Honours degree, offered by the Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science (DIFS), is aimed to produce free-thinking and critical young scientists. They are capable of performing independent research, and the hands-on, applied nature of our approach to teaching and learning, prepares them as potential managers and practitioners broadly in the fields of ichthyology, fisheries science, aquaculture and aquatic resource utilization in general.


The Honours course is comprised of advanced studies in experimental design, data analysis, evolution and systematics, speciation, biodiversity, fish biology and ecology, conservation, stock assessment and quantitative fisheries resource management, fisheries, oceanography, aquaculture, business planning an advanced course in scientific writing. There are at least two field excursions: the first to gain insight and practical experience in field sampling techniques and the second to obtain insight into operational aquaculture ventures. In addition, students are required to design a production facility and prepare a business plan for a hypothetical aquaculture venture. A major research project is undertaken throughout the year, and a report submitted for the final examination, in a form suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The course is run on the basis of lectures, tutorials, seminars and extended essays. The examination consists of three theory papers, a practical examination, an oral examination and the project report. Practical and theoretical work done during the year count towards the final mark.


The DIFS considers its honours course as the department’s “flag-ship” that prepares its students, not only for a career in this or a related field, but for life in general. Students that participate in this course, go out into the world knowing that they can achieve anything that comes their way. This is what differentiates our course from others that are available to students in this field.


Links to content

  1. Honours curriculum summary
  2. Honours aquaculture fieldtrip slideshow (20 MB to download)
  3. Honours ichthyology fieldtrip slideshow (50 MB to download)
  4. Honours projects available in 2017
  5. Honours Fisheries Management Blogs (prepared by the 2017 honours students as a class assignment):
    1. Blog 1
    2. Blog 2
  6. Honours aquaculture business plan assignment
  7. Video: Honours River Rehabilitation Fieldtrip
  8. How I got my first job – DIFS ex-honours student

Last Modified: Tue, 31 Jan 2023 08:22:04 SAST