Life Sciences

Also known as Biological Sciences, Life Sciences encompass a wide breadth and diversity across exciting areas of study at the forefront of scientific research.

Overview

Now is the time to study Life Sciences! The same rose, by another name, Biological Sciences, the subject areas were taught quite separately, with little integration between them. Modern Life Sciences is very different; the revolution of modern genetic techniques has enabled a much more connected perspective. Our students see this connectedness as intuitive in a way that seemed unimaginable only a few years ago.

If you are proactive, you can take advantage of the many opportunities that are on offer at Glenwood. Our staff is involved in a variety of projects and collaborations and enjoy discussing their research ideas and consultancy activities with interested students, so there are often opportunities available. The big question is what will you choose to do?

Life Sciences encompass a wide breadth and diversity across exciting areas of study and are at the forefront of scientific research. Your studies will stimulate interest by exposing you to the range and scope of Life Sciences studies.

The innovative programmes will equip you with specialist knowledge and specialist skills – as well as the transferable skills that are necessary wherever your subsequent career may take you. Life Sciences graduates with critical analytical skills and the ability to present complex information in a clear manner are widely sought after – taking you wherever you want to go.

By studying and learning about Life Sciences, learners will develop:

  • Their knowledge of key biological concepts, processes, systems and theories.
  • An ability to critically evaluate and debate scientific issues and processes.
  • Greater awareness of the ways in which biotechnology and knowledge of Life Sciences have benefited humankind.
  • An understanding of the ways in which humans have impacted negatively on the environment and organisms living in it.
  • A deep appreciation of the unique diversity of biomes In Southern Africa, both past and present, and the importance of conservation.
  • An awareness of what if means to be a responsible citizen in terms of the environment and lifestyle choices that they make.
  • An awareness of the contributions of South African scientists
  • Scientific skills and ways of thinking scientifically that enable them to see the flaws in pseudo-science in popular media.
  • A level of academic and scientific literacy that enables them to read, talk about, write and think about biological processes, concepts and investigations.

 

Why Life Sciences?

There are three reasons for taking Life Sciences:

  • to provide useful knowledge and skills that are needed in everyday living.
  • to expose learners to the range and scope of biological studies to stimulate interest in and create awareness of possible specialisations.
  • to provide sufficient background for further studies in one or more of the biological sub-disciplines.

 

Careers in Life Sciences

Career choices will depend not just on the person’s Science degree background but on their individual skills, abilities, interests and values, as well as any constraints or limiting factors (e.g. location).

A complete list of all possible occupations is not possible; however careers fall into roughly 4 categories:

1. Options that directly relate to a Life Science degree (laboratory based). These include roles in research and development, whether based in a university or industry sector e.g. food and drink, pharmaceutical, as well as government laboratories, defence organisations or the medical field.

  • research scientist (life science) – research scientist (medical)
  • scientist, industrial research – agriculture research scientist
  • fisheries research scientist – food technologist
  • industrial microbiologist – marine scientist
  • plant breeder / geneticist – product / process development scientist
  • soil scientist – technical brewer
  • toxicologist – forensic scientist
  • scientific laboratory technician – biomedical scientist
  • clinical scientist, tissue typing – clinical / medical technologist
  • genetic technologist – haematologist
  • immunologist – microbiologist

2. Options that directly relate to a Life Science degree (field based, industry, office or hospital based etc).

  • ecologist – biological field surveyor
  • nature conservation officer – nature conservation adviser
  • zookeeper – animal technologist
  • environmental consultant – environmental auditor
  • water quality scientist – occupational hygienist
  • audiologist

3. Options that use a Life Science background but involve acquiring expertise in a new professional area. Opportunities are to be found in health sector, in education, in administration / policy, in management, as well as in science / technical writing, science administration, science communication, editing, teaching, science policy, management of science, commercialisation of science, patent work etc.

  • doctor, general practice – doctor, hospital
  • adult nurse – health promotion specialist
  • diagnostic radiographer – optometrist
  • physiotherapist – speech and language therapist
  • chiropractor – clinical psychologist
  • dentist – dietician
  • hospital pharmacist – occupational therapist
  • sports therapist – environmental manager
  • recycling officer – waste management officer
  • water conservation officer – environmental education officer
  • journalist – film director
  • film/video production manager – programme researcher, broadcasting/film/video
  • school teacher – lecturer, university / Higher Education

4. Options that use skills, rather than knowledge gained in the Life Science degree and lead into new areas altogether.