HISTORY OF BIOCHEMISTRY DEPARTMENT
The Department of Biochemistry started as a unit under the Department of Science, Faculty of Engineering, Science and Technology in May 1999. In 2002, the Department of Chemical Sciences was created under the same Faculty, with Biochemistry and Industrial Chemistry as the two programmes. During the first National University Commission's accreditation visit in April, 2004, the institution was advised to create a separate Faculty of Science. In November 2004 the Faculty of Science was created and four units were raised to full departmental status. These were; Departments of Microbiology, Biochemistry, Industrial chemistry and Computer sciences. The Department has been teaching Biochemistry to its students and students from other departments of the University. Presently the teaching responsibilities include: B.Sc. Biochemistry, Medical Biochemistry (College of Medicine and Health Sciences) and General Biochemistry to Science and Pharmacy Students. The Department of Biochemistry of Madonna University offers courses leading to B.Sc. (Honours) degree in Biochemistry. The first student intake of the programme was 11. Students started graduating from the programme in 2003. Admission is by examination UME or Direct Entry after the University screening exercise. Students admitted through entrance examination undergo a four years degree programme while those admitted through Direct Entry undergo a three years degree programme.
Biochemistry is the bedrock of the Medical Sciences and the foundation from which Biomolecular Sciences derive their basic ideas and techniques in the service of mankind and humanity. It is the basis of the biotechnology industry while the new and exciting disciplines of proteomics, genomics, bioinformatics, genetic engineering, and drug design all rely on the knowledge of and competency in biochemistry and molecular biology.
It is against this background that the B.Sc. Biochemistry degree programme in Madonna University will continue to promote sound education and cutting-edge research in Biochemistry, with a view to producing exemplary graduates who will be able to compete globally, especially in World-class universities and institutions and be competent to work in specialized areas such as Medicine, Pharmaceutical and Food Industries, Agriculture, Environment and Bioengineering.
OBJECTIVES AND SCOPE OF PROGRAMME
Deriving from the broad philosophy of the Department, the following objectives shall be pursued:
To provide students with a broad and balanced foundation of sound biochemical knowledge and practical skills.
To develop in students the ability to apply knowledge and skills to solving theoretical and practical problems in biochemistry.
The students are trained to develop a range of transferable skills that are of value in biochemical and non-biochemical employment
To equip students with knowledge and skills base from which they can proceed to postgraduate research and training in specialized areas of biochemistry or multi-disciplinary areas involving biochemistry. They may enter the work force, especially in the private sector, as allied health professionals, laboratory or field scientists.
To provide, through training and orientation, strong analytical, problem-solving and critical thinking abilities and arm them with excellent research and communication skills and multi-disciplinary approach to the solution of complex life problems.
To generate in students an appreciation of the importance of biochemistry in industrial, economic, environmental, technological and social development.
To instill in students a sense enthusiasm for biochemistry, an appreciation of its application in different contexts and to involve them in an intellectually stimulating and satisfying experience of learning and studying.
Thus, the degree programme lays emphasis on topics such as nutrition and food science, biochemistry of soil and microorganisms, plants and animals, biochemical aspects of diseases, biochemical basis of chemotherapy, including African traditional Medicine and human biochemical genetics. The inclusion of Research project on local biochemical topics as one of the compulsory courses in the final year of every biochemistry student is to achieve these objectives.
(i) UME Entry Requirements: Students applying to read the four years programme for the award of Bachelor of sciences of Madonna University must satisfy the minimum University Matriculation Requirements. Such students must have at least five credit (5) passes in biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, and English language in the West African School Certificate or its equivalent (GCE, SSCE, NECO),or its equivalents in not more than two sittings.
(ii) Direct Entry Requirements: In addition to requirements in the above, candidates who possess any of the following qualifications can be considered for admission.
At least two advanced Level passes I the General Certificate of Education (GCE) or the Higher School Certificate (HSC) or any of their recognized equivalents at not more than two sittings. The subjects should include any two of Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
Diploma from other recognized Universities with at least an Upper credit level pass in any of the following:
Ordinary National Diploma (OND) with at least an Upper credit level pass in the areas listed above
Higher National Diploma (HND) with at least an Upper credit level pass in Science Laboratory Technology (SLT) or Food Technology from recognized Polytechnic or College of Technology.
Food And Brewing Science (DFBS)
Analytical And Industrial Chemistry (DAIC)
Science Laboratory Technology (DSLT)
Students are required to complete a minimum of 120 units for Graduation, 60 of which must come from Biochemistry.
