Bachelor of Science Honours in Environmental Science & Health

Bachelor of Science Honours in Environmental Science & Health

Offered in Conventional & Parallel
  • 00:00:00Course Duration
  • UndergraduateSkill level
  • $5050.00
  • 30 November -0001Admission Deadline

The BSc degree programme in Environmental Science and Health is four-years full-time, of the four years the third year is for industrial attachment which conforms to the program.

The programme is designed to provide a broad-based practical education for undergraduate students in environmental science and health issues related to sustainable resource use, protection and enhancement of environmental health and environmental quality. The program includes the following types of courses: non elective courses, elective courses, industrial training course and a Research Project.  Students are required to register for the prescribed number of courses in each semester and pass all of them. All Part I and Part II Courses and the industrial training course in Part III are non elective.  A student should do 5 (five) non-elective courses per semester in Part IV and  choose 1 (one) elective course per semester in the same year.

Applicants must satisfy the entry requirements prescribed under the general academic regulations of the University for Admission and the following departmental requirements: Have obtained 5 O level passes including Mathematics, English, and Chemistry or physical Science or Integrated Science. A pass at “A” Level in Biology and at least two of the following: Chemistry, Geography, Physics, Mathematics, Agriculture, Food Science or equivalent.

The Bachelor of Science Honours Degree Programme in Environmental Science and Health requires full time study over a period of four years. Normally a student will be required to complete the programme in not more than five years from the date of first registration for the programme.

The programme will normally offer twelve courses in each of the following: Part I and Part II, an industrial training course (lasting 2 semesters) in Part III and at least twelve Part IV courses. In Part IV of the Degree Programme, a student must take at least one project course examined by a dissertation, the weighting of the course being that of 2 courses.

Formal examinations will normally take place at the end of each semester. Normally the formal examination for a full course shall be of 3 hour duration. Assessment shall consist of continuous assessment, practical and formal examinations. The overall assessment for a course shall consist the following components: 25% continuous assessment theory 75% end of semester formal examination for course with no practicals.  For courses with practicals, the continuous assessment theory shall contribute 20%, continuous assessment practical 20% and end of semester formal examination 60%.

Research Project
Normally the project report shall be submitted to the Department one week before the Part IV second semester final examinations. The final mark for the project will be determined from the written report which contributes 90% and the oral presentation mark contributing 10% of the overall assessment.


ESH 1101        Introduction to the Physical Environment
ESH 1109        Population and Development
SMA 1112        Preparatory Mathematics (Service Course)
SCS 1100        Information Technology and Computer Applications (Service Course)
SCH 1116       Organic Chemistry (Service Course)
Plc 1101          Peace, Leadership and Conflict Transformation I (Service Course)


ESH 1204        Radiation and Pollution
ESH 1206        Energy Resources Planning and Conservation
ESH 1207        Introduction to Ecology
ESH 1211        Environmental and Health Education
SBB 1207        General Microbiology (Service Course)
SCH 1217       General Chemistry (Service Course)
PLC 1201        Peace, Leadership and Conflict Transformation II (Service Course)


ESH 2101        Introduction to Fresh Water Environment
ESH 2103        Principles of Sociology and Psychology
ESH 2108        Environmental Economics
ESH 2111        Disease Prevention and Control
ESH 2208        Occupational Health and Safety
ESH 2113        Water Supply and Sanitation


SORS 2210     Applied Statistics for Biological Sciences (Service Course)
ESH 2203        Management of Solid and Hazardous Waste
ESH 2205        Environmental Management Systems
ESH 2211        Research Methodology
ESH 2213        Food Hygiene
ESH 2214        Principles of Ecotoxicology


ESH 4102        Environmental Law and Government Policy
ESH 4105        Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing I
ESH 4010        Research Project (2 Courses)
ESH 4120        Waste Water Treatment
SBB 4105        Molecular Genetics and Microbiology (Service Course)
ESH 4219        Management of Environmental Change in Arid and Semi Arid Lands


ESH 4202        Meat Hygiene and Technology
ESH 4209        Biotechnology and the Environment
ESH 4010        Research Project (2 courses)
ESH 4101        Environmental Impact Assessment

ELECTIVE COURSES (Choose any two)

ESH 4213        Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing II
ESH 4214        Epidemiology
ESH 4215        Urban Development and Housing
ESH 4220        Ecological Techniques
ESH 4218        Environmental Ecotoxicology
ESH 4217        Environmental Port Health


