The BSc (Biotechnology Management) prepares you for work in many areas of biotechnology and is an excellent foundation for careers in medical and scientific research, agriculture management, food technology, technical sales and academia.
Our degree provides you with a solid theoretical and intensive practical foundation in microbiology, molecular biology, plant physiology and agricultural biotechnology with an emphasis on application based research, managing projects and using technology. You will cover a range of core modules such as Animal and Plant Biology, Agricultural Economics and Environmental Biotechnology, Protein Biochemistry and Analytical Chemistry. You will also cover subject areas such as Computer Skills, Mathematics for Science Students, Quantitative Techniques, and Clinical Trials.
We offer you an environment that combines theory, research and practical application. We have excellent facilities such as computer and science labs and quality lecture rooms. Our curriculum is relevant, current and industry led. We ensure that you graduate with essential work skills such as analytical thinking, meeting deadlines, problem solving, collaborating in teams and communication.
Are you curious about how the world will manage and solve the biological, biomedical and agricultural challenges of the future? Are you as excited by research and investigation as you are by commerce and management? This degree could be just for you.
Be part of the scientific discoveries ahead.
Teaching methods and assessment
- We use a blended approach of lecture-led and Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) and Work Integrated Learning (WIL) in your third year.
- You are issued with a tablet for learning and research.
- Our smaller class sizes allow for individualised attention.
- Our teaching staff is a mix of full-time academics and working professionals to ensure you benefit from quality academic and industry inputs.
- You have access to campus resource centres, computer and science labs and WiFi.
You attend lectures, small group sessions and lab practical classes.
- Throughout the programme, you have to demonstrate theoretical and practical understanding via application-based assessments such as written exams, presentations, case studies, group and individual research projects and assignments and clinical trials in the science lab.
Students are introduced to the basic principles of biomedicine and science.
Introduction to Chemistry
Mathematics for Science Students
Principles of Biology
Quantitative Techniques (Biology)
Animal and Plant Biology
Medical Bioethics and Communication
Physics for Science Students
Year 1 module descriptions
This module is designed to introduce the science student to the basics of business and equip the students with an understanding of the world of business. The module has a strong drive towards encouraging science graduates to strive to be future business owners. Students will also identify and analyse the viability and feasibility of a small business, and learn to draw up a business plan.
Introduction to Chemistry (SCCH111)
This module is intended to develop students’ understanding of chemical principles and techniques within general chemistry and to develop their practical and laboratory skills. The module will serve as a basis for students’ further development in the physical and biological sciences.
Mathematics for Science Students (SCMA111)
An understanding of mathematics is essential to the description of many biological processes and the development of modern medical science and technology. This module reviews the basic principles of algebra, trigonometry, and geometry and graphs in order to develop the students' ability to use Mathematics to solve real world problems.
Principles of Biology (SCPB111)
In this module the cell is introduced as the elemental structural and functional unit of all living organisms. Students will study the chemical building blocks of the cell and the basic cell structure. Students will be introduced to Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic cells and explore the relationship between structure and function. They will learn the process by which the blueprint of the DNA is replicated, transcribed and translated into proteins, which will lead into the area of Mendelian and non-Mendelian genetics
Quantitative Techniques (Biology) (SCQT111)
This module presents an introduction to statistical methods and experimental design as applied to scientific research. Emphasis is placed on descriptive and quantitative statistical methods, basic probability theory, confidence intervals, hypothesis tests; and linear regression, correlation, index numbers and analysis of variance.
Applied Chemistry (SCCH121)
This module presents chemistry in real life situations i.e. application to human life, plant life and the environment will be studied. The module includes a chemical laboratory safety component focusing on the safe handling and storage of chemicals, care and use of safety equipment and regulatory compliance.
Animal and Plant Biology (SCPB121)
This module forms an introduction to biological diversity. The module introduces the student to the evolution, classification, anatomy, physiology and ecology of the major phyla of the animal and plant kingdom.
