Degree Type: 

Doctor of Philosophy


Department of Science Education

Programme Duration: 

2 years (Standard Entry)

Modes of Study: 


About Programme: 

Not Published 

Entry Requirements: 

 Application to the postgraduate programme should either be:


holders of research-based (MPhil) in Science Education preferably second class lower in the course work from a recognized university.


Applicant becomes a candidate for the PhD degree on after obtaining a minimum CGPA if 3.0 in the course work of the programme and should have obtained a minimum of Grade B in the research methods course.

Career Opportunities: 

 Courses offered at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels enable graduates to be high calibre educationists capable of using contemporary approaches and technologies to facilitate the teaching and learning process at all levels of the educational system. Products from the Department are well equipped to take leadership roles in the educational system as well as lead and conduct research in all issues related to Science Education.

Programme Structure

First Semester

ESC809: Theoretical Basis of Science Teaching and Learning
3 Credit(s)

This course aims at exposing students to an examination of the various psychological theories which underpins effective teaching and learning of science as well as a good range of students that support the theories. Students will be encouraged to come out with their own perspectives of teaching and learning based on the theories encountered in the course. Learning theories include those of Thorndike, Bruner, Gagne, Skemp, Vygostky, the Human Information processing psychologist, as well as the Gestalt psychological schools of thought will be covered in detail. The focus on these theories will also include arrange of studies that support the theories. The course will also explore the various learning styles and their relationships with the learning theories in science education.

Level 800

First Semester

CHE822: Solution Equilibria
3 Credit(s)

Almost all reactions that concern chemists take place in solutions rather than in gaseous or solid phases. The course hence aims at exposing students to solutions of reacting molecules in liquids. It offers students an understanding of a variety of physico-chemical phenomena and ease of handling and rapidity of mixing different substances. Students will also be exposed to polyprotic acids, second and third dissociation constants, colligative properties, and predominant species as a function of pH. This course focuses on providing students with an understanding of the various solution properties and explanation of variety of physicochemical phenomena. Special emphasis will be placed on the properties of solutes and solvents, thermodynamics of electrolytes, kinetics and transport properties. The course covers aspects of colligative properties, reactions in solutions, advance buffer calculations, formation constant expression for complexes and polyprotics, titration and titration curves, and equilibria in redox and non-aqueous systems.

ESC811: Philosophy of Science

Philosophy of Science offers a unique opportunity to study the foundations, practices, and culture of the sciences from a philosophical perspective. Students will study the philosophy of science from the ancient Greeks to the contemporary philosophers of science. The course will expose students to questions addressed by philosophy of science and epistemology. The course will examine various philosophies of science and their implications for the definition of science, the development of science, and the teaching and learning of science. In particular, the course will focus on philosophies such as logicism, intuitionism and formalism. Also, included are contemporary philosophies such as social constructivism and postmodern philosophies. Students will be required to relate the substantial issues in this course to their experience and practice.

ESC815: Quantitative Research Methods in Science Education
3 Credit(s)

This is the first of two courses in research methods aimed at providing opportunities for students to improve their research skills. The course will expose students to the theories that underpin the quantitative research paradigm. It aims at the development of the knowledge and skills of students to enable them conduct a variety of quantitative studies aimed at improving teaching and learning of science in schools and other educational settings. It is expected that at the end of the course students will write a research proposal for a study that could be the focus of their thesis. Topics to be covered include: Realism, subjectivism and the ‘paradigm wars’; Post-positivism, experiential realism and pragmatism; Sampling techniques; Various quantitative research designs, development of instruments, reliability and validity of instruments; Internal and external validity; Parametric statistics such as the t-test, one-way and two-way ANOVA, the F-distribution, correlation and simple regression analysis, used for hypothesis testing, will be applied in the course; Non parametric statistical tests such as, chi-square and the Mann-Whitney U-test will also be applied. The rationale for using these various statistics and the assumptions underlying their use will be a critical focus of this course. 

