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Welcome to the Department of Biotechnology

The simplest definition of biotechnology is “applied biology” through the application of biological knowledge and techniques to develop products or services. It may be further defined as the use of living organisms to make a product or run a process. By this definition, the classic techniques used for plant and animal breeding, fermentation and enzyme purification are to be considered biotechnology.

The term is also used to refer to the newer tools of genetic science. In this context, biotechnology may be defined as the use of molecular methods to modify the genetic materials of living cells so that they will produce new substances or perform new functions. Examples include recombinant DNA technology, in which a copy of a piece of DNA containing one, or a few genes. is transferred between organisms or “recombined” within an organism.

Biotechnology is at the forefront of the knowledge economy. In its broadest sense, it is the commercial exploitation of living organisms or their components. Biotechnology aims to apply the latest molecular techniques to modern-day problems in industrial and environmental situations. Fundamental research in these areas will help to shape the development of the industrial world. UWC's international reputation for research enables us to teach at the cutting edge of biotechnology. Students work in close collaboration with research-active scientists on problems of real significance, making use of the considerable research expertise and facilities available on campus.

Biotechnologists tend to be

  • Innovative
  • Curious
  • Meticulous
  • Independent workers and thinkers
  • People who love science and nature, and are eager to make a positive contribution to their natural and social environment

Skills acquired

  • Research techniques
  • Scientific writing skills
  • Use of biological databases
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Presentation skills