Programme title: Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology (BSc. Biotech)




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MAKERERE UNIVERSITY


DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY


PROGRAMME TITLE: Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology (BSc. Biotech)


February 2011

TABLE OF CONTENTS


TABLE OF CONTENTS………………………………………………………………………

2

1. JUSTIFICATION (PREAMBLE)………………………………………….........................

4

2. PROGRAMME OBJECTIVES……………………………………………………………

5

2.1 Main objective…………………………………………………………………………

5

2.2 Overall Learning Outcomes of the Programme………………………………...

5

3. NOMENCLATURE....................................................................................................

6

4. ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS..................................................................................

6

4.1 Students Recruitment Plans…………………………………………………………

6

4.1.1 Direct entry…………………………....................................................................

6

4.1.2 Mature Age Entry Scheme……………………………………………………...

6

4.1.3 Diploma holders’ entry scheme…………………………………………………

6

4.2 Credit Transfers………………………………………………………………………...

7

4.2.1 Diploma Holders…………………………………………………………………….

7

4.2.2 Undergraduate Students from other Universities……………………………..

7

4.3 Residence Requirements…………………………………………………………….

7

5. DURATION…………………………………………………………………………..........

7

6. COURSE CATEGORISATION/DEFINITION OF TERMS…………………………........

7

7. GENERAL INFORMATION ON COURSES AND GRADING SYSTEM…………........

8

7.1 Grading System………..………………………………………………………………

8

8.0 DEGREE PROGRAMME………………………………………………………………

9

8.1 Programme Load……………………………………………………………………

9

8.2 Curriculum structure…………………………………………………………………

9

8.3 Detailed course descriptions..............................................................................

11

8.4 Grade Point Average (GPA) for a semester……………………………………..

59

8.5 Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA)………………………………………

60

8.6 Classification of BSc. Biotech Degree……………………………………………

60

9. EXAMINATIONS…………………………………………………………………….........

60

9.1 Assessment…………………………………………………………………………......

60

9.2 Course Assessment…………………………………………………………………...

60

9.3 Earning credit in a course………………………………………………………….

60

9.4 Retaking a Course or Courses………………………………………………………

61

10. ACADEMIC PROGRESS.………………………………………………………….......

61

10.1 Normal Progress……………………………………………………………………...

61

10.2 Probationary Progress……………………………………………………………….

61

10.3 Discontinuation……...…………………………………………………………….....

62

11. HONOURS LIST…………………………………………………………………….........

62

12. CERTIFICATE OF DUE PERFORMANCE………………………………………..........

62

13. ABSENCE FROM EXAMINATION……………………………………………….........

62

14. GRIEVANCE RELATED TO GRADES……………………………………...................

62

15. ACADEMIC STAFF AVAILABLE TO EXECUTE THE PROGRAMME………............

63

16. FACILITIES IN THE DEPARTMENT…………………………………………………….

65

17. FORMATION OF LINKAGES……………………………………………………..........

65

18. FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT…………………………………………………………

65

18.1 Sources of Funding…………………………………………………………………

65

18.1.1 MSI Grant USD1.25 m……………………………………………………………

65

18.1.2 Internally Generated Funds……………………………………………………

67

18.1.2.1 First Semester Income…………………………………………………………

67

18.1.2.2 Expenditure………………………………………………………………………

67

18.1.2.3 Budget for the Second Semester……………………………………………

67

18.1.2.4 Accountability…………………………………………………………………

67



JUSTIFICATION (PREAMBLE)

Agricultural production forms the backbone of the economies of most of the developing countries in Africa whereby it contributes more than half of the gross domestic product (GDP). However agricultural production is suffering a decline due to poor soils, unreliable climatic conditions, poor agricultural practices, and a host of pest and disease constraints. An estimated 35% of the 800 million poor people live in Africa and are faced with food insecurity characterized by hunger, malnutrition and poverty. All this is occurring against the background of an escalating human population growth rate. For example, in Uganda with an annual population growth rate of 3%, the total population is expected to be 50 million by 2015.


Modern biotechnology is increasingly being recognized as a potentially powerful driver for socio-economic development countries of the world especially in developing countries where it offers enormous potential benefits in accelerating the development of new plant and animal products with improved attributes such as drought tolerance, pest resistance or tolerance, higher yields, increased nutritional value (protein and micro nutrients), increased product shelf-life and production of clean planting materials (e.g. flowers, vegetables, medicinal plants and bananas). In animal production there is substantial opportunity for development of biotechnology-derived vaccines with improved efficacy and safety compared to conventional products, diagnostic techniques targeting diseases which constrain livestock production in developing regions of the world (e.g. foot and mouth disease and east coast fever) and improvement of pastures. The contribution of biotechnology to producing ‘biofarm’ animals with improved meat, milk protein and other products such as high quality wool cannot be underestimated. The medical applications of biotechnology in development of drugs and vaccines and new cheap cost effective diagnostic techniques have gone a long way to alleviate hunger poverty and disease.


