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Programme overview

Biology is one of the most diverse of all the sciences and covers all aspects of the study of living organisms, ranging from understanding the gene to managing ecosystems. From the study of the molecular basis of life, including the biochemistry of molecules such as DNA, RNA, proteins and the molecular structure and function of the various parts of living cells to evolution and human, animal and plant behaviour.

Biological Sciences at Wits fall into two main streams:

Courses offered by the School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences (APES) fall within three broad themes: Ecology and Conservation, Biodiversity, and Organismal Biology.

Studies are focused at the level of living things and their interaction with the environment. Areas of specialisation include savannas, grasslands and aquatic biology, focusing on biodiversity, sustainable resources and range limitation. Ecology and behaviour of a diverse range of animals (herbivores, beetles, rodents, lizards, snakes, birds, etc.), Biocontrol, Biodiversity, Conservation, Restoration, Ecophysiology, Systematics, Taxonomy and Evolutionary Biology are some of the specialisations on offer. The courses are designed to teach important basic knowledge and have time to explore fields that are new and relevant. Training involves both field work and laboratory skills. The majors are a combination of courses which allow for flexibility and choice.

The School of Molecular and Cell Biology (MCB) offers four major Programmes: Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Genetics and Developmental Biology, Microbiology and Biotechnology, and Bioinformatics.

The strength of the programme lies in the comprehensive introduction to the convergence of modern molecular advances and their application to the broad fields of medicine, agriculture and biotechnology. Molecular biosciences are the science of the future, evidenced by the growing number of disciplines where a molecular understanding has made a substantial impact (e.g. bioinformatics, forensics and drug design). 

Students from both streams are required to register for Introductory Life Sciences in first year, as well as Chemistry and Auxillary Mathematics. Other course options include Complementary Life Sciences, Physics Auxiliary, Psychology, Geography, Archaeology or Philosophy.

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Career Opportunities

Molecular & Cell Biology

  • Applied Bioinformatics
  • Drug discovery
  • Molecular modelling
  • Biostatics
  • Biomechanics
  • Data management
  • Pharmacognetics
  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry & Cell Biology
  • Industrial research & manufacturing of foodstuffs
  • Medical, agricultural, environmental & veterinary services and research/technical laboratory work
  • Research on drugs & insecticides
  • Genetics & Developmental Biology
  • Industrial & agricultural research in biotechnology and breeding of plants & animals
  • Medical diagnosis testing 
  • Scientific and medical research
  • Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Academic teaching
  • Cell biology
  • Marketing of scientific products

Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences

  • Ecology, Conservation, Biodiversity and Organismal Biology
  • Nature conservation working in national or conservation agencies, private wildlife enterprises, environmental NGOs, environmental consultancy.
  • Research in government & university institutions
  • Environmental impact assessment
  • Museum work in natural history museums, botanical and zoological gardens
  • Teaching in high schools, universities, technikons & corporate training
  • Scientific journalism for newspapers, journals, broadcasting & natural history documentaries
  • Commerce - working in private consulting firms, environmental divisions of large corporations, marketing, scientific services, mining and forestry companies
  • Industry - research, development and supply of biological products and materials
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Entry Requirements

Science
Programme Minimum Admission Requirements  Selection procedures
APS Subjects & achieved scale
Bachelor of Science in the field of:
  • Applied Computing
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Chemistry with Chemical Engineering
  • Nuclear Sciences and Engineering
43 points and above English HL or 1st Add Lang - 5
Mathematics - 6
Physical Science - 6
Applicants between 40 - 42 points will be waitlisted subject to the availability of places
  • Physical Sciences
42 points and above English HL or 1st Add Lang - 5
Mathematics - 6
Physical Science - 5
Applicants between 38 - 41 points will be waitlisted subject to the availability of places.
  • Computer Science
42 points and above English HL or 1st Add Lang - 5
Mathematics - 6
Applicants between 38 - 41 points will be waitlisted subject to the availability of places.
  • Biological Sciences
  • Geographical and Archaeological Sciences
40 points and above English HL or 1st Add Lang - 5
Mathematics - 5
Applicants between 38 - 39 points will be waitlisted subject to the availability of places.
  • Geological Sciences
40 points and above  English HL or 1st Add Lang - 5
Mathematics - 6
Physical Science - 5
Applicants between 38 - 39 points will be waitlisted subject to the availability of places.
 
  • Actuarial Sciences
  • Mathematical Sciences
40 points and above English HL or 1st Add Lang - 7
Mathematics - 7
Physical Science - 7
Applicants between 38 - 39 points will be waitlisted subject to the availability of places.
  • Mathematics of Finance
42 points and above English HL or 1st Add Lang - 6
Mathematics - 6
Physical Science - 6
Applicants between 40 - 41 points will be waitlisted subject to the availability of places.
Bachelor of Science (General)
BSc (3 years)
40 points and above English HL or 1st Add Lang - 5
Mathematics - 5
Applicants between 38 - 39 points will be waitlisted subject to the availability of places.
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Application Process

Your application

  • You may apply for three programmes (degrees).
  • Applications to Wits must enclose a non-refundable application fee of R100 (for international applicants, R700).

Documentation / Checklist

  • Submit your Grade 11 report which must be signed and stamped by your school principal.
  • If you have already matriculated, attach a copy of your matric certificate.

Submit your application, required documentation and application fee before the closing date.

More about submitting applications

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Apply now

Closing Dates

30 June 2017
Faculty of Health Sciences (All programmes)
Bachelor of Architecture
BA in Speech and Hearing Therapy

30 September 2017
All other University programmes
Residence applications 

Online applications
  • Complete an online application to study at Wits
  • Complete an online application for financial aid or residential accommodation
  • Download an application
Apply now
Course Costs

The average course costs range from R38728 to R48550, depending on the course and the number of years of study.
Tuition fees are payable for each course for which a student is registered. 

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