Where to study Biotechnology in South Africa
Are you trying to decide what to study? Biotechnology offers an interesting career working with micro-organisms. Biotechnology jobs can be found across a range of sectors and the positions that you will be eligible for will depend on your training and experience. Another option is Aquaculture which involves nurturing fish as well as marine plants. If you are looking for Aquaculture jobs, you will need a matric certificate and relevant training. Find Biotechnology jobs in South Africa on Job Mail.
Before you commit to studying it is important to find out more about what a career as a Biotechnologist entails. Biotechnologists are scientists. As a Biotechnologist you will be required to research and work with micro-organisms. Once you are qualified you can look for careers in medical science or alcohol manufacturing. Biotechnology jobs entail the combination of state-of-the-art technology and applied science to develop new products. As technology is advancing this field is developing rapidly and it is playing a bigger role in our societies.
If you decide to study Biotechnology and you graduate successfully, you can expect to work in a laboratory. Typically, you will work conventional office hours during week days. The likelihood of you being self-employed in this career is limited. As you embark on your studies, it is important to keep in mind what area interests you most. Areas that you can consider specialising in include product development as well as agriculture. The medical and manufacturing sectors also require the services of Biotechnologists. Hospitals, research facilities and government agencies are other potential employers.
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If you enjoy using scientific processes to carry out chemical analysis, then a career as a Biotechnologist could be for you. You will also be involved in quality controls, testing, collecting specimens and report writing. There are possibilities for advancement in this career. As you gain experience you can become the director of projects which involves overseeing teams and liaising with company managers. To enter the field of Biotechnology you will need to be detail orientated with outstanding problem-solving skills. Superior IT skills are also required. You will also need to have good interpersonal skills and be able to work as part of a team.
Choosing the right educational institute to study at is important. To help you make up your mind here is an overview of some of the South African Universities which offer relevant training programs.
The University of Johannesburg
You can study Biotechnology at the University of Johannesburg. Undergraduate courses include a National Diploma. There are BTech Biotechnology, MTech Biotechnology and DTech Biotechnology programs at the university for postgraduate students. The entry requirements for the National Diploma include a senior certificate with a minimum M-score of 10. Biotechnology requires a higher grade D symbol in Biology, Higher Grade D in Physical Science and Higher Grade D in Mathematics. The curriculum includes subjects such as Chemistry, Microbiology and Biochemistry.
Cape Peninsula University of Technology
To be admitted for a National Diploma at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology you will need NSC level 4 passes in English, Mathematics, Life Sciences and Physical Sciences. The course is a full-time three year course which includes integrated learning. Fees were R22 525 for the first year of this course in 2015.
Durban University of Technology
To be eligible for the National Diploma at DUT, you will need English and Maths at NCV level 4 as well as Physical Science and Life Science at NCV level 4. In 2014 the fees were R22 000 for the first year. DUT offers a three year National Diploma which includes a one year in-service training period. You can also do the course as a four year extended curriculum program. Course subjects include Quantitative Methods and Bioprocessing.
University of Stellenbosch
The University of Stellenbosch offers a BSc in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. Entry requirements include 50% in English or Afrikaans as well as in Physical Science. Mathematics, Computer Skills and Chemistry are subjects which are included in the curriculum for this course.
The University of the Western Cape
Degrees offered at the University of the Western Cape include B.Sc. (Biotechnology), B.Sc. Honours (Biotechnology), M.Sc (Biotechnology) and Ph.D. The undergraduate course include Microbiology, Biotechnology and Molecular Biology. The skills that you will acquire during the courses include research techniques, scientific writing skills and the ability to work under pressure.
Tshwane University of Technology
The Tshwane University of Technology offers a National Diploma in Biotechnology which has a duration of three years. An extended curriculum program of four years is also offered. To be admitted to the programme suitable candidates will have a National Senior Certificate with a minimum of level 4 for English, 4 for Mathematics, 4 for Physical Sciences and 3 for Life Sciences. The minimum requirement to be considered for this course is an APS of 21. The course has a duration of four years.
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If you are still deciding on what you are going to study, Biotechnology is definitely worth your consideration. Ranging to include both laboratory jobs as well as jobs within medical fields, Biotechnology definitely opens doors to very interesting career paths.