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About Us

The Faculty of Natural Sciences encompasses nine academic departments and the School of Pharmacy, four research institutes, one research centre and two research units.  The current undergraduate academic project supports eleven endorsed degree programmes (10 endorsed BSc degrees and a professional BPharm degree). UWC has the only programme based degree structure of this kind in a science faculty in South Africa which sets Science@UWC apart from other science programmes in the country. 

The Faculty’s academic departments are divided into two broad clusters; Life and Biomedical Sciences (comprising the Departments of Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, Biotechnology and Medical Biosciences and the School of Pharmacy) and Physical and Earth Sciences (comprising the Departments of Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth Sciences, Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy and Statistics and Population Studies).  All of these Departments offer post-graduate (Honours, MSc and PhD) degrees. The Faculty is home to over 3200 students, of whom approximately 1000 are post-graduates.  Our academic programmes are delivered and supported by 350 Faculty academic and professional support staff.

In addition the Faculty houses the South African Institute for Advanced materials Chemistry (SAIAMC), the South African National Bioinformatics Institute (SANBI), the Institute for Microbial Biotechnology and Metagenomics (IMBM, the Institute for Water Studies (IWS) and the Centre for Radio Cosmology.  The Faculty’s research agenda is driven by seven South African Research Chairs; Cosomology (Joint Chair with the Square Kilometre Array project), Cosmology with Multi-wavelength Data, Data Intensive Astronomy, Bioinformatics and Medical Genomics, Nanoelectrochemistry and Sensor Technology, and Nuclear Science.  The Faculty also hosts the UNESCO Chair in Geohydrology.

The Faculty of Natural Sciences has a plethora of well-established research programmes which all provide opportunities for post-graduate research.  In 2018 the following thirteen research themes were identified.  Each research theme is characterized by research teams working together to share resources and expertise.

·         African biodiversity

·         Agriculture

·         Astronomy

·         Computer and Mathematical Sciences

·         Drug discovery

·         Energy

·         Genomics

·         Infectious diseases

·         Nanoscience

·         Non-communicable diseases

·         Nuclear science

·         Oceans research

·         Water

If you wish to know more about research in the Faculty, please link to the individual departments , research institutes and research centre.

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University of the Western Cape,
Robert Sobukwe Road,
Bellville, 7535,
Republic of South Africa

info@uwc.ac.za | +27 21 959 2911

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