Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Environmental Health

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Environmental Health


The vision of the Environmental Health programme at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University is to be a leader in teaching and research in the field of environmental health, integrating and balancing both urban and rural community requirements and being socially engaged in knowledge creation.

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The mission of the Environmental Health programme is to train and equip our students with professional skills and competencies to handle challenging situations in a manner that shapes and secures a better quality of life and puts people first. This will be achieved through:

  • designing and offering learning programmes that meet and exceed the requirements of the National Qualifications Framework for our qualification;
  • pursuing a socially engaged approach to knowledge generation;
  •  developing and implementing a quality assurance programme that continually enhances the quality of our processes and products.

Courses Offered


Requirements for admission

(Please note that these are the specific programme admission requirements the university has its own minimum admission requirements).


For students with National Senior Certificate (NSC)

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  • Minimum NSC requirements for degree entry must be met.
  • English, Afrikaans or isiXhosa (Home Language or First Additional Language) on at least level 3 (40-49%).
  • NSC achievement rating of at least 4 (50-59%) for Mathematics.
  • NSC achievement rating of at least 4 (50-59%) for Physical Science.
  • NSC achievement rating of at least 4 (50-59%) for Life Sciences.
  • Applicants with an Admission point score between 30-35 may be referred to write an Access Assessment Battery before a decision is made on whether or not to admit the applicant to the course.
  • Admission is subject to Departmental selection.


For students with Senior Certificate

  • Student Performance Score(SPS) of 32.
  • Senior Certificate with matriculation endorsement.
  • Mathematics Higher Grade E or Standard Grade C.
  • Biology Higher Grade E or Standard Grade C.
  • Physical Science Higher Grade E or Standard Grade C.



  • In the Department of Environmental Health the student selection process is managed by the Head of Department in consultation with academic staff in the department.
  • The first consideration in the selection process is academic merit.
  • Applicants must meet the admission requirements as stated in the Faculty of Health Sciences Prospectus for a particular year.
  • Where admission quota is oversubscribed applicants are considered on the basis of ensuring equity of access and opportunities so as to give students the best chance of success in their pursuit of lifelong learning and diverse educational goals.
  • Where applicants have indicated a physical disability the Disability Unit will be consulted in order to determine whether the applicant will be able to satisfy the demands of training to be an Environmental Health Practitioner.
  • Applicants who do not meet the Admission Requirements may be considered only upon recommendation by CAAR.



Community service

All South African health care students do a year of community service during the year following their final year of studying. The placement process is organised by the National Department of Health and usually takes place during the second half of each year. Our department plays a facilitation role between the Department of Health and each student.


Registration with HPCSA

All students that follow the Bachelor of Environmental Health degree must register with HPCSA via the Professional Board for Environmental Health Practitioners as Student Environmental Health Officers before 1 April of the year of first enrolment. The department of Environmental Health at the university will facilitate the registration process at the beginning of the academic year.


Re-admission Rules

In order to progress in the Bachelor of Environmental Health programme, a student needs to have accumulated a minimum number of credits at the end of each year of study as indicated in the table below. If that has not been achieved, the student may either be allowed to progress subject to certain conditions or be refused progression. In the event of refusal a student may lodge an appeal in terms of the prescribed NMMU procedure.

  • In order to register for the 4th year in the Bachelor of Environmental Health the student must have successfully completed all NQ Level 5 and Level 6 modules and have done 95% of their practical hours for years 1-3.
  • For certain modules there are pre-requisites that need to be met.

The main objective of our research is to actively contribute to the objectives of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Agenda 21, Rio de Janeiro, 1992), namely sustainable development. Within this context, “Information for Decision-making” (Chapter 40 of Agenda 21) is the focus of our research.

We extend the specialized knowledge base of environmental health science through scientific research in accordance with the highest standards – thereby staying at the forefront of environmental health information which enables us to effectively contribute to sustainable environmental health decision-making from both a local, regional, national and international perspective.

The objectives for our research are to:

  • establish and maintain, in collaboration with internal and external stakeholders, our research focus area, namely “environmental health information for decision-making”;
  • empower our students by introducing them to the field of environmental health research and technology;
  • provide the necessary infrastructure and expertise to support and maintain all research related to our focus area;
  • develop and evaluate new environmental health technologies;
  • serve as a centre of excellence in environmental health research and information;
  • empower decision-makers and other stakeholders / role-players by sharing of research results, information and trends; and to
  • participate in co-operative research with other research institutions
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