ESC851: Instructional Technology in Science Education
3 Credit(s)

Technological skill development is most effective when embedded in content instruction rather than mastering specific Information Communication Technology (ICT) tools in a vacuum.  This course is a shift of ICT teacher professional development towards science content-centric approaches which advocates teaching teachers how to teach with ICT tools to meet content learning goals rather than teaching teachers how to use the tool. The course will provide trainees’ opportunities to develop their Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) and skills to design, enact and evaluate ICT-based lessons using a variety of ICT tools that support different teaching and learning strategies. Topics to be covered include: The use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) such as internet resources, Java applets, Multimedia and spreadsheet; Online Educational Platforms (e.g. MOOC); Professional Learning Networks (PLN); TPACK as a framework for effective ICT integration; ICT application in didactic science teaching approaches and inquiry -based constructivist teaching approaches; and the use of Web quest.

ESC853: Contemporary Issues in Curriculum Studies in Science
3 Credit(s)

This course is designed to expose students to contemporary issues in curriculum studies and development in science education. The opportunity will be given to students to engage in some of the current complicated discourses in curriculum development, implementation, supervision and evaluation. Topics to be covered include: Understanding Curriculum in the following contexts: as Historical Text, Political Text, and Institutionalized Text; Gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity in a scientific and diverse milieu; Utopian vision, democracy and the egalitarian ideal; A vision of curriculum in the postmodern era.

MBB812: Biotechnology and Tissue Culture I
3 Credit(s)

Topics to be treated include Review of nucleic acid chemistry: DNA structure as a genetic material, RNA transcription and translation. The central Dogma theory: one-gene one –polypeptide, DNA-protein interactions. Regulation of gene expression. Microorganisms in Biotechnology, review of microbial genetics: screening, selection and strain improvement. Fermentation, Sterilization techniques and culture media preparation. Principles and practices of Tissue culture and initiation and maintenance of cell cultures. Somatic embryogenesis and organogenesis. 

PHY805: Computing and Numerical Methods
3 Credit(s)

Computer architecture, programme language, programme development and algorithms, interfacing, numerical methods in computing, application of filter design, Fourier analysis, digital filtering, fast Fourier transform.

PHY827: Atmospheric Physics
3 Credit(s)

Physics of the ionosphere; Interaction of electromagnetic radiation with the constituents of the middle atmosphere; Rarefied aerodynamics – a study of perturbation; Mesosphere as a transition region; Transport and dynamics in the middle atmosphere; Hydro magnetic behavior near neutral point; The model of the interplanetary magnetic field.

Second Semester

CHE812: Natural Products
3 Credit(s)

This course introduces students to basic knowledge within natural product chemistry including the distribution of selected secondary metabolites, their biosynthesis and bioactivity. Furthermore, the objective of the course is to provide students with knowledge on biotechnology-based production of secondary metabolites in particular bioactive natural products as well as knowledge on and experience with isolation, and quantification of secondary metabolites using chromatographic and spectroscopic techniques as well as bioassay-guided chromatographic fractionation.

CHE820: Separation Methods
3 Credit(s)

This course covers general concepts underlying techniques within the confines of analytical, physical, inorganic, and organic areas of Chemistry. Advanced treatment of topics such as solvent extraction, distribution ratios, and the pH effects of solution among others will be undertaken in this course.

CHE821: Organometallic Chemistry
3 Credit(s)

This course will look at the definition of organometallic compounds, reactions of organometallic compounds and synthesis of some of them. The course will help students identify organometallic compounds from other organic compounds containing metals.  The course will conclude with some catalytic processes and cycles.

CHE822: Electroanalytical Methods
3 Credit(s)

This course deals mainly with the fundamental principles of chromatography, liquid chromatography, gas chromatography, electrophoresis and other separation techniques. Instrumentation and fundamental concepts with broad relevance in many disciplines of Analytical Chemistry will be covered in the course. 