Medical Bioethics and Communication (SCBC121)
In the study of Biotechnology and Biomedicine certain lifelong concepts are introduced. Some of these concepts include those needed on a personal level to live and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Others include an understanding of the epidemiology of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and the development of multi-drug resistant strains that increase the spread of certain infections.
This course also introduces the concepts necessary to study and become a scientist, and
looks at the ethical issues involved. Students are encouraged to discuss these issues and
justify their opinions and decisions with well-researched facts. It is necessary that Biomedical and Biotechnology students are able to communicate health matters to a multicultural audience. Scientists must also be able to communicate convincingly to various stakeholders regarding new technologies.
Physics for Science Students (SCPH121)
An understanding of physics is essential to the description of many biological processes and the development of modern medical science and technology. This module aims to develop students’ appreciation of the importance of physical principles to biomedical science, as well as their understanding of the principles underpinning human structure and function, medical diagnostics and therapeutics.
Project Management (COPM121)
This course discusses the philosophy, methodology and factors necessary for successful project management. Students learn how to select projects within the context of unique organisational strategy, structure and culture. The roles and skills required by successful project managers are covered. These include, project planning and implementation covering scope management, risk management, resource management, project team building, project cost estimation, budgeting and scheduling and project evaluation, control, closure and termination with the aid of practical hands-on examples.
Science Skills (SCSS101)
The course is designed to introduce students to Science as an integrated, interesting and ongoing process. It aims to develop oral and written communication, computer, Internet, and critical thinking and teamwork skills.
Computer Skills (ITSK110)
This module is designed to enable the student to use the personal computer and peripherals functionally and to apply selected application programs, on an introductory level, independently and with confidence.
Students will develop an intermediate level of knowledge in the following fields:
Introduction to Microbiology
Introduction to Molecular Biology
Personal Selling and Sales Management
Food and Water Microbiology
Exploration of Industry
Year 2 module description
Biopharmaceutical Marketing (SCBM211)
This module introduces the various healthcare system components as they relate to the Pharmaceutical Industry. It covers promotion, advertising, direct marketing, and regulatory laws with respect to the promotion of health products.
Introduction to Microbiology (SCIM211)
This module introduces students to the fundamentals of Microbiology, and the relationship between microorganisms and humans. It involves the study of the structure, metabolism, growth and classification of the major groups of microorganisms.
Introduction to Molecular Biology (SCMO211)
The aim of this module is to introduce students to the Molecular Biology of a cell by discussing gene structure, gene expression and its regulation. Students will be introduced to the tools and techniques used together in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, which include recombinant DNA technology. Students will examine technologies such as cell and tissue culture, electrophoresis, molecular markers, PCR etc.
Personal Selling and Sales Management (SCSM211)
Healthcare organisations require Salespeople who can build strong Healthcare Provider relationships and sell solutions that truly satisfy the Healthcare Provider’s needs. The module explains the sales process in depth and encourages a physician-focused selling approach.
Plant Physiology (SCPP211)
This module concentrates on the functional relationships of the different parts of the plant. The topics include nutrition, water relations, photosynthesis, respiration, photoperiodism, and growth processes.
Agricultural Economics (SCAE221)
This module provides an introduction to basic concepts of Economics as they relate to Agriculture and Food. It also deals with the allocation of scarce resources among those competing alternative uses found in the production, processing, distribution and consumption of food and fibre.
Ethnobotany is the study of the relationship between people and plants. It encompasses the field of anthropology and botany as it explores the countless ways humans employ plants for food, medicine, textiles, shelter and more. Without plants and plant products humans would be naked, miserable and hungry. Plant and plant products exist in almost every aspect of our lives.
Food and Water Microbiology (SCFW221)
This course focuses on the applied aspects of food and water microbiology. It will deal with factors influencing the contamination and spoilage of foods and how these factors may be adjusted to control spoilage. The main food and water poisoning microorganisms and methods for their elimination/control in the food chain will be described. Quality control and quality assurance will be addressed and the importance of rapid and automated methods for assessment of food and water quality and safety will be described.
