From time to time EBRU may be in a position to offer contract technical and / or research posts. Such opportunities will be advertised on this site if and when available.

Independent researchers who are interested in collaborating and basing their activities at EBRU, Rhodes University are welcome to approach the Director with proposals.

It is envisaged that such researchers will have in their possession the appropriate credentials and be successful recipients of funding to cover all or most of the proposed activity. EBRU will provide collaborative input, can facilitate post graduate student involvement, provide library access, internet and telephony, office and laboratory space, access to scientific equipment, and other infrastructural amenities.

Postgraduate Opportunities

EBRU welcomes applications from persons interested in postgraduate (M.Sc. and Ph.D.) and postdoctoral research in the field of environmental biotechnology.

While funding at postgraduate and postdoctoral level may be available through specific projects, EBRU particularly welcomes researchers who wish to apply for or have successfully obtained competitive funding through the NRF, WRC and others.

If you are interested in postdoctoral research or a higher degree in the field of Environmental Biotechnology, please write to:


Institute for Environmental Biotechnology, Rhodes University
PO Box 94, Grahamstown 6140
South Africa

Email: a.cowan@ru.ac.za 

Your email application should include a recent CV together and the contact details of at least 2 academic references.


 [Updating links 16 March 2018 - please be patient]

Coursework Masters in Environmental Biotechnology

Environmental Biotechnology involves the use of biological systems, mainly micro-organisms and their derivatives and processes, in both environmental protection and restoration. It is a knowledge-intensive, research-driven field which addresses a broad spectrum of environmental sector needs in the major areas of water, air, soil, and co-product beneficiation. The MSc coursework emphasizes a bioprocess approach within the context of environmental management. The course is open to candidates holding the BSc (Hons) degree, or its equivalent and is designed specifically for industry professionals with relevant industrial experience who wish to up-skill. In exceptional cases only, applications may be considered from candidates who hold a BSc degree and have at least 3 years relevant industry experience. The coursework Master’s degree in Environmental Biotechnology is non-continuing and therefore not appropriate for candidates who are seeking training as a researcher. Such candidates should undertake the relevant M.Sc. or Ph.D. degrees by research through EBRU.

The coursework Master’s is an advanced one-year programme comprising three modules each of ~4 weeks duration and a dissertation module. Lectures, seminars, tutorials, group workshops, and course-work assignments will form part of the learning process of each module. Full-time students are expected to complete the programme in 1 year, while part-time students are required to complete within 3 years. NOTE: Irrespective of duration, modules must be completed in the correct sequence.

Module 1: Industrial Environmental Management.

This module is focused on diagnosis and management of industry-environment interactions, and provides a foundation leading to professional qualifications in Environmental Management. An understanding of the relationship between business, the environment and society as well as the environmental pressures affecting modern industry is taught. This module forms the background against which biological approaches to environmental remediation are conceptualized and implemented. The course comprises a selection of MBA-aligned short courses such as Sustainability Law, Climate Change for Business, Environmental Economics, Sustainable Aquaculture, Integrated Coastal Management, Disaster Management etc. in addition to aspects of environmental law, industrial ecology, environmental management systems,  health and safety management systems, environmental impact assessment (EIA),  environmental management program report (EMPR), integrated pollution and waste management (IP&WM), life cycle assessment (LCA), technology assessment (TA), amongst others.

Module 2: Recent Advances in Biotechnology

This module is divided into 2 parts and is designed to provide candidate with an updated account of the present state of biotechnology and biotechnological tools used in environmental bio-monitoring. Topics are designed to cover the envisaged future prospects of what biotechnology has to offer. The first part covers advances in nanotechnology, environmental biotechnology as well as biotechnological advances in health and medicine, and in food security and agriculture. In the second part, candidates are to undertake intensive study of environmental bio-monitoring and the tools used in this field. Topics include Biosensors, Biogeochemistry, Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology, and Instrumentation and Interpretation.

Module 3: Contemporary Environmental Biotechnology

This module involving biotechnological processes and environmental project managerial tools and techniques is divided into two parts; Process biotechnology, and Bioremediation. Process biotechnology introduces candidates to the principles and practices used in bioprocess innovation and development with specific application in clean energy generation & utilization. Topics include Carbon budgeting and management, Bio-fuels and alternative energy and Molecular farming. The bioremediation part is designed to expose candidates to the principles and approaches used in pollution prevention and biological processes used in the treatment of environmentally sensitive materials. Candidates are also exposed to the processes involved in the treatment of major categories of environmental impacts in water, soil and air, and involving in-situ and ex-situ treatment approaches. Although biological processes will be emphasized, students will also be exposed to physicochemical procedures in common use. Topics include Bioavailability & Feasibility Studies, Biodegradation Pathways, In-situ and ex-situ Bioremediation Protocol, Acid Mine Drainage (heavy metal remediation, combustion residues and mine dump rehabilitation), and Conventional and Non-conventional Wastewater Treatment Processes.

Module 4: Dissertation

A research dissertation of original work and appropriate description will be undertaken and submitted in January of the year following registration. In-service students would be encouraged to research a work-related problem under acceptable academic supervision either by Rhodes University staff or with home-site mentoring. Students may also be offered industrial oriented research at the institute. The research component will comprise 35% of the final examination.

Candidates may complete all requirements for the degree in one year of full-time study, or enrol on a part-time basis over a longer period not exceeding three years.  Assessment of candidates is based on written and oral presentations covering all aspects of the course, examination which is subject to moderation by suitably qualified external examiners, and the completion of an acceptable dissertation.

Last Modified: Thu, 07 Nov 2019 16:25:31 SAST