MESSAGE FROM THE HEAD OF DEPARTMENT
The department of Biological Sciences was one of the few with which the university started about 24 years ago. During this period, appreciable progress has been recorded in the growth of the department.
From an initial two degree programs on offer in Zoology and Botany, which was later contracted to one, namely BSc. (Hons) Biological Sciences, due to the constraints in resources and staff, the department now offers four degree programs, viz:
(i) B.Sc. (Hons) – Biology
(ii) B.Sc. (Hons) – Microbiology
(iii) B.Sc. (Hons) – Plant Science and Biotechnology and
(iv) B.Sc. (Hons) – Zoology and Environmental Biology.
We have vibrantly responded to the very urgent and persistent demand for more opportunities for profitable and rewarding careers in the Biological sciences by our people in making this programs available. Indeed we are poised to move more confidently into this new millennium of scientific advancement, especially in the life sciences, by the provision of these additional opportunities.
I urge all prospective and current students to give life to their dreams of becoming great Biologists by committing and dedicating themselves to the achievement of excellence by renewed hard work and full utilization of our considerable human and material resources in place in the department.
Dr. Bernard Ortwer Atu
Head of Department
TITLE OF DEGREE PROGRAMME:
Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Biology: (B. Sc. (Hons) Biology)
The Department of Biological Sciences was established in the 1992/1993 session but did not commence degree programme until the 1993/1994 academic session due to lack of students. In order to produce a reasonable number of students from the State for Science programmes, the Faculty of Science was allowed by the University to start a Remedial Science programme from 1992/1993 session. This programme was at that time the main source of students in the Department.
When the undergraduate degree programme commenced in the 1993/1994 session, the design was for two degrees, namely; B. Sc. (Hons) Botany and B. Sc. (Hons) Zoology. By the end of the 1994/1995 session, it was resolved that since the Department’s staff strength was inadequate to run the two programmes successfully, only B. Sc. (Hons) Biology should be offered. Since the fundamental philosophy behind the two earlier programmes had been the provision of broad-based training and for the fact that all 100 and 200 level courses were core to all the students, the change over to B. Sc. (Hons) Biology did not affect the students negatively. The Department hopes to start degree programmes in Botany, Microbiology and Zoology soon.
BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND CAREER OPPORTUNITIES
Undergraduates majoring in Biological Sciences will develop a broad base of general knowledge, focused primarily in the biological sciences, and capped with in-depth knowledge specific to their particular major program.
Biological Sciences majors will also obtain broad knowledge in humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and natural sciences, coupled with analytical, oral and compositional skills, to promote good citizenship and the capacity for life-long learning.
Our students are expected to demonstrate a breadth of knowledge across the sub-disciplines that comprise Biological Sciences. The curriculum for biology majors meets the needs of students with three post-graduation ambitions: graduate school, professional school, or work in industry or government without further training.
- As Biological Sciences is an integrative discipline, students are required to demonstrate appropriate proficiency in Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics in order to apply this knowledge to the study of Biology.
- Students will acquire a breadth of knowledge in Biology (genetics, physiology, anatomy, ecology, evolution, cell- or biochemistry, and microbiology).
- Students will acquire a broad knowledge in humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and natural sciences, coupled with analytical, oral and compositional skills, to promote good citizenship and the capacity for life-long learning.
- Students will develop and apply oral and written skills, problem-solving skills in developing experimental design and analysis, and participate in individualized hands-on field and laboratory exercises.
- Students will be prepared with a sufficient depth of knowledge in their specific major program to assure their admission to graduate or professional school or be prepared for entry-level employment.
The study of biology can have a multitude of aims and objectives. Largely, it is studied to allow a person to enter a specific field of employment. Other aims for studying biology are intellectual, ethical and pragmatic: to increase knowledge about all aspects of organisms, to encourage greater benevolence in the relationship between humans and the natural environment and to implement biological factors into various technologies or management techniques.
Understanding Living Systems and Critical Thinking:
The study of biology aims to increase understanding of living systems and to allow you to consider the systems in relationship to the self and other organisms in the natural environment. The goal is to be able to test theories developed about living things by utilizing the scientific method and then to apply the new information in a beneficial way.
Field Biology, Health Care and Education
Biology has many applications, both in the natural environment and the environment of health and education. Studying biology allows health care workers to understand the living systems of the body and to apply the knowledge in direct ways to recover and maintain the physical health of both animal and human patients. Educators rely on biology to teach the study of life to future generations. Field biologists use biology to understand relationship between living organisms and to notice what’s beneficial and what is imbalanced and dangerous.
Candidates seeking admission into the 100 level of the 4 years degree programme in the Department must possess a minimum of:
i). The appropriate pass mark in University Matriculation Examination (UME).
ii). Five (5) credit level passes in at most two sittings in Biology, Mathematics, Chemistry, English Language including one other subject that may be required by the Faculty of Science at School Certificate Level (GCE O’ Level or SSCE/WASC or NECO) or;
iii). Passes in all the five (5) prescribed subjects at a sitting in the Preliminary Studies Programme of the Benue State University.
For direct Entry, passes in at least two (2) ‘A’ Level subjects or equivalent which must include one Biological subject (Biology, Botany or Zoology) and Chemistry is required.