Biotechnology Courses and Programmes

National Diploma: Biotechnology

Four semesters of class attendance at the University, plus two semesters Workplace Integrated Learning.

The Functions of a Microbiologist / Biotechnologist

Quality control in enterprises such as the following: water purification plants, food processing factories, dairies, pharmaceutical factories, sewerage plants, etc. Liaison with Chemical Engineers and Technicians in the fermentation and biotechnology industries.

Career Opportunities

A career as a Microbiologist / Biotechnologist offers challenging and exciting opportunities in a variety of institutions. There is a demand for trained Microbiologists / Biotechnologists.

Entry level : Laboratory Assistant

Middle level : Laboratory Technician

Top level : Laboratory Manager

Research opportunities are available at both industry and research institutions.


Semester 1

  • Microbiology I
  • Chemistry I
  • Biodiversity and Ecology
  • Calculations & Statistics I
  • English Development
  • Communication Skills I (Module I)

Semester 2

  • Microbiology II
  • Biochemistry II
  • Analytical Chemistry: Biological II
  • Disease and Immune Response III
  • Basic Computer Skills
  • English Development (Module I)
  • Communication Skills I (Module 2)

Semester 3

  • Microbiology: Biological III
  • Introductory Genetics II
  • Microbial Biochemistry III
  • Fermentation Technology II
  • Communication Skills II (Module I)

Semester 4

  • Food Microbiology III
  • Analytical Biochemistry III
  • Quality Assurance I (Biological)
  • Bioprocessing III
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Communication Skills II (Module II)

Semester 5

  • Biotechnology Laboratory Practice I

Semester 6

  • Biotechnology Laboratory Practice II


Assessment takes the form of written examinations.

Articulation Options

Students who have completed the Diploma can move on to a Bachelors Degree in Biotechnology. The purpose of the qualification is to develop the necessary knowledge, understanding and skills required for the student’s further learning towards becoming a competent practicing Biotechnologist. It is intended to subsequently empower candidate Biotechnologists to demonstrate that they are capable of applying their acquired knowledge, understanding, skills, attitudes and values in the work environments in South Africa. It is also designed to add value to the qualifying student in terms of enrichment of the person, status and recognition.

Baccalaureus Technologiae: Biotechnology

Admission Requirements:

ND: Biotechnology.

(NB: It is imperative those students wishing to apply for BTech:Biotechnology, have an average of 60% for each of the three major subjects: Bioprocessing III, Food Microbiology III and Microbial Biochemistry III).


This is a one year full-time or two years part-time course.


Semester 1

  • Industrial Biotechnology IV
  • Recombinant DNA Technology IV
  • Research Methodology IV
  • Research Project IV

Semester 2

  • Entrepreneurial Skills
  • Environmental Biotechnology IV
  • Microbial Biochemistry IV
  • Research Project IV

Magister Technologiae: Biotechnology

Admission Requirements:

A BTech or equivalents with an overall 65% pass. As this degree is based on research, all candidates shall submit the following –

a) Proof of successful completion of a course in Research Methodology; and

b) A research proposal for approval by the Executive Committee of Senate.


The equivalent of at least two years full-time study.


This instructional programme comprises of a dissertation only, provided that the student has already passed a course in Research Methodology.

In their dissertations students must prove that they understand a particular problem in the discipline in which they have done research. Students must prove that they are able to analyse and set out the problem logically, are able to arrive at logical conclusions or a diagnosis and are then able to make proposals on the improvement / elimination of the problem. The dissertation must comply with the general technical requirements and rules with regards to scope, quality and format.

Biotechnology Laboratory Practice I and II

The structured theoretical education and the Work Integrated Learning partnership, as offered by the University and the employer respectively, form the basis of this co-operative education model. Work Integrated Learning refers to that component of co-operative education that can only be conducted by the employer. This learning provides the student with an opportunity to apply and develop the academic knowledge he / she received at the University to relevant problem situations in industry and exposure to typical organisational culture, human relations and working conditions.

The policy, procedures and guidelines set out in this document benefits the co-operative partnership (student, University and employer) in developing and introducing effective education / learning programmes and by being adaptable to technological developments within a relatively short period of time. With suitable guidance and supervision the student is taught the responsibility to work independently and to develop an awareness of the ethics and requirements of industry.

NB: A student will only be permitted to commence with and register for Laboratory Practice I and II provided the student has passed all the subjects in S1, S2, S3 and S4.

Professional Bodies

Membership to a professional body is not compulsory but is advisable.

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Human Resource Department

Human Resource Department