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Masters Degrees (Cosmetic Science)

We have 7 Masters Degrees (Cosmetic Science)

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The programme is designed to educate, train and cater for the high demand from companies seeking postgraduate students with expertise in formulation, testing and regulations related to the cosmetics industry in the UK and globally. Read more
The programme is designed to educate, train and cater for the high demand from companies seeking postgraduate students with expertise in formulation, testing and regulations related to the cosmetics industry in the UK and globally.

•The only Cosmetic Science MSc available in the UK
•Designed in consultation with industry to enable students to develop the academic knowledge and practical skills required by cosmetics companies
•Enhance your knowledge of cosmetic products and gain hands-on laboratory experience
•Develop an in-depth understanding of the safety and regulatory requirements
•Potential research opportunities with industry partners
•Acquire business knowledge and skills to create and launch new cosmetic products

The programme has been designed to introduce new concepts, ideas and methods to students, whilst also encouraging them to become more independent thinkers.

​Course content is delivered via a combination of interactive lectures, workshops, seminars and project work. Practical skills are developed through a variety of practical activities.

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

• Research Methods

Equips students with the necessary core skills to effectively design, plan, perform and report scientific research.

• Formulation and Characterisation of Cosmetics

Covers the application of raw materials and cosmetic formulations.

• Physiology and Toxicology

Gain knowledge and understanding of human physiology and toxicology of raw and active materials used in cosmetic products.

•​Safety Assessment of Cosmetics

Covers the regulatory framework, including the chemical safety assessment of cosmetic ingredients in the UK, EU and worldwide.

• Manufacture of Cosmetics

This module covers the scale-up for manufacturing and packaging attributes of relevance to cosmetic formulations. In addition, students will acquire the knowledge, understanding and application of microbiological testing.

• Business Planning for Cosmetic Products

Enables students to analyse and identify a commercially viable cosmetic product and produce a business plan to enable to the product to be launched.

• Research Project

An independent, in-depth study of an agreed aspect of cosmetic science researched in an appropriate manner.

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IN BRIEF. Train for a career in the newly emerging industries of the post-genomic eraWork at the interface between biology and chemistryExcellent career prospectsPart-time study optionInternational students can apply. Read more


  • Train for a career in the newly emerging industries of the post-genomic eraWork at the interface between biology and chemistryExcellent career prospectsPart-time study optionInternational students can apply


Following completion of the Human Genome Project, the pharmaceutical industry is preparing for a revolution in cancer and inherited disorder therapies. This course is training a new generation of bioscientists to meet challenges at the interface between biology and chemistry, and to apply pharmaceutical and analytical knowledge directly to improve quality of life.

The course develops a broad knowledge and conceptual base in the field of drug design and discovery, with an emphasis on new developments and advances in drug identification, understanding drug pharmacology and novel therapeutics, and appreciating how these topics interact with bioscience businesses and enterprise.

This programme is designed to enable you to gain systematic knowledge and critical awareness of current problems and new insights regarding the analysis of biomolecules. There is particular reference to drug design and discovery, along with a comprehensive and critical understanding of applied techniques and their current application in research in the field of biomolecule analysis and drug design.

This course is aimed at students who wish to acquire the specialised skills needed to design drugs for the 21st century. It is ideal for anyone with primarily either a chemistry or biochemistry based undergraduate degree wishing to broaden their knowledge base. The part-time route is well suited to those who already work in industry as it is possible to carry out research projects within the place of work. Prospective students must be committed to developing their skills and knowledge for a career in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology sectors.


Teaching is through:

  • Lectures to provide thorough grounding in the techniques of biomolecule characterisation and drug design.
  • Practical sessions and workshops to demonstrate techniques and methods used in biomolecule characterisation and drug design, and provide a structured opportunity for you to practice techniques and methods in analytical biosciences and drug design.
  • Guided reading that will recommend texts, key articles and other materials in advance of, or following, lecture classes.  
  • The research project which will enable you to practice the application of appropriate, and selected, bioscientific techniques in an academic or industrial context, and demonstrate research methodologies and skills appropriate to and valuable with biomolecule characterisation and drug design. During your research project You will be supervised by expert staff who are actively engaged in international research programmes.


