What is Genetics?

Genetics deals with the molecular structure and function of genes, gene behaviour in the context of a cell or organism, patterns of inheritance from parent to offspring, and gene distribution, variation and change in populations.

Given that genes are universal to living organisms, genetics can be applied to the study of all living systems, from viruses and bacteria, through plants and domestic animals, to humans. 

Understanding the nature of genetic variation permits one to combat disease in humans, plants and animals, and improve existing strains and breeds of plants and animals.

18. Marine Biology (Westville)
Prerequisites: Completion of a major or programme in Biological Sciences.. Note that acceptance into the programme may depend on availability of places.
Core: BIOL701(16), 782(16), 784(16), 791(48), 884(16).
Electives: 16C from BIOL715(16), 735(16), ENVS720(16).

  Career opportunities

  • Clinical research associate

  • Healthcare scientist

  • Genomics

  • Healthcare scientist

  • Immunology

  • Pharmacologist

  • Plant breeder/geneticist

  • Research scientist (life sciences)

  • Research scientist (medical)


Pietermaritzburg staff


Westville staff

Year 1
Semester 1
BIOL101(16), CHEM110(16), MATH150(16), PHYS131(16)
Semester 2
BIOL102(16), STAT130(16), Electives(32)
Semester 1
BIOL200(16), 204(16), 214(16)
Approved 16C Level 2 module within the School, Electives (32)
Semester 2
BIOL205(16), 231(16)
Year 3
BIOL300(16), 304(16), 341(16), 342(16), 343(16), 391(16), 32C from Level-3 BIOL modules approved by the School