Biotechnology also has applications in wildlife conservation, processing industry, mineral extraction through bioleaching, beverages, drug development, environmental restoration and conservation among others.


The integration of these new and appropriate biotechnologies into the national development plan of Uganda is an inevitable prerequisite for improving the national economy and wellbeing of the population through increasing agricultural and industrial production, improved human health and addressing environmental degradation and biodiversity loss. Whereas this would go a long way in attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) by the year 2015, Uganda is yet to develop the critical mass of biotechnologists to achieve these objectives.


This new programme of Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology (B.Sc. Biotech.) is therefore aimed at producing graduates with appropriate training and skills to bridge this human resource gap both in the public and private sectors. Currently, such a degree programme is not being offered by any University in Uganda.


2.0 PROGRAMME OBJECTIVES


2.1 Main objective

The main objective of this programme is to produce graduates with sufficient knowledge and skills in the field of modern Biotechnology necessary for enhancing agricultural and industrial production, biodiversity and environmental conservation.


2.2 Overall Learning Outcomes of the Programme

On successful completion of the programme, a graduate with BSc. in Biotechnology should be able to:

  1. demonstrate the use of Biotechnology as a tool in advancing major scientific breakthroughs in Pure and Applied Sciences.

  2. describe key processes encompassing the central theme of Molecular Biology and the use of techniques in Recombinant DNA Technology.

  3. identify and apply appropriate Biotechnology tools for the enhancement of National agricultural research, production and development under the domain of the Plan for the Modernization of Agriculture (PMA) in Uganda.

  4. apply appropriate Environmental biotechniques such as bioremediation for environmental conservation and restoration.

  5. apply suitable biotechnology tools for conservation and sustainable utilization of plant and animal genetic resources.

  6. apply biotechnologies in line with national and international guidelines formulated for biosafety and biopolicy for public interest.

  7. contribute to, retrieve and analyze research findings from the end-user scientific community via Bioinformatics tools.

  8. apply biotechnology knowledge and skills in bio-entrepreneurship in product and service development.

  9. link bio-sciences, law, ethics, commerce and industry to national and global development goals.

  10. pursue a higher degree in more specialized areas of Biotechnology.



3. NOMENCLATURE

Successful graduates from this programme will be awarded the Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology (BSc. Biotech) degree of Makerere University.


4. ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS


4.1 Students Recruitment Plans

High schools and tertiary institutions will be visited to popularize the programme. The students with a biological background will be selected according to the current university minimum requirements for direct admission from high schools, diploma holders, mature age entry scheme and credit transfers from other universities and other institutions as outlined below.


The Department intends to recruit 100 students split into 60 day and 40 evening programmes. There will be a slot for 5 international students in the programme. The second and third intakes will be raised to 150 students. The subsequent intakes will be decided following the programme review after three years.


4.1.1 Direct entry

For admission to the degree programme under direct entry scheme, a candidate must have sat for and passed:

  1. UCE or its equivalent

  2. UACE or its equivalent with at least 2 principal passes in Biology and either Chemistry, Agriculture, Physics, or Mathematics

  3. The two essential subjects recommended are Biology and Chemistry

  4. The desired subjects recommended are Agriculture and Mathematics

  5. The relevant subjects recommended are Physics, Geography, and Economics


4.1.2 Mature Age Entry Scheme

For admission to the BSc. Biotech degree programme under mature age entry scheme, a candidate must have sat and passed the examinations in the aptitude and biotechnology, biochemistry, or Biology.


4.1.3 Diploma holders’ entry scheme

A diploma holder from a recognised institution in the areas of biotechnology, biology, agriculture, forestry, agro-forestry, fisheries, and biomedical sciences may be admitted to the BBT degree programme provided:

(i) one has attained at least a second class diploma

(ii) one took courses in relevant subjects at the tertiary institutions


4.2 Credit Transfers


4.2.1 Diploma Holders

Appropriate credits earned EITHER at a tertiary institution OR another university at diploma level may be used as equivalents for university courses to join the BBT Programme.


4.2.2 Undergraduate Students from other Universities

Appropriate credits earned from other recognised/accredited universities by undergraduate students may be accepted provided they are equivalent and relevant to the Biotechnology Degree Programme offered at Makerere University.


4.3 Residence Requirements

The minimum requirements for obtaining a BBT degree of Makerere University are earning at least 51-55% credit units at Makerere University. Even though a student may meet the degree requirements before earning 51-55% at Makerere University, the award of the degree will not be recommended until the 51-55% credit has been earned.


5.0 DURATION

The recommended duration of the BSc. Biotech degree programme is three years.


