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University of Birmingham Masters Degrees in Molecular Biology

We have 7 University of Birmingham Masters Degrees in Molecular Biology

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The programme aims to provide students with training and learning opportunities in the skills and specialised knowledge needed to equip them for a career in biotechnology, molecular biotechnology or molecular biology, in particular in industry. Read more

The programme aims to provide students with training and learning opportunities in the skills and specialised knowledge needed to equip them for a career in biotechnology, molecular biotechnology or molecular biology, in particular in industry.

Practical skills will include sessions on fermentation, molecular biology, immunology, cell biology and protein chemistry, and you will go on to complete a major, supervised laboratory or computer-based research project.

Course details

The programme aims to provide students with training and learning opportunities in the skills and specialised knowledge needed to equip them for a career in biotechnology, molecular biotechnology or molecular biology, in particular in industry.

Programme content

Modules (all core) are as follows:

  • Introduction to Molecular Biotechnology (10 credits)
  • Research Techniques in Molecular Biotechnology (20 credits)
  • Practical Applications of Molecular Biotechnology (20 credits)
  • Functional Genomics and Reverse Genetics (20 credits)
  • Gene Expression Analysis (20 credits)
  • Funding Science (10 credits)
  • Pharmaceuticals & Therapeutic Biologicals from Bench to Market (10 credits)
  • Research project (60 credits)

Module descriptions can be found here

Learning and teaching is via lectures, workshops, independent study, laboratory practicals, research and a lab-based project.

Skills gained

Transferable skills gained via this programme will include written and oral presentation skills, statistics, and the ability to plan and write a grant application or a business plan. Subject-specific skills will include key techniques used in molecular biotechnology, specialist knowledge in theoretical and practical aspects of the subject, including: process engineering, molecular biology, functional genomics, 'omics' technologies, protein expression systems and antibody engineering. Practical skills will include fermentation, molecular biology, immunology, cell biology and protein chemistry.

Careers

While many graduates will go on to employment in biotechnology companies, you will also be employable in other life sciences industries or able to go on to further study and research.

Related links

School of Biosciences website: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/biosciences

Learning and teaching

The MSc Molecular Biotechnology will provide you with the skills and specialised knowledge required for a career in biotechnology, molecular biotechnology or molecular biology, in particular within an industry setting.

Overall our aim is to equip you with a theoretical and practical background needed to apply your knowledge to biotechnology problems. We focus on key techniques used in molecular biotechnology, including aspects of process engineering, molecular biology, functional genomics, 'omics' technologies, protein expression systems and antibody engineering.

Practical skills will include sessions on fermentation, molecular biology, immunology, cell biology and protein chemistry, and you will go on to complete a major, supervised laboratory or computer-based research project. The course provides the opportunity to develop your writing and presenting skills and you will also study relevant numerical methods, and learn how to plan and write a grant application or a business plan.

Employability

What can I do with an MSc in Molecular Biotechnology?

Graduates from this programme will be well-placed for future careers in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, biomedical and other science-based industries, many of which are undergoing a period of rapid international growth. 

The programme was designed in consultation with a senior scientist in a global pharmaceutical company, and includes relevant applied elements such as modules on product development and business plans, in addition to those covering the scientific aspects of the subject.



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This masters programme is designed to prepare you for a career in research in molecular and cellular biology and its applications. Read more

This masters programme is designed to prepare you for a career in research in molecular and cellular biology and its applications.

It comprises a year of intensive training and research experience leading to the award of an MRes degree which will give you a ‘flying start’ to a subsequent PhD programme, if this is your chosen career path.

Course details

This programme is designed to prepare you for a career in research in molecular and cellular biology and its applications. It comprises a year of intensive training and research experience leading to the award of an MRes degree which will give you a ‘flying start’ to a subsequent PhD programme, if this is your chosen career path. 

The programme aims to provide training in the practical aspects that underlie research science in this field. To achieve this aim the course contains a very high level of hands-on research, as it is our view there is no better training than lab experience.

Programme content

Two-thirds of the programme is taken up by two approximately 18-week research projects, which are undertaken in different laboratories and with different supervisors. A very wide range of research topics falling within the scope of molecular and cellular biology is available within the School; this range extends from structural biology at one extreme to multicellular systems at the other. 

