Application period/deadline: March 14 - 28, 2018
• In-depth training in understanding structure-function relationships of proteins and their characterisation
• Strong focus on practical skills and use of most modern equipment in protein expression and analysis
• Highly flexible degree aimed at students with an interest in a research career, taught by an international staff
The International Master’s Degree Programme in Protein Science and Biotechnology is a two-year programme planned around the early integration of M.Sc. students into research groups and the hands-on use of modern biochemical and molecular biology equipment by individual students. Early exposure to research work provides insights into cutting edge approaches in structural and enzymology characterisation as well as cell and molecular biology methods. A completion of a minimum of 120 study units equivalent to ECTS credits is required to complete the master’s degree studies. The flexible programme includes courses in:
• Protein production and analysis (compulsory)
• Biochemical methodologies (compulsory)
• 3-6 week orientation to research work periods in research groups (compulsory)
• Basic aspects of crystallographic methods
• Structural enzymology
• Biochemistry of protein folding
• Systems biology
• Bioinformatics and biocomputing
• Structure-based drug discovery
Additional optional studies include (but are not limited to):
• Advanced biotechnology/bioprocess engineering
• Animal use in research
• Yeast genetics and genomics
• Information skills for foreign degree students
• Bioreactor technology
• Molecular bases of disease
In addition, up to 15 credits can be taken from other suitable courses taught at the Oulu University or any other university, as long as they are of the appropriate level and connected to biochemistry or logically support some aspect of the Protein Science and Biotechnology programme.
Due to the range of courses available in the programme, a wide variety of expertise that can be obtained during M.Sc. level studies at FBMM. The official diploma title received after successful completion of our international M.Sc. programme will be M.Sc. in Protein Science and Biotechnology. Depending on the course choices, the training received may also provide you with excellent proficiency in molecular and cellular biology.
The duration of the M.Sc. thesis research work is flexible depending on the interest of the students and may be three months (more courses/lectures taken) or eight months (longer M.Sc. thesis research period).
Significant number of students spend orientation to research work periods outside the Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine or carry out the research work for their MSc thesis abroad
The Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine offers a highly international environment of cutting edge research in Protein Structure analysis, Enzymology, Proteomics, Bioimaging, Developmental Biology, Matrix Biology and Metabolism research. About fifty percent of our staff are native to other countries than Finland, and research groups are well connected globally to other specialists and research groups in their fields of study. Many students holding an M.Sc. from our faculty have gone on to Ph.D. programmes of other prestigious institutions all over the world, and many have stayed at FBMM Oulu to continue in our Ph.D. programme.
The skills gained in the programme offer you the academic training and expertise required to succeed in a research environment, but will also open opportunities in biomedical and related industries.
Successful applicants should hold a B.Sc. or higher degree in Biochemistry, Chemistry or a related field in the natural or life sciences and have a good command of technical English language in biochemistry and molecular biology.
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.
This programme consists of two semesters of taught courses followed by a research project or industrial placement, leading to a dissertation.
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.
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).
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.
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.
You will learn through a variety of activities, including:
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.
By the end of the programme you will have gained:
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.
Pursuing a research degree at the School of Chemistry could be one of the best experiences of your life.
In addition to gaining research skills, making friends, meeting eminent researchers and being part of the research community, a research degree will help you to develop invaluable transferable skills which you can apply to academic life or a variety of professions outside of academia.
The Chemistry/Biology Interface
This is a broad area, with particular strengths in the areas of protein structure and function, mechanistic enzymology, proteomics, peptide and protein synthesis, protein folding, recombinant and synthetic DNA methodology, biologically targeted synthesis and the application of high throughput and combinatorial approaches. We also focus on biophysical chemistry, the development and application of physicochemical techniques to biological systems. This includes mass spectrometry, advanced spectroscopy and microscopy, as applied to proteins, enzymes, DNA, membranes and biosensors.
Experimental & Theoretical Chemical Physics
This is the fundamental study of molecular properties and processes. Areas of expertise include probing molecular structure in the gas phase, clusters and nanoparticles, the development and application of physicochemical techniques such as mass spectoscropy to molecular systems and the EaStCHEM surface science group, who study complex molecules on surfaces, probing the structure property-relationships employed in heterogeneous catalysis. A major feature is in Silico Scotland, a world-class research computing facility.
This research area encompasses the synthesis and characterisation of organic and inorganic compounds, including those with application in homogeneous catalysis, nanotechnology, coordination chemistry, ligand design and supramolecular chemistry, asymmetric catalysis, heterocyclic chemistry and the development of synthetic methods and strategies leading to the synthesis of biologically important molecules (including drug discovery). The development of innovative synthetic and characterisation methodologies (particularly in structural chemistry) is a key feature, and we specialise in structural chemistry at extremely high pressures.
The EaStCHEM Materials group is one of the largest in the UK. Areas of strength include the design, synthesis and characterisation of functional (for example magnetic, superconducting and electronic) materials; strongly correlated electronic materials, battery and fuel cell materials and devices, porous solids, fundamental and applied electrochemistry polymer microarray technologies and technique development for materials and nanomaterials analysis.
Students attend regular research talks, visiting speaker symposia, an annual residential meeting in the Scottish Highlands, and lecture courses on specialised techniques and safety. Students are encouraged to participate in transferable skills and computing courses, public awareness of science activities, undergraduate teaching and to represent the School at national and international conferences.
