Masters degrees in Botanical Biotechnology administer training in the molecular scrutiny of plants and their outputs for use in various industries including agriculture, medicine and pharmacology.
Related specialisms and subjects include Ethnobotany, Plant Taxonomy and Plant Genetics. Entry requirements normally include an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject, such as Plant Science, Biology, or Chemistry.
You can structure your Masters degree to suit your career needs. For example, if you have an interest in conservation and wildlife, or would like to work internationally, you may wish to focus on tropical plant species. For a career in agriculture, you may focus on plant breeding and transgenic (genetically modified) organisms for roles in crop production or food chain management.
The general knowledge and practical training that you will acquire - such as structural biology, cell imaging, lab testing, and experimental growing – would also make you suitable for other careers. These include: consultancy positions in government agencies; officiating roles within NGOs, charities and international organisations; research roles, for which you may wish to pursue a PhD after your Masters.
In recent years the study of plant sciences has been revolutionised by the development of new tools and technologies which have allowed unprecedented progress in the study of plant biology – knowledge which is being applied to develop sustainable solutions to some of the major challenges of the 21st century.
This course will give you specialist training in the modern molecular aspects of plant science. A large part of your teaching will be delivered by academics from the University’s Centre for Plant Sciences (CPS) linked to the latest research in their areas of expertise.
You’ll explore the wide ranges of approaches used in biomolecular sciences as applied to plant science. This will cover theory and practice of recombinant DNA and protein production, bioimaging using our confocal microscope suite, practical bioinformatics and theories behind ‘omic technologies.
You’ll also learn how to design a programme of research and write a research proposal, read and critically analyse scientific papers in plant science and biotechnology and present the findings. A highlight of the course is your individual 80 credit practical research project.
The course is 100% coursework assessed (although some modules have small in course tests). Our teaching and assessment methods are designed to develop your independent thinking, problem solving, communication skills and practical ability, making you attractive to employers or providing an excellent foundation for further study (eg PhD).
You’ll study in a faculty ranked 6th in the UK for its research impact in the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014).
You’ll study in a stimulating environment which houses extensive facilities developed to support and enhance our faculty’s pioneering research. As well as Faculty operated facilities, the CPS laboratories are well equipped for general plant research. There is also a plant growth unit, including tissue culture suites with culture rooms, growth rooms and flow cabinets alongside transgenic glass-houses to meet a range of growth requirements.
On this course you’ll gain an overview of a range of modern techniques and methodologies that underpin contemporary biomolecular plant sciences.
You’ll also apply your knowledge to an extended practical investigation in the form of a laboratory-based mini project, involving practical training in a range of modern molecular biology and protein engineering techniques such as gene cloning, PCR, mutagenesis, protein expression, protein purification and analysis.
A module on plant biotechnology will address current topics such as the engineering of plants, development of stress-tolerant crop varieties and techniques for gene expression and gene silencing through reading discussion and critical analysis of recent research papers.
You’ll learn from the research of international experts in DNA recombination and repair mechanisms and their importance for transgene integration and biotechnological applications; plant nutrition and intracellular communication; and the biosynthesis, structure and function of plant cell walls.
You’ll also explore the wide range of approaches used in bio-imaging and their relative advantages and disadvantages for analysing protein and cellular function. Bioinformatics and high throughput omic technologies are crucial to plant science research and you will take modules introducing you to these disciplines.
In the final part of the course you'll work on an independent laboratory-based research project related to your course options. You’ll receive extensive training in experimental design, the practical use of advanced techniques and technologies, data analysis and interpretation, and will be assigned a research project supervisor who will support and guide you through your project.
You’ll have access to the very best learning resources and academic support during your studies. We’ve been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2017), demonstrating our commitment to delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for our students.
Your learning will be heavily influenced by the University’s world-class research as well as our strong links with highly qualified professionals from industry, non-governmental organisations and charities.
You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods including formal lectures, interactive workshops, problem-solving, practical classes and demonstrations.
Through your research project and specialist plant science modules, you’ll receive substantial subject-specific training. Our teaching and assessment methods are designed to develop you into a scientist who is able to think independently, solve problems, communicate effectively and demonstrate a high level of practical ability.
We use a variety of assessment methods: multiple-choice testing, practical work, data handling and problem solving exercises, group work, discussion groups (face-to-face and online), computer-based simulation, essays, posters and oral presentations.
The strong research element of the Plant Science and Biotechmology MSc, along with the specialist and generic skills you develop, mean you’ll graduate equipped for a wide range of careers.
Our graduates work in a diverse range of areas, ranging from bioscience-related research through to scientific publication, teacher training, health and safety and pharmaceutical market research.
Links with industry
We have a proactive Industrial Advisory Board who advise us on what they look for in graduates and on employability-related skills within our courses.
We collaborate with a wide range of organisations in the public and commercial sectors. Many of these are represented on our Industrial Advisory Board. They include:
Industrial research placements
Some of our partners offer MSc research projects in their organisations, allowing students to develop their commercial awareness and build their network of contacts.
If you are interested in the growth of biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industries in the UK and worldwide you will be interested in studying this programme. This is a unique programme to commercialise scientific research and refine skills to support this. University of Aberdeen offers one of the best medical schools in the UK and there are an impressive number of graduates who have started their own spin out enterprises as a result of studying these discipline areas. The Scottish Government has also seen the need for highly qualified professionals in its innovation centres, many of which need skills that overlap the aims of each of them. http://www.innovationcentres.scot/ Biotechnology and Bio-business now drive the traditional areas of pharmaceuticals and new business innovation areas in the UK. with facilities set up to assist in upstream testing and small scale production in Scotland IBioIC (Glasgow) and England CPI (Darlington and Wilton) at respective innovation centres.
If you come from life sciences, pharmacy, medical biosciences or other similar scientific discipline this programme is specifically aimed at improving your career prospects in working in established business NPD departments or starting your own business with your own research ideas taken to commercialisation. The programme gives you the advanced level skills on the scientific side of things in research and development and the commercialisation side of business in understanding regulation. You learn by self directed and practical sessions and you get plenty of application to ensure you get repeated exposure. This is interdisciplinary and you learn with leading industry experts and academics.
Introduction to Bio-Business and the Commercialisation of Bioscience Research
Advanced Bio-Business and the Commercialisation of Bioscience Research
Biologic Drug Discovery
Regulation in Microbial Biochemistry
Research Project 2
Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page
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*Please be advised that some programmes have different tuition fees from those listed above and that some programmes also have additional costs.
View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page
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