This MRes programme aims to train students in the fast-growing area of synthetic biology, a discipline which takes the knowledge and understanding we now have of the individual parts of biological systems and uses them in a defined way to design and build novel artificial biological systems.
Students develop an understanding of the areas involved in synthetic biology, including engineering principles, mathematical modelling, advanced molecular biology, microbiology, biochemical engineering and necessary chemistry. Modules also provide the necessary skills for acquisition and critical analysis of the primary scientific literature and transferable research development skills. The programme includes a major research project that will provide in-depth training in synthetic biology research methods.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of three core modules (60 credits) and an extended research project (120 credits).
There are no optional modules for this programme.
All students undertake an independent laboratory-based extended research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000–18,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars and tutorials, combining research-led and skills-based modules. The taught modules are assessed by assignments and coursework. The research project is assessed by an oral presentation, submission of a dissertation and is subject to oral examination.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Synthetic Biology MRes
The Synthetic Biology MRes will qualify students to go on to work in the growing number of small companies engaged in synthetic biology both here in London and across the UK and the world. There are many large companies that are building their own synthetic biology potential and some of our students are already working with these groups. Our students often go on to do further research in PhDs and EngDs globally. Our graduates have practical experience of generating novel research with our unique facilities that makes them of great value to employers and collaborators.
Recent career destinations for this degree
Synthetic biology is a fast growing area of research and will have a major economic and social impact on the global economy in the coming decades. The involvement of molecular biologists, biochemists, engineers, physical scientists, chemists and biologists can create designed cells, enzymes and biological modules that can be combined in a defined manner. These could be used to make complex metabolic pathways for pharmaceuticals, novel hybrid biosensors or novel routes to biofuels. A future integration of biological devices and hybrid devices as components in the electronics industry might lead to a whole new high value industry for structured biological entities.
UCL is recognised as one of the world's best research environments within the field of biochemical engineering and synthetic biology as well as biological and biomedical science.
UCL Biochemical Engineering is in a unique position to offer tuition and research opportunities in internationally recognised laboratories that carry out synthetic biology research, and an appreciation of the multidisciplinary nature of synthetic biology research.
Students on this MRes programme undertake a major research project where topics can be chosen spanning the expertise in six departments across UCL.
The Masters in Mathematics/Applied Mathematics offers courses, taught by experts, across a wide range. Mathematics is highly developed yet continually growing, providing new insights and applications. It is the medium for expressing knowledge about many physical phenomena and is concerned with patterns, systems, and structures unrestricted by any specific application, but also allows for applications across many disciplines.
Modes of delivery of the Masters in Mathematics/Applied Mathematics include lectures, laboratory classes, seminars and tutorials and allow students the opportunity to take part in project work.
If you are studying for the MSc you will take a total of 120 credits from a mixture of Level-4 Honours courses, Level-M courses and courses delivered by the Scottish Mathematical Sciences Training Centre (SMSTC).
You will take courses worth a minimum of 90 credits from Level-M courses and those delivered by the SMSTC. The remaining 30 credits may be chosen from final-year Level-H courses. The Level-M courses offered in a particular session will depend on student demand. Below are courses currently offered at these levels, but the options may vary from year to year.
The project titles are offered each year by academic staff and so change annually.
Career opportunities are diverse and varied and include academia, teaching, industry and finance.
Graduates of this programme have gone on to positions such as:
Maths Tutor at a university.
Research in the Division of Genetics and Genomics aims to advance understanding of complex animal systems and the development of improved predictive models through the application of numerical and computational approaches in the analysis, interpretation, modelling and prediction of complex animal systems from the level of the DNA and other molecules, through cellular and gene networks, tissues and organs to whole organisms and interacting populations of organisms.
The biology and traits of interest include: growth and development, body composition, feed efficiency, reproductive performance, responses to infectious disease and inherited diseases.
Research encompasses basic research in bioscience and mathematical biology and strategic research to address grand challenges, e.g. food security.
Research is focussed on, but not restricted to, target species of agricultural importance including cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep; farmed fish such as salmon; and companion animals. The availability of genome sequences and the associated genomics toolkits enable genetics research in these species.
Expertise includes genetics (molecular, quantitative), physiology (neuroendocrinology, immunology), ‘omics (genomics, functional genomics) with particular strengths in mathematical biology (quantitative genetics, epidemiology, bioinformatics, modelling).
