Biotechnology is defined as the industrial exploitation of living organisms or the exploitation of components derived from these organisms. Its practical applications include age-old techniques such as brewing and fermentation, which are still important today. In recent decades, gene modification has revolutionized the biotechnology industry, spawning countless new products and improving established processes.
More and more types of fermentation are being used, and most new medicines are products of biotechnology. Modern biotechnology has become an applied area of science with a multidisciplinary approach embracing recombinant DNA technology, cellular biology, microbiology, biochemistry, as well as process design, engineering, modelling and control.
Biotechnology is a broad, multidisciplinary area of science. A Master of Science in Biotechnology is an expert in one (group of) discipline(s) and has to have sufficient knowledge and skills in other disciplines to cooperate with experts from the other disciplines. Therefore, students specialise during the Master programme and learn how to solve complex biotechnological problems in a multidisciplinary team.
On the programme of Biotechnology page you can find the general outline of the programme and more detailed information about courses, theses and internships.
Within the master's programme you can choose one of the following Specialisations to meet your personal interests.
The first job after graduation, obtained by Msc biotechnologist, is often localised at a research institute or an university in- or outside The Netherlands. It usually concerns a research project or, more detailed, a PhD project: more than 50% of the graduated biotechnologist becomes PhD. Although most graduates choose for a career in science about 1/3 also starts in functions as engineer or technical expert. Read more about career perspectives and opportunities after finishing the programme.
This Masters in Biotechnology programme provides you with an advanced practical knowledge of biotechnology and molecular genetic technologies underpinning modern biotechnology and how they can be applied to solve real world problems. The programme offers training in a broad range of topics including environmental biotechnology, synthetic biology, plant engineering, stem cell therapies and vaccine development.
The programme is made up of five teaching modules and a dissertation project. Each module explores different aspects of biotechnology. The dissertation allows you to specialise the degree through a chosen field of research. You will undertake this project with the support and guidance of your chosen academic expert.
The aims of these five course are to
This programme will prepare you for a career in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industrial sectors or for entry into PhD programmes.
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.