Part 1 - (Semester 1)
ESH 1101: Introduction to Physical Environment

Relationship between Geomorphology and Environmental Science and Health. Critical questions in geomorphology. Methods of study.  Structure of the earth’s crust. Formation of the earth’s crust. Rock cycles. Properties of rocks. Earthquakes and Volcanoes. Plate tectonics. Structural landforms. Mass wasting and weathering. Geologic hazards. Geologic work of streams. Fluvial processes. Atmospheric circulation Systems. Inversions. Cloud formation. Types of clouds. Weather. Storms. Tsunamis; Hydrological cycles.  Precipitation; Infiltration. Interflow. Overland flow. Evapotranspiration; Hydrographs; Global climate; Climate change. Global warming. Greenhouse gases. Ozone depletion. ITZ .El Nino (ENSO). Drought

ESH 1109: Population and Development

Development, Urban geography: spatial structure of cities; Patterns and dynamics of population; rural to urban migration; urban to rural migration; Population and health. Politics: policies; urban agriculture; urban open spaces; transport (road, airlinks, railway, water, animal, pushcarts); energy: policy, sources and pollution problems. Population geography: Theories of location and organization; Factors contributing to population pressures, growth, migrations. Patterns of world population. Patterns of Zimbabwe’s population. Poverty cycle: degradation of natural resources. Disaster management.

SMA 1112: Preparatory Mathematics
A service course offered by Applied Mathematics  Department                                                                                                                                

SCS 1100: Information Technology and Computer Applications
A service course offered by Computer Science Department

SCH 1116: Organic Chemistry
A service course offered by Applied Chemistry Department


PLC 1101: Peace, Leadership and Conflict Transformation I
A Service course offered by the Department of Business Management

Part 1 - (Semester 2)

ESH 1204: Radiation and Pollution
The structure of matter, radioactivity and radiation, sources and types of ionizing radiation, natural and manmade radiation, nuclear energy etc, radiation units, biological effects of radiation, maximum permissible doses, radiation detection and measurement, the external radiation hazard, the internal radiation hazard, radioactive wastes and its disposal, environmental radiation surveillance and monitoring.

ESH 1206: Energy Resources Planning and Conservation
Global energy resources, renewable and non-renewable sources of energy, hydroelectric power, geothermal, solar biomass etc, environmental consequences of overuse of fossil fuels, energy conservation strategies, technology and problems, problems of shortage and high cost of fossil fuel in Zimbabwe in relation to development efforts, alternative energy sources

ESH 1207: Introduction to Ecology
Principles of Ecology: Biological organization; Ecosystem concept; Concept of the Biosphere; interrelationships between biotic and abiotic factors. Energy flow: nutrient cycles in ecosystems. Ecology of communities: Terrestrial Biomes and Aquatic Biomes. Plant and Animal succession. Species diversity: Measures of species diversity; Calculations of species diversity. Wildlife biology: Biological potential; Reproduction factors; Mortality; Ageing criteria; Wildlife diseases; Types of carrying capacities; Behavioural interaction: Home range; Territorialism; Dispersal; Niche selection; Guilds; Indicator species. Wildlife conservation.

ESH 1211: Environmental and Health Education
Defining the concept environment; Environmental problems, crises and emerging responses; From Stockholm to Rio: Stockholm Declaration, Tbilisi Principles, Sustainable development, Rio Declaration and Agenda 21 (particularly Chapter 36); What is environmental education; Environmental and health education theories and processes; Methods of identifying environmental and health issues; Values and benefits; Issues for the educators and facilitators; Communication and delivery tools; Social marketing; Curriculum development in environmental and health education; Evaluation and selected fieldwork (including visiting environmental education and health centres); Environmental Education in the SADC and the  Gaborone Declaration, UN Decade on Education for Sustainable Development; Environmental Education in Zimbabwe (particularly the Environmental Education Policy of 2003). 

SBB 1207: General Microbiology
A Service Course offered by Applied Biology Department

SCH 1217: General Chemistry

A Service Course offered by Applied Chemistry Department

PLC 1201:  Peace, Leadership and Conflict Transformation II
A Service course offered by the Department of Business Management

Part 2 - (Semester 1)
ESH 2101: Introduction to Fresh water Environment
Fresh water habitats, origin and physical/chemical Characteristics of rivers, streams, lakes, ponds and swamps, the biology of aquatic organisms, exploitation of fresh water resources, pollution, conservation and management of wet lands, national parks and reserves, value in national economy.

