Genetics and Developmental Biology

This is the era of the gene. You can sequence it, research how it functions, study how it makes an animal, plant, bacterium or virus, how it evolves and how it can make cells cancerous. What’s more, with the help of modern tools, you can now quickly and precisely edit a plant or animal genome.


Bachelor of Science in the field of Biological Sciences

Genetics is the science of heredity and variation. It includes the study of whole organisms and the molecular sequence of genes and whole genomes. Genetics provides the understanding of how traits are passed from one generation to the next and has elucidated the evolutionary origins of and modifications to animals, plants and microbes.

Developmental biology of animals and plants is the study of how genes determine the growth and differentiation of multicellular organisms. Genetics and developmental biology have given us fundamental insights and useful applications in the fields of agriculture and the health sciences.

To find out more about the Biological Sciences Programme at Wits, visit our site.

Career Opportunities

  • Clinical Research Associate
  • Genetic Counselling
  • Healthcare Scientist (Immunology)
  • Medical Diagnostics
  • Pharmacogenetics
  • Plant and Animal Breeding
  • Research Scientist (Life Sciences and Medical)
  • Scientific and Medical Research


First year

Introductory Life Sciences
Auxiliary Mathematics
Any other Level I course

Second year

Molecular and Cell Biology IIA: Molecular Processes
Molecular and Cell Biology IIB: Cells and Organisms
Molecular and Cell Biology IIC: Applications (for double-MCB major students)
Any other Level II course

Third year

Genetics and Developmental Biology 
Any other Level III major

Entry Requirements

APS 43+

English Home Language OR First Additional Language Level 5

Mathematics Level 5


Applicants with 41-42 points may be wait-listed, subject to place availability.

National Benchmark Test

All Faculty of Science applicants must write the National Benchmark Tests (NBT) before being considered for admission. There are two tests. The Academic and Quantitative Literacy Test and the Mathematics Test. Your test results are used in addition to your Grade 12 results to identify students who may need additional support during their studies. 

University Application Process

  • The Student Enrolment Centre at Wits handles all student applications.
  • Please click here for an overview of the application process. 
  • Check the admission requirements for your degree. Check if any additional selection requirements apply. 
  • Submit your application, required documentation and application fee before the closing date.
  • Once you have applied, an admissions consultant will be assigned to your application.
  • Applicants can monitor the progress of their applications via the Self Service Portal.
  • If you are an international applicant and/or have a foreign qualification, please click here.

Compliance with the minimum requirements does not guarantee a place at the University. The University has a specific number of places for first year undergraduates, approved by the Department of Higher Education and Training. Final selection is made subject to the availability of places, academic results and other entry requirements where applicable.

University Fees and Funding

Click here to see the current average tuition fees for the first year of study. The Fees website also provides information about the payment of fees and closing dates for fees payments. Once you have applied you will be able to access the fees estimator on the student self-service portal. 

The Financial aid office provides information on student funding and scholarships. University-funded Scholarships include Vice-Chancellor's Scholarships, University Entrance Scholarships, Equality Scholarships, Sports Scholarships and National Olympiad winner awards. For information about NSFAS funding, please visit the NSFAS websiteExternal bursaries portal: The Bursaries South Africa website provides a comprehensive list of bursaries in South Africa.

Wits Plus applicants: terms of payment are in accordance with University regulations, and students are not eligible for University bursaries/NSFAS or residential accommodation.