There are eight taught 15 credit modules each of which have only one assessment (100%). Each exam is 2 hours.


Although particularly relevant to those looking for a career in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, this course will also equip you for a career in research, teaching and many other professions including cosmetic science, animal health, food science, medical laboratory research, patent law, scientific journalism and health and safety.


Research projects may be carried out at other institutions (recently Universities in Bremen or France and the Paterson Institute, UK). We also invite visiting lecturers to share their expertise on the subject areas.


After completion of this course you may wish to specialise in a chosen subject area in one of the School’s two main research centres: Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre (EER) or Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).

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Our MSc in Skin Ageing and Aesthetic Medicine is specifically designed for qualified medical or dental practitioners who wish to develop their knowledge in the field of cosmetic medicine. Read more
Our MSc in Skin Ageing and Aesthetic Medicine is specifically designed for qualified medical or dental practitioners who wish to develop their knowledge in the field of cosmetic medicine.

This course seeks to develop future leaders in aesthetic practice by offering a high quality programme at an internationally recognised institution.

This MSc is an intensive part-time postgraduate taught programme encompassing the science of skin ageing and aesthetics, the application of evidence-based practice, the clinical assessment and management of patients presenting with aesthetic problems.
You will be encouraged to develop a translational, professional approach to learning throughout the course, which can be applied to your future learning.

In addition, supervision and training is provided by national and international leaders in the field of aesthetic research, regulation and clinical practice.

The unique amalgamation of research and clinical expertise in Skin Ageing and Aesthetic Medicine at The University of Manchester and Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust allows us to develop a unique programme supported by an interdisciplinary faculty of dermatologists, plastic surgeons, oculoplastic surgeons, maxillo-facial surgeons, dentists and psychologists in addition to skin ageing and wound research basic scientists.


The aim of the programme is to develop professionals with the ability to apply scientific principles and the latest evidence base to the practice of skin ageing and aesthetic medicine. You will develop clinical knowledge, specialist practical skills and critical awareness of non-surgical procedures supported by leading experts in the field.

Special features

We offer specific patient-centred teaching underpinned by evidence-based theory to ensure students understand the relationship between practical and theoretical aspects of aesthetic practice.

Each student will be provided with one-to-one tutor support throughout the programme with small group sessions and bedside training with volunteer models during the clinical sessions.

The programme has been recognised as a gold standard for education in aesthetic practice by the UK Higher Education governing body: Higher Education England. It aligns directly with the outcomes of the UK Department of Health review on cosmetic practice and General Medical Council guidance in this area.

As a Russell Group university, Manchester is a centre for world-class research, outstanding learning and student experience and social responsibility. The University of Manchester Dermatological Research Sciences group sits within the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health and is led by Professor Chris Griffiths. The centre is recognised as global leader in basic science, translational and clinical research in skin health and disease.

The programme is run in collaboration with The Dermatology Centre at Salford Royal Foundation Trust, one of the largest clinical dermatology units in the UK.

As a University of Manchester master's-level degree programme, this course will offer content and assignments meeting rigorous criteria to support development expected of aesthetic practice leaders of the future.

Teaching and learning

The programme structure has been designed using established educational theory and practices to enhance student experience and learning.

The University of Manchester virtual learning environment (Blackboard) guides participants through module content, assessment submission and programme information.

Modules utilise blended teaching methods aligned with learning outcomes and assessment. The course contains e- learning case work, small group work, interactive forums, clinical debriefs, and practical sessions with volunteer models. Students are taught in small ratios (1:5) to maximise opportunities for clinical learning.

We hold two face-to-face 6-day residential sessions during the first 24 months of programme, one in each of the two first years. Both of these will be scheduled in the second semester and dates should be circulated in September. Attendance in at the residential sessions is compulsory for all students.

An initial Induction Day is held in Manchester at the start of the first academic year to familiarise participants with the on-line e-learning software and library resources. Attendance at the Induction Day is also compulsory for all students.