6. COURSE CATEGORISATION/DEFINITION OF TERMS


i) Semester: one standard semester comprises of 15 weeks of classes and 2 weeks of examinations

ii) Contact hours: a contact hour shall be equivalent to one (1) hour of lecture or two (2) hours of tutorial/practical/field work.

iii) Credit or Credit Unit: a credit or Credit Unit is the measure used to reflect the relative weight of a given course towards the fulfilment of appropriate degree, diploma, and certificate or other programmes required. One Credit Unit shall be One Contact Hour per week per semester or a series of Fifteen (15) Contact Hours.

iv) Core Course: a Core course is a course, which is essential to an Academic Programme and gives the programme its unique features. A core course is compulsory for all students who have registered for a particular programme and must be passed.

v) Elective Course: an Elective course is a course offered in order to broaden an academic programme or to allow for specialization. It is chosen from a given group of courses largely at the convenience of the student. All elective courses must be passed. However, another elective course may be substituted for a failed elective course and passed.


vi) Audited Course: an Audited Course is a course taken by a student for which a credit/credit unit is not awarded. This course enables the student to follow or understand learning of another subject/course.

vii) Pre-requisite Course: a pre-requisite is a condition (either course or classification), which must be satisfied prior to enrolling for the course in question. A pre-requisite course, therefore, is a course offered in preparation for a higher-level course in the same area of study. In this programme, all courses from Semester I to Semester V are core. They therefore act as prerequisite courses for those in subsequent semesters.


7. GENERAL INFORMATION ON COURSES AND GRADING SYSTEM

The different courses in the programme are identified by a unique four-digit number code assigned to the course e.g. BBT1103. The first digit (1 in the example above) denotes the year in which the course is usually taken: thus 1, 2, and 3 indicate 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year courses respectively. The 2nd digit (1 in the example above) denotes the Semester in which the course is usually taken, thus 1,2 indicate semesters 1 and 2 respectively. The last two digits (0 and 3 in the above example) distinguish the individual courses.


7.1 Grading System

The overall marks a candidate obtains in each course he/she takes is out of a maximum of one hundred (100) marks shall be assigned appropriate letter grades and Grade Points for Bsc. in Biotech is as follows:



Marks

Letter Grade

Grade Point

Interpretation

90-100

A+

5

Exceptional

80-89

A

5

Excellent

75-79

B+

4.5

Very good

70-74

B

4

Good

65-69

C+

3.5

Fairly good

60-64

C

3

Fair

55-59

D+

2.5

Pass

50-54

D

2.0

Marginal pass

45-50

E

1.5

Marginal fail

40-45

E-

1.0

Clear fail

Below 40

F

0.0

Bad fail



8.0 DEGREE PROGRAMME

8.1 Programme Load

A normal programme load per semester is 19-21 CU. A normal load for a semester is defined as one sixth of the total credit units required for the degree towards which the student is working. Therefore the BSc. Biotech which requires 114 CU, 19 CU is the typical load per semester. The minimum load to maintain a full time status is 19 CU for all students. A student enrolled for 17 CU or less is considered to be part-time.

8.2 Curriculum structure

The detailed curriculum structure for the BSc in Biotechnology programme is outlined in the table below showing the course codes, course names, credit (CU), lecture hours (LH), practical hours (PH) and contact hours (CH) per semester.


YEAR 1 SEMESTER 1


No.

