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.
The University of Aberdeen is highly regarded for Clinical Pharmacology as the discipline has been taught and delivered for 30 years. It comes from research spanning 50 years. The programme draws on strengths within the university and medical area within disease discovery. Insulin was first developed at University of Aberdeen and the discovery of drug process, treatment and design has been developed and researched ever since. Aberdeen is also known for its research in food and nutrition and other areas. This programme is ideal for newly qualified graduates in medical science disciplines such as biomedical sciences, biochemistry, pharmacology, pharmacy, medicine and similar degrees.
Clinical pharmacology forms a critical part of the drug development process and our graduates are employed in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. These industries are now in rapid growth due to a combination of innovations and strength within customised and other types of medicine and treatment industry areas. Further innovations which link into this industry come from the Internet of Things and more ability to treat and diagnose at source.
There is always a strong need for the discipline to provide a foundation to any new innovations which often come from multidisciplinary teams. Our aim is to train students in the major areas of clinical pharmacology including molecular pharmacology, drug metabolism and toxicology, therapeutics, pharmacokinetics, pharmcovigilance, regulatory affairs and experimental medicine. The programme aims to achieve this by a multi-disciplinary approach.
Drug Metabolism and Toxicology
Basic Skills- Induction
Drug Development to Evidence Based Medicine
Basic Research Methods
Business of Science
Health Informatics (distance learning
Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page
Find out about fees:
*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
Find out more about:
Find out more about living in Aberdeen:
This course provides strong scientific training in many issues at the forefront of modern biotechnology, as well as the professional skills that you will need to work in the field.
Course content is well balanced across the areas of biology, biomedicine, biochemistry and molecular biology, and covers topics such as green and medical biotechnology, genomics and bioinformatics, microbiology and proteomics; you will be taught by specialists in these fields. You will also have the opportunity to study a module in Bioscience with Enterprise that has been uniquely developed to allow you to advance your business skills along with core scientific skills.
You will be supervised by expert staff who are actively engaged in international research programmes. Teaching is by:
Assessment is by a combination of written examinations, oral presentations, coursework, laboratory reports and submission of the dissertation.There are eight taught 15 credit modules each of which have only one assessment (100%). Each exam is 2 hours.
The School is home to state-of-the-art laboratories with dedicated research labs for your research project. The University has invested £3m in the world-class teaching facility equipped with the latest technologies, which has been specially designed to promote an excellent student teaching experience.
The Bodmer Lab is a bright, modern space and has been designed with interconnecting walls which can be easily configured into two, three or four separate laboratories, for maximum flexibility and occupancy. An AV system allows the lecturer to be linked visually and audibly with some or all of the interconnected labs.
A new Translational Medicine Lab will be opened in mid-2017.
This course is particularly suited to those who wish to pursue a career in the biotechnological or pharmaceutical industries, which are priority areas in both the UK and abroad. However, this course will also equip you to pursue careers in hospital laboratories and research institutes, or to continue to a PhD programme.
Certain modules include industrial site visits and research projects may be carried out at other institutions (recently Universities in Bremen or France and the Cancer Research UK Manchester institute). We also invite visiting lecturers to share their expertise on the subject areas.
After completion of this course you may wish to specialise in a chosen subject area in one of the School’s two main research centres: Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre (EER) or Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).