The UNESCO Advisory Commission for the establishment of the University of Lagos, in its report, recommended the establishment of a Faculty of science ‘as soon as possible’ not only to provide basic science training for its own sake, but also for the applied Science Faculties of Engineering and Medicine, as well as training of teachers; in view of the strong case made in the Ashby Commission Report for increasing the number of graduate teachers in Nigeria. The first phase in the development of the University began with the establishment of the Faculty of Science in October 1964. In October 1967, the Faculty was split into two schools i.e., the School of Biological Sciences, and the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences. Although the two schools were autonomous teaching units, each with its own Dean and Board of Studies; but they worked closely together through a joint Board of Studies. They also cooperated with the then College of Education in running B.Sc. (Education) programme. With effect from October 1973, the two schools along with the then Institute of Computer Science were finally merged to re-constitute the present Faculty of Science.
The precursor to the present School of Biological Sciences, the Biology Research Unit came into existence in September 1962 and engaged itself on three primary tasks: 1) the teaching of Biology in relation to man and to the then two sets of non-science students in the University, 2) conducting researches in the control of important food crops of Nigeria, and 3) studying the ecology of the University of Lagos permanent site (Akoka). Because of this policy and others stated above, emphasis was not placed on single subject honours but on two subject honours. This policy was later modified with the creation of single honours degree in Botany, Zoology and Biology.