In addition to this direct research experience, there are two compulsory taught modules which provide training in:

  • Science Funding and Enterprise Skills in Biosciences
  • Techniques in Molecular and Cellular Biology

These modules cover the basic principles underlying scientific research methods and the design of biological/biochemical experiments, and discussion of modern techniques in molecular and cellular biology. In addition, the science funding and enterprise module provides the skills required to obtain funding for sciences. This includes grant and business case writing and scientific presentation skills. You can also take courses to develop general research skills arranged through the Biosciences Graduate Research School. 

The taught modules consist of a combination of seminars and lectures. The lab work that is carried out during the course is student-led. You will be able to choose areas of molecular and cellular biology that fit with your career aspirations.

Assessment

The two taught modules are assessed via examination, essays and oral presentations. The two research projects are assessed via written thesis and an oral examination. 

Skills gained

This programme offers the following advantages:

  • Broad training in the skills and techniques of contemporary research in molecular and cellular biology
  • The opportunity to experience research in at least two different areas
  • Increased breadth and experience, which will enhance subsequent employability 

The course will also enable you to:

  • Conduct and fund independent research 
  • Present research results in an appropriate manner both written and orally
  • Have an appreciation and knowledge of the use of modern techniques in molecular and cellular biology
  • Build and develop scientific research projects in the public and private sector

Careers

Those who perform effectively in the MRes often continue at Birmingham to a PhD; however, the MRes also provides a very good qualification to move into research and a wide range of professions.

Learning and teaching

External interactions

In order to broaden experience and interaction with other groups several of the activities described above will be shared with students on the MRC-sponsored course in Molecular and Cellular Immunology and Oncology. We have formed partnerships with Glaxo-SK, Celltech, Hoffmann-La Roche and AgrEvo to ensure that students are made fully aware of the ethos and requirements of progressive industrial employers. This will involve both visits of senior industrial personnel to Birmingham for presentations and discussions and a visit to the Stevenage research facility of Glaxo-SK, where students will experience a mock job interview and give a short oral presentation.

Employability

Graduates of the Molecular and Cellular Biology MRes typically proceed to PhDs in a variety of institutes in the UK and abroad, although a few have become lab technicians in academic research groups. Since the MRes involves working in two different research groups, this allows our students to get experience with a broad range of laboratory techniques. These practical skills together with the critical thinking developed in the lab and via the taught modules gives our graduates a strong CV for PhD applications.



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One of the most rapidly developing areas of toxicology. . This programme provides students with a research-orientated training in the application of molecular and cell biology to develop an understanding of chemical toxicity at the cellular and molecular level. Read more

One of the most rapidly developing areas of toxicology. 

This programme provides students with a research-orientated training in the application of molecular and cell biology to develop an understanding of chemical toxicity at the cellular and molecular level. You will study within a lively, highly interactive teaching and research environment.

Course details

One of the most rapidly developing areas of toxicology is the use of molecular, cell biology and omics to identify adverse outcome pathways (AOPs) and to develop a mechanistic understanding of chemical toxicity at the cellular and molecular level. This is not only of fundamental interest (i.e., understanding the mechanism of action) but it also relates to an increased need for a mechanistic component in chemical risk assessment and development of high throughput screens for chemical toxicity.

The MRes in Molecular Mechanistic Toxicology is a one-year full-time programme that provides students with a research-orientated training in a lively, highly interactive teaching and research environment.

Programme content

The programme is coordinated by the School of Biosciences, which is recognised internationally as a major centre for both teaching and research in Toxicology. Molecular Toxicology is a major component of the School of Biosciences research activities along with interactions with other departments including Chemistry and the Medical School.

Specific areas of active research include:

  • Mechanisms of cell toxicity
  • Development of novel DNA binding chemicals
  • Cellular proliferation and differentiation
  • Environmental genomics and metabolomics
  • Molecular biomarkers of genotoxicity, oxidative stress and cellular responses
  • Role of environmental and genetic factors in disease

Learning and teaching

Two five-week taught modules are held in Semester 1 in conjunction with the taught MSc in Toxicology programme. Training in generic and laboratory research skills is also an important element of the programme. The programme also includes a six-month research project, which provides students with an opportunity for further advanced research training and hands-on experience of molecular and cellular biology techniques embedded in a research laboratory. Research projects can take place either in academic or industrial institutions.