Code

Course Name

CU

LH

PH

CH

1

BBT1101

Cell Biology

3

30

30

45

2

BBT1102

Molecular structure and function of macromolecules

3

30

30

45

3

BBT1103

Enzymology

3

30

30

45

4

BOT1101

Flowering plant growth and development*

3

30

30

45

5

BBT1105

Basic computer applications

3

30

30

45

6

ETB1104

Economics for conservation*

3

30

30

45







SUB-TOTAL

18










YEAR 1 SEMESTER 2

1

BBT1201

Basic animal physiology

3

30

30

45

2

BBT1202

Introductory microbiology and mycology

3

30

30

45

3

BBT1203

Cellular Metabolism

3

30

30

45

4

BBT1204

Basic Plant Physiology

3

30

30

45

5

BOT1205

Basic Genetics*

3

30

30

45

6

BOT1204

Basic Ecology*

3

30

30

45

7

BBT1205

Animal growth and development

3

30

30

30







SUB-TOTAL

21










YEAR 2 SEMESTER 3

1

BBT2301

Applications of biotechnology in Seed science and Technology

3

30

30

45

2

BBT2302

Molecular markers

3

30

30

45

3

BBT2303

Recombinant DNA Technologies

4

45

30

60

4

BBT2304

Evolutionary biology

3

30

30

45

5

BBT2305

Molecular systematics

3

30

30

45

6

BBT2306

Molecular Evolution

3

30

30

45







SUB-TOTAL

19










YEAR 2 SEMESTER 4

1

BBT2401

Research methods

3

30

30

45

2

BBT2402

Molecular defense mechanisms in plants and animals

3

30

30

45

3

BBT2403

Tissue culture

3

30

30

45

4

BBT2404

Biostatistics and Modeling

4

45

30

60

5

BOT2202

Plant-water relations and Mineral nutrition*

3

30

30

45

6

BBT2405

Field Attachment

3

30

30

45







SUB-TOTAL

19










YEAR 3 SEMESTER 5

1

BBT3501

Genomics and Bioinformatics

4

45

30

60

2

BBT3502

Stress Physiology and environment

4

45

30

60

3

BBT3503

Biosafety, Bioethics and Biopolicy

4

45

30

60

4

BBT3504

Plants as Chemical and Pharmaceutical factories

4

45

30

60

5

BBT3505

Bioprospecting

4

45

30

60







SUB-TOTAL

20










YEAR 3 SEMESTER 6

1

BBT3601

Fermentation Biotechnology**

4

45

30

60

2

BBT3602

Microbiology, Plant Pathology and Virology**

4

45

30

60

3

BBT3603

Product development and entrepreneurship

4

45

30

60

4

BBT3604

Biotechnology and crop Improvement**

4

45

30

60

5

BBT3605

Environmental Biotechnology**

4

45

30

60

6

BBT3606

Research project***

5

--

150

75







SUB-TOTAL

17











GRAND TOTAL = 114 CREDIT UNITS

* = Already existing course; ** = Electives (only two to be selected); *** = Research Project


The above programme will be taught by staff from the Department of Biology, other Departments of the Faculty of Science and other collaborating institutions.


8.3 DETAILED COURSE DESCRIPTIONS


i) Course Name: CELL BIOLOGY

Course Code: BBT1101

Course Credit: 3 CU


Brief Course Description:

The course will cover the structure-function relationships of organelles, prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, cellular functions of molecular traffic, the significance of both somatic and germ cell cycles, processes of DNA replication, transcription and translation and characteristics of the standard genetic code


Specific learning outcomes:

At the end of the course, the students should be able to:

  1. discuss the structure-function relationships of cell organelles

  2. distinguish between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells

  3. describe key cellular functions of molecular traffic, division and metabolism

  4. discuss the biological significance of the cell cycle in somatic and germ line cells

  5. discuss the role of the mitochondria and chloroplasts in extra-nuclear inheritance

  6. explain the processes of DNA replication, transcription and translation

  7. explain the characteristics of the standard genetic code.


Detailed course description

A cell as the basic unit of life:

Cell sizes and shapes (1 hour), Eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells (2 hours)


The cell theory:

Cellular structure and functions (2 hours), Transport across membranes (1 hour), Structure and function of organelles (1 hour), Cell membrane and its functions (1

hour)


Cell division:

Mitosis and meiosis (3 hours), Continuity of life (1 hour), The cell cycle (1 hour), Structure and function of the cytoskeleton (1 hour), Ageing and cell death (1 hour)


Structural and functional organization of chloroplasts and mitochondria:

The semi-genetic autonomy of the mitochondria and chloroplasts (1 hour) Structure and function of chloroplasts and mitochondria (2 hours), Endosymbiotic theory of the origin of mitochondria and chloroplasts (1 hour), Receptors (1 hour)


Structure and function of genetic material:

DNA and RNA; their properties, functions and differences (2 hours), the genetic code and its characteristics (2 hours), Chargaff’s rules of DNA base pairing (1 hour), The process of transcription and translation (3 hours), Comparison of mitochondrial and nuclear genetic codes (2 hours)


Practicals (30 hours)


Mode of delivery:

This course will consist of lectures, assignments and practicals


Assessment:

This will be done through examinations (60%) and coursework (tests, assignments and practicals) (40%)


READING LIST

  1. MCKEE, T and MCKEE, J. R. (1996). Biochemistry: An Introduction. Wm. C. Brown Publishers. Boston. Chicago. London. Toronto

  2. Alberts,B., Bray, D., Hopkin, K., and Johnson, A. (2009). Essential Cell Biology. Third Edition. Garland Science.

  3. Alberts, B., Johnson, A,, Lewis, J., Raff, M., Roberts, Keith., Walter, Peter. (2008). Molecular Biology of the Cell. 5th Edition. Garland Science

  4. NELSON, D.L. and COX, M.M. 2008. Principles of Biochemistry. 5th Edition. W.H. Freeman and Company. New York

  5. Alberts. B. (2006), Essential Cell Biology. Academic Internet Publishers.

  6. Alberts. B. (1998), Essential cell biology: an introduction to the molecular biology of the cell. Garland Publishers

.


ii) Course Name: MOLECULAR STRUCTURE AND FUNCTIONS OF MACROMOLECULES

Course Code: BBT1102
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