Whether you are a new graduate or already employed and seeking to further your career prospects, this course offers a solid career development path. You can also choose this course if you wish to pursue research in biotechnology at PhD level.
Biotechnology is the application of biological processes and is underpinned by • cell biology • molecular biology • bioinformatics • structural biology. It encompasses a wide range of technologies for modifying living organisms or their products according to human needs.
Applications of biotechnology span medicine, technology and engineering.
Important biotechnological advances including
The course is led by academics who are actively involved in biotechnology research and its application to the manipulation of proteins, DNA, mammalian cells and plants. Staff also have expertise in the use of nanoparticles in drug delivery and the manipulation of microbes in industrial and environmental biotechnology.
You are supported throughout your studies by an academic advisor who will help you develop your study and personal skills.
What is biotechnology
Biotechnology is the basis for the production of current leading biopharmaceuticals and has already provided us with the 'clot-busting' drug, tissue plasminogen activator for the treatment of thrombosis and myocardial infarction. It also holds the promise of new treatments for neurodegeneration and cancer through recombinant antibodies.
Genetically modified plants have improved crop yields and are able to grow in a changing environment. Manipulation of cellular organisms through gene editing methods have also yielded a greater understanding of many disease states and have allowed us to understand how life itself functions.
You begin your studies focusing on the fundamentals of advanced cell biology and molecular biology before specialising in both molecular and plant biotechnology. Practical skills are developed throughout the course and you gain experience in molecular biology techniques such as PCR and sub cloning alongside tissue culture.
Core to the program is the practical module where you gain experience in a range of techniques used in the determination of transcription and translational levels, for example.
All practicals are supported by experienced academic staff, skilled in the latest biotechnological techniques.
Research and statistical skills are developed throughout the program. Towards the end of the program you apply your skills on a two month research project into a current biotechnological application. Employability skills are developed throughout the course in two modules.
The masters (MSc) award is achieved by successfully completing 180 credits.
The postgraduate certificate (PgCert) is achieved by successfully completing 60 credits.
The postgraduate diploma (PgDip) is achieved by successfully completing 120 credits.
Optional modules :
As students progress through the course they are exposed to a wide range of teaching and learning activities. The assessment strategy of the postgraduate course considers diverse assessment methods. Some modules offer dedicated formative feedback to aid skills development with assessments going through several rounds of formative tutor and peer feedback. Summative assessment methods are diverse, with examinations present in theory-based modules to test independent knowledge and data analysis. Several modules are entirely coursework-based, with a portfolio of skills such laboratory practical's and research proposals generated throughout the course forming the summative tasks. In all cases, the assessment criteria for all assessed assignments are made available to student prior to submission.
The course is suitable for people wishing to develop their knowledge of molecular and cell biotechnology and its application to solving health and industrial problems.
You can find career opportunities in areas such as
Students on this course have gone on to roles including experimental officers in contract research, research and development in scientists, diagnostics specialists and applications specialists. Many of our graduates also go on to study for PhDs and continue as academic lecturers.
With an emphasis on the application of knowledge and skills to real-world challenges, this course is designed for graduates looking to prepare themselves for a career in the biotechnology field, as well as for those in relevant employment. You will be able to use our excellent laboratories, such as analytical and fermentation facilities (plus a molecular biology research laboratory), to carry out advanced studies in applied microbiology and related aspects of biotechnology.
You will gain experience of applying up-to-date scientific knowledge in these areas to industrial situations and the analysis of environmental problems. Through a substantial research project, you will develop high-level skills in cutting-edge technologies, strengthen your problem-solving abilities and study a topic of your choice in greater depth. This modular course incorporates methods of sampling, analysis and data handling, investigation management, critical appraisal of literature, and the communication of scientific ideas.
Typical modules may include:
- Fermentation Biotechnology
- Molecular Genetics and Genomics
- DNA Data Mining
- Food Production and Deterioration
- Masters Laboratory Techniques
- Microbial Biotechnology
- Research Methods
- Research Project
Career paths vary from technical to managerial in the areas of general microbiology, environmental science, medical science and biotechnology (including pharmaceuticals). Many students progress to postgraduate research at academic or private sector institutions or embark on science teaching careers.
We offer a diverse cluster of awards with a number of course options. Whichever course you choose, you will find a strong practical emphasis in your studies, putting theories into practice, which will prepare you for employment in your chosen field.
We have excellent laboratories and facilities across all science-based subject areas, including a realistic scene of-crime suite, first-rate pharmacy facilities and new equipment for exercise physiology support. As a School of Science student, you will benefit from: quantitative real-time PCR, fluorescence microscopy, confocal microscopy and fluorescence activated cell sorting. Our biotechnology lab includes microbial and fermentation facilities, as well as sophisticated glasshouses which include facilities for growing tropical and xerophytic plants.