Semester 1

  • Module 1 Metabolism and Mechanisms of Toxicity (20 credits)
  • Module 2 Forensic, Clinical and Occupational Toxicology (20 credits)
  • Skills Module (10 credits)

Semester 2:

  • Laboratory research project (130 credits)

Assessment

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, coursework, practical classes, student seminars and placement in a research laboratory. The taught component is assessed by a combination of examinations and coursework. The dissertation component is assessed by preparation of a research thesis. 

Skills gained

After completing the course you will have gained a detailed knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of chemical toxicity (e.g. polymorphisms and metabolism, genotoxic and non-genotoxic carcinogens, mechanisms of apoptosis, cDNA microarray and other high throughput screening strategies). You will also be able to critically evaluate and interpret available scientific literature, and effectively present the results of your research to peers using both written reports and oral communications. The programme will help you to develop laboratory skills and enable you to effectively interact in a research laboratory setting.

Careers

There is a demand for Toxicologists with molecular biology training in industry and other research organisations. The skills you gain from this course will stand you in good stead to enter research-based careers in the pharmaceutical industry and the medical sciences. You will also have enhanced your opportunities to further your research training by studying for the degree of PhD.



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The Cancer Sciences MRes is a one year, full time programme introduced to offer postgraduate training to suitably qualified science students who are interested in research careers in cancer. Read more

The Cancer Sciences MRes is a one year, full time programme introduced to offer postgraduate training to suitably qualified science students who are interested in research careers in cancer. It is a stand-alone programme that would be of particular interest to students who wish to apply for further training at PhD level.

Course details

Designed to offer life and biomedical science graduates the opportunity to gain research training through practical experience in a leading cancer research centre.

The programme consists of three introductory taught modules and an extensive project within a research group in the School of Cancer Sciences. The lecture modules will be taught by leading cancer experts and will cover such topics as the cellular and molecular basis of cancer, the pathology of selected cancers and how translational research is applied to diagnosis and treatment of cancers. The projects will generally be laboratory-based and will provide skills in designing and implementing research strategies to answer fundamental questions relating to cancer causes, diagnosis and/or treatment.

The skills and experience gained will be of particular benefit when applying to PhD programmes in cancer studies and related cell and molecular biology subjects.

Learning and teaching

As a Birmingham student, you will be joining the academic elite and will have the privilege of learning from world-leading experts, as well as your peers. From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner. We want you to be challenged and will encourage you to think for yourself.

You will have access to a comprehensive support system that will assist and encourage you, including personal tutors and welfare tutors who can help with both academic and welfare issues.

Employability

On completion of the MRes Cancer Sciences programme, students will have developed key research and presentation skills that are sought by many recruiters into further postgraduate study at PhD level. These skills will also be applicable to other career pathways in the biomedical and health sciences sectors.

Careers Support for Postgraduate Students

Careers Network – We can help you get ahead in the job market and develop your career

We recognise that as a postgraduate student you are likely to have specific requirements when it comes to planning for your next career step. Employers expect postgraduates to have a range of skills that exceed their subject knowledge. Careers Network offers a range of events and support services that are designed for all students, including postgraduates looking to find their niche in the job market. The Careers Network also have subject specific careers consultants and advisers for each College so you can be assured the information you receive will be relevant to your subject area. For more information visit the Careers Network website



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For health care professionals from diverse backgrounds who wish to expand their knowledge of theoretical and practical aspects of oncology, including. Read more

For health care professionals from diverse backgrounds who wish to expand their knowledge of theoretical and practical aspects of oncology, including:

  • medical and clinical oncology trainees
  • nurses
  • pharmacists
  • radiographers
  • vets
  • clinical trial co-ordinators

full-time programme is also available. 

