The Biotechnology Technologist program at Algonquin College provides students with a strong background in biotechnology in preparation for jobs in health care, pharmaceutical, agriculture, industrial and environmental sectors.
This is a Mobile Learning Program.
As a student in this program you will require a mobile computing device, for example a laptop or tablet computer.
Review the Mobile Requirements >>
Algonquin has expanded the use of learning technology by adopting digital textbooks. Effective Fall 2013, the required text and digital resources in all your courses (with the exception of general education electives) will be provided to you at the beginning of each term.
- Ontario College Advanced Diploma
- 3 Years
- Program Code:
- Academic Year:
Students equip themselves for this rapidly exploding field on the cutting edge of technology and science and explore the ways biotechnology is improving quality of life through breakthroughs in health care, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, industrial and environmental processes.
This three-year Ontario College Advanced Diploma program provides students with a strong background in the science that drives this expanding industry. The curriculum offers a combination of laboratory and theory courses in disciplines, such as chemistry, biochemistry, cell biology, microbiology and genetic engineering. In addition, students gain a solid foundation of the complex political, social, and ethical implications of this remarkable field which allows them to make informed and exciting career choices.
This program is part of Algonquin's mobile learning initiative. All students entering into the program are expected to have and use a laptop or mobile computing device that meets or exceeds the recommended hardware requirements as designated by the program. Students in mobile learning programs will use their devices to enhance their learning experience, obtain and work with course materials, participate in collaborative and mlearning environments and become skilled, confident users of the technologies used within an educational environment and workplace. Hardware and software specifications are outlined at http://mlearning.algonquincollege.com. Computers and supplies can be purchased directly from Algonquin's New Technology Store at educational rates.
This program is well-suited for students who:
- Enjoy problem solving and challenging their minds.
- Like to conduct biology and chemistry laboratory experiments.
- Are curious and have an analytical nature.
- Are well organized.
- Enjoy working as a member of a team.
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Graduates are prepared for fascinating work in a variety of laboratory settings including bioresearch facilities, analytical laboratories, commercial biotechnology goods and services production, agricultural, government and academic labs. The skills graduates acquire are applicable to research and development, pharmaceutical production, food or other biotechnology product manufacturing, environmental protection and fermentation studies.
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|BTC1100||Introduction to Biology|
This introductory course provides an overview of biology, acting as a foundation for future study. It includes a synopsis of the characteristics of life, the form and function of plants and animals, the origins of biological diversity, and introduces students to the structure of cells and their components.
Students are introduced to traditional procedures in biological science. The process of science as a form of inquiry that includes repeatable observations and testable hypotheses is emphasized. Students perform microscopy and various other biology experiments while generating, recording and interpreting their observations. Studies include spectral analysis of chlorophyll, plant, and animal tissues, cells and dividing cells.
|BTC1102||Introduction to Chemistry|
Students are introduced to the fundamentals of inorganic chemistry. Students gain an understanding of the periodic table and the physical and chemical properties which govern the reactivity of elements and compounds. In addition, the course addresses states of matter, gas laws, atomic structure, writing formulae, stoichiometry, solubility, chemical associations and redox reactions.
Using simple illustrative experiments as a practical adjunct to the theories of fundamental chemistry, this course instills a skill base upon which students may work confidently in a chemistry laboratory. Students acquire an introduction to laboratory safety and the common tools of the laboratory technician while examining the principles of stoichiometry and properties of chemical compounds through acid/base titrations, buffer systems, chromatography and spectroscopy.
|BTC1104||Physics for Biotechnologists|
Students obtain a working knowledge of the principles of applied physics required by a biotechnology technologist, such as atomic structure and interactions, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, optics and radioactivity.
Various hazards abound in biotechnology working environments. Workers must learn to recognize these hazards and contribute to ensuring a healthy and safe workplace. Students learn about Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) legislation and ways to recognize hazards and prevent work-related injuries and illnesses.
