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Biotechnology and Consumer Sciences

Biotechnology

Biotechnology and Consumer Sciences

Biotechnology is one of the most rapidly expanding sciences internationally. The CPUT biotechnology programme offers a Diploma (3-4 years), Advanced Diploma (1 year) and Postgraduate Diploma (1 year).

The Diploma presents an intensive series of courses (theory and practice) which will produce a qualified biotechnologist equipped with the necessary skills required to embark on a successful career in biotechnology at both the academic and industrial levels. During the first and second semester students acquire broad insights into the microbiological and biochemical underpinnings of biotechnology. During the third and fourth semester teaching and training focuses on in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge in microbial biochemistry, molecular biology, fermentation technology and bioprocessing fields. The learners will also be familiarised with ethics and basic business principles.

The Advanced Diploma course is structured to provide diplomats who are competent in theoretical, applied and general skills across a variety of scientific and technology disciplines. The graduates of the Advanced Diploma in Biotechnology will be adequately prepared to take on a vital role in Research & Development as well as Quality Control sectors of the economy. They may also, should they choose, articulate into a degree program. Some of the envisaged graduate attributes are an intellectual ability grounded in both discipline and general biotechnology knowledge; development of critical thinking; technical knowledge that is both practice and contextually appropriate; an ability to manage time and work in a team; an appreciation of ethics and accountability in general and specifically in the practice of biotechnology; and community engagement towards societal good and effective citizenship.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Biotechnology (PDBIOT) programme is to provide a platform where Biotechnology graduates come together with other graduates of diverse scientific, commercial, and other backgrounds to learn and contribute to the development of Biotechnology and the Bioeconomy in South Africa, Africa and the world. The programme specifically looks at industry practices, applied research and both entra- and intra-preneurship. In addition to current industry practitioners/intrapreneurs, candidates who wish to access higher (research) degrees and those who wish to venture into bio-entrepreneurship are welcome to participate.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Biotechnology, therefore, provides an articulation route for such Biotechnologists, as well as provides for working professionals who wish to enter the postgraduate stream in order to deepen their knowledge of Biotechnology, its role in the bioeconomy, and to gain an understanding of contemporary thought with respect to sustainable, legislated and ethical practices in Biotechnology and associated disciplines. Hence, this Postgraduate Diploma in Biotechnology represents the fulcrum at which the traditional academic, the vocational, and the holistic and inter-related learning streams meet.The graduates of the Postgraduate Diploma in Biotechnology will be adequately prepared to take on a vital role in existing Research & Development and Quality Control sectors as well as in new companies they play a role in forming for themselves. They may also, should they choose, articulate into higher degree programmes.

Graduates may apply for registration with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions as Certificated Natural Scientists.

Consumer Sciences

Biotechnology and Consumer Sciences Consumers are becoming more aware of the relationship between lifestyle choices and health. The food industry, comprising the manufacturing and retail sectors, are both addressing consumer concerns regarding the need for good quality, healthy and safe food. Access to healthy and safe food is also high on the national agenda, leading to a need for qualified graduates with a sound knowledge of food and nutrition.

The Consumer Science: Food and Nutrition programme is unique in its integration of the study fields of food and nutrition and this is linked to an understanding of the consumer. Academic learning is complemented by the development of culinary skills. Knowledge of food science and nutritional principles is used in the development and production of food products with the emphasis on short life convenience foods.

This programme offers a wide range of career destinations in the food and retail industries for students who are interested in working with food and people.

Former students are working in test kitchens, formulating and developing recipes for industrial food production; training employees in retail and food manufacturing; implementing quality control systems; advising consumers on food and nutrition products; managing the preparation and production of convenience food products; supervising food retail departments and managing food service facilities.

Students also have the background to become entrepreneurs as these skills are developed by combining business subjects with food and nutrition knowledge and culinary skills.

Advanced Diploma in Consumer Science in Food and Nutrition

The Advanced Diploma in Consumer Science in Food and Nutrition (ADCSFN) is focused on the development of food products based on the knowledge of food science principles, food product development theory and practice as well as sound nutritional concepts. The aim is to enhance the quality of life of the consumer. Graduates will be able to work as part of a food and nutrition research team applying the principles of research methodology in a food or food-related field. Former students are employed as food product developers, product/technical representatives, food promotion consultants and in food research and development. Further career prospects are similar to those of the Diploma but with better opportunities for advancement in research and managerial positions.