Coursework and assessment

You will be required to pass group and written assignments for each module. Those with a highly practical element will also include assessments of procedural skills.

Career opportunities

With the gap in training highlighted by the UK government review of cosmetic practice, it is likely all aesthetic practitioners in the UK will need to provide evidence of their credentials.

This programme does not provide a professional competence framework, but goes beyond this to offer integrated knowledge and the application of critical skills enveloped within high quality professional behaviours.

Those who complete this programme will be forerunners in acquisition of a comprehensive knowledge base which can be applied to their future or current clinical practice.

Students from the UK and abroad will benefit substantially from the opportunity to complete a programme from one of the world-leading institutions in skin health and research.

The master's element of the course will be assessed through a written dissertation (12,000 words).

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Distance learning. This advanced course is designed for qualified Plastic Surgeons who want to develop their medical knowledge, clinical competence and patient skills within the Cosmetic and Aesthetic fields. Read more


Distance learning


This advanced course is designed for qualified Plastic Surgeons who want to develop their medical knowledge, clinical competence and patient skills within the Cosmetic and Aesthetic fields. Our accredited course will develop the clinical knowledge and skills you’ll need to practice safe, efficacious ethical surgery. By the time you graduate you’ll have a thorough grasp of the key surgical techniques and the ability to apply them appropriately, in line with clinical needs, ethical considerations and patients’ wishes. The course will also train you to critically evaluate emerging research and to incorporate it into your practice, and to lead clinical, technical and service developments.

Our course combines a significant practice component with research studies and a major dissertation. You’ll be assessed on the below elements by:
1) 2 vivas examining the case studies presented and reports you submit from the course’s practice component
2) your portfolio containing a further 30 case studies, which must cover the 14 compulsory procedures
3) your log book detailing the cases you’ve undertaken
4 ) An essay of 6,000 words exploring professional decision making
Your Major Project, which is a 15,000- word report or research paper including critical discussions and reflections on how your findings apply to practice.

The Plastic Surgeons under instruction will observe, assist, be assisted and then operate independently but under the supervision of an experienced University appointed preceptor. They’ll care for their own private patients some of whom will be referred from their preceptor Surgeon. The Preceptor Surgeons are also members of the British Association of Plastic Reconstructive Aesthetic Surgeons.

This course will equip you to develop your career in private practice as a specialist aesthetic and cosmetic plastic surgeon. For six months during the course you’ll receive one-to-one supervision from a qualified consultant aesthetic plastic surgeon who is a registered member of UKAAPS. During this time you’ll observe them at work and carry out procedures under their expert supervision. This will provide the basis for much of your written work on the course. Our course is accredited by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.

On successful completion of this programme, you will be awarded a Master of Surgery which entitles you to use MCh after your name. MCh is an abbreviation of Magister Chirurgiae, the Latin for Master of Surgery. Master of Surgery, rather than MCh, will appear on your certificate.

Core modules, all stages

Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Practice

Core modules, PG Diploma and MCh stage

Advancing Professional Decision Making
Research Studies

Core modules, MCh stage

Major Project

Please note that you will need to complete all of the above core modules. This course does not have any optional modules. Modules are subject to change and availability.

Start dates

September 2017

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The Biotechnology MSc within the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) provides you with key skills, specialist knowledge and essential training for a career in industrial or academic bioscience. Read more

About the course

The Biotechnology MSc within the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) provides you with key skills, specialist knowledge and essential training for a career in industrial or academic bioscience. Increasingly, biotechnology companies are recruiting Master’s students with specialised skills to perform jobs previously the reserve of Doctorate level scientists.
At the end of the course you will be able to meet the challenges of biotechnology, demonstrate critical thinking and solve problems, exploit opportunities, and know how ideas can be turned into viable businesses or a successful grant application.

Why study Biotechnology at IBERS?

You want specialist experience and knowledge in biotechnology research and commercial application to give you a competitive edge in the job market and underpin your successful career. IBERS has the credentials to deliver these goals.

