Forestry in South Africa
Tuesday, July 5, 2022

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Forestry Training

For a list of training facilitators offering Forestry Training please click HERE

Fort Cox Agriculture and Forestry Training Institute

Fort Cox forestry department is one of the two academic departments in Fort Cox College Agriculture and Forestry. The department offers a dynamic academic three year general forestry diploma programme at NQF level 6. The programme is accredited and recognized by Council on Higher education. It is our main aim to continue producing high quality graduates who are responsive to the current challenges facing the forestry industry. Moreover, considering the afforestation programme approved for the Eastern Cape Province, our forestry department has a major role to play to capacitate future foresters who will sustain the afforestation programme. It is without reasonable doubt that Fort Cox is an institution of choice for studying forestry qualification. Through our dedicated partnership with private companies in the industry that provides an integral opportunity of exposure to current and prospective students to attain various technical experiences in forest management.


Nelson Mandela University (NMU)

George Campus is a firm favourite of students who study Forestry because of its beautiful setting, natural surroundings and rich forestry history. The campus itself is surrounded by commercial forests, making it the ideal setting, integrating academic training and practical experience so that students enjoy broad exposure to the industry and its practices.

The South African forestry industry prides itself on the strong emphasis it has placed on the management of renewable resources, continually striving to ensure sustainability on an economic, social and environmental basis. Forest management has become one of the most important pre-requisites for the survival of the forestry industry today. It is of the utmost importance that the application of technical knowledge and skills are integrated with sound management principles. The Forestry course offered at the George Campus more than adequately equips its students to satisfy this need.


Stellenbosch University (SUN)

Stellenbosch University is instrumental in educating our future scientists. It is the only university in South Africa offering a comprehensive four-year BSc degree programme in both Forest Science and Wood Product Science, thus covering the entire forestry value chain. Students enjoy the advantages of a stimulating and diverse programme of study involving research and study in the forests, winelands and mountains of Stellenbosch, as well as versatile employment prospects both nationally and internationally.

The Department of Forest and Wood Science is the only tertiary education institution in South Africa to provide an educational offering at BSc, MSc and PhD levels in both Forest and Natural Resource and Wood Products Science.  The presence of these two major disciplines under one roof enables the DFWS to address the full forestry value chain, from forest establishment and silvicultureforest managementtimber harvesting and transport, and forest economics to secondary processing for structural lumbercomposite materialsbio-energy and other value added produts.

Undergraduate programme

 Forest Science & Natural Resource Management
             Wood Product Science
  • ​Forest Eco-physiology & Silviculture
  • Forest Management
  • Remote Sensing
  • Forest Engineering
  • Forest Economics
  • Wood Material Science
  • Wood Processing
  • Product & Process Design
  • Business Management
  • Engineering
The course is structured to give students a holistic understanding of forests, the environment and plantations, including forest ecology, forest measurement and modelling, watershed dynamics, harvesting methods and system, and logistics, forest planning and policy and other interesting aspects of Natural Resource Management. Students also spend significant time outdoors or on field trips to observe current forestry practices. The structure of the course allows for broad, but also in-depth exposure to scientific, economic, technical and social aspects.             The course consists of a unique combination of Wood Products Science, Engineering and Business Management subjects. Students learn about all aspects of wood science and production such as wood anatomy and identification, wood chemistry and preservation, wood mechanics and wood product manufacturing. This is complemented by a variety of engineering modules focusing on manufacturing technology, business management, and industrial engineering. The course also involves field trips and practical training periods.

Career Opportunities

Stellenbosch University graduates are recognized as being world-class. Studies have shown that Wood processing facilities and timber growers employ an extremely high percentage of Stellenbosch graduates. Our emphasis is to produce versatile managers and researchers with the skills to manage and understand all the intricacies of technology transfer. This provides our graduates with fantastic career opportunities and allows them to diversify in other related industries. Opportunities range from entrepreneurial enterprises to the corporate environment-locally and abroad. These include managerial, technical, conservation or research-oriented careers.

Forest Science - For a sustainable future
Wood Science - Discover the versatility of wood

For Example:

  • Forest Ecologist / Planner
  • Forestry Consultant or Contractor
  • Natural Resource Manager
  • Production Manager
  • Tree Breeder / Timber Grower
  • Researcher / Forestry Scientist
  • Environmental Planner
  • Logistics Manager
  • Rural Development Advisor
  • Extension Officer
  • Land-use Manager

For Example:

  • Product Developer / Researcher
  • Plant / Saw mill Manager
  • Production Manager
  • Entrepreneur / Business Owner
  • Manufacturing Engineer
  • Board Product Manufacturer
  • Quality Assurance Manager
  • Furniture Design / Manufacturer
  • Laminated Product Manufacturer
  • Veneer and Plywood Manufacturer
  • Window and Door Manufacturer


A large percentage of our students obtain bursaries from industry, government and the university. Contact Ms Poppie Gordon for information on bursaries available. 

Tel: +27 21 808 3303

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