Program at a glance
Area of Study
Clinical and fieldwork placement
Open to International
At a glance image
Inspired by science?
Creative, meticulous and evidence-based — if you're interested in the variety of skills needed to make amazing scientific discoveries, this program is for you. Prepare for a career in cancer research, environmental protection, drug discovery, vaccine research and more. You can work straight out of the program in a wide range of labs, including those associated with biomedical and health-related biotechnology, forestry, fisheries, mining, agriculture, oceanography and the environment. Or, if your goal is a bachelor of science degree, you can transfer into third year studies at a BC university.
Whatever your goal, we can help
The two-year ACBT diploma program prepares you for laboratory work in areas such as cancer research, microbial disease research, drug development, plant biotech, or environmental protection.
You will benefit from the mentorship and guidance from dedicated faculty, whether your goal is employment in a lab, further study or simply a solid foundation for another educational experience.
What to expect
In your first year, you will take three academic terms (fall, winter and spring). Courses include a foundation in biology, chemistry, English, math and physics.
Build on your solid fundamental understanding of modern techniques in biotechnology with two more terms to deepen your skills in chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology and immunology.
After your second year, you can take an optional internship (minimum 300 hours) after completion of all the program courses. Students usually complete the work term between May and August.
The optional internship enables you to try out potential careers. In your second year, you'll have the opportunity to carry out a major project at an external laboratory.
This leads to an enhanced diploma with greater skills and work-related experience in your field of interest.
A foundation for further study
The majority of courses in the core program have university transfer credit. If you intend to pursue degrees in chemistry, biochemistry, immunology, biotechnology or microbiology you should consider this program as the first two years of your degree. This program also fits well with a pre-medical school studies plan.
You can apply for admission, with a full block transfer of your courses, to the third year of the BSc Environmental Sciences program or BSc Environmental Management at Royal Roads University or any program within the School of Environmental Sustainability.
Other transfer options include:
An investment in your career
The program will prepare you for a career in lab work or transfer into the third year of a bachelor's degree in chemistry, biochemistry or microbiology.
Estimated tuition (including optional internship)
Effective from September 1, 2020 to August 31, 2021.
Scholarships, bursaries and awards
There are many financial resources to tap into while you are at college to help with your education and living costs. Apply for scholarships & awards that are specifically given to program students, as well as awards specific to the School of Arts and Science.
You may also want to visit Financial Aid & Awards for more information about funding.
Access dedicated labs for program students
The department houses a number of dedicated labs where students gain experience in the analysis of organics, inorganics, and biomolecules. Students will receive training in lab safety, good lab practices, and lab technique. In addition, the tools or instruments chemists and biochemists use for analysis are a big part of their training. Students receive hands on training pertaining to the operation and use of lab instruments.
- Two Atomic Absorption Spectrometers (flame and graphite furnace atomizer) for the analysis of metals
- Gas Chromatograph (dual column with flame ionization and conductivity detector) for the analysis of volatile organics such as components in biodiesel and simple hydrocarbons.
- Two Agilent Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometers (GC/MS) for analysis of organic compounds at low concentrations such as parts-per-billion (ppb). Example compounds include pesticides in fruits and vegetables or PAH’s in water and sediment. Automated online extraction instrumentation such as solid phase micro-extraction is in use in 2nd year courses and in applied research projects.
- High Pressure Liquid Chromatograph with UV/Vis and Fluorescence detectors with data acquisition software for quantitative analysis of chemicals such as Bisphenol A
- UV/Vis scanning Spectrophotometers, IR Spectrophotometers, & Polarimeters for structural analysis of organic compounds
- Ion selective electrodes (e.g. Calcium, Fluoride, and Lead) are used in water quality testing etc.
Wet Chemistry Labs
- Analytical top loading balances and pH meters
- Standard volumetric and general laboratory glassware
- Extensive glassware used for organic and inorganic synthesis
- Solid phase extraction equipment and rotary evaporators are sometimes used to prepare samples for analysis
Biotechnology, Immunology, Biochemistry Lab
- Equipment for the biochemical analyses of cells and metabolites including blood glucose and cholesterol.
- Equipment and facilities for gene cloning and other recombinant DNA technologies
- Biosafety hoods and incubators for bacterial culture and tissue culture
- Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) thermocyclers for amplification of cloned genes and human DNA including qPCR instrumentation for the quantitation of gene copy number and gene expression levels.
- ELISA plate reader & other immunological assay equipment for the identification and quantification of antibodies or pathogenic bacteria
- Western blotting apparatus for identification of vaccine components
- Microfuge & high-speed refrigerated centrifuges for cell, DNA, RNA and protein isolation
- Gel-permeation, ion-exchange & affinity column chromatography for protein or DNA purification
- SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) equipment for the identification and characterization of proteins
- Agarose gel electrophoresis equipment for gene analyses
- Imaging analysis equipment and computer facilities for structure/function analyses of DNA, RNA and protein
- Biology subject page
- Chemistry subject page
- University Transfer
- School of Arts & Science
Curriculum & courses
Ready to get started? Get your application in for the September intake.
When you apply you will need to submit proof that you meet the following admission requirements.
Tip: Where a letter grade is specified, you must have proof of that grade or higher.
- C+ in English 12
- C in Camosun Alternative
- C+ in Math 12
- C in Camosun Alternative
- C+ in Biology 12
- C+ in Camosun Alternative
- C in Chemistry 12
- C in Camosun Alternative
And one of:
- C in Physics 11
- C in Camosun Alternative
Our Teaching Staff
Camosun College is fiercely proud of the excellent quality of its instruction. Our teaching staff are experienced, inspiring and supportive of our students' individual journeys.
Program Leader, ACBT
Department Chair, Chemistry and Geoscience
My passion for teaching began at the University of Victoria in 2008 where I worked as a Sessional Instructor. I moved to Camosun College the following year where my teaching responsibilities include, Chemistry 220; Inorganic Chemistry, Chemistry 120 and 121; College Chemistry I and II, Chemistry 110; General College Chemistry and Chemistry 100; Introductory Chemistry. I am the current Department Chair for Chemistry and Geoscience.
I completed my PhD in 1997, graduating from Loughborough University, England, and spent the next 10 years performing scientific research in a variety of Industries related to my academic studies, both here in Victoria and also in Europe.
Highlights of my professional career have included the research and development of electrochemical sensors for biomedical and environmental applications, development of cochlear implants and other neurostimulation devices, and managing the research facilities of a healthcare company supplying hospital sterilization monitoring equipment.
Instructor — Chemistry
Find a full list of courses and specific admission requirements.