ESH 2103 – Principles of Sociology and Psychology
Sociology as a science, social organisation, roles of family, Social pathology, juvenile delinquency, sexual abuse, alcoholism, addiction to drugs.  Customs and ethnic groups crowd behaviour, group dynamics, individual and collective roles. Psychology: Human relationship in the fulfilment of the environmental (health) officer’s duties, the development of personality and leadership, personality types, motives, tension adjustment techniques, basic principles in dealing with people.  Principles of industrial psychology.  Methods to identifying the human and social consequences of man-made alterations in the natural and physical environment.  Systematic appraisal of the impacts on the day to day quality of life of persons and communities whose environment is affected by a development or policy change.  Squatter and displaced persons

ESH 2108: Environmental Economics
Definitions and concepts: economics, environmental and resource economics, macroeconomics, microeconomics, environmental endowment etc; The role of Economics in Environmental Management: global economic context, trade liberalisation, development priorities, stabilisation and structural adjustments, sectoral development (tourism, agriculture, forestry, mining etc); Theory and its policy implications: social welfare and market failure, market failure and policy instruments; Environmental regulation and instruments: theory of regulation, market-based instruments, voluntary or self regulation, command and control instruments; Property and tenure systems: Historical context in Africa, tenure and economic environmental performance; Focusing on cost: recurrent, cost per unit of input/output, cost-effectiveness, estimating costs for environmental degradation, adjusting national income accounts; Evaluation of benefits and comparing costs and benefits; Economic measurements of environmental impacts: objective valuation approaches, subjective valuation approaches.

ESH 2111: Disease Prevention and Control
Overview of various categories of pests and their medical, veterinary and economic importance. Pesticide categories: Insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, molluscicides, rodenticides. Vector based diseases and vector control. Disease to include those of importance to Africa and in particular Zimbabwe and the region e.g. malaria, trypanosomiasis, schistosomiasis, fascioliasis. Control of non-vector based diseases such as taenia, hookworm, trichuris and strongyloides etc. Pharmacological basis of treatment and intervention programmes.  Identification of  the emergence of pesticide resistance and pesticide resistance patterns. Communicable diseases of importance: cholera, tuberculosis, dysentery, scabies etc.  Disease outbreaks and their control measures. Emerging diseases e.g. SARS and bird flu, hemorrhagic fevers, etc. and strategies for their control

ESH 2205: Environmental Management Systems
Environmental Management Standards (to include the British BS 7750, European Union EMAS and the ISO 14000 series), Cleaner Production; Industrial ecology; Eco-efficiency; Ecological footprints; Introduction to SHE; Sustainability indicators; Corporate Governance and Sustainability reporting (introduction to the Global Reporting Initiative, UN, King II Report and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange Sustainability Indicators); Critical Review of Corporate Reporting andTrends in Environmental Management (review of selected company reports), and Field trip to selected companies resembling good and bad practice corporate responsibility in terms of sustainability reporting.

ESH 2113: Water supply and Sanitation
Sources of water, water uses, factors affecting water consumption, relative values of water, water as an economic good, water as a social good.  Water demand management practices, economic instruments, legal instruments, unaccounted for water, pre-conditions of water demand management.  Water treatment systems: characteristics of water, choice of water treatment practices, coagulation and flocculation, sedimentation, filtration, disinfection.  Water treatment in rural areas: boiling, filtration.  Sanitation systems: onsite sanitation, design and operation, ecological sanitation, septic tanks, ventilated improved pit latrine, aqua privy toilets, conservance latrines. 

Part 2 - (Semester 2)

SORS  2210:  Applied Statistics for Biological Sciences
Service course offered by Statistics and Operations Research Department

ESH 2203: Management of Solid and Hazardous Waste
Origin, nature, collection, transportation and disposal or storage of solid and hazardous chemicals; resource recovery; waste and health; administrative and legal aspects; trans-frontier transport; enforcement of waste management regulations, Zero waste concept and Selected cases of waste product regulation. Students to visit rubbish dumps and landfill sites within and around Bulawayo and observe the sorting, transportation and other processes related to waste management.

ESH 2208: Occupational Health and Safety
Introduction to occupational health; Hazardous installations; Emergency exposure limits; Accidents causation and prevention; Stressors: Identification, evaluation and control: Physical (noise, heat, barometric, illumination), chemical, egonomical, biological, psychological; Risk assessment and management; Emergency preparedness and response; Job safety analysis (HAZOP: Hazard Operatability); Confined space management; Fire; Safety communication; Safety audit; Safety legislation; Safety systems (NOSA, OSHA18000); Practical; Threshold limit values; Safety Programme management;  ILO Conventions; Occupational epidemiology and statistics; Practical and occupational hygiene field work; Occupational hygiene legislation.

