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Faculty of Natural Sciences

Welcome message from the Dean:

Scientists like to ask questions! As you consider your future, your questions may be, “Why study Science? Why study Science at UWC?” UWC is serious about Science. As a UWC Science student you will have access to some of the best Science laboratories and facilities in the southern hemisphere. Not only that, you will be taught, inspired, mentored, and encouraged by international leaders in the scientific disciplines outlined on our website. 

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Programme Explainer Series: 

The first year Life Science course is taken along with other basic science courses. From it, you should know why and how organisms are classified, how they interact with each other and their environment. You will also examine important life functions, including how characteristics are transmitted to the next generation. Later you will learn more about plants and animals, including their diversity, conservation and ecology. If you have a love for nature, this is the programme for you. We are one of the leading universities training students in marine biology, systematics and ecology.
In this video, Head of Department Professor Stephen Boatwright, speaks to you about this degree programme, its entry requirements and curriculum. 



Possible module combinations: Electives may be taken in Applied Geology, Chemistry and Environmental and Water Science What can I do with this programme? Career opportunities are countless, including research scientist, museum curator, teacher, environmental impact assessment and many more.

Enquiries: Ms Linda van Heerden (lvheerden@uwc.ac.za), Prof. Stephen Boatwright (jboatwright@uwc.ac.za), Dr Anusha Rajkaran (arajkaran@uwc.ac.za)

Biotechnology is the field of study that involves the manipulation of living systems and living organisms (fungi, bacteria, virus, plants, and animals) to develop or make products that can improve on the quality of our lives. Biotechnologist 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. 
In the videos below, Charles Gelderbloem speaks to you about the Extended Curriculum and Mainstream programmes. 

Biotechnology: Extended Curriculum Programme (ECP) 



Biotechnology: Mainstream Programme 



What can I do with this programme? Food Industry (Lab technician, Quality Assurance); SAPS Forensics (DNA analyst); Medical Technologist (Pathcare, Ampath); Science Educators; Research Scientist; Academics

Enquiries: Charles Gelderbloem, cgelderbloem@uwc.ac.za

Geology is the study of the history of our planet Earth and the processes that have acted upon it. Geologists use this knowledge to predict, find and recover minerals that can be used by humans, including fuels, ore minerals, and building materials. South Africa is endowed with numerous mineral and hydrocarbon deposits, which will continue to need the attention of local geologists.

What can I do with this programme?
Exploration and/or mining geologist (e.g. in Anglo American, BHP Billiton etc.), Research (e.g. in Council of Geoscience, CSIR and MINTEK etc.), Petroleum geologist, consulting geologist, academics pursuing research and lectureship in universities, business entrepreneur

Enquiries: Prof D. Frei (dfrei@uwc.ac.za

Advising video: 

“In the Medical Biosciences department we aim at training and developing biomedical scientists who will conduct research with a view to understand diseases and try to find possible treatment options for lifestyle associated diseases. To prepare students, the Medical Biosciences programme teaches students Anatomy, Physiology and Medical Microbiology thereby providing an understanding of the structure and function of the human body, and how the body protects itself against disease”. 

Advisory video: 



What can I do with this programme? This is a formative degree and does not prepare you for a specific profession. The qualification with scientific training in basic medical related sciences provides a gateway to further your studies towards different careers. Our graduates work in the food industry as laboratory assistants and as medical or pharmacy representatives. You may also want to combine your degree with a relevant diploma in marketing, finance, education, journalism or even a qualification in the legal arena. Many students continue with postgraduate studies in Medical Bioscience with a view towards a career as research scientist or lecturer.

Enquiries: Prof Ekpo (oekpo@uwc.ac.za) 

The programme in Mathematical and Statistical Sciences train students in applied and fundamental mathematics and statistics to become future data scientists who collect, analyse and model quantitative information. In this video, Dr Retha Luus, senior lecturer in the Department of Population and Statistical Studies, speaks to you about what you can expect in this programme, and offers guidance on how to go about selecting your modules.



Possible module combinations: Elective modules can be taken in Computer science, Physics or Economics What can I do with this programme? Data scientists involved with modelling, analysis and forecasting, Academic career, etc. Data scientists are the key players of the future, it is also a scarce skills area with endless job opportunities.

Enquiries: Professor Patidar (kpatidar@uwc.ac.za) or Professor Stiegler (nstiegler@uwc.ac.za)