Course details

The aim of this programme is to give you a scientific understanding of the cellular basis of cancer. We will then discuss how understanding the molecular pathology of the disease can help in stratifying patients to personalised cancer therapeutic approaches and disease management.

Aiming to allow you to understand the research process, this programme draws on examples from within this renowned research Institute and its associated Clinical Trials Unit. A key part of this Masters programme is the planning, execution and reporting of a piece of independent study leading to submission of a dissertation.

At all levels we aim to encourage interactive rather than didactic learning and lecturing. Therefore, in addition to assembling and learning facts you will also to consider some of the philosophical challenges which underlie the treatment of cancer. 

The programme is studied part time over 2.5 years and includes a taught element plus a work place based dissertation. During the first year you normally study 4 taught modules (5 weeks of attendance), whilst in the second year you normally study 3 taught modules (3 weeks of attendance) plus start your dissertation. The programme however is intended to be flexible and other patterns of study are permitted (please discuss with the programme lead (Dr Jean Assender).

You can opt for a Postgraduate Diploma on completion of the core modules and 30 credits of optional modules, or an MSc on successful completion of the taught programme and an independently researched dissertation.

Learning and teaching

As a Birmingham student, you will be joining the academic elite and will have the privilege of learning from world-leading experts, as well as your peers. From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner. We want you to be challenged and will encourage you to think for yourself.

This programme is delivered via one or two 5 day blocks of teaching from Monday to Friday approx 9am-5.30pm. You will participate in a range of teaching styles such as lectures, eLectures (Surgical Oncology sample), small group tutorials, presentations, peer group learning, self-study etc.

You will have access to a comprehensive support system that will assist and encourage you, including personal tutors and welfare tutors who can help with both academic and welfare issues.

Employability

So you can get an idea of what some of our students have to say about the programmes we have been in touch with them and compiled some of their comments into student profiles for you to have a look at:

Dr Selvi Radhakrishna, a recent graduate from the PG Diploma in Clinical Oncology programme here at the University of Birmingham, has written a book that presents the various cultural issues an Indian woman might face when diagnosed with breast cancer. This New Indian Express article tells the story.

Careers Support for Postgraduate Students

Careers Network – We can help you get ahead in the job market and develop your career

We recognise that as a postgraduate student you are likely to have specific requirements when it comes to planning for your next career step. Employers expect postgraduates to have a range of skills that exceed their subject knowledge. Careers Network offers a range of events and support services that are designed for all students, including postgraduates looking to find their niche in the job market. The Careers Network also have subject specific careers consultants and advisers for each College so you can be assured the information you receive will be relevant to your subject area. For more information visit the Careers Network website



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This is a full-time 1 year MSc programme suitable for biomedical or life scientists who wish to acquire an extensive knowledge and key skills relating to the fundamental molecular and cellular regulation of immunity and its application to the treatment of disease. Read more

This is a full-time 1 year MSc programme suitable for biomedical or life scientists who wish to acquire an extensive knowledge and key skills relating to the fundamental molecular and cellular regulation of immunity and its application to the treatment of disease. The programme will be delivered by world leaders at the forefront of immunology and immunotherapy research, each with an internationally renowned research group.  

Course details

Over the past few years significant advances have been made in our understanding of the molecular and cellular control of immune responses. These discoveries are now being translated into the design and testing of immunotherapeutic interventions for a range of diseases including cancer, autoimmunity and inflammatory disease. This programme is for biomedical or life scientists who wish to extend their knowledge and skills in both immunology and its translation to immunotherapy. 

A series of interlinked taught modules cover molecular mechanisms in immune cell differentiation and function, autoimmunity, transplant and tumour immunology, and inflammation. This is complemented by comprehensive coverage of the latest developments in immunotherapy including the use of microbial products in immunomodulation and vaccination, small molecules and biologics, as well as cellular immunotherapy.

The programme aims to allow you to understand the research process, from the fundamental discoveries at the forefront of immunological research, to the application of novel interventional immune-based therapies.

A key part of the MSc programme is the planning, execution and reporting of a piece of independent study leading to submission of a dissertation. This study will be in the form of an extensive laboratory research project carried out in internationally renowned research groups. Each student will be a fully-integrated member of one of the large number of research teams in a wide variety of topics across both immunology and immunotherapy. We also plan to offer some projects within external biotechnology companies.

