A laboratory is a structure in which scientific experiments are performed under conditions the scientist is capable of manipulating. B.Sc Laboratory Technology is a science-based programme, which trains students in the techniques needed to run laboratories. The students are trained in minute measurements and analysis of cells of living things, as well as analysis of elements, atoms and molecules. They are also trained to validate the quality of equipment used in the laboratory, calibration of these equipment, and how to properly record research results in the laboratory. Students are taught how to control conditions like temperature, humidity, and pressure, among others in the laboratory to suit the experiment or research work being undertaken. Students are trained in how to ensure aseptic and microorganism free environments in the laboratory, and how to ensure that there is no contamination of materials being analysed. This is a very critical aspect of the programme because contamination could result in wrong results after analysis, which is particularly dangerous in the field of medical laboratory technology. Safety techniques are also covered in the programme so scientists do not endanger their lives in undertaking any laboratory procedure.
The main objectives of the programme are:
i. to train high caliber laboratory technologists to manage laboratories of educational institutions, industries and research establishments in line with objectives of the current educational reforms,
ii. to produce graduates with technical skills who with further training could function as teachers in technical education.
(i) Candidates must have passes in Core English, Core Mathematics and Core Science.
(ii) In addition to the above, candidates must have obtained aggregate 10 or better in Physics, Mathematics, and either Chemistry or Biology at grades not lower than D in three (3) of the following elective subjects: Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry and Physics with grades not lower than D in Biology and one (1) other Science subject.
The health sector remains the largest sector of operation for laboratory technicians. They work mainly as medical laboratory technicians in hospitals and private medical research laboratories. In other sectors like agriculture, biochemistry, and food processing, laboratory technicians play roles in running laboratories in which research work is done. Fields of biotechnology and bioremediation also use the services of laboratory technicians. In the mining sector, state of the art laboratories are operated where metals that are mined from the earth are analysed to test their quality. In the pharmaceutical and manufacturing industry, laboratory technicians are also employed to run labs where the efficacies of drugs are tested before they are released onto the market.