Postgraduate Diploma in Forensic Biotechnology
Postgraduate Diploma in Forensic Biotechnology is a one year (12 months) professional diploma in the area of forensic medicine and molecular diagnostics. The target group are health officers, scientists without practical knowledge of molecular genetics, clinicians, and particularly law enforcement officers and lawyers interested in modern forensic technology including applications in paternity and individual identification issues. The greater proportion of participants will be officers in government and non-governmental establishments. The course will involve taught courses and hands-on practical training.
The programme is hosted in the Department of Biochemistry in conjunction with the Centre for Biotechnology Research and Training, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
Main Objective of the PGD Forensic Biotechnology
The programme has as its main objective the production of manpower with skills in forensic biotechnology to solve relevant societal problems.
- To train manpower that will be engaged in crime prevention and control
- To train manpower in the prevention and control of invasive species
- To train manpower that will assist in individual identification during emergencies
- To train manpower that will engage in solving paternity and related issues
- To develop, maintain and collate database of individual profiles and invasive organisms for Nigeria and the West African sub-region
- To develop human and infrastructural capacity in biotechnology for the country and the West African sub-region
- To render consultancy services to individuals, agencies, and bodies.
The programme is designed to produce manpower in areas where forensic biotechnology applications are needed. Graduates of the programme will find job placements in:
- Law Enforcement Agencies such as Police, Custom, Immigration, Armed Forces, Prisons Services, Civil defences, etc
- Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies such as National Emergency and Management Agency (NEMA), Nigerian Agricultural and Quarantine Services, National Agency for Foods Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and similar organizations in the Sub regions.
- Research and Tertiary Educational Institutions
- Non-Governmental Agencies
- Biomedical research and pharmaceutical sector
- Medical and veterinary diagnostic laboratories
- Environmental pollution and waste management, palaeontology and biodiversity analysis
To be considered for admission into the course, the applicant must satisfy the following requirements:
- A first degree in Biochemistry and other Natural Sciences, Agriculture, Veterinary, Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Chemical Engineering with at least a third class honours of Ahmadu Bello University or HND with upper credit or
- An equivalent degree from another University recognized by Ahmadu Bello University.
- At least two favorable letters of recommendation, one of which must be from the applicant’s previous academic advisor.
- Forty percent (40%) of the admission quota will be reserved for female applicants.
- Similarly, thirty percent (30%) of the admission quota will be reserved for non Nigerians.
The postgraduate diploma in Forensic Biotechnology shall be for a duration of 12 calendar months, inclusive of teaching, research project and examination.
The programme shall be run using a combination of approaches namely, taught courses (lectures), laboratory exercises, seminars, assignments and independent research project activities. The research component may run concurrently with the second semester of the programme.
For successful completion of the coursework aspect of the PGD Forensic programme, a student is required to:
- Attain at least 75% attendance of lectures and laboratory practical works
- Register for and pass all the taught core courses (20 Credit Units) and a minimum of 2 Credit units of electives.
- Obtain a minimum of “C” grade in all the core courses
- Present a written non-thesis, supervised project
- Present at least one seminar per semester
For the purpose of evaluating the knowledge and skills acquired by the students, the courses are organized in course units and are divided into core courses and electives.
Evaluation of understanding and acquisition of skills imparted will be done using the following tools:
- Descriptive examination (essays and multi-choice questions)
- Case studies
- Practical reports
- Assignments, and
- Project works
Continuous assessment shall constitute a minimum of forty percent (40%) of the overall score of the examination by the students. The continuous assessment component can be in the form of assignment, tests, and laboratory work reports.
Grading of Performance
At the completion of the programme, students’ performances shall be classified into four categories:
- Distinction: 70% and above
- Credit: 60-69%
- Merit: 50-59%
- Fail: less than 50%