Department of Biology

Biology Department

The Biology Department offers a four-year B.Sc. in Biological Sciences, a two-year M.Sc. in Biological Sciences and Technologies and a four-year Ph.D. in Life Sciences program. Research-integrated teaching and research training is delivered by international and local faculty members. Their research interests broadly align to three themes of One Health and Biodiversity:

  1. Biophotonics applied in environmental systems, and cell and cancer biology;
  2. Molecular basis of human diseases including cancer, infectious diseases, autoimmunity, and neurological diseases;
  3. Biotechnology, biosensors, nanoparticle delivery, bioinformatics, biomarker and drug target discovery.

B.Sc. in Biological Sciences

Biological sciences is a rapidly growing interdisciplinary area of sciences that aligns with priority tertiary education, science and technology needs for the Republic of Kazakhstan. The Bachelor of Sciences (B.Sc.) in Biological Sciences program is taught in English and can be compared in scope and structure to available programs in internationally leading academic institutions. The amalgamation of Nazarbayev University’s Undergraduate Core Curriculum Framework of (NU UCCF), disciplinary core curriculum with broad choice electives enables students to lay the foundation for careers in high demand for both existing as well as anticipated employment sectors in Kazakhstan. The program’s research-integrated teaching and student-centered learning opportunities offered in upper-level research-oriented and problem-based learning lectures and laboratory courses, or through participation in research projects in laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art instruments as part of Directed Research in Biology or a Honors Thesis sets it apart from biological sciences programs offered in the region. Graduates of this program are expected to find many job opportunities in universities, pharmaceutical, biotechnological or biotechnology and agricultural companies, hospitals, and private, government and non-profit research institutions.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Integrate fundamental theoretical underpinnings and concepts when addressing both research and real-world problems in biological sciences.
  2. Apply scientific methods, including formulating a hypothesis, designing studies, laboratory-based techniques, and drawing conclusions to address both research and real-world problems in biological sciences.
  3. Evaluate biological data using mathematical and statistical techniques.
  4. Recognize the limitations of scientific processes including experimental and data-analytical methods when synthesizing biological knowledge.
  5. Critically analyse and discuss primary literature in biological sciences.
  6. Communicate clearly biological information in oral and written formats to both lay and scientific audiences applying for the latter scientific formats commonly used in biological sciences.
  7. Exercise ethical and professional conduct when conducting research in biological sciences.

M.Sc. in Biological Sciences and Technologies

Technological innovations have become an essential part of modern biology and biomedicine often driving academic knowledge and economic development. Against the background of a rapidly changing global economy, there will be a growing demand from academic research, government, and industry sectors for people who not only possess the necessary education, but also the skills to deal with the increasing complexity of biomedical and environmental problems. The program delivers applied and advanced  knowledge in important areas of current Life Sciences. The program allows students to gain real-world experience on various types of methodologies and instruments, providing them with a competitive edge in the job market.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Present research to specialized as well as broader audiences.
  2. Execute research projects in their area of expertise in accordance with ethical and professional standards, author possible research publications, present posters and/or oral presentations in conferences prepare, coherent reports of research findings.
  3. Demonstrate strong understanding of advanced biological sciences and technologies concepts, complete successfully courses and seminars.
  4. Search, discover and master contemporary research literature in their field of expertise, include relevant literature in the Masters project.
  5. Apply research methodology in successful execution of experiments in a research laboratory or implement analytical, statistical and/or numerical solutions of data-driven or theoretical question related to unsolved biological research problems.
  6. Demonstrate familiarity with the phases and stages of the research process through successful presentation of a research seminar and/or proposal writing.
  7. Evaluate the relation between biological concepts and state of the art technologies and how this drives innovation, communicate competently with expert audiences.
  8. Demonstrate the ability to explain scientific concepts and research findings, using various modalities of communication, with particular emphasis on tertiary education instruction.

Ph.D. in Life Sciences

Life Sciences is a rapidly growing interdisciplinary area of sciences that aligns with priority science and technology needs for the Republic of Kazakhstan. The Ph.D. program can be compared in scope and structure to available programs in internationally leading academic institutions. The Ph.D. in Life Sciences will provide excellent instruction in core and elective subjects and will train modern high-quality life science experts which are in high demand for both existing as well as anticipated industries in Kazakhstan. Graduates of the Ph.D. Life Sciences program will be prepared to play important roles in Kazakhstan’s economy, especially with respect to research, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship. In this regard, this program serves as a key building block in research-driven economic and technological development of the biotechnology, environmental and biomedical capacity development of the region.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Exercise critical thinking and judgment in evaluating contemporary research literature in Life Sciences.
  2. Assess critically all major types of research in Life Sciences.
  3. Identify appropriate research topics in Life Sciences, and generate hypotheses about such topics.
  4. Plan, conduct, analyze and communicate research in writing and verbally independently.
  5. Apply cognitive and technical skills to make an original contribution to the knowledge in their area of specialization.
  6. Explain their research and research findings to others both orally and in written form.
  7. Provide a deep understanding of how their research relates to the broader field of knowledge in their discipline.
  8. Disseminate their research findings and to develop their academic/scholarly career through presentations, publications, and national and international networking.
  9. Teach in their discipline at the university level in English.

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