Department Biochemistry in Brief

The proposal for the establishment of Federal University, Gusau with a Department of Biochemistry under the Faculty of Science was approved in February 2013. Thus the Department is one of the pioneer Departments in the Faculty of Sciences of the university.
The formal establishment of the Department and commencement of three academic programmes: B.Sc. Microbiology; B.Sc. Plant Science and Biotechnology; and B.Sc. Zoology started in November, 2014 during the 2014/2015 Academic Session.


The mission of the Department of Biological Sciences, Federal University Gusau is to pursue and disseminate knowledge of Microbiology, plant science, biotechnology and zoology for the benefit of humanity irrespective of race, creed, religion, nationality or ethnicity.


The vision of the Department is to be amongst the foremost Biological Sciences departments in Africa and the world through research, knowledge creation, teaching, community service and linkages.

General Phylosophy

Natural earth resources form the basis for social, economic, and human society; and man has learnt to use them for development and industrialization. The general philosophy therefore is to produce graduates in Biological Sciences with sufficient academic background, skills and practical experience and who are capable of solving local problems and able to appreciate the centrality of Biological Sciences to human well-being, as well as its inevitable linkage to, and interactions with, other branches of science.
Hence, the three undergraduate programme in the Department are designed to:

  • Provide training in the theory and practice of all branches of Biological Sciences
  • Cultivate a curious and enquiring mind and hence stimulate creative thinking and research
  • Develop skills in the retrieval and interpretation of information
  • Inculcate an awareness of the resources as well as developmental problems in the immediate environment and the crucial role of Microbiology, Plant Science, Biotechnology and Zoology in the task of national development
  • Prepare the graduates students of the Department for professional participation in the workplace.

The Biological Sciences programmes shall be based in the Faculty of Science because of the integrated nature and practical orientation of the programmes, as well as the necessity of studying common courses at the early stages of the training. The early stages of the curriculum include taking basic technical courses in biology, mathematics, physics, and chemistry. The first two years of the programmes are devoted to building the foundations in microbiology, biochemistry, botany, biology, chemistry, zoology, mathematics and physics.

Nomenclature of Degree in View

The Department shall for now provide three undergraduate academic programs. The nomenclature of the degrees in view shall be: Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) Microbiology; Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) Plant Science and Biotechnology; and Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) Zoology.


Natural animal and plants resources have been essential to man since our beginning and their demand and that of water resources, is higher today than ever before. This demand will continue to increase as the nations of the world strive to improve their standards of living. It is the task of biologists to meet these needs for adequate supply of these natural resources at acceptable prices. It is clearly apparent that Zamfara State had several advantages as a centre for the study of biological sciences because of its central location to areas of outstanding agricultural and wild-life interests in the northern part of the country. The state had been the hub of agricultural activities and it is therefore necessary for the Federal University Gusau to establish the Department of Biological Sciences to be domiciled in Faculty of Science.

Admission Requirements

Programme Admission Requirement Remarks
  UTME Direct Entry  
B.Sc Microbiology Five credit at SSCE or its equivalent in English, Biology, Mathematics and any other science subject Atleast two A level passes in Biology, Botany and Chemistry or Physics credit passes in NCE and ND UTME subjects are English, Chemistry, Biology and any other science subject Plant Science and Biotechnology
B.Sc Zoology

In addition to the requirements above, candidate shall have attained a minimum score of post U.T.M.E examination organised by the Federal University Gusau.

Duration Of Programmes

Each academic session shall comprise of two semesters and each semester shall last for a period of eighteen (18) weeks comprising of: one (1) week for registration; fifteen (15) weeks for lectures/tutorials/laboratory and studio works; and two (2) weeks for examination. Mid-semester break shall normally be for two (2) weeks. The minimum duration of both B.Sc. Microbiology, B.Sc. Plant Science and Biotechnology, and B.Sc. Zoology programs is four (4) years for candidates who enter with Senior Secondary School Certificate or GCE ‘0’ Level qualifications or equivalent or through matriculation programme of the university. Direct Entry (DE) candidates will spend a minimum of three years provided that they satisfy all the other University requirements.
Students shall be required to complete their studies in not more than one and a half times the normal duration of the programme to qualify for an Honour’s degree, except in cases of ill-health or as determined by Senate. This means about 6 years for our 4-year degrees (considering SIWES is for 6 months) or 5 years for the DE students.

