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Masters Degrees (Biobusiness)

We have 4 Masters Degrees (Biobusiness)

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Programme description. This exciting MSc gives you the breadth and background to bridge disciplinary divides and tackle the environmental issues that face us all. Read more

Programme description

This exciting MSc gives you the breadth and background to bridge disciplinary divides and tackle the environmental issues that face us all.

This programme provides up-to-date knowledge of the contemporary issues and debates on the relationships between the environment, nature, culture and society.

This interdisciplinary programme draws on expertise from across the University, especially from geography, philosophy, theology, science, technology studies and development studies, providing a unique critical perspective.

You will develop the research skills and abilities to assess the importance and implications of geographical, philosophical and other theoretical debates which shape environmental policy and practice.

Our graduates are equipped to think critically, to generate new knowledge related to the environment, and to use this knowledge effectively to address urgent environmental challenges.

This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Environment & Society Academy.

Programme structure

This programme consists of six taught courses, including four option courses, studied over two semesters. In addition, students undertake an individual dissertation project.

Compulsory courses typically will be:

  • Values and the Environment
  • Political Ecology
  • Dissertation

Option courses:

In consultation with the Programme Director, you will choose from a range of option courses. We particularly recommend:

  • Archives: History, Geography, Politics
  • Culture, Ethics & Environment
  • Encountering Cities
  • Ethics in a Technological Society
  • Foundations in Ecological Economics
  • Foundations of the Bioeconomy
  • Global Environment: Key Issues
  • Research Design in Human Geography
  • Human Dimensions of Environmental Change and Sustainability
  • Understanding Environment and Development
  • Atmospheric Quality and Global Change
  • Distributed GIS
  • International Development in a Changing World
  • Key Concepts in Global Social Change
  • Soil Protection and Management
  • Principles of GIS
  • Principles of GIS for Archaeologists
  • Society and Development
  • Ecology, Ethics and Spirit
  • Marine Systems and Policies
  • Climate Change, Justice and Responsibility
  • Global Environmental Politics
  • Green Thoughts: Landscape, Environment and Literature
  • Methodological Debates in Human Geography
  • Urban Development
  • Biobusiness
  • Case Studies in Sustainable Development
  • Climate Change and Corporate Strategy
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Forests and Environment
  • Global Environment and Society
  • ICT for Development
  • Interpreting Development: Institutions and Practices
  • Land Use/Environmental Interactions
  • Man and the Natural World in the Enlightenment
  • Management of Sustainable Development
  • Sustainability of Food Production

Courses are offered subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change.

Career opportunities

Graduates have pursued careers in environmental policy, conservation, animal welfare, NGOs (environmental charities and development organisations), public consultation and PhD research.

Student experience

Would you like to know what it’s really like to study at the School of GeoSciences?

Visit our student experience blog where you can find articles, advice, videos and ask current students your questions.



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We offer an opportunity to train in one of the newest areas of biology. the application of engineering principles to the understanding and design of biological networks. Read more

We offer an opportunity to train in one of the newest areas of biology: the application of engineering principles to the understanding and design of biological networks. This new approach promises solutions to some of today’s most pressing challenges in environmental protection, human health and energy production.

This MSc will provide you with a thorough knowledge of the primary design principles and biotechnology tools being developed in systems and synthetic biology, ranging from understanding genome-wide data to designing and synthesising BioBricks.

You will learn quantitative methods of modelling and data analysis to inform and design new hypotheses based on experimental data. The University’s new centre, SynthSys, is a hub for world-leading research in both systems and synthetic biology.

Programme structure

The programme consists of two semesters of taught courses followed by a research project and dissertation, which can be either modelling-based or laboratory-based.

Compulsory courses:

  • Information Processing in Biological Cells
  • Social Dimensions of Systems and Synthetic Biology
  • Dissertation project
  • Practical Systems Biology
  • Applications of Synthetic Biology
  • Tools for Synthetic Biology

Option courses:

  • Neural Computation
  • Probabilistic Modelling and Reasoning
  • Functional Genomic Technologies
  • Bioinformatics Programming & System Management
  • Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine
  • Statistics and Data Analysis
  • Biobusiness
  • Gene Expression & Microbial Regulation
  • Bioinformatics Algorithms
  • Biological Physics
  • Computational Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Molecular Phylogenetics
  • Next Generation Genomics
  • Drug Discovery
  • Biochemistry A & B
  • Environmental Gene Mining & Metagenomics
  • Economics & Innovation in the Biotechnology Industry
  • Industry & Entrepreneurship in Biotechnology
  • Introduction to Scientific Programming
  • Practical Skills in Biochemistry A & B
  • Mathematical Biology

Career opportunities

The programme is designed to give you a good basis for managerial or technical roles in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. It will also prepare you for entry into a PhD programme.



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Programme description. Changing demographics and growing demand for food, fuel and agricultural and environmental sustainability are among the key challenges the world faces today. Read more

Programme description

Changing demographics and growing demand for food, fuel and agricultural and environmental sustainability are among the key challenges the world faces today.