Postgraduate Diploma in Consumer Science in Food and Nutrition

The Postgraduate Diploma in Consumer Science in Food and Nutrition (PDCSFN) programme empowers learners with advanced knowledge in consumer behaviour, food and nutrition science, providing opportunities for career advancement or research through articulation into postgraduate programs. Graduates are equipped to address contemporary challenges in consumer food and nutrition, contributing to improved well-being by aligning product development strategies with consumer preferences and nutritional needs.

The PDCSFN not only equips graduates with technical expertise but empowers them to make meaningful contributions to public health initiatives and industry practices. The food industry requires capable professionals who can address evolving consumer needs. This qualification aims to cultivate such competence among graduates, enabling them to contribute to industry. Upon completion of the Postgraduate Diploma in Consumer Science in Food and Nutrition, graduates will have a thorough understanding of evidence-based food and nutrition principles, enabling them to play essential roles not only in new food product development of fresh convenience foods aligned with dietary recommendations but also to educate consumers through effective product labelling and marketing messages. Furthermore, the program offers a pathway for advancing into additional qualifications within the realm of consumer science, specifically in the areas of food and nutrition.

To accommodate working professionals, the program utilizes blended learning methodologies, fostering innovation and problem-solving. A key benefit of this qualification is its role in enhancing capacity within the food industry. The Postgraduate Diploma in Consumer Science in Food and Nutrition can be used to deepen working professionals knowledge of food and nutrition, whilst keeping the ever evolving consumers’ well-being at the centre. The Postgraduate Diploma in Consumer Science in Food and Nutrition (PDCSFN) programme empowers learners with advanced knowledge in consumer behaviour, food and nutrition science, providing opportunities for career advancement or research through articulation into postgraduate programs. Graduates are equipped to address contemporary challenges in consumer food and nutrition, contributing to improved well-being by aligning product development strategies with consumer preferences and nutritional needs.

Master's Degree in Consumer Science in Food and Nutrition

The Master in Consumer Science in Food and Nutrition programme will equip graduates with advanced disciplinary knowledge, skills, and research capacity to produce high-quality research projects and dissertations independently, meeting academic and professional standards. By integrating fields of food and nutrition, the qualification prepares graduates for specialised employment within the South African food industry, focusing on improving consumer well-being through research integration. Learners also develop transferable skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and time management, enhancing their career prospects within the South African food sector. The qualification addresses national and regional concerns regarding consumer wellness by underlining the importance of food and nutrition in combatting diseases of lifestyle, thus positively impacting public health and reducing strain on healthcare expenditure. Through extensive consultation and feedback from stakeholders, the program has been tailored to meet the evolving needs of the food industry, offering opportunities for graduates to advance their academic and research careers while specialising in areas such as functional food development, consumer awareness analysis, and food safety practices, thereby enhancing their competitive edge and contributing to global food market standards. The Master in Consumer Science in Food and Nutrition provides a pathway for vertical articulation to a doctoral degree in consumer science or a related field.

Local and International Collaborations

Dr Vanessa Jackson

Name: Amelia Weigt
From: Münster, Germany
Affiliation: Oecotrophology at the University of Applied Sciences in Münster
Field of Study: Food Technology, Product development, Marketing, Market Research, Sensory and Food law

Dr Vanessa Jackson

Name: Andrea Schröder
From: Münster, Germany
Affiliation: Oecotrophology at the University of Applied Sciences in Münster
Field of Study: Sustainability Food Services, Nutrition and Management

Dr Vanessa Jackson Settling in with some of the Food Science 2 class.

Contact us

Department of Biotechnology and Consumer Science
Applied Sciences Building
3rd Floor
District Six Campus

PO Box 652
Cape Town
8000

Dr Vanessa Jackson

Head of Department
Dr Vanessa Jackson

Contact details
Tel: +27 21 460 9095
Email: jacksonva@cput.ac.za

Ms Nonelwa Mfayana 

Department Admin
Ms Nonelwa Mfayana

Contact details
Tel: +27 21 460 3186
Email: mfayanan@cput.ac.za

 

Head of Programme: Biotechnology Postgraduate
Dr R Mundembe

Contact details
Tel: +27 21 460 3175
Email:
mundember@cput.ac.za

 

Head of Programme: Consumer Science: Food and Nutrition
Mrs Rache Hanekom

Contact details
Tel: +27 21 460 3431
Email:
hanekomr@cput.ac.za

 

Head of Programme: Biotechnology Diploma
Dr BS Chidi

Contact details
Tel: +27 21 460 3961
Email:
chidib@cput.ac.za

 

Head of Programme: Consumer Science in Food and Nutrition Postgraduate
Associate Professor Maretha Opperman

Contact details
Tel: +27 21 959 8677
Email:
oppermanm@cput.ac.za