The Division has 18 Group Leaders and 4 career track fellows who supervise over 30 postgraduate students.
Studentships are of 3 or 4 years duration and students will be expected to complete a novel piece of research which will advance our understanding of the field. To help them in this goal, students will be assigned a principal and assistant supervisor, both of whom will be active scientists at the Institute. Student progress is monitored in accordance with School Postgraduate (PG) regulations by a PhD thesis committee (which includes an independent external assessor and chair). There is also dedicated secretarial support to assist these committees and the students with regard to University and Institute matters.
All student matters are overseen by the Schools PG studies committee. The Roslin Institute also has a local PG committee and will provide advice and support to students when requested. An active staff:student liaison committee and a social committee, which is headed by our postgraduate liaison officer, provide additional support.
Students are expected to attend a number of generic training courses offered by the Transkills Programme of the University and to participate in regular seminars and laboratory progress meetings. All students will also be expected to present their data at national and international meetings throughout their period of study.
In 2011 The Roslin Institute moved to a new state-of-the-art building on the University of Edinburgh's veterinary campus at Easter Bush. Our facilities include: rodent, bird and livestock animal units and associated lab areas; comprehensive bioinformatic and genomic capability; a range of bioimaging facilities; extensive molecular biology and cell biology labs; café and auditorium where we regularly host workshops and invited speakers.
The University's genomics facility Edinburgh Genomics is closely associated with the Division of Genetics and Genomics and provides access to the latest genomics technologies, including next-generation sequencing, SNP genotyping and microarray platforms (genomics.ed.ac.uk).
In addition to the Edinburgh Compute and Data Facility’s high performance computing resources, The Roslin Institute has two compute farms, including one with 256 GB of RAM, which enable the analysis of complex ‘omics data sets.
Postgraduate degree programme in Mathematical Modelling Masters/MSc:
Most things in the real world are complex and difficult to understand, from biological systems to the financial markets to industrial processes, but explaining them is essential to making progress in the modern world. Mathematical modelling is a fundamental tool in the challenge to understand many of these systems, and is an essential part of contemporary applied mathematics. By developing, analysing and interpreting mathematical and computational models we gain insight into these complex processes, as well as giving a framework in which to interpret experimental data.
To fully capitalise on these tools, there is a fundamental need in both academic research and industry for a new generation of scientists trained to work at the interdisciplinary frontiers of mathematics and computation. These scientists require the ability to assimilate and understand information from other disciplines, communicate with and enthuse other researchers, as well as having the advanced mathematical and computational skills needed.
In the Autumn and Spring semesters, you will take masters-level courses in both advanced mathematical modelling and computation, in addition to the core interdisciplinary skills needed for a career in this field. In the summer you will undertake a research skills project, working with research leaders in a related area such as biosciences, systems biology, chemical engineering or medicine, alongside mathematics and computation. This will provide directly relevant training for a career in academic, industrial or clinical research, for example biotechnology, industrial engineering or the pharmaceutical industry. A key component will be training specifically in multidisciplinary research and communication, a vital skill for whichever career path the MSc leads you to.
In the Autumn and Spring semesters, you will take masters-level courses in both advanced mathematical modelling and computation, in addition to the core interdisciplinary skills needed for a career in this field.
In the summer you will undertake a research skills project, working with research leaders in a related area such as biosciences, systems biology, chemical engineering or medicine, alongside mathematics and computation. This will provide directly relevant training for a career in academic, industrial or clinical research, for example biotechnology, industrial engineering or the pharmaceutical industry.
A key component will be training specifically in multidisciplinary research and communication, a vital skill for whichever career path the MSc leads you to.
This course is tailored to train students for careers in scientific research, and for employment in a wide range of industrial contexts, for example biotechnology, industrial engineering or the pharmaceutical industry. There is a considerable need for scientists with a strong mathematical and computational background who can communicate with experimental scientists; this MSc will provide you with specialised training, and through your research skills project, evidence that you can work in this multidisciplinary context.
Further transferrable skills developed through this course include team-working, oral and written presentation, problem-solving and time-management, particularly developed through the summer research skills project. Additional careers support is available through the School of Mathematics and from the University's career support team.