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Synthetic Biology and Biotechnology (MSc/PgDip)

Course Description

Programme description

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.

Programme structure

You will learn through a variety of activities, including:

laboratory work
field work
discussion groups and project groups
problem-based learning activities

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.

Compulsory courses:

Applications of Synthetic Biology
Tools for Synthetic Biology
Social Dimensions of Systems & Synthetic Biology
Environmental Gene Mining & Metagenomics
Research Project Proposal
MSc Project and Dissertation

Option courses:

Bioinformatics Programming & System Management
Biological Physics
Biophysical Chemistry
Commercial Aspects of Drug Discovery
Data Mining & Exploration
Drug Discovery
Economics & Innovation in the Biotechnology Industry
Enzymology & Biological Production
Functional Genomic Technologies
Gene Expression & Microbial Regulation
Industry & Entrepreneurship in the Biotechnology Industry
Information Processing in Biological Cells
Intelligent Agriculture
Introduction to Scientific Programming
Molecular Modelling & Database Mining
Next Generation Genomics
Machine Learning & Pattern Recognition
Practical Skills in Biochemistry
Practical Systems Biology
Principles of Industrial Biotechnology
Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine

Learning outcomes

By the end of the programme you will have gained:

a strong background knowledge in the fields underlying synthetic biology and biotechnology
an understanding of the limitations and public concerns regarding the nascent field of synthetic biology including a thorough examination of the philosophical, legal, ethical and social issues surrounding the area
the ability to approach the technology transfer problem equipped with the skills to analyse the problem in scientific and practical terms
an understanding of how biotechnology relates to real-world biological problems
the ability to conduct practical experimentation in synthetic biology and biotechnology
the ability to think about the future development of research, technology, its implementation and its implications
a broad understanding of research responsibility including the requirement for rigorous and robust testing of theories and the need for honesty and integrity in experimental reporting and reviewing

Career opportunities

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.

Visit the Synthetic Biology and Biotechnology (MSc/PgDip) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Students should hold a UK university undergraduate degree, or its international equivalent (usually at least a 2:1 honours degree or its equivalent). You are expected to possess a strong background in one or more of the following areas: biotechnology, biochemistry, molecular biology and the related sciences. Engineering – particularly bio-engineering, physics, mathematics or other backgrounds – will also be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Course Fees

For 2016-17: £13,000 (Home/EU) , £25,900(Overseas)

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Recipient: University of Edinburgh

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