The Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology is responsible for undergraduate teaching and post-graduate training in three disciplines, namely Biochemistry, Microbiology and Food Science. Research conducted in the Department finds application in three main areas: (i) production of safe and novel food products, (ii) biocatalytic production of chemicals or bioremediation of chemical pollution, and (iii) improvement of human and animal health. Undergraduate teaching and particularly postgraduate training in the three research areas equip students for employment in the plant, animal or human health sectors or in the food, chemical or mining industries. More specifically, in diagnosing diseases, developing drugs/treatments or vaccines, monitoring food quality, bioremediation of polluted environments or production of products such as enzymes, vaccines, antibiotics or fermented foods and beverages.  Depending on the level of their qualification, graduates will work as salespeople, research assistants, independent researchers or eventually managers of laboratories or companies. 

Undergraduate studies

Bachelor of Science majoring in:
  • Biochemistry or Microbiology and one of the following:
    • Biochemistry
    • Botany
    • Chemistry
    • Entomology
    • Genetics
    • Microbiology
    • Statistics
    • Zoology
  • Biochemistry and Physiology

Postgraduate Studies

Bachelor of Science Honours majoring in:
  • Biochemistry
  • Food Science
  • Microbiology
Admission requirements for a Honours Degree:
  • At least 64 credits in Biochemistry / Food Science / Microbiology at third year (NQF7) level. An average of 65% in undergraduate Biochemistry / Food Science / Microbiology modules.

Note that both a departmental application for selection (Honours studies) and a UFS online application are required.
Applications close: 31 August

Master of Science or Doctor of Philosophy majoring in:
  • Biochemistry
  • Food Science
  • Microbial Biotechnology
  • Microbiology

Note that both a departmental application for selection (postgraduate MSc or PhD) and a UFS online application are required.

Postdoctoral Research Fellowships

Please contact the relevant Research group of interest to enquire about possible positions.

Academic Head of Department

Prof Martie Smit
+27 51 401 2396 

Programme Director (Biochemistry)

Dr Frans O'Neill
+27 51 401 7553

Programme Director (Microbiology)

Prof Koos Albertyn
+27 51 401 2223

Postgraduate Enquiries

Prof Trudi O'Neill
+27 51 401 2122


Elfrieda Lötter: Marketing Manager
T: +27 51 401 2531

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