Our facilities are among the best in the world, offering an outstanding range of capabilities. You’ll be working in recently refurbished laboratories that meet the highest possible standards, packed with state-of-the-art equipment for both analysis and synthesis.
For NMR in the solution and solid state, we have 10 spectrometers at field strengths from 200-800 MHz; mass spectrometry utilises EI, ESI, APCI, MALDI and FAB instrumentation, including LC and GC interfaces. New combinatorial chemistry laboratories, equipped with a modern fermentation unit, are available. We have excellent facilities for the synthesis and characterisation of bio-molecules, including advanced mass spectrometry and NMR stopped-flow spectrometers, EPR, HPLC, FPLC, AA.
World-class facilities are available for small molecule and macromolecular X-ray diffraction, utilising both single crystal and powder methods. Application of diffraction methods at high pressures is a particular strength, and we enjoy strong links to central facilities for neutron, muon and synchrotron science in the UK and further afield. We are one of the world's leading centres for gas-phase electron diffraction.
Also available are instruments for magnetic and electronic characterisation of materials (SQUID), electron microscopy (SEM, TEM), force-probe microscopy, high-resolution FTRaman and FT-IR, XPS and thermal analysis. We have also recently installed a new 1,000- tonne pressure chamber, to be used for the synthesis of materials at high pressures and temperatures. Fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy instruments are available within the COSMIC Centre. Dedicated computational infrastructure is available, and we benefit from close links with the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre.
The Master of Science by Research degree in Biomedical Sciences is a 12-month, research only degree, in which the candidate will undertake a supervised research project in the broad area of Biomedical Sciences, in the School of Biology, University of St Andrews.
The candidate will be based in the interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences Research Complex (BSRC), based at the North Haugh Science Campus, St Andrews. The BSRC comprises research groups undertaking highly innovative, multi-disciplinary research in eleven broad areas of biomedical research, employing state-of-the-art techniques to address key questions at the leading edge of the biomedical and biological sciences.
There are eleven research themes running through the BSRC: Biophysics; Chemical Biology; Chemistry; Enzymology; Microbiology; Molecular Biology; Molecular Medicine; Parasitology; Structural Biology; Translational Biology; Virology. These interdisciplinary approaches bring together molecular biologists, chemists, computer scientists, geneticists, bioinformaticians and clinicians to challenge and further our understanding of disease, in terms of basic biological function through to medical intervention. Further details about the BSRC can be found here: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/bsrc/.
Candidates may approach potential supervisors in the BSRC directly (https://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/research/phd-study/phd-study-supervisors/phd-study-bsrc-supervisors/) or via advertised projects listed here (https://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/research/mscres/). We strongly recommend that potential candidates make contact with a potential supervisor before applying.
The School of Biology provides a unique and supportive environment for scholarship, amid a beautiful setting for university life. We are a highly research active School, with a diverse and vigorous post-graduate community. The School comprises a large number of research groups organised into three interdisciplinary Research Centres: the Scottish Oceans Institute (SOI), the Biomedical Sciences Research Complex (BSRC) and the Centre for Biological Diversity (CBD). Together these centres encompass the full spectrum of research in biological sciences, spanning investigations on the properties and behaviour of individual molecules through to planetary environmental dynamics. Our postgraduate students enjoy a supportive and welcoming environment, including the student-led ‘Bionet’ society that provides a wide range of networking and social opportunities.
Students in the MSc(Res) program will be assigned an Internal Examiner (IE) and Post-Graduate Tutor by the School. There will be a progress review meeting at three months to monitor and evaluate student progression, convened by the IE, with the student and Tutor in attendance.
In addition to the project-specific training that you will receive during your degree, Msc(Res) students will also have access to a wide range of training in transferable skills through the award-winning University of St Andrews GradSkills program, run by our Professional Development Unit CAPOD. Specific post-graduate programs run within the School of Biology may also offer additional training, for instance in statistical, bioinformatics or molecular techniques.
The degree requires submission and examination of a dissertation at the end of the one-year program. This thesis will consist of up to 30,000 words. The thesis will be evaluated by the IE and an External Examiner appointed at time of submission. Evaluation will be based on the written submission and there is no requirement for a viva voce examination.
For details of post-graduate tuition fees relevant to our research degrees including the MSc(Res), please visit:
Please apply via the University’s Post-Graduate Application portal: https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/pgr/home.htm
Chemical biology is the application of chemical tools and ideas to biological and medical problems. This programme is designed to build on an existing knowledge of chemical structure and reactivity to give you a thorough grounding in contemporary chemical biology and drug discovery as well as introducing you to topics from the research frontier.
You’ll be taught by experts from across the Astbury Centre in chemical biology, biophysics and medicinal chemistry using a "problem-based" approach. Visiting lecturers from the pharmaceutical industry will share their expertise in industrially-relevant applications of chemical biology and drug design with you.
Bridging the gap between your undergraduate degree in a core subject, and interdisciplinary research in chemical biology, you’ll develop the skills to solve real-life research problems, benefitting from a multi-million pound investment in fantastic research facilities. Rather than focusing on a single discipline, you’ll learn to use either chemical or biological approaches to tackle the problem in hand.
Royal Society of Chemistry Accreditation
The University of Leeds launched the first taught MSc degree in Chemical Biology in the UK. The course was one of the first two MSc courses in the UK to receive accreditation from the Royal Society of Chemistry; graduates from the programme with an appropriate first degree in chemistry satisfy the academic requirements for the award of Chartered Chemist (CChem) status.