Welcome to The University of Papua New Guinea’s School of Natural and Physical Sciences (SNPS). Congratulations on choosing the University as your preferred institution of study. We also hope that you have been vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

In planning your destiny and career path, you have chosen our School and our programs. It is now up to you to study hard, because SNPS builds knowledge, and provides the necessary training to prepare students who will contribute meaningfully to nation building. The nation`s development depends on those students who become part of the scientific, technologically responsible, and skilled work force. With their scientific knowledge, they will take leadership in developing this nation.

The School and the university community will assist you to achieve your desired professional development goals, and make studies enjoyable and exciting. There are many pathways available within the School of Natural and Physical Sciences, the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and the University, as UPNG is a multidisciplinary University. During the next three to four years, you will develop into trained professionals. The PNG Vision 2050 states that a smart, healthy, wise, appropriately skilled, honest, and responsible work force which is fully committed, proactive, and innovative is the kind that will deliver the Vision`s objectives. This very important policy document directive can only be fulfilled through an appropriately skilled, competent, and responsible work force that is well-developed. It is very important that you, as young scientists, decide on the part of our development programs in which you want to be actively involved.

Our nation is experiencing a dynamic and diverse period of development which is mainly driven by science and technology. We are now witnessing energy sector development, through the development of more liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects. The development phase has been completed, and shipments of LNG are ongoing, along with the current development activities that the country has witnessed during the past 50 years. These science-based developments include agriculture, fisheries, forestry, mining, petroleum, gas, food processing, breweries, ICT, climate change, sustainability, and so on, which are all supported by information and data through science and technology. These and other technologically oriented development projects have multiple facets of operations which require knowledgeable, specially trained professionals to oversee and drive them forward. Your acquired knowledge and professional training will develop and, sustain you, and make you responsible.

The School offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs in its six disciplines, including biological sciences, chemistry, earth sciences, environmental sciences and geography, mathematics, statistics, and computer sciences, and physics. These disciplines, or a combination of them, will lead to a Bachelor of Science Degree. The School has recently developed two exciting new programs - “Bachelor of Sustainable Development (BSD)”, and “Comprehensive Hazard and Risk Management (CHARM).” These programs have created more scientific areas and pathways after students have completed their Science Foundation Year. These programs will provide the knowledge and skills that employers demand from training institutions. These up-to-date, high quality courses in the various scientific disciplines will develop the key skills that are required in the workplace. Most of the teaching involves lectures, tutorials, seminars, laboratory practical, field work, and project work. While lectures cover theoretical aspects of subject areas, prescribed textbooks, resource materials, the Internet, and other assigned reading materials should also be used. Questions, problems, and issues will be discussed in tutorials and other forums to develop a better understanding of subject matter. Laboratory practical work and field experiences will develop familiarity with equipment, methodology, techniques, experimental design, and scientific report writing.

This knowledge will be assessed through tests, assignments, reports, essay writing, and final written examinations. Detailed information about courses will be provided by the School`s coordinator in the course outline, at the start of the lectures. Staff and students are also engaged in other academic activates, including research and consultancies on a wide range of topics that are important and relevant to PNG, the Pacific Region, and the world. Their published findings build new knowledge that provides valuable data which are subsequently incorporated into lecture notes. Become actively involved in your own educational development, rather than being a passive learner. Lecturers cannot cover everything in any given subject area. Become more proactive, ask questions, and learn more about issues that you do not understand.

The lecturers and tutors will help you, so use them for your benefit. If you wish to discuss any aspects of your studies, discipline, strand choices, future career interests, or the School`s facilities, you should meet the appropriate staff members during the School`s orientation session. Please seek assistance and direction from the divisional leaders and staff. SNPS students have several societies which you can join, and contribute to their activities. Your involvement in these societies will enrich your experience at the University. You will learn things that you may not normally experience.

We look forward to accompanying you on your academic journey and professional development. Exciting careers await those who complete a Science Degree!

Professor Simon Saulei
Executive Dean
School of Natural and Physical Sciences