Welcome to the School of Biological Sciences

At the School of Biological Sciences, our vision is to provide relevant, value driven training and research of international standard that is focussed on proven expertise within the environmental sciences. We also offer a unique BSc degree in Tourism where subject specific disciplines of Botany, Zoology and Geography are combined with Tourism.  The structuring of the School consists of subject groups in the basic biological sciences of Zoology, Microbiology and Botany. The academics in these three subject groups are highly skilled, all possess PhDs and many are National Research Foundation rated scientists. 

Our various honours programmes provide students with a unique suite of disciplines to form the basis for comprehensive multidisciplinary training and research to equip students in becoming well-rounded scientists. At the Mahikeng campus, Honours programmes are offered in Microbiology and Botany, while the Potchefstroom campus offers an Honours in Environmental Sciences with different sub programmes, including: Ecological Interactions and Ecosystem Resilience; Biodiversity and Conservation Ecology; Aquatic Ecosystem Health; and Integrated Pest Management. All four curricula have an underpinning in environmental management, making our graduates sought after in the job market.

Environmental scientists are active as fundamental biologists and academics, researchers, nature conservationists, grassland managers, environmental managers, environmental consultants, impact assessors and the tourism industry.

Latest News

Botany Open Day:

See brochure below for necessary information if you are interested in studying BOTANY!!

Botany is celebrating 100 years of excellence in teaching and research. The logo represents the diversity of research and education within the subject group. The blue line represents water and refers to research in Aquatic Ecology. The green line represents life as in plants and microorganisms. Terrestrial Ecology is presented by the brown line and entails all the complex interactions on land. The harmonious flow of the lines represents the delicate dynamics of all the respective ecosystems. Please see the preliminary program for Centenary celebrations at the 'Botany 100 years'-tab (http://natural-sciences.nwu.ac.za/botany/botany-100-years). Also follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/NWU-Plantkunde-100-Jaar-Botany-100-Years-105737...).


Microbiology to host a public lecture for antibiotics stewardship on 14 November 2018

The subject group Microbiology will host a public lecture for antibiotic stewardship as part of World Antibiotic Awareness week 2018 in conjunction with the Water Research Commission of South Africa.  The theme for the lecture will be "Strengthening antibiotic stewarship: A quest to protect our resources, environment and our Health".  For more information, follow this link.



Subject group Microbiology at South African Society of Microbiology Conference, April 2018

Twenty-four representatives of the Microbiology subject group recently attended the conference of the South African Society of Microbiology (SASM) held in Muldersdrift, Johannesburg from 4-7 April... (Read further)



North-West University makes waves at the recent Annual Conference of the Southern African Society for Aquatic Sciences.

Thirty academics, postdocs and postgraduate students from the Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management participated in the 55th Annual Conference of Southern African Society for Aquatic Scientists (SASAqS) conference that was held at Cape St Francis from 24-27 June 2018..... (Read further)


Botany’s Prof Klaus Kelner serves on Biodiversity Scenarios and Ecosystem Services panel of experts

Prof Klaus Kelner of Botany was invited by BiodivScen (Belmont Forum/BiodivERsA) to act as a member of the Panel of Experts of its 2017-2018 joint call on “Biodiversity Scenarios and Ecosystem Services”..... (Read further)


Prof Carlos Bezuidenhout from Microbiology hosts the SA/Germany Joint S&T Cooperation: WATNET Stakeholders’ Workshop

South Africa and Germany have had a long standing bilateral partnership in science and technology aimed at promoting and supporting joint research projects in different themes that have been identified as strategic between the two countries... (Read further)