Programme Leading to the B.Sc. (Honours) degree in Biochemistry
Courses at 200 & 300 levels are open to students from other disciplines/departments, while 400 level courses are mainly for final year students majoring in biochemistry as well as other undergraduate students from other departments possessing the necessary pre-requisites and postgraduate students of biochemistry and allied disciplines requiring remedial biochemistry at this level.
At 100 level, Biochemistry majors take courses in Botany, Zoology, Chemistry, Physics and General Studie
At 200 level, apart from the listed core courses in Biochemistry, students are required to take stipulated courses in other science subjects.
At 300 level, in addition to the indicated core courses in Biochemistry, students are expected to take courses in Chemistry, Microbiology, Physiology, Botany and Anatomy.
At 400 level, Biochemistry majors take all their courses from the department of Biochemistry.
FACILITIES FOR RESEARCH
The Department is continuously improving on the facilities for research. In addition to the usual conventional laboratory equipment which is fully provided, the department possesses a functional flame photometer and HPLC equipment tough yet to be mounted. Arrangements have recently been made by the University to provide the Department with a functional amino acid analyzer, refrigerated high speed MSE 75 centrifuge and PCR machine. There is also reasonable technical support available in the department.
Opportunities abound for Graduates of Biochemistry in the following areas:
Agriculture and Veterinary Science: to study soils, feedstuffs, insecticides, plant and animal nutrition and disease, biochemical aspects of germination, growth, ripening and spoilage of fruits, vegetables and crops.
Industrial Raw Material Research and Development: to study tropical products of economic significance (such as hides and skins), commercially important natural fibers, timbers, gums, resins and other forest products with particular reference to the biochemical problems associated with their production, utilization, storage, biodeterioration etc.
Health Sector: in disease diagnosis and treatment through the application of innovations in Enzymology and Biotechnology.
Oil and Gas: application of Biotechnological techniques in exploration and development of oil and gas; Environmental management- Pre- and Post- Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), and Bioremediation; Health- Safety and Environment (HSE).
Law and Politics: harnessing the knowledge of Genetic Engineering in crime bursting and detection, formulation of national policy on science and technology.
Education and Human Development: training the mind and contributing to manpower resource development.
General Study Courses: A course which every student in the University must compulsorily take and pass at foundation level. There are not directly related any programme, but are necessary in the holistic formation of students before graduation.
Core/Compulsory Course: A course which every student must compulsorily take and pass in Microbiology at a particular level of study.
Required ancillary Course: A course that you take at a level of study and must be passed before graduation.
Elective Course: A course that students take within or outside the faculty. Students shall choose an elective course from among three others in order to make up the required additional units for the award of the degree. Students may graduate without passing the course provided the minimum credit unit for the course had been attained.
Pre-requisite Course: A course which student must take and pass before taking a particular course at a higher level.
Minimum Credit Load Per Semester: The Minimum credit load per semester is 15.
Course Credit Unit System: This should be understood to mean a 'quantitative system of organization of the curriculum in which subject areas are broken down into unit courses which are examinable and for which students earn credit(s) if passed'. The courses are arranged in progressive order of difficulty or in levels of academic progress, e.g. Level or year 1 courses are 111, 112 etc. and Level II or Year II courses are 211, 212 etc. The second aspect of the system is that courses are assigned weights allied Credit Units.
Grade Point Average (GPA): Performance in any semester is reported in Grade Point Average. This is the average of weighted grade points earned in the courses taken during the semester. The Grade Point Average is obtained by multiplying the Grade Point average in each course by the number of Credit Units assigned to that course, and then summing these up and dividing by the total number of Credit Units taken for the semester.
Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA): This is the up-to-date mean of the Grade Points earned by the student in a programme of study. It is an indication of the student's overall performance at any point in the training programme. To compute the Cumulative Grade Point Average, the total of Grade Points multiplied by the respective Credit Units for all the semesters are added and then divided by the total number of Credit Units for all courses registered by the student.
GOAL AND OBJECTIVES OF GENERAL STUDIES (GST) COURSES:
The goal of GST courses is to produce a well-rounded, morally and intellectually capable graduates with vision and entrepreneurial skills in an environment of peace and social cohesiveness.
The objectives of the General Studies programme consist of the following:
a) Acquisition development and inculcation of the proper value-orientation for the survival of the individual and society.
b) The development of intellectual capacities of individuals to understand, appreciate and promote peaceful co-existence of people with a view to inculcating in them mutual understanding and patriotism.
c) Exposing graduates of Nigerian Universities to the rudiments of ICT for computer literacy and ability to live usefully in this ICT age.
d) Preparing students for a post university life with opportunities for job creation and entrepreneurial skills.