With 360 members of staff, 1350 undergraduate students and more than 150 postgraduate students IBERS is the largest Institute within Aberystwyth University. Our excellence in teaching was recognised by outstanding scores in the National Student Satisfaction Survey (2016), with three courses recording 100% student satisfaction and a further 10 scoring above the national average. The latest employability data shows that 92% of IBERS graduates were in work or further study six months after leaving Aberystwyth University. The most recent joint submission to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) displayed that 78% of our research as world-leading or internationally excellent, 97% of our research is internationally recognised, and 76% judged as world-leading in terms of research impact.

IBERS is internationally-recognised for research excellence and works to provide solutions to global challenges such as food security, sustainable bioenergy, and the impacts of climate change. IBERS hosts 2 National bioscience facilities: The National Plant Phenomics Centre –a state of the art automated plant growth facility that allows the high throughput evaluation of growth and morphology in defined environments, and the BEACON Centre of Excellence for Biorefining - a £20 million partnership between Aberystwyth, Bangor and Swansea Universities set up to help Welsh businesses develop new ways of converting biomass feedstocks and waste streams into products for the pharmaceutical, chemicals, fuel and cosmetic industries.

IBERS has a track record of working with academic and industrial partners to develop and translate innovative bioscience research into solutions that help mitigate the impacts of climate change, animal and plant disease, and deliver renewable energy and food and water security.

Course structure and content

In the first 2 semesters the course focuses on 2 key areas of biotechnology: industrial fermentation (manufacturing processes, feedstock pretreatment, fermentation, and the biorefining of low cost feedstocks to high value products) and plant biotechnology (synthetic biology, gene editing, precision genome modification, transformation technologies, up and down gene regulation and silencing, and gene stacking). In addition you will receive practical training in state of the art molecular and analytical bioscience techniques and technologies, and learn of marine, food and health biotechnology, and how the sustainable use of bio-resources and bioscience can help meet the needs of the growing human population. All course modules are delivered by academics and professional practitioners at the forefront of activity in the field.

In the final semester you will work on your own research project with your dissertation supervisor. This could be a project of your own design and will focus on an aspect of biotechnology that you found particularly interesting; it may even be something that you want to develop as a business idea in the future. During your dissertation project you will use the knowledge and the skills that you gained during the first 2 semesters. Your dissertation project will give you an opportunity to become an expert in your topic and to develop research skills that will prepare you for your future career in biotechnology. Your tutor will mentor you in hypothesis driven experimental design, train you in analytical techniques e.g. gas and liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, vibrational spectroscopy, fermentation, product isolation, biomass processing, analysis of complex experimental data, and the formation of robust conclusions. You will also be guided in writing your dissertation.

Core modules:

- Bioconversion and Biorefining
- Frontiers in Biosciences
- Research Methods in the Biosciences
- Current Topics in Biotechnology
- Crop Biotechnology
- Biotechnology for Business
- Dissertation


There is great demand nationally and internationally for skilled graduates in Biotechnology, indeed the UK Biotechnology and Biological research Council (BBSRC) have made ‘Bioenergy and Biotechnology’ a strategic priority for science funding. The sector is expanding rapidly and provides excellent employment opportunities for biotechnology graduates. A recent report for the British research councils estimated that in the financial year 2013/14, British industrial biotechnology and bioenergy activities involved around 225 companies and generated £2.9billion of sales. The biotechnology industry makes a significant contribution to the United Kingdom’s net exports, equivalent to £1.5 billion and offsetting 4% of the country’s total trade deficit. In this year alone, biotechnology attracted £922 million in investment (4.6% of investment in the UK by the private sector). In the same year the biotechnology industry employed approximately 8,800 jobs in the UK in jobs ranging from scientists, technicians and analytical staff, and an extimated 11,000 additional jobs in UK suppliers and support industries - see http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/documents/capital-economics-biotech-britain-july-2015/. These figures are typical of international trends and students graduating from the Biotechnology MSc at IBERS will be very well placed to follow a career in the Biotechnology sector.

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