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Applied Biotechnology (MSc)


Course Description

Our established programme in Biotechnology, which has been extensively updated, includes a wide range of modern molecular biology techniques and how biotechnology can be used by today's society. You will complement your theoretical studies with hands on experience of fully controlled fermenters that are up to pilot-plant scale, and are linked to modern monitoring and control systems.

You will study a range of subjects in considerable depth, including bioactive compounds, industrial bioprocesses, microbial physiology and fermentation technology, microbial production of novel metabolites, monitoring and control of fermentation, topics in biotechnology, and types of bioreactors.

Core Modules

• Applied Molecular Biology
This module is designed to provide you with insight into current research topics in biochemistry and molecular biology. Since these areas are evolving rapidly, the most recent relevant topics are selected year-to-year. Examples of topics might include: molecular biology of cancer, personalised medicine, transgenic plants, epigenetics, metabolomics, proteomics, gene therapy and stem cell research.

• Fermentation Technology
This module aims to examine and discuss the essential, qualitative and quantitative principles in growth of cultures and subsequent bioproducts to provide the needed expertise for the bio-industries. You will gain an understanding of fermentation processes, as well as smalland large-scale production of fermentation products, microbial strain/culture selection and development, and microbial culture.

• Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology
This module will explore applications of bacterial, fungal, and mammalian culture to the production of bio-products (eg enzymes, biopharmaceuticals) and examine ways in which micro-organisms are applied in the solution of environmental problems. The latest trends in the improvement of plant yield, tolerance to water/drought stress and pests, as well as the use of plants as bio-reactors will also be covered.

• Postgraduate Project
This module aims to enhance your skills of self-management, experimental design, critical analysis and interpretation of data, enabling you to present and justify your research.

• Postgraduate Research Methods
You will be able to develop your skills in information retrieval, critical analysis and presentation relevant to your research topic, and form a clear plan for your project.

• Science, Technology and Commercialisation
You will gain an insight into the scope of commercial biotechnology, starting and financing a company, the role of intellectual property protection, writing a business plan, assessing projects, managing a company, managing company finances, and coping with industrial safety legislation.

Option Modules

• Communicating Science
Introducing you to key concepts in science communication, its challenges, rewards and applications, this module is designed to incorporate scenarios related to your interests, such as health, drug discovery and water science. The roles of science and scientists in society and how the public perceives, interacts with and responds to the information produced by scientists are explored, with the history of communicating science used to contextualise current issues in disseminating information.

• Extended Postgraduate Project
This module gives you the opportunity to investigate an appropriate research topic, generate and critically analyse data, and present your results and discuss findings in the context of previously published work. The project proposed and undertaken must include rigorous and critical analysis of data with a high level of initiative. This module is intended for students wishing to gain greater research experience and includes an extended period of research activity and extended assessment regime.

• Molecular Bioinformatics
Bioinformatics is an exciting new discipline at the interface of computer science, information and biology and is playing a crucial role in the development of personalised medicine. From genome sequencing projects thigh to rational drug design protein engineering it offers great opportunities for enhancing our understanding of biology at the molecular level and for the developments of new therapeutics. Topics covered include: analysis of protein sequences and structure, modelling protein structure and function, rational drug design, protein structure predication and protein engineering.

• Molecular and Cellular Therapeutics
This module reviews and discusses the ways in which molecular biology has been used to treat inherited and acquired diseases. You will investigate the ethics and legislation involved in the use of novel therapies in humans.

• Regenerative Medicine
The module provides information on the current scope of regenerative medicine, emerging techniques, novel biomaterials and scaffold sources, stem cell harvesting and differentiation. The module also provides information on the use of bio–reactors in the creation and culturing of three dimensional constructs.

• Systems Biology
This module will introduce the theoretical and practical underpinnings of systems biology. The emphasis is on studies of entire systems, assisted by the use of bioinformatics and how the knowledge from these may be applied to medicine. The module will examine databases and other resources as well as discuss issues key to the studies of entire systems.

Associated careers

The course is aimed at those aspiring to be researchers and managers in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries or other biosectors.

Employability

At Westminster, we have always believed that your University experience should be designed to enhance your professional life. Today’s organisations need graduates with both good degrees and employability skills, and we are committed to enhancing your graduate employability by ensuring that career development skills are embedded in all courses.

Opportunities for part-time work, placements and work-related learning activities are widely available, and can provide you with extra cash and help you to demonstrate that you have the skills employers are looking for. In London there is a plentiful supply of part-time work – most students at the University of Westminster work part time (or full time during vacations) to help support their studies.

We continue to widen and strengthen our links with employers, involving them in curriculum design and encouraging their participation in other aspects of career education and guidance. Staff take into account the latest data on labour market trends and employers’ requirements to continually improve the service delivered to students.

Visit the Applied Biotechnology (MSc) page on the University of Westminster website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A good (at least lower second class) BSc Honours in Biological Sciences or a related discipline, a professional qualification of equivalent status and associated work experience or an equivalent qualification deemed suitable by the course team. If you are applying for part-time study, you will normally be working in a relevant area and will require written support from your employer including confirmation that facilities will be available in your workplace for you to carry out your research project. If your first language is not English you should have an IELTS score of at least 6.5, with 6.0 in each element.

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