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BioScience Technology

Diploma
BioScience Technology

Program Overview

Bioscience technologists use applied science to research problems and develop solutions to some of life's many important questions, ranging from food safety to new medicines.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic's BioScience Technology program (formerly Biotechnology) is a two-year diploma program that emphasizes a hands-on style of learning. Your classroom time includes theory, practical exercises and labs. A four-week practicum gives you on-the-ground experience working in a laboratory, so at the end of your program you're ready for the workplace.

The program is designed to give you a strong foundation in both scientific principles and analytic practices. The emphasis is on developing your lab skills to prepare you for work in the biosciences, biomedical research and applied research fields.

You'll develop the skills you need to:

  • analyse DNA, RNA and protein samples
  • follow good laboratory practices (GLP) guidelines
  • handle and prepare laboratory chemicals
  • organize and supervise laboratory activities
  • record, process and report data
  • use analytical instruments
  • work with plants and animals in a research setting
  • work with microorganisms

Did You Know?

After two years of suitable industrial experience, Saskatchewan Polytechnic graduates are eligible to apply for membership with the Saskatchewan Applied Science Technologists and Technicians (SASTT).

You can also use your diploma as a stepping stone to a university degree - receive up to two years' university transfer credits to continue your post-secondary education in biosciences.

How Does it Fit?

Working in the biosciences involves detail-oriented and meticulous laboratory work. It also requires an open mind, an aptitude for problem solving and the ability to think on your feet. Bioscience technologists are members of multidisciplinary teams, so communication, interpersonal and team-building skills are an asset.

The BioScience Technology program works with industry partners to grow the bioscience industry in Saskatchewan. Saskatoon is host to over 30 biotechnology related companies and has great community, provincial and federal support. Sask Polytech students are hired by many of these local companies. The License to Farm documentary explores the role of science, sustainability and food safety in modern agriculture. License to Farm is brought to you by Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission, Growing Forward 2, Government of Saskatchewan and Government of Canada. 

Ladder into a Degree

Turn your BioScience Technology diploma into a university degree in just two years. Saskatchewan Polytechnic has a transfer agreement with the University of Saskatchewan. You can also transfer into programs at Athabasca University (Alberta), Memorial University (Newfoundland) and Royal Roads University (B.C.).

Career and Salary Information

Your Career

The biosciences are an exciting and rapidly expanding field with plenty of job opportunities. Saskatchewan Polytechnic's BioScience Technology program trains highly qualified lab technologists to work in the agricultural biosciences, biomedicine, bioproduct and environment sectors of the Saskatchewan biosciences industry.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic BioScience Technology grads are working for agriculture bioscience companies, private research and development laboratories, university research labs, provincial and federal laboratories, food manufacturing companies (quality analysis of dairy, meat and brewery products, etc.) and bioscience equipment and supply companies.

Agriculture Biosciences

Graduates employed in this sector are involved in research and development of agricultural crops such as wheat, canola and specialty crops. The work focuses on plant breeding, molecular biology and plant tissue culture. Other aspects may include testing of plant and animal samples using instrumentation, working with animals in the area of animal disease, testing for microbial or contaminants in animals or animal products, feed analysis and cell culture.

Biomedicine

Graduates employed in this sector are involved in research into diseases such as Alzheimer's and types of cancer. Work includes microbiology, molecular biology, cell culture, and may include instrumentation. Other aspects of research may involve working with animals or animal products.

Bioproducts

Graduates employed in this sector are involved in processing and production of bioproducts such as specialty oils, proteins and foods. The work includes aspects of quality control and quality assurance. It involves testing food and other products for quality, and may include standard tests for microbial contamination and other impurities. This may require basic microbial techniques or the use of analytical instruments.

Environment

Graduates employed in this sector conduct analysis of environmental samples and environmental remediation. The work includes aspects of microbiology, chemistry, molecular biology and analytical instrumentation. It involves testing environmental samples from the mining, chemical and oil and gas industries, as well as development of new techniques or solutions for environmental remediation.