Communication remains an essential skill sought by employers, regardless of discipline or field of study. Using a practical, vocation-oriented approach, students focus on meeting the requirements of effective communication. Through a combination of lectures, exercises, and independent learning, students practise writing, speaking, reading, listening, locating and documenting information, and using technology to communicate professionally. Students develop and strengthen communication skills that contribute to success in both educational and workplace environments.
Students acquire the knowledge to perform technical calculations effectively and efficiently including modules on angles and their measure, trigonometric functions, solving right triangles, graphs of the sine and cosine functions; addition of vectors; various equations of the straight line; solving systems of linear equations algebraically, factoring polynomial expressions; solving quadratic equations, manipulating rational expressions; algebraic expressions with fractional exponents; radicals; exponential and logarithmic functions; and complex numbers.
Basic anatomy along with the major cell types of the different body systems is explored. The respiratory, urinary, skeletal, muscular, digestive, nervous, endocrine and reproductive systems are discussed. Cellular biology concepts including the structure and function of organelles are presented, but emphasis is placed on the structure-function relationship between cells and tissues.
Organic chemistry focuses on the chemical and physical properties of carbon-based molecules. The structure, nomenclature, isomerism, and stereochemistry of organic molecules and the functional groups that define their reactivity are examined. Electrophilic and nucleophilic addition and substitution reactions, as well as E1 and E2 elimination reactions, are addressed.
|BTC1202||Organic Chemistry Laboratory|
Using simple syntheses and purifications, students learn basic skills, such as melting and boiling points, recrystallizations, distillations, refractive index and liquid-liquid extractions to determine the identity of unknown compounds.
This course builds on an understanding of the steps of chemical analysis, including sampling, sample pretreatment and separation procedures. Students develop calculation tools for redox reactions, redox and complexometric titrations. In addition, students learn optical methods of analysis and some basic physical chemistry concepts (e.g. colligative properties, osmosis, chemical kinetics, rate laws, reaction orders and half-life).
|BTC1204||Analytical/Physical Chemistry Laboratory|
Students learn about precision glassware and balance, solution preparation, redox and potentiometric titrations, chromatography and spectroscopy.
Prerequisites: BTC1203 (1)
This general education course answers the question "What is Biotechnology?" while providing an overview of the political, social and ethical ramifications of this new science-based technology. It offers students an opportunity to explore the related issues and their own values while discussing biotechnology and its applications in health care, agriculture, food production, industrial bioprocessing and environmental monitoring. A history of biotechnology, along with the most recent industry facts and statistics, is also presented.
|Choose one from equivalencies:||Hours|
|GED1020||General Education Elective|
Students choose one course, from a group of general education electives, which meets one of the following four theme requirements: Arts in Society, Civic Life, Social and Cultural Understanding, and Personal Understanding.
Equivalencies: ARC9001 or DSN2001 or ENL7643 or ENV0002 or FAM1218 or FIN2300 or GED1896 or GED5002 or GED5005 or GED5006 or GED5200 or GED6022 or GEN1001 or GEN1957 or GEN2000 or GEN2003 or GEN2007 or HIS0001 or HIS2000 or HOS2228 or LIB1982 or MGT7330 or MVM8800 or PSI1702 or RAD2001 or SOC2003 or PSI0003
Students are introduced to some basic themes in elementary descriptive biochemistry. Students learn about the classification of biological molecules, such as lipids, carbohydrates, proteins, and nucleic acids, and explore the basic synthesis, and metabolic pathways of these molecules and how cells generate energy from them.
|BTC2101||Biochemistry I Laboratory|
This is the first of two laboratory courses in biochemistry providing an introduction to procedures common to the extraction, isolation and quantification of protein. Students are exposed to multiple techniques (SDS-PAGE, Western blotting) for the examination of protein and protein structures, such as enzymes.
Students develop an understanding of the various steps of chemical analysis. The theory behind the various techniques and apparatus used in the corresponding laboratory course is presented. This includes gas and ion chromatography, HPLC, UV and Visible spectrophotometry, mass spectroscopy, fluorometry and radioimmunassay.
Quantitative determination of sample components utilizing HPLC, GC and GC-MS are preformed. UV/Vis spectroscopy, FT-IR and fluorescent microscopy skills are also developed.
|CHE4047||Decision Making in Scientific Enquiry|
This general education course explores the issues and ethics associated with decision making in scientific enquiry. Through the use of case studies and application of critical-thinking skills, students learn to approach ethical data decisions with confidence in experimental conditions.
|ENL1819T||Reporting Technical Information|
Students draw upon knowledge acquired through their studies and through research to improve their skills in communication, critical thinking, and the documentation, and evaluation of both primary and secondary sources. These combined skills are demonstrated in the production of workplace-oriented, vocationally-related documents and presentations. Emphasis is placed on technical communication goals which students are required to achieve for graduation.
Students are introduced to the various types of microorganisms found in the environment. Emphasis is placed on the identification and morophology, life processes and metabolic requirements of bacteria. Various physical methods and chemical agents used in the control and inhibition of bacterial cell growth are presented.
|MED4982||Microbiology I Laboratory|
Students learn to differentiate between microorganisms microscopically; grow, isolate and stain microorganisms; and evaluate the potential of physical and chemical agents in inhibiting bacterial growth.
|BTC2104||Principles of Genetics|
This introductory course in genetics with links to molecular biology focuses on the molecular basis of heredity, the laws of Mendelian inheritance, and the relationship between genotype and phenotype.
Students develop an understanding of dynamic biochemistry. Selected topics include enzymology, biological membranes, biochemical energetics, metabolic pathways, hormone structure and function.
|BTC2201||Biochemistry II Laboratory|
As a continuation of the techniques and concepts developed in the first part of the biochemistry laboratory, students are familiarized with the extraction, purification and quantification of DNA. Students receive practice in determining localization of protein in a cell using immunohistochemistry. Electrophoresis is used to assess apoptosis and to examine patterns in DNA restriction enzyme digests.
|BTC2202||Biotech Lab Management, Software and Searches|
Good management practices for laboratory technologists in biotechnology are developed. Students acquire expertise in validation and analytical processes required by an accredited laboratory and an ability to make objective decisions regarding new methods and technology. The course focuses on the fundamental principles and practices of statistical QC, decision rules, control materials, data calculations, control charts, data interpretation and appropriate action in response to QC results.
The basic tissues of plants, as well as their growth cycle including embryogenesis and organogenesis are explored in this intermediate course. Topics, such as plant hormones and growth regulators, photosynthesis and the industrial application of plants are addressed.
|BTC2204||Plant Tissue Culture Laboratory|
Students are provided practical experience in several techniques used in agricultural biotechnology, such as tissue propagation, meristem culture, organogenesis, embryogenesis and protoplast cultures.
Students are introduced to applied microbiology (food, drug and environmental) and to some of the microorganisms found therein. Students receive an overview of immunity and immune system function, and monoclonal and polyclonal antibody production. Bacterial genetics, serology and antibiotics are also studied.
|BTC2206||Microbiology II Laboratory|
Students gain practical experience in immunological testing, enumerating and evaluating microorganisms in water, milk, food and soil.
|WKT2100||Cooperative Education Work Term Preparation|
Prior to their first co-op work term, students study cooperative education and work term objectives, policies and procedures, strategies for employability and on-the-job protocols.
|WKT2207||Work Term 1 (Optional)|
With department approval, students complete an optional paid full-time work term during the Spring/Summer months. The placement is monitored by the College and assignments, including a final report must be completed for a pass/fail mark. Work Term 1 is between levels 04 and 05. The College provides assistance in finding a placement.
|BTC3100||Genetic Engineering Biotechnology Theory I|
An indepth analysis of gene expression and regulation (including transcription translation, and post-translational modifications of proteins) is provided. DNA mutations and endogenous repair mechanisms are presented along with an overview of genetic engineering including the various techniques for gene and genome manipulation. The genetics of various organisms from humans to fruit flies, yeast, and viruses are used to illustrate and discuss various concepts, such as cell cycle control, apoptosis and differentiation.
Prerequisites: BTC2200 and BTC2205
|BTC3102||Animal Handling Theory and Laboratory|
Students obtain the skills necessary for the caring of common laboratory animals so that graduates have the necessary academic qualifications to pursue C.A.L.A.S. (Canadian Association of Laboratory Animal Science) registration and be able to care for these animals in research institutions. Focus is placed on the ethical issues surrounding laboratory animal use. Laboratory activities include animal husbandry, identification techniques, injections, administration of drugs and anaesthesia and blood collection in rodents.
|BTC3103||Pharmacology / Toxicology|
A basic understanding of the principles of pharmacology and toxicology is investigated. Topics include different classes of drugs, their mechanisms of action, dose-response relationship, toxic effects of drugs and poisons.
|BTC3105||Innovations in Research and Development|
Students plan, execute and present collaborative research projects generated by industry, department faculty or the student. Small group learning sessions are employed. Students are expected to meet with faculty advisors and provide oral and written reports detailing research project development, planning and progress.
|BTC3106||Biotechnology Laboratory I|
Students are provided with practical experience in DNA and protein manipulation. Experiments include cell transformations, Drosophila genetics, ELISA, plasmid manipulation and in vitro mutagenesis.
|BTC3203||Bioinformatics and Knowledge Management|
The nature of bioinformatics requires an understanding of both biology and computer science. In this respect, this course builds upon prior learning. The tools that handle and analyze the prodigious amounts of data that continue to emerge from large-scale DNA, RNA, and protein projects, including numerous web-based databases and computational algorithms, are presented. Specific biological problems illustrate how the acquisition of large data sets have led to the generation of networks of genes and proteins, as well as models of cellular behavior.
|BTC3104||Regulatory Affairs and Clinical Research Management|
An overview of the relevant Canadian legislation, policies and guidelines that pertain to the biotechnology industry is provided. The steps required to bring a biotechnology product from the initial idea to sale on the open market are described, and the complexity of clinical research design and management is also discussed.
|BTC3200||Biotechnology Theory II: Advanced Topics in Biotech|
Selected applications in biotechnology, such as gene therapy, environmental monitoring and nanotechnology are discussed. Other topics include techniques used in forensics, stem cell manipulation, and the use and application of plasmid DNA.
|BTC3205||Business Trends in Biotechnology|
Students gain an overview of the current marketplace trends in biotechnology and the potential effects these may have on the world economy. The history and organization of work and entrepreneurship in the biotechnology sector are discussed. Students taking the course learn to identify and exploit biotechnological opportunities, organize resources to implement ideas and learn to manage risks. In addition, students explore their career options as they complete their program requirements.
Students further expand, implement and assess their applied research projects. Students are encouraged to call upon prior learning to engage in project development and management. Must be taken within the same calendar year as BTC3105.
|BTC3207||Industrial Biotechnology Laboratory|
Students are provided practical experience in the area of fermentation technology and bioprocessing. Experiments include batch, continuous and immobilized culture, product recovery and protein purification and mammalian cell propagation.
Prerequisites: BTC2201 and BTC2206
|BTC3208||Industrial Biotechnology Theory|
The principles of various processes associated with the production and recovery of different bioproducts derived from prokaryotes and eukaryotes are explored. Emphasis is placed on large-scale production methods including production of recombinant proteins for diagnostic and clinical applications. Computer simulation of a large-scale bioprocessing facility familiarizes students with all aspects of manufacturing a biopharmaceutical product.
Prerequisites: BTC2200 and BTC2205
|BTC3209||Biotechnology Laboratory II|
Students aquire practical experience in modern biotechnological and biochemical techniques, such as plasmid manipulation, DNA fingerprinting, transfections, RNA isolation, Q-PCR and fluorescent microscopy.
|GED8700||Environmental Science and Renewable Energy|
In this general education course, students examine the relationship between humans and the environment with a view to improving sustainability and the nature of our impact upon the environment. In addition, this course broadens the students' horizons and promotes their positive involvement in important issues related to environmental changes caused by humans and their effects on living habitats. Through research, lectures and discussion, students explore energy saving methods, renewable energy resources, light harvesting, and various applications to enhance the quality of life and commitment to conserving the world around them.
|WKT3210||Work Term 2 (Optional)|
With departmental approval students complete a second optional paid full-time work term during the Spring/Summer months. The placement is monitored by the College and assignments, including a final report must be completed for a pass/fail mark. Work Term 2 is at the end of Level 06. The College provides assistance in finding a placement.
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Tuition Fees: $1,266.75 per term in Levels 01 and 02, $1,260.69 per term in Levels 03 and 04, and $1,254.66 per term in Levels 05 and 06.
Information Technology Fee: $62 per term. *
Mobile Computing Fee: $150 per term. **
Incidental Fees: $30 in Levels 01, 02, 05, $45 in Level 03, $55 in Level 04 and $150 in Level 06.
Student Activity/Sports Fee: $200.50 per term.
Student Commons/Auditorium Fee: $22 per term.
Student Centre Building Fee: $17.50 per term.
Health Service Fee: $20 per term.
Health Plan Fee: $117.02 paid once annually. ***
A $40 graduation fee is payable in the final term.
A $25 transcript fee is payable in the first term a student attends Algonquin College.
International Students pay all relevant Canadian fees plus an International Premium of $4,400 per term.
* Students paying the Information Technology fee are provided with a network account, an email address, and Internet access. For more information please visit our website at www.algonquincollege.com/its/support/IT-Fee/index-it-fee.htm
** The Mobile Computing Fee covers the costs associated with providing various services to students registered in a mandatory laptop programs.
*** Students who have coverage with another plan can request a refund by supplying the Students' Association with documentation supporting the request. This request will have to be made annually.
Co-op Fee: $465 payable in two installments in the term preceding each work term. The first installment of $100 is payable at the time of registration for co-op and is non-refundable. The second installment of $365 is payable on the standard fees due date. Students on a co-op work term will pay 10% of the Student Activity and Building Fees. Co-op students on work term in the Fall will pay the Health Plan Fee.
Books and supplies cost approximately $1,600 per year and can be purchased in the campus bookstore.
Each student is required to purchase two lab coats, goggles and rent a locker. Lab coats and goggles may be purchased in the campus bookstore. Lockers may be rented through Parking Services or the Registrar's office.
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- Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent. Applicants with an OSSD showing senior English and/or mathematics courses at the Basic Level, or with Workplace or Open courses, will be tested to determine their eligibility for admission; OR
- Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) certificate; OR
- General Educational Development (GED) certificate; OR
- Mature Student status (19 years of age or older and without a high school diploma at the start of the program). Eligibility may be determined by academic achievement testing for which a fee of $40 (subject to change) will be charged.
- English, Grade 12 (ENG4C or equivalent).
- Mathematics, (Grade 12 MCT4C) or (Grade 11 MCR3U) or equivalent.
- Applicants with (Grade 12 MAP4C with a grade of 60% or higher) or (Grade 11 MCF3M with a grade of 50% or higher) will be required to take additional preparatory mathematics as part of their program of study.
- Biology Grade 11 (SB13C or equivalent) with a minimum grade of 60%; OR
- Chemistry Grade 12 (SCH4C or equivalent) with a minimum grade of 60%, but both are recommended.
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Applications to full-time day programs must be submitted with official transcripts showing completion of the academic admission requirements through:
60 Corporate Court
Guelph, Ontario N1G 5J3
Students currently enrolled in an Ontario secondary school should contact their Guidance Office to apply. For all other applicants, applications are available online at www.ontariocolleges.ca. A $95 fee applies.
Applications for Fall Term and Winter Term admission received by February 1 will be given equal consideration. Applications received after February 1 will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis as long as places are available.
International applicants applying from out-of-country can obtain the International Student Application Form at
https://xweb.algonquincollege.com/FormIE/index.aspx or by contacting the Registrar's Office.
For further information on the admissions process, contact:
1385 Woodroffe Ave, Room C150
Ottawa, ON K2G 1V8
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For more information, please contact Melanie Brown, Program Coordinator, at 613-727-4723 ext. 5014 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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