ESC804: Principles of Science Teacher Education and Supervision
3 Credit(s)

This course provides an overview of the components considered vital for leadership effectiveness. It is designed to prepare postgraduate science teachers to play leadership roles in the education system. Students will demonstrate a better understanding of the principles of science teacher education and supervision. Students will describe, practise and synthesize systematic steps required for supervision. This course will cover topics such as principles of professionalism for science educators; history of supervision; supervisory behaviours; principles of communication, observations, relationships and expectations (CORE); and tasks in supervision.

ESC810: Qualitative and Mixed Methods Approaches in Science Education Research
3 Credit(s)

The course will expose students to the theories that underpin the qualitative and mixed methods research paradigms. It aims at the development of the knowledge and skills of students to enable them conduct a variety of qualitative and mixed methods studies aimed at improving teaching and learning of science in schools and other educational settings. It is expected that at the end of the course students will write a research proposal for a study that could be the focus of their thesis. Topics to be covered include: Various qualitative research approaches such as case studies, content analysis, ethnography, phenomenology, teaching experiments, and grounded research theories; Sequential and concurrent mixed methods approaches; Validity and reliability. Development of qualitative instruments, as well as data collection methods, and analyses will also be explored both manually and the use of the NVivo software.

ESC814: Application of statistical methods in science Education
3 Credit(s)

The course will equip student with adequate theoretical background, content and statistical tools and techniques required for analyses of quantitative research data. For each of the statistical tools and techniques the objective is to provide opportunities for students to develop a conceptual understanding of what that statistical tool is, when to use it (including the underlying assumptions and how to test them), how to use it, and how to interpret the results. Students will be exposed to the use of Predictive Analytics Software (PASW) and Microsoft Excel to run the various analyses. Topics include: The Power of Statistical Test; Point-Biserial Correlation; Multivariate analysis of variance – MANOVA, Analysis of covariance – ANCOVA; Analysis of covariance – ANCOVA; Scale Construction- levels of measurement,  factor analysis, cyclical scale refinement; Multiple regression analysis; Structural Equation Modelling; Cluster analysis; Effect Size and Post Hoc Analyses; Various non-parametric statistics: Mann-Whitney, Wilcoxon, Friedman & Kruskal Wallis, Logistic Regression and Kendall’s concordance will also be discussed. 

ESC852: Research Practicum in Science Education
3 Credit(s)

This is a supervised research practicum course. It is designed to give students an opportunity to plan a small research and carry it through. Thus, the course provides flexibility for students to design, execute, analyze, present, critique, and revise research projects. The student is free to use any research design – quantitative, qualitative or a mixed method. The research does not need to be the eventual research to be conducted by the student though the freedom of this work leading to the student’s ultimate doctoral research is permitted. It is expected that each student will submit a 10 to 15 page report of their study at the end of the semester. Technically, for a typical research practicum, there is no or minimal teaching of new content. Consequently, only the following two topics will be covered to improve students’ writing skills: How to review a research paper and development of conceptual/theoretical framework for research.

MBB822: Biotechnology and Tissue Culture II
3 Credit(s)

Principles and practices of genetic engineering and recombinant DNA technology, isolation and purification of DNA and RNA, restriction enzyme, ligation, blotting, hybridization and autoradiography will be reviewed. Other topics will cover cloning in bacteria and eukaryotes, DNA mini-preps and electrophoretic analysis of library colonies. Plants regeneration such as somatic and embryogenesis and organogenesis as well as culture types are also covered. Some broad and transgenic animals and their applications, in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer, cloning and its potential applications will be discussed.    

PAR709: Advanced Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology
3 Credit(s)

The course will emphasize the construction and analysis of DNA/genomic libraries, preparation of synthetic oligonucleotide probes, purification and radiolabelling of DNA and hybridization. The course also covers also covers DNA amplification using Polymerase Chain Reaction and sequencing of the amplified DNA, Recombinant DNA technology involving site-directed mutagenesis as well as transformation and expression in vectors and hosts will be discussed. Detection and analysis of expressed proteins from cloned genes will also be considered.

PHY806: Laser and Optical Physics
3 Credit(s)

Laser sources, application formula, optical system design, He-Ne laser, spectroscopy, mode selections, stabilization methods, gas lasers, measuring techniques.