The Nature Conservation Department at the George Campus of Nelson Mandela University focuses on training competent conservation managers, practitioners and scientists who can apply their skills in social-ecological systems in Africa and globally. We have a vibrant and strong community of academics and students who are passionate about the conservation of Africa’s unique biodiversity. Our students come from diverse backgrounds and cultures and, when they complete their studies, are employed by numerous entities within the conservation sector, particularly in Africa. 

Nature Conservation is the wise management and utilisation of natural renewable resources in a sustainable manner to ensure the maintenance of biodiversity. There is an increasing awareness that the conservation of the world’s natural resources is vital for human survival, thus the growing interest in conservation as a career.

The National Diploma in Nature Conservation is a three-year diploma programme, equipping people with a keen interest in or passion for the outdoors and wildlife to take on conservation challenges. This program is expected to be the best in conservation education and technology. Our department also offers Advanced Diploma, Honours, Masters and Doctoral programs in Nature Conservation.

The George Campus is a firm favourite of students who study Nature Conservation because of its beautiful setting and natural surroundings: from the warm Indian Ocean through the evergreen indigenous forests to the fynbos clad mountains and karoo hinterland.

Our department engages in a diversity of basic and applied research activities. We encourage multidisciplinary research and the building of national and international collaborative networks. We also strive to remain close to, and build a strong relationship with, the conservation industry through engagement, support and our undergraduate work integrated learning program.

The aim of the department is to be a major role-player in the growth and development of southern Africa, providing critical thinking graduates with internationally recognised qualifications for the conservation industry.