ESH 2211: Research Methodology
Purpose of doing research; Scientific and other methods of conducting research; types of data: primary and secondary data; the research process: formulating research problems, data collection procedures; data processing and analysis (application of data processing packages and biometrics); report writing; different kinds of research designs such as survey (including questionnaires - type of questionnaires; Factors affecting response); Interviews (Structured and unstructured interviews, face-to-face, telephone, focus groups); observations, including use of photos and video; experimentation and quasi-experimentation; consumption of research results; ethics and validity in research; Writing for academic publishing: type of academic publications, editorial requirements, peer reviewing and analysis of academic articles etc.

ESH 2213: Food Hygiene
Food Hygiene (sanitary operational procedures, good manufacturing practice); Food Microbiology; Biochemistry; Food Poisoning; Planning of Food Service Premises; Production, contamination, preservation, spoilage and inspection of the different food types; Food Premises Auditing; Food quality and safety assurance, ISO 9000-1; Food Hygiene Management System, SABS 049:1989, SAZ; HACCP in Practice; Nutrition; Food Legislation.

ESH 2214: Principles of Ecotoxicology
Toxins and their effects. Classification of toxins. Effects of toxins at physiological (organ and cellular) levels. Inhibition of nerve impulses. Endocrine disruption. Genotoxicity. Toxicity testing. Animal, plant and microbial assays.


Part VI- (Semester 1)

ESH 4101: Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
Defining EIA, Concepts and terms in EIA; Statutory provisions of EIA within the SADC Region and Zimbabwe; Introduction to the EIA process; Screening; scoping; impact identification; impact assessment (techniques and analysis tools); mitigation measures; the EIA report; draft EIA review; and Selected EIA case studies from the SADC region and Zimbabwe (including programmes, projects and policies such as those aimed towards land reforms). Students to undertake partial EIAs from selected projects within and around Bulawayo.

ESH 4102: Environmental Law and Policy
What is law? Where do laws come from? - common law and legislation, enforcing the law – courts, civil and criminal law, punishment and the criminal justice system, administrative law; What is policy?, stakeholders in environmental policy formulation and implementation; complexity and uncertainty in environmental policy; theories of policy formulation, implementation and evaluation; International environmental law (what is international environmental law?; international environmental law and the Zimbabwean Constitution; Zimbabwe’s Environmental Management Act of 2002; Selected environmental management laws and policies of Zimbabwe; and Selected multilateral environmental laws and policies (conventions, treaties, agreements and protocols), particularly from the SADC region.

ESH 4105: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing I
Spatial concepts: maps; features; scale. Spatial relationships: connectivity; adjacency; proximity; intersection; intersection. Referencing data: coordinate systems; datums; map projection. Principles of GIS: Definition of GIS; history of GIS; Components of  GIS; GIS hardware: spatial and attribute data; GIS data models; raster data; vector data. GIS data input: capture/preparation and integration; digitizing; scanning. Satellite Navigation Systems: Global Positioning System (GPS, Galileo); Touring of GIS lab; GIS analysis functions; organizing data for geographical analysis. Principles of Remote Sensing: methods; sensing devices; earth resources satellites; Imagery, Photogrammetry.

ESH 4010: Project (2 courses equivalent – no credits)
The student will, under supervision and guidance, carry out an independent investigation into a problem of his/her choice that is relevant to the degree being offered. He/she will collect, analyse, interpret and write-up a thesis to illustrate the understanding of the environmental issues relating to the problem. The report must demonstrate the relationship between theoretical knowledge and its application to field situations.

ESH 4120: Waste Water Treatment
Sources of waste water:  Waste water characteristics (Industrial, domestic and municipal), wastewater conveyance systems.
Methods of treating industrial waste water: Water-borne systems without connection to sewerage systems: septic tanks, construction of septic tanks, disposal of septic tank effluent.  Water - borne sewerage systems: Biological filters, activated sludge systems, biological nutrients removal systems, wetland systems, waste stabilisation ponds.  Advanced waste water treatment: pathogen removal, toxic substance removal.  Waste water re-use: forms of waste water re-use, barriers to waste-water re-use.

