What is Biotechnology and what can the programme offer you?
Biotechnology offers a diversification of biological knowledge, predominantly of microorganisms, to equip you in the identification and characterisation of bacteria contaminating industrially significant products. Your local supermarket supplies beverages and food products that can be infected with fungi and bacteria. Your girlfriends’ make-up can also be contaminated with microbes. Knowledge of the potential contaminants and techniques to screen these products are essential to maintain product quality.
The Department of Biotechnology offers a vocational course allowing candidates to graduate as professional Biotechnologists after three years of undergraduate study. Unlike a general Science degree, one of the unique qualities of this course is the mandatory employment in the industrial biotechnology sector in their final year of study. Upon graduation, the student would have acquired both essential theoretical and practical experience thereby providing a more marketable and sought-after individual.
Upon achievement of the undergraduate studies, an additional year of study may be completed known as the BTech or honours equivalent. The BTech provides an intense theoretical and practical integration of sophisticated techniques including plant tissue culture and cloning of DNA in bacteria. In addition, commercial applications and processes will be examined for the production and purification of economically viable products such as enzymes and yeast.
Successful completion of the BTech allows for entry into research whereby an applicant can complete their masters degrees. We currently have students researching inflammation and fibrosis, interruption of HIV gene function, fungal toxins in food products and many more exciting projects. These research projects may be completed on our campus or on other research institutes within the country.
Head of Department
Mr. Erick Van Zyl
Tel: +27 (0)11 559 6261