Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences
Research Excellence at University of Pretoria

Research at the University of Pretoria (UP) is at the apex of the University’s long-term strategic plan, UP 2025, which is to be a leading research-intensive university in Africa. Equally important is the University’s international visibility and the impact of its research and innovation on socio-economic development in South Africa and in the region. UP therefore deliberately balances its focus on research and innovation and the partnerships fostered by creating an environment that is conducive to scholarly pursuits. A wide range of research and professional areas underscores the strength of UP in research and postgraduate education, and also the areas in which UP is positioned as a research leader in Africa and internationally.

UP has been home to some of Africa’s most significant leaders in research. Each year the increasing number of National Research Foundation-rated researchers is evidence of the University’s commitment to attracting and retaining researchers of the highest distinction, as well as young researchers with the potential for research excellence.

It is through the sustained individual and collective actions of our researchers that UP continues to strengthen its identity as a leading research-intensive university in Africa.

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Welcome to the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences

The Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Pretoria is one of the largest of its kind. We know that global challenges do not exist in silos, so we encourage postgraduate research projects across and beyond a range of disciplines and fields. We are known to produce proudly African solutions to the planet’s most pressing concerns. While we maintain a strong focus on addressing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, primarily hunger and food security, we also offer postgraduate programmes in various internationally recognised fields such as big data, radio astronomy, agricultural economics and even fashion, retail and food science.
Message from the Dean

Welcome to the University of Pretoria. Our Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, also known as NAS, is the best home you could choose for expanding your passion for life and exploring new opportunities and careers in the sciences. Just like the fields of study we work across, our faculty thrives on diversity – NAS is diverse in talent, disciplines, and the way we look at the world. This diversity has inspired thousands of students before you, and I’m sure it will also provide the fuel to boost your curiosity about the wonderful world of science.

We have something for everyone – from being on the forefront of astronomy research and helping to strengthen our country and continent’s food security through agriculture and plant sciences, to the fundamental mathematical and physical sciences.

We offer a few unique degrees, such as our BSc in Nutrition and BSc in Meteorology – and while you may see similar offerings elsewhere, we also offer interesting double-major options.

As a NAS student, you will be mentored by leading scientists, and trained in the use of state-of-the-art equipment. We value excellence in teaching and learning, too, and you will enjoy high-quality support as you increase your knowledge and skills. You will be at the forefront of scientific research, and you’ll be inspired to think in new ways.

At NAS, you will have the opportunity to use your knowledge to the benefit of society, and make a positive impact on the world. Many of our researchers work closely with industry partners, and this real-world experience will give you the edge when interviewing for a job. We also have programmes in place that will teach you how to start your own business, or help you land that crucial first job.

Here you will be part of THE UP WAY, which is our way of life at the University of Pretoria. It’s how we teach, learn, innovate, impact and live in an ethical, caring and sustainable way.

The Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences offers programmes that will unlock these opportunities for you, and launch you on the pathway to a fulfilling career that makes an impact in the real world.

So, Choose UP, and we look forward to welcoming you next year!

Academic Programmes

Postgraduate programmes

The hopes of South Africa rests, to a very large extent, on developments in Science, Engineering and Technology. The Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences provides leadership in the fields of natural sciences and mathematics. It has substantial records of research achievement, with highly qualified academics who actively engage in research and in the generation of new knowledge, who teach at postgraduate levels.

Research Areas

The Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences rates among the most diverse and best science faculties in South Africa. The Faculty is intensely involved in four of UP’s Institutional Research Themes, which are Energy, Food, Nutrition and Well-being, Genomics and Animal and Zoonotic Diseases.

UP aims to create an enabling environment in which our postgraduate students and their supervisors can function optimally. Our supervisors provide academic guidance and mentorship to students and are key role players in the administrative efficiency of postgraduate study.

Read more about the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences research areas.


After selecting your postgraduate programme, you will need to identify a supervisor to give you  academic support and help you achieve a high standard of research outputs during your postgraduate journey. At UP we place strong emphasis on academic excellence and innovation and strive to provide a supportive environment for all our postgraduate students to thrive.

Choosing a supervisor plays a crucial role in empowering students to become independent thinkers, skilled researchers and influential contributors in their chosen fields. Supervisors also play a pivotal role in helping students shape their research topics, refine methodologies and navigate the complex landscape of academia.

During your postgraduate studies, you have the chance to work closely with your supervisors, receiving personalised attention and guidance. This close relationship allows for constructive feedback, brainstorming sessions and the development of critical thinking skills.

If you are considering postgraduate studies at UP, rest assured that you will be embarking on an exciting journey of intellectual exploration, personal growth and professional development. By choosing UP you will have the opportunity to work alongside exceptional supervisors, collaborate with exceptional peers and make a lasting impact in your chosen discipline.

Find a suitable supervisor for your chosen area of research here

Research That Matters


A significant number of our scientists are evaluated internationally and acknowledged by the National Research Foundation as researchers of high international standing – and in some cases, as world leaders in their fields. The Faculty is proud to host 50% of the A-rated researchers, and 40% of the NRF-rated researchers at UP.

In this Faculty, we constantly push the frontiers of knowledge and develop new technology that will help the Faculty to stay in step with the challenges of a continuously changing world.

We endeavour to enhance the postgraduate student experience and the research outputs of the Faculty and support our postgraduate students’ careers, particularly those of the young academics in science.

Institutes, Centres and Units

The internationally acclaimed institutes, centres and units that are aligned to the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences address global challenges, such as sustainable energy, safe water, biodiversity and conservation, climate change and natural disasters, through a range of multidisciplinary research programmes.

The breadth and diversity that this Faculty has to offer, as well as the currently well-recognised fields of excellence, provides for immense potential to further advance the University’s research profile.

Read more about the Institutes, Centres and Units aligned to the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences

Postgraduate Studies at the University of Pretoria

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Funding Opportunities

As a postgraduate student or prospective student at UP, there are a number of research resources available to you to identify suitable research funding opportunities. Apart from the University, many companies and institutions offer scholarships and bursaries for postgraduate studies. The University manages a number of financial funds on behalf of institutions who provide such funding. Applications for financial assistance, bursaries or funding must be submitted concurrently while you apply for admittance to your postgraduate programme. Funding is subject to approval and availability.

Read more about funding opportunities.

Student Voices

Nombasa More

Kimberley Taku

Postgraduate Accommodation

If you are looking for that special place you can call your home away from home, then a residence at the University of Pretoria (UP) is just the place for you. With us, you will find an environment that is conducive to working and studying hard.

Click here to learn more about our accommodation application process.

Jakaranda Residence

Protea Mbalenhle Residence


Xayata Residence

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