The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) is located in Johannesburg, the City of Gold.  As one of Africa’s leading research universities and centre for higher education, Wits offers an environment where discovery and creativity are encouraged and where ideas are discussed freely in a spirit of openness and tolerance.  Committed to ensuring that a new generation of researchers is drawn from a diverse range of young people, Wits is committed to research excellence, which contributes meaningfully to the global knowledge economy and local transformation.

Amidst the financial and industrial hub of South Africa and Africa, Wits enjoys strong relationships with the public and private sectors and its distinguished alumni become leaders both in Africa and the rest of the world. Wits University has considerable strength in raising research capacity locally through the training of scientists with higher degrees. 

Wits is aware of the unprecedented pace in technological innovation, with powerful implications for global economies and society and that the capabilities that will carry us into the future, are to be found in flexible and innovative minds.  We therefore pursue problem-solvers, entrepreneurs, innovators, and far-sighted leaders that come from a strong postgraduate education, and with an emphasis on training and research in science and technology.

Make Wits Your Postgraduate Destination!

The Wits Schools of Physics and Geosciences in partnership with the universities of Botswana, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Zambia, are involved in the PAPSSN, of which Wits University is a member.

Jointly, the Wits Schools of Physics and Geosciences will play a key role in the PAPSSN’s aim to create a continent-wide mobility scheme for students, academic and support staff that harbor interest in the Planetary and Space Science discipline.

The objective of the PAPSSN is to promote the education of young scientists who will meet the requirements of the large Planetary and Space Science projects expected to remain active for the next 20 years, such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

It will also act as an incubator for new collaborations among African institutions and will create, for the first time in Africa, an integrated higher education programme for Planetary and Space Sciences at Masters and Doctoral levels. This will improve the employability of graduate students through a mobility programme and prepare them for leading roles in the future science and technology market that is expected to develop across Africa over the next decade.

The development in Planetary and Space Science and Technology will lead to advances in technology literacy, security, safety, and productivity across a broad spectrum of activities. Many African countries have identified Planetary and Space Science as a stepping-stone for the modernisation of their economy and for practical uses; monitoring of land-use cover change, climate change, drought, hydrology, and natural disasters.

Physics at Wits

The Wits School of Physics is the largest single Physics campus in the country. The School has significant experimental infrastructure in Condensed Matter Physics and Photonics and has strong links with CSIR, iThemba labs and NECSA.  

Research fields include theoretical and experimental condensed matter and materials physics, astrophysics, radio astronomy and astro-particle physics, experimental and theoretical high energy physics, including string theory, phenomenology and gravitation, nuclear physics and photonics.

The School also has a notable postgraduate enrolment of 48 Masters and 44 PhD students.

The Astronomy and Astrophysics group in the School of Physics participates in a number of key, high-priority collaborations, such as SKA and HESS that require close coordination between African nations including South Africa. 

The DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Strong Materials, hosted by Wits, is well established, in which the School of Physics plays a leading role. The School hosts the Gauteng node of the National Institute for Theoretical Physics, Materials Physics Research Institute, Mandelstam Institute for Theoretical Physics, and the Institute for Collider Particle Physics and four DST-NRF Chairs/Associate Chairs.

Geosciences at Wits

The Wits School of Geosciences is the largest and most diverse academic Earth Science institution in Africa, with courses in Geology, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Palaeontology, Palaeoanthropology, Geochronology, Environmental Science, Atmospheric Science, Hydrogeology, Economic Geology, and Exploration and Mining Geoscience. In many of these fields, Wits is the main (and in some cases, sole) centre of study in Africa and South Africa, with a range of cutting-edge petrological, geochemical, hydrological and geophysical equipment for both research and teaching purposes.

Geosciences leads the continental AfricaArray Geophysics Programme, hosts both the CIMERA and the Palaeosciences DSI-NRF CoE’s, has hosted 1 completed and is hosting a current ICDP Project, and with major involvement in continental hydrogeological and water resource issues.

Geoscientists help protect the planet by studying it. They perform environmental assessments and locate water, mineral and energy resources. Our graduates are equipped for many careers in diverse fields, and are sought after in the international mining and mineral industries, research institutes, government and in environmental organisations.

Should you choose to come to Wits, the School of Geosciences has a dynamic research environment with 74 Masters and 41 PhD students.

Wits Contacts

Registry Office

Ms Carol Crosley
University of the Witwatersrand (Wits)
Mobile: +27 11 7171201
Email Address:

Local coordinator:

Prof Andrew Chen
University of the Witwatersrand (Wits)
Mobile: +27 11 7176869
Email Address:

Local Contact Person

Mrs Suraiya Buccas
University of the Witwatersrand (Wits)
Mobile: +27 846141701
Email Address:

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