Masters Programme – MSONE


Masters Degree in Nuclear Energy (MSONE)

Note: For more detailed information, please visit the programme webpage at the University of Johannesburg

Why a new Masters?

Out of the planned 40GWe of new capacity that Eskom would like to create in the coming decades, half will be nuclear. There is an urgent demand for a vast number of people with knowledge and skills relevant to nuclear energy to drive this nuclear renaissance.

Job opportunities:

With South Africa’s intensive focus on a safe, environmentally aware and sustainable nuclear industry, there will be a huge demand for people with the necessary qualifications. Qualified staff will be needed at all stages, including:

  • safety
  • research
  • engineering
  • operating nuclear power facilities
  • regulating the nuclear industry
  • fuel production
  • safe waste solutions
  • energy economics


  • University of Johannesburg
  • iThemba LABS
  • Tshwane University of Technology
  • PBMR
  • Eskom
  • NNR

Entrance requirements:

We are looking for committed students with an undergraduate science degree, with good marks in at least one year of physics and mathematics. An honours degree is not required. There will be recognition of prior learning coupled with industry experience at the discretion of the university.

Up to 20 candidates will be accepted in the first year. Scholarships will be provided to successful applicants, this will include a monthly stipend as well as payment of course fees.

Further studies:

Graduates from the Masters course, who find they have a talent for Research, can also proceed to a PhD. This opens paths to the top of industry, government decision making and academic research and teaching. A PhD could be in a wide variety of fields, from nuclear physics, to radiation safety, environmental impact, risk analysis etc.


Course structure:

The course is interdisciplinary, taking a broad look at both the scientific and organisational aspects of nuclear energy. Amongst other topics, students will learn about:

  • the physical background behind nuclear energy
  • the advanced mathematics governing nuclear reactions at the heart of reactors
  • statistical techniques to assess the risk posed by nuclear energy
  • radiation safety
  • how to comprehensively assess the environmental impact of nuclear energy.

Course presentation:

The degree as envisaged will run over two years. The first year will be devoted to course-work, lectures and practical sessions while the second year will be devoted to a research project which will have to be submitted as a dissertation.

The degree is new and still has to be submitted to the Department of Education for approval and registration. However, intending students may start in 2009 as the required course work modules will be offered as free-standing short courses that will be credited individually. Once the degree has been registered (for implementation in 2010) these short courses will be credited towards the requirements for the Master Degree and hence students will be exempted from the first year of study. Therefore, no student will lose any time or credit in taking the course-work modules in 2009. In the event of the registration of the proposed Master’s degree not being completed by the end of 2009 or the beginning of 2010, the students from the 2009 intake will be accepted, and accommodated, in the existing M Phil Degree in Energy Studies. There is thus no risk of any student spending time and money studying and eventually not being able to attain a qualification.


Send a CV, academic transcripts and a brief letter of motivation (roughly half a typed page) that discusses why you would like to attend the course, and why you think you would make a suitable candidate. All applications should be addressed to

More information:

Visit programme webpage at the University of Johannesburg
Contact the programme manager, Lianie Döman
Physics Financial and Programme Coordinator C 1 Lab 116A Physics
Department University of Johannesburg
Tel.    011 559 4351
Fax:   011 559 2339

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