In this MSc you will learn research and development skills to enable the creation of new products and services. You will investigate the economic basis for current biotechnology structures and areas of future demand, including the global pharmaceutical industry and carbon sequestration.

You will learn how technology can be applied to solve pressing real-world biological problems and gain the skills and expertise needed for future developments in biotechnology.

Programme structure

This programme consists of two semesters of taught courses followed by a research project or industrial placement, leading to a dissertation.

Compulsory courses:

  • Economics and Innovation in the Biotechnology Industry
  • Intelligent Agriculture
  • Principles of Industrial Biotechnology
  • Research Project Proposal
  • MSc Dissertation (Biotechnology).

Option courses:

  • Biobusiness
  • Biochemistry A & B
  • Bioinformatics
  • Bioinformatics Programming & System Management
  • Drug Discovery
  • Commercial Aspects of Drug Discovery
  • Environmental Gene-Mining and Metagenomics
  • Enzymology and Biological Production
  • Gene Expression and Microbial Regulation
  • Industry & Entrepreneurship in Biotechnology
  • Molecular Modelling and Database Mining
  • Practical Skills in Biochemistry A & B
  • Programming for the Life Sciences
  • Social Dimensions of Systems and Synthetic Biology
  • Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine
  • Vaccines and Molecular Therapies

Research and laboratory work

There will be a considerable practical element to the programme. You will work in a biotechnology laboratory and learn how experimental technology is designed and operated.

Industrial placement

Your dissertation can be based on a laboratory-based project or an industrial placement. You can work with employers in the thriving Scottish biotechnology sector in areas such as multiple sclerosis research (Aquila BioMedical), vaccines research (BigDNA) or biorecovery and bioregeneration (Recyclatec).

Career opportunities

The programme will open up a wide variety of career opportunities, ranging from sales and marketing, to research and development, to manufacturing and quality control and assurance.



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This academically challenging and career-developing programme focuses on research and development using biological and chemical principles and systems to create new products, services and industries. Read more

This academically challenging and career-developing programme focuses on research and development using biological and chemical principles and systems to create new products, services and industries.

You will employ elements of the developing field of synthetic biology to bring about significant changes and major innovations that address the challenges of rapidly changing human demographics, resource shortages, energy economy transition and the concomitant growth in demand for more and healthier food, sustainable fuel cycles, and a cleaner environment.

Programme structure

You will learn through a variety of activities, including:

  • lectures
  • workshops
  • presentations
  • laboratory work
  • field work
  • tutorials
  • seminars
  • discussion groups and project groups
  • problem-based learning activities

You will attend problem-based tutorial sessions and one-to-one meetings with your personal tutor or programme director.

You will carry out research at the frontier of knowledge and can make a genuine contribution to the progress of original research. This involves carrying out project work in a research laboratory, reviewing relevant papers, analysing data, writing reports and giving presentations.

Compulsory courses:

  • Applications of Synthetic Biology
  • Tools for Synthetic Biology
  • Social Dimensions of Systems & Synthetic Biology
  • Environmental Gene Mining & Metagenomics
  • Research Project Proposal
  • MSc Project and Dissertation

Option courses:

  • Biochemistry A & B
  • Introduction to Scientific Programming
  • Commercial Aspects of Drug Discovery
  • Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine
  • Biological Physics
  • Enzymology & Biological Production
  • Next Generation Genomics
  • Machine Learning & Pattern Recognition
  • Drug Discovery
  • Biophysical Chemistry
  • Bioinformatics Programming & System Management
  • Economics & Innovation in the Biotechnology Industry
  • BioBusiness
  • Molecular Modelling & Database Mining
  • Industry & Entrepreneurship in Biotechnology
  • Practical Skills in Biochemistry A & B
  • Functional Genomic Technologies
  • Information Processing in Biological Cells
  • Data Mining & Exploration
  • Gene Expression & Microbial Regulation
  • Bioinformatics
  • Principles of Industrial Biotechnology

Learning outcomes

By the end of the programme you will have gained:

  • a strong background knowledge in the fields underlying synthetic biology and biotechnology
  • an understanding of the limitations and public concerns regarding the nascent field of synthetic biology including a thorough examination of the philosophical, legal, ethical and social issues surrounding the area
  • the ability to approach the technology transfer problem equipped with the skills to analyse the problem in scientific and practical terms
  • an understanding of how biotechnology relates to real-world biological problems
  • the ability to conduct practical experimentation in synthetic biology and biotechnology
  • the ability to think about the future development of research, technology, its implementation and its implications
  • a broad understanding of research responsibility including the requirement for rigorous and robust testing of theories and the need for honesty and integrity in experimental reporting and reviewing

Career opportunities

You will enhance your career prospects by acquiring current, marketable knowledge and developing advanced analytical and presentational skills, within the social and intellectual sphere of a leading European university.

The School of Biological Sciences offers a research-rich environment in which you can develop as a scientist and entrepreneur.



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