Food Technology (SCFT221)
This module demonstrates how principles obtained in microbiology, chemistry, physics and engineering are applied to food preservation, processing and enhancement/modification using genetics. The relationship between production processes and final product quality control will be examined. Analytical methods for various foods and food processing systems will be demonstrated. Finally, the module will deal with quality control issues of standard, regulations and laws governing importation and exportation of food products.
Plant Propagation (SCPP221)
This module includes the principles on which the modern plant propagation industry is based. Methods and techniques used for mass production of plants (sexually and asexually), are analysed. Students are introduced to the principles of the production of certified plant propagation material, clonal selection and legislation related to plant propagation.
Exploration of the Industry (SCEI200)
This module consists of research of the application of skills and competencies, which students acquire during their studies for their degree at Pearson Institute of Higher Education. Students will research and assess various job opportunities to enhance their understanding of careers within the relevant industries
On completion of this level, the students will have acquired a rounded knowledge in the following fields:
Clinical Trials and Good Manufacturing Practice
Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology
Protein Biochemistry and Analytical Chemistry
Work Integrated Learning (WIL)
Year 3 module description
Clinical Trials and Good Manufacturing Practice (SCCT311)
This module provides students with a description and critical assessment of the major issues and stages of developing and producing a biopharmaceutical product. This module will equip students with the tools necessary to function as effective team members in the design and conduct of ethically-sound clinical trials.
This module facilitates the utilisation of scientific approaches and methodologies which aid in the solving of crimes.
Medical Biotechnology (SCMB311)
Biotechnology is a major growth area in medicine. Biotechnology-derived substances include human insulin, monoclonal antibodies, vaccines etc. The recent mapping of the human genome is expected to result in the identification of thousands of proteins with potential for medical therapy.
Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology (SCIE311)
This module will introduce students to the emerging field of white biotechnology or industrial and environmental biotechnology. The field includes making enzymes with a variety of industrial uses that include the manufacture of bioplastics and biofuels. It also encompasses the use of microorganisms and plants for the treatment of wastes and the abatement of pollution, a process known as bioremediation.
Agricultural Biotechnology (SCAB321)
Agricultural biotechnology fuses together plant science and genetic technologies to produce genetically modified (GM) crops. It is an important way of ensuring that natural resources are used more efficiently. Students study these factors in this module.
Operations Management (SCOM321)
This module describes managerial concepts and quantitative tools and techniques required in the production of goods and/or services. The module is designed to ensure that biologically trained individuals can take their place in a multidisciplinary team. This module focuses on two core areas, namely financial and human resource management.
Protein Biochemistry and Analytical Chemistry (SCPA321)
This module is divided into two distinct components: Protein Biochemistry and Analytical Chemistry. Protein Biochemistry focuses on issues such as protein structure, folding, stability, purification and characterisation of proteins with special reference to enzymes. Analytical Chemistry is a concise introduction to the main methods and techniques used in Analytical Chemistry.
Work Integrated Learning (WIL) (SCIN300)
Students get the opportunity to apply their skills, knowledge and competencies achieved during their studies of this qualification, in the industry. This is achieved by student placement in the relevant Industry in the environment as per the qualification exit level outcomes.
• National Senior Certificate (NSC) with Bachelor degree entry or an equivalent foreign secondary qualification on an NSC level with Bachelor degree entry approved by Universities South Africa (USAF).
• If you have an international school-leaving certificate, you need to provide a certificate of exemption issued by Universities South Africa (USAF).
• You should have successfully completed the relevant Pearson Institute foundation programme. On successful completion of the foundation programme, students are required to apply to Universities South Africa (USAF) for a certificate of exemption in order to be admitted to a degree programme.
• You should have successfully completed a relevant higher certificate qualification. On successful completion of the higher certificate, students are required to apply to Universities South Africa (USAF) for a certificate of exemption in order to be admitted to a degree programme
• You need 32 Pearson Institute points or more
• You need 50% or above for Grade 12 English
• You need 50% or above for Grade 12 Mathematics
• You need 50% or above for Grade 12 Biology/Life Sciences.