Potential Careers

Sample Job TitleNOC Classification1Earning Potential2
Laboratory ManagerArchitecture and Science Managers (212)$40,400 - $126,700
Quality Assurance TechnologistBiological Technologists and Technicians (2221)$33,300 - $77,400
Research TechnologistBiological Technologists and Technicians (2221)$33,300 - $77,400

Length and Start Date

Start Date(s): September

Length: 72 weeks: 

Year 1 - 36 weeks; Year 2 - 36 weeks

Locations

  • Saskatoon

Admissions

Admission Requirements

  • Grade 12 with a minimum of 65% in each of the following subjects: Chemistry 30, Biology 30 and Pre-Calculus 30*
  • A combined average of 65% is required in English Language Arts A30 and English Language Arts B30
  • English Language Requirement

Note

  • Accepted applicants may be required to provide evidence of a Criminal Record Check prior to entering the practicum component of the program. At the discretion of the practicum agency, you may be declined access to a clinical or work placement based on the contents of the Criminal Record Check. The cost of the Criminal Record Check is your responsibility.
  • To comply with safety regulations, students who wear contact lenses must have a pair of prescription glasses to wear in the labs.


*Previous Saskatchewan mathematics requirement also accepted:

  • Minimum of 65% in Math B30

Special Admission

Applicants who do not possess the academic qualifications for a program may be admitted if evidence of probable success can be established through a special admission assessment. Interested individuals should still apply. Applicants are automatically considered for special admission. However, some specific admission requirements may still need to be met. Refer to the ACCUPLACER© cut scores for this program below, and review additional details concerning Special Admission.

ACCUPLACER©

  • 80 Arithmetic
  • 80 Elementary Algebra
  • 85 Reading
  • 85 Sentence
  • 4 WritePlacer

Admission Method

First Qualified/First Admitted

The First Qualified/First Admitted (FQFA) process is used for the majority of Saskatchewan Polytechnic programs. When we determine that you meet the program's admission requirements, you will be offered admission based on the date you fully qualify for the program. The earlier you provide the appropriate documents and information that qualify you for admission to the next intake, the earlier you might begin your studies. Your application, once qualified, is always considered for the next intake. 

Applicants to programs with multiple intakes in an academic year remain in the application pool until the last intake for that academic year has begun. Programs using the FQFA process receive applications year round and maintain an application pool for each academic year. Qualified applicants who are not offered a seat must reapply for the next academic year. 

Sponsored programs or programs targeted to specific groups do not accept applications year round or maintain an application pool.

See Admission Processes for more information about this method of admission.

Tuition and Fees

Estimates are based on current rates and are subject to change. Amounts for a program may vary by campus. Totals shown here include all mandatory fees as well as books and supplies. For a complete breakdown of tuition and fees for this program, click here to access the Saskatchewan Polytechnic campus Tuition and Fee Schedules.

 

Year 1 - $7,400
Year 2 - $6,800

International Students

View tuition rates for international students.

Courses

Expand All +
  • Basic theoretical courses complement more advanced technique-oriented courses where emphasis will be placed on your competency in laboratory skills.
  • Your practicum consists of working in a private laboratory for four weeks in May. You will not be paid and you must find your own accommodation if you are placed outside of Saskatoon.

PLAR & Transfer Credit

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

Saskatchewan Polytechnic recognizes that adults learn in many different ways and through many different means. This includes acquiring knowledge and skills through life and work experience or non-formal training.


Transfer Credit

Many Saskatchewan Polytechnic students benefit from transferring credit. You may be eligible to transfer credit from or to another college or university. To learn more, visit our transfer credit web page.

 


Transfer credit options vary over time; this information is subject to change. Transfer credit options for this program include:

  • block transfer of 45 credits toward the Bachelor of Science, Human Science post-diploma degree program, Athabasca University
  • block transfer into the third year of the Bachelor of Science degree programs, Royal Roads University
  • admission eligibility to the Bachelor of Technology program, Memorial University, Newfoundland (13 courses, totalling 39 credit hours, are required to fulfil the degree requirements; courses are available online)

Student Awards

Thanks to the generosity of donors and alumni, Saskatchewan Polytechnic gives away more than $2 million in student awards during the academic year.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic offers student awards for every certificate and diploma program at every campus. You don't have to be a brainiac to receive a student award. Not all student awards are based on marks - some are based on financial need or things like community or volunteer involvement.

More about scholarships

Accreditation

Canadian Technology Accreditation Board, valid for 3 years until March 2018

The Canadian Technology Accreditation Board (CTAB) accredits the program at the Bioscience Technologist level.

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