Courses Classification

In line with the guidelines of the National Universities Commission (NUC), the Federal University Gusau shall also operate the course credit system. A credit is the minimum unit of workload of a course. It depends on the total number of contact hours spent on the course. The contact hour is defined in terms of number of hours spent for the duration of the course. One credit unit is defined as: one hour of lecture or tutorial per week; two hours of seminar per week; three hours of laboratory or field work per week; one month of industrial attachment; one month of teaching Practice.
The equivalent of 1 credit unit in a semester of 15 weeks shall be one of the following:

  • 15 hours of lecture
  • 15 hours of tutorial
  • 45 hours of laboratory work
  • 60 hours of fieldtrip
  • 2 days of fieldwork
  • 1 month of Industrial attachment.
  • One month of teaching practice.

Course Classification

  1. Core Courses (CC)
    • Core/Compulsory Courses are courses students must take and pass before graduation. However, a student may be allowed to proceed to the next level of study if he/she failed some Core-Courses, but have earned enough credit units to qualify for the next level. The failed Core -Course will always reflect in the remark column of his/her results as outstanding.
  2. Elective Courses (EL)
    • Elective courses are courses students take base on their areas of specialization and interest. In addition, to the Core- Courses, students are allowed to take these courses to enable them to register for the minimum allowable per semester. However, there are restrictive and un-restrictive electives, depending on areas of specialization and Faculty. Students may consult their academic advisers for guidance in selecting Elective Courses.
  3. Pre-Requisite Courses
    • Pre-requisite courses are those that students must take and pass before registering higher level course(s). However, a student in a graduating class may register for a higher and lower course concurrently, provided that he/she had attempted the lower course once and that the total number of credit units registered in a semester, does not exceed 24.
  4. General Studies Courses (GST)
    • All undergraduate students are required to pass all the General Studies Courses for a total of 8 Credits Units. This must be passed before a degree can be awarded.


It is the primary responsibility of every student to ensure that he/she is properly registered for a course and for the semester programme. No student would receive credit for a course in which he/she is not properly registered. This is applicable even if the student attended classes and wrote all the examinations prescribed in that course. Students shall normally complete registration for courses for the semester not later than two weeks after the start of semester.
A student cannot withdraw from a course after a one-third of its lectures have been delivered, without permission from the Head of Department. A student who withdraws after this time or who fails to sit for the final examination without reasons acceptable to the Faculty Board, shall be deemed to have failed that course.
Also if a student is properly registered in a course and later dropped the course without notification and proper amendment to his/her registration records, the student would be deemed to have been absent in that examination and would be regarded as having failed in that course; and this will affect the student’s Grade Point Average (GPA).
Students are required to register with Departmental Registration Officer, all elective courses taken outside the Department. The Department would not accept credits earned in electives that were not originally registered in the Departmental registration records. All Registration forms must be signed personally by each student and his/her academic adviser before presenting to Registration Officer. No student can register or sign for another who is not physically present.

The minimum and maximum credit load permissible for full time students of the Federal University, Gusau per student academic session is shown in the table below:

Level Minimum Maximum
100 30 48
200 30 48
300 30 48
400 30 48
Total 120 192

NB:-The minimum number of units excludes carry over courses and the maximum number of units a student can register in a session is 48


Industrial attachment is very crucial for all students in Federal University Gusau, including those in the Biological sciences Department. The minimum duration of this training is 6 months (24 weeks, semester plus long vacation).
The Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) will make our undergraduate training effective, as students will be exposed to various equipment, manufacturing processes and quality control procedures during the attachment. The SIWES is to be conducted under strict supervision and on successful completion of the scheme, it is graded and no students shall graduate without passing it.