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Biotechnology for Environmental Sustainability (MSc)

Course Description

This course will enhance your understanding of key concepts in biotechnology and environmental sustainability and their practical application from innovation to commercialisation.

This course is designed to enhance your career in a wide range of sectors, such as biorenewables, bioremediation and bioprocessing in which environmental sustainability is a key consideration. It will enable you to undertake a variety of fulfilling roles from research, and product and technology development to environmental protection and other leadership positions.

Biotechnology for Environmental Sustainability will equip you with broad theoretical knowledge and critical understanding of advanced principles in biotechnology. You’ll also gain the practical skills required to underpin a career within an industrial or research setting.

You’ll be supported by an active research group with varied interests and links with relevant industries, research institutes and other organisations.

See the website http://www.napier.ac.uk/en/Courses/MSc-Biotechnology-for-Environmental-Sustainability-Postgraduate-FullTime

What you'll learn

This course provