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School of Sciences

SCOS Staff:

SCOS has 35 lecturers, with each course unit having specialized, full time staff. They bring their local and international exposure to bear upon their teaching.

Departments of SCOS:

The School of Sciences has three departments: The Department of Hospitality, The Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Applied Sciences.

Why Study at SCOS:

SCOS inculcates a practical or hands-on approach to students in its tourism, hotel and environment courses so that they have an appeal to the world of work.

SCOS Academic Programs:

From its two departments, SCOS offers post-graduate qualifications at Post-graduate Diploma, M.Sc and Ph.D levels.


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Enlarge photo: The School of Sciences.

The School of Sciences.


The School of Sciences was established by Nkumba University to provide challenging opportunity in university education for talented students with special interests and potential in applied sciences.  It offers a wide range of qualifications at the certificate, diploma, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral levels. Its academic programmes are regularly reviewed by the National Council for Higher Education and are ranked among the best in the country.  The profile follows. 

About the School of Sciences

Established in 1994, the School of Sciences evolved from the School of Hospitality and Environment Science as the newest of the six Schools at Nkumba University.  The School takes academic study and research as priority and strives to provide an attractive academic and social environment that both students and staff appreciate.  All talented and committed applicants with academic capability and potential to make the most of the opportunities that the School has to offer are welcome 

The Rationale for the Establishment of the School of Sciences 

Uganda is focusing on accelerated economic growth and improved social well-being for its people. The country’s national development strategy emphasizes the urgent transformation of the economy from that of a poor country to that of a middle-class industrial country. Development of scientific and technological capacity to propel this transformation of the economy effectively through enhanced and efficient productivity is embodied in practical scientific knowledge and well-trained human resources.  Continued socio-economic progress in all fields will require more and better use of scientific knowledge and more and better qualified human resources.  Nkumba University has, therefore, committed itself, in accordance with the purpose of its Strategic Plan, to addressing this lack of human capacity through searching for “new areas of academic enquiry, innovation, and practical application,” one of which is training in science and technology. Knowledge of science and technology is very crucial in to-day’s world; and that is why the science education that has been initiated at Nkumba University is geared towards providing the required training in scientific skills to meet the growing challenge for development.  The Government, in particular, recognizes in its policy that science education is no longer an option but an imperative in order to stop lagging behind in scientific and technological development. The problem has, however, been that the number of students pursuing science courses at institutions of higher education throughout the country has been decreasing.  Many of the students are switching from science to business studies, because of the belief that careers in the business fields are financially much more lucrative.  There is also the feeling, among many otherwise prospective students, that science subjects are too difficult, and they, therefore, tend to shy away from science. The challenge is, therefore, to provide both incentives and motivation for the pursuit of science and changing the attitude of students.  This is both difficult and complex but a start can be made.  One area to start with is to equip the School of Sciences to make it more science friendly and hence attractive. Nkumba University, having recognized the importance of science education, has gone ahead not only to create the School of Sciences to address the shortage of scientists, but also to meet one of the main challenges of acquiring funds to complete the Science Building, to install the laboratory infrastructures, and to purchase practical science equipment and supplies.  This will, indeed, continue to be a challenge for the University, but perhaps one of the avenues being pursued to help alleviate this difficulty is the support being sought from the private sector, particularly industries, which ultimately will benefit from scientifically trained qualified personnel coming out of the University. The other challenge already being closely scrutinized is the science curricula whose contents and structures are being updated to meet objectives and stimulate students’ interest in science education.

School Vision:
The vision of the School of Sciences is being the centre of academic excellence by developing multidisciplinary and inter-disciplinary research programmes and innovative undergraduate and graduate curricula, distinguishing itself among established science programmes, providing the best possible preparation for its students as they address the many scientific challenges facing human kind, and by addressing the needs of its stakeholders in the region and globally. Multidisciplinary and inter-disciplinary research programmes are thematically categorized into Applied Mathematical Sciences, Environmental and Evolutionary Sciences, Applied Pure Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, and Physics), Management and Technology of Natural Resources, Biomedical Sciences, Physics, and Chemistry. Thematic groupings are emphasizing the commitment of the School administration to research programmes that encourage cooperation and collaboration across disciplines. Thematic groupings acknowledge that finding answers to complex problems often requires multi-disciplinary expertise so that the growth of research programmes is not hampered by disciplinary boundaries. Innovative undergraduate and graduate curricula and foundational courses for science students are highly valued by the School. The school administration is committed to innovative pedagogies that increase the recruitment and retention of students in the sciences. The School has the wonderful opportunity to create and shape curricular programmes and offerings to provide both the scientific breadth and the depth required for graduates in the 21rst century. Providing the best possible preparation for its students as they address the many scientific challenges facing human kind gives enormous opportunities to develop a diverse workforce with a strong science preparation. An appreciation and commitment to diversity at all levels (students, staff and faculty) in the School and across multiple activities are essential for success of students. Contributing to addressing the needs of stakeholders and constituents in Uganda and internationally is in recognition of its responsibility and value to the public. Many young people are being underserved in access to higher education and in reaping the economic and intellectual benefits of a teaching and research university. Graduates of degree programmes are being well-prepared to contribute to solving complex problems that face the nation and the world. Access is the key to personal success in modern society and an important goal is opening doors to higher education to groups that have not traditionally had opportunities in higher education. The research programmes will continue have far reaching implications to advance the health and well-being of humans and the environment, while making fundamental discoveries about the world in which we all live.

School Mission: 

The mission of the School of Sciences is to offer relevant scientific knowledge and skills in research, teaching, and public service for sustainable development. Excellence in research forms the foundation upon which academic programmes flourish and translates to excellence in graduate education and undergraduate experiences. The School is developing stellar academic programmes for discoveries and applications in science and technology and for graduate and under-graduate education. The research and teaching programmes are serving as an economic engine for the nation and are contributing to development of a college-going culture not only in Uganda but also in the East African region and globally.

School Objectives

The main aim of the School of Sciences is to endow the students with sufficient knowledge in basic and applied scientific issues, basic ability to think logically, and the skills to utilize acquired knowledge to solve scientific problems in the various communities for their personal gains and the good of the society at large.  The specific objectives of the School are:

 (a)  To empower the students with scientific knowledge and skills so that they are able to ask questions that help them to learn about the world;figure out answers to their questions by investigating the world; learn about the world from books and other sources of information;communicate their findings to other scientists and the rest of society;reconstruct knowledge that they have partially forgotten 

(b) To mentor the students in scientific research 

Scientifically literate people are learners, as well as “knowers” of science.  Their theories about how the world works are constantly changing as they encounter new information through reading, personal experience, or active investigation of the world around them.  There are important similarities between the curiosity of childhood and the research programmes of mature scientists.  In particular, both children and scientists are driven by a desire to understand the world around them.  This drive needs to be encouraged and nurtured in schools and advanced at universities. Apart from teaching, the academic staff and students in the School are engaging themselves in active research and rendering extension services to community within and outside the University. The School is also expected to render outreach programmes through its facilities i.e. Botanical Garden and Herbarium (being developed) and other scientific facilities to various categories of interest groups.   

School Values  

The values that the School of Sciences upholds include (a) excellence in scholarship, (b) academic excellence in training scientists, (c) innovativeness in its research, teaching and relationships, (d) teamwork, (e) hospitality, (f) conduct, and (g) time management



The Office of the Dean:

Academic and research programmes of SCOS are coordinated by the Dean and assisted by three Heads of Department of Applied Sciences, Natural Resources Management, and Hospitality.  The Dean reports to the Vice Chancellor and works closely with the top management of the University.  There are forty three (43) academic staff and two (2) technicians; the Administrative Assistant, the Dean’s Secretary, the Secretary to the Heads of Department, and an Office Assistant provide the required technical and administrative support.  There is strong team work, devotion, and determination among the staff of the School to advance and excel. 


Department of Natural Resources:

The Department of Natural Resources is a strategic sector in the School.  It offers a wide range of training opportunities but focuses on practical management training programmes for would be managers of natural resources.   The programmes in this Department which include Environment, Wildlife, Forestry, Fisheries, Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Agribusiness/Sustainable Agriculture are offered at Ph.D., M.Sc., Post-Graduate Diplomas, Diploma, and at times at Certificate levels. 


Department of Hospitality:

The academic programmes in this sector are linked with the growing tourism industry in the country as well as regionally and internationally.  With the increasing number of private entrepreneurs’ ventures, the courses offered at Degree, Diploma, and Certificate levels in Tourism, Hotel Management and Institutional Catering are readily marketable. 


Department of Applied Sciences:

The Department of Applied Sciences offers training opportunities that focus on Environmental Health, Applied Biological Sciences, Public Health, and General Nursing.  There is an increasing interest in applied sciences due to the growing need to use science for sustainable health of the environment, natural resources, and humans.

With the School’s recent evolution into the School of Sciences that aims to enhance human sciences in the development of the country, SCOS stands out more markedly as a place for students to pursue science studies. The School aims to achieve its Vision and Mission by factoring into three crucial elements:A distinct hands-on approach and rich subject matter; A well endowed learning environment; and, High quality academic staff.


Added on: Friday, June 24th, 2011

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