• The points attained for the best two of the subjects of Biology/Life Sciences, Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and Physical Science must be doubled.
Calculation of points
90% - 100%
80% - 89%
70% - 79%
60% - 69%
50% - 59%
40% - 49%
30% - 39%
0% - 29%
Pearson Institute Points
- Accredited by the South African Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) of the Council on Higher Education (CHE).
- Registered with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).
The careers for you, as a Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology Management graduate, are varied and include:
• Plant, agricultural and waste management
• Project management
• Scientific Communications
• Technical positions in laboratories and Production
• Technical positions in the food industry
• Technical sales
Qualification facilities and campuses
The qualification is offered at Pearson Institute Midrand Campus
Appropriate laboratories are available
Additional notes / comments / information
• Students who did not complete their secondary schooling in English as the language of teaching and learning or who are uncertain about their English language skills are advised to do an English course to prepare them for degree studies.
• Faculty Executive: Weekly meetings held
• South African Agency for Science and Technology (SAASTA) and Industry Stake Holders – Meetings and close co-operation/collaboration.
How does this qualification make a student real world ready?
The degree educates the students with respect to the practical aspects of the workplace. These include Project Management, Sales Management and Selling Skills, Science Skills and the ability to source the relevant information. If the student wants to proceed along an Academic pathway, there are subjects which allow them to be accepted by other Higher Institutions of Learning. The degree is unique in that it provides both Academic as well as real world skills.
How do we ensure that this qualification is of the highest academic standard?
The curriculum of the degree is constantly assessed against the unit standards provided by the NQF and SAQA as well as by an Advisory Board constituted of Academia and Representatives of Industry. The Faculty utilises the skills of “experts in the field” in the moderation of the various Assessments.
This qualification would be perfect for someone who...
Has a logical mind and good communication skills, attention to detail with a love for science, scientific investigations and experiments, learning and sharing knowledge.
Success stories/Case studies
Tebogo / Denise
Denise Steyn a student of PI graduated BSc Biomedicine Magna Cum Laude in 2010 and achieved numerous certificates for distinctions in various modules.
In 2011, Denise obtained a BSc Honours in Pharmacology at the University of Pretoria with a final grade of 82% (she shared top position with two other students). She continued with studies towards a master’s in Pharmacology, and received a prestigious bursary from NRF-DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service). She completed her master’s dissertation, with a research focus on Malaria. Two abstracts of her research findings were approved to do a poster and an oral presentation at Pharmacology conferences in 2012 and 2013.
At the end of 2012 Denise was appointed as a Lecturer within the Faculty of Applied Science were she oversee various practical sessions as well as presenting first year Modules.
In January 2014 Denise was employed as a full-time lecturer at PI and she received acknowledgement for “exceptional work” during the student registration process. She was appointed Module leader for two 3rd year subjects and one 2nd year subject. She was also appointed as the Faculty of Applied Science Academic Support Coordinator where she excel and deliver excellent services and support to risk students. She was also appointed as interim Laboratory Manager in the 2nd semester which she executed with commitment and diligence. Denise was also nominated for PI Teachers Excellence Award by her peers, for the category of lecturers with less than 5 years’ experience which she won. Denise is also actively
Sekgomotso graduated BSc Biomedicine in 2010, she went from an average student in the first year of her studies to a competitive academic in her third year. After graduating she successfully completed an internship with Aztra Zeneca, which employed her as a Medical Sales representative. She is currently working as a Medical Sales Rep/ Contract Research Associate for MundiPharma, a leading pharmaceutical company specialising in opioid analgesics. She is also in the process of completing her LLB degree through UNISA in order to become a patent lawyer. She is a headstrong lady doing all of these things while supporting her younger brother and niece.
She was also a guest speaker on the BIOCOM Student Body of the Faculty Science and Engineering Motivation for students’ day.
Unique selling points
Multidisciplined curriculum from pure Science to basic Business and Management