SBB 4105: Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
A service course offered by Applied Biology Department

Second Semester Courses

ESH 4202: Meat Hygiene and Technology
Meat processing; Canning procedure and technology; Meat inspection; Abattoir planning and construction; Abattoir management and practice; Abattoir legislation and administration; Meat legislation; Practicals

ESH 4209: Biotechnology and the Environment
Introduction to Biotechnology, application of Biotechnology to living organisms and industrial processes, food and energy production, modern concepts of gene, enhancer promoter and structural part, gene manipulation techniques for increased agricultural production and improved animal and human health.  Genomic and DNA libraries, Antibodies and hybridoma techniques, microbal ecology, bio-geochemical cycles, agro bacteriam/rhisobium plant interactions, bio degradation of bio compounds, engineering microbes for environmental management, environmental implications of biotechnology, release of GMOs into the environment, genetically modified foods, health effects international regulations

ESH 4010: Project (2 courses equivalent)
The student will, under supervision and guidance, carry out an independent investigation into a problem of his/her choice that is relevant to the degree being offered. He/she will collect, analyse, interpret and write-up a thesis to illustrate the understanding of the environmental issues relating to the problem. The report must demonstrate the relationship between theoretical knowledge and its application to field situations

ESH 4219: Management of Environmental Change in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands
Geography of arid and semi Arid lands, causes and rates of desertification. The origins and causation of climate change and its role in desertification. The climate change intervention strategies at international level, linkage to national policies and local level practice.  Climate change impacts on the hydrological cycle and the mitigation. Understanding environmental change. Impacts of environmental change on plants, animals, agriculture and aquatic ecosystem system.  The adaptation strategies which can be applied. Government policies and development intervention. Natural resources management under conditions of common pool resources in semi-arid lands and sustainable utilisation of resources, particular attention to Africa wildlife resources with case studies drawn from wide  range of countries including Zimbabwe Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania. Conflict resolution under condition of resource scarcity.

Elective Courses

ESH 4213: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing II
Standards for collecting and manipulating data; Metadata management; GIS and the Law; GIS and modelling; GIS software (Open source, commercial packages: ArcGIS, Mapinfo, GRASS, ILWIS etc); Applications of GIS: health; natural resources management (LCLU change); rural/urban planning; environmental management; wetlands monitoring; global urban population; pollution; disaster monitoring; modelling and mitigation; Remote Sensing: platforms; software (ERDAS, ENVI etc); modelling; Applications of Remote sensing: LCLU monitoring & modelling (in mining, agriculture, forestry, biodiversity conservation; Monitoring, modelling and mitigation.

ESH 4214: Epidemiology
Epidemiology of Environmental diseases in human populations: physical and biological agents, pathogenesis, agent host environmental interaction and control; communicable diseases of importance; purpose and methods of investigating epidemiology; important variables and attributes; population samples; field work techniques; Endemic and Epidemic Health Problems; Health Indicators, Analysis and presentation of Epidemiological statistics; Risk factor analysis; Basic Biostatistics (terminology and basic concepts, descriptive and inferential statistics, calculation of statistical measures, interpret and evaluate statistics reported in literature), occupational and environmental epidemiology, clinical epidemiology, epidemiology and disease prevention.

ESH 4215: Urban development and Housing
The aim is to introduce Environmental Health/Science students in the field of development and housing issues in developing countries and more specifically, Zimbabwe.  Topics to be covered: The regional, town and country planning act, urban housing, housing standards and enforcement and health effects of Housing conditions (with special reference to the housing and housing standards act, housing hygiene, topics in building technology, model building by laws.

ESH 4220: Ecological Techniques
Quantitative analysis of forests, grassland and rangeland vegetation, measurements of productivity in terrestrial and aquatic environments, (emphasis here is on terrestrial as aquatic would have been covered under fresh water), measurements of physical and chemical parameters of the environment, hydro botanical methods, ecological mapping, monitoring and modelling, remote sensing

ESH 4218: Environmental Ecotoxicology
Toxicological effects at organism community and population levels. Air pollution and its effects on aquatic ecosystems. Terrestrial pollution. Ground level and underground. Pesticide use and the environment. Sources and disposal of radioactive wastes. GM foods and the environment. Safe disposal of waste. Ecological biochemistry- biological warfare in ecosystems. Experimentation in environmental toxicology: species responses to environmental pollution

ESH 4217: Environmental Port Health
The public Health Act and Port Health Regulations; Trans- boundary disease control (International health regulations, infectious disease control, epidemiology, emergency preparedness and response, disinfection); Hazardous Substances(legislation, clearance, handling and storage); Pest and Vermin Control(disinfection and disinfestations, de-ratting and Parasitology); Port waste management systems; information management; Plant protection; Animal health.

Need Any help!

Mr Walter Magagula

Mr Walter Magagula

Senior Assistant Registrar