Learning and teaching

As a Birmingham student, you will be joining the academic elite and will have the privilege of learning from world-leading experts, as well as your peers. From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner. We want you to be challenged and will encourage you to think for yourself.

This programme is delivered via teaching from Monday to Friday approximately 9am-5.00pm, with only a few hours of direct face-to-face contact each day to allow time for independent learning. During the first part of the research project you will have a single day of taught element modules, with the remaining days carrying out their research. Once the taught modules have been completed the project will be full-time.

You will have access to a comprehensive support system that will assist and encourage you, including personal tutors and welfare tutors who can help with both academic and welfare issues.

Employability

Students who complete this MSc programme will have an in-depth up-to-date knowledge of this rapidly advancing field and will have developed the key skills required to either pursue a PhD in these areas or significantly improve their employability for the biomedical, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industrial sectors.

Careers Support for Postgraduate Students

Careers Network – We can help you get ahead in the job market and develop your career

We recognise that as a postgraduate student you are likely to have specific requirements when it comes to planning for your next career step. Employers expect postgraduates to have a range of skills that exceed their subject knowledge. Careers Network offers a range of events and support services that are designed for all students, including postgraduates looking to find their niche in the job market. The Careers Network also have subject specific careers consultants and advisers for each College so you can be assured the information you receive will be relevant to your subject area. For more information visit the Careers Network website



Read less
For health care professionals from diverse backgrounds who wish to expand their knowledge of theoretical and practical aspects of oncology, this … Read more

For health care professionals from diverse backgrounds who wish to expand their knowledge of theoretical and practical aspects of oncology, this full-time programme is particularly suitable for medical professionals with an interest in clinical, medical, surgical and translational oncology. Unique to this programme is the exciting opportunity to gain clinical observership status and log your hours observing in a UK based hospital.

We also offer a part-time version of this programme. 

Course details

The aim of this programme is to give you a scientific understanding of the cellular basis of cancer. We then discuss how understanding the molecular pathology of the disease can help in stratifying patients to personalised cancer therapeutic approaches and disease management.

Aiming to allow you to understand the research process, this programme draws on examples from within this renowned research Institute and its associated Clinical Trials Unit. A key part of the Masters programme is the planning, execution and reporting of a piece of independent study leading to submission of a dissertation. 

At all levels we aim to encourage interactive rather than didactic learning and lecturing. Therefore, as well as assembling and learning facts you will also consider some of the philosophical challenges which underlie the treatment of cancer.

You can opt for a Postgraduate Diploma on completion of the core modules and 30 credits of optional modules, or a Masters on successful completion of the taught programme and an independently researched dissertation.

Learning and teaching

As a Birmingham student, you will be joining the academic elite and will have the privilege of learning from world-leading experts, as well as your peers. From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner. We want you to be challenged and will encourage you to think for yourself.

This programme is delivered via one or two 5 day blocks of teaching from Monday to Friday approx 9am-5.30pm. You will participate in a range of teaching styles such as lectures, eLectures (Surgical Oncology sample), small group tutorials, presentations, peer group learning, self-study etc.

You will have access to a comprehensive support system that will assist and encourage you, including personal tutors and welfare tutors who can help with both academic and welfare issues.

Employability

Dr Selvi Radhakrishna, a graduate from the PG Diploma in Clinical Oncology programme here at the University of Birmingham, has written a book that presents the various cultural issues an Indian woman might face when diagnosed with breast cancer. This New Indian Express article tells the story.

Careers Support for Postgraduate Students

Careers Network – We can help you get ahead in the job market and develop your career

We recognise that as a postgraduate student you are likely to have specific requirements when it comes to planning for your next career step. Employers expect postgraduates to have a range of skills that exceed their subject knowledge. Careers Network offers a range of events and support services that are designed for all students, including postgraduates looking to find their niche in the job market. The Careers Network also have subject specific careers consultants and advisers for each College so you can be assured the information you receive will be relevant to your subject area. For more information visit the Careers Network website



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