Discipline of Biological and Chemical Sciences

School of Agriculture, Geography, Environment, Ocean and Natural Sciences (SAGEONS)

Discipline of Biological and Chemical Sciences

Welcome to the website of the Discipline of Biological and Chemical Sciences or SBCS for short. This Discipline has two major disciplines: Biology and Chemistry


The Discipline of Biology provides biology courses for undergraduate and postgraduate study programmes within the School of Agriculture, Geography, Environment, Ocean and Natural Sciences. The courses provided by the division strike a balance between traditional studies in biology and modern advances in biological research at levels ranging from molecules to communities.

The University of the South Pacific is ideally situated to offer high quality degree-level courses. In particular, it provides a perfect opportunity for in-depth, first-hand studies of two of the most diverse, yet contrasting ecosystems in the world – tropical rainforests and coral reefs (both can be visited from the Laucala campus on the same day). Several of our advanced courses emphasize the ecology and conservation of these systems, which are important throughout the South Pacific region.

The discipline has research facilities and expertise in several areas, including biodiversity and conservation, tissue culture, microbiology, animal and plant physiology and molecular systematics. We also have a range of field equipment and relevant expertise. We are perfectly placed for field studies in tropical terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems.


Here you will find all the information you need about chemistry courses and programs of study at USP. We will keep you up to date with current research and tell you about our departmental and facilities and keep you up-to-date with all the news from the discipline. If you need further assistance or advice about our courses please do not hesitate to contact us.

Chemistry is the central science. All aspects of technical development require people with expertise in chemistry. A basic chemical education is required by doctors, dentists, engineers, agriculturalists, foresters, factory managers, etc. Thus, there is a continuing need for chemistry teachers in the region. In addition there is an increasing need for graduates with some chemistry background for work in industry as quality control staff, production managers and in a range of government and private research laboratories, e.g. mineral exploration, environmental pollution monitoring, agriculture. The contribution of chemistry graduates to regional development is considerable.

The teaching of chemistry at degree level at USP covers courses at the 100-, 200-, 300- and postgraduate levels. Courses at the 100- and 200-levels provide a basic framework in the important aspects of modern chemistry – atomic and molecular structure, thermodynamics, kinetics, electrochemistry, inorganic, spectroscopy, structure and mechanism in organic chemistry. This `basic’ knowledge is then applied at the 300-level to topics of considerable regional importance – instrumental analysis, industrial chemistry, environmental chemistry and marine chemistry. In this way students are given a clear indication of how the principles of chemistry are important in the world around them.

Postgraduate (400-level) courses combine an extension of the application of fundamental principles in situations of regional importance with a more advanced treatment of some of the basic aspects of chemistry not covered in detail in undergraduate courses, e.g. soil, food and water chemistry, natural products chemistry, biochemistry, polymer chemistry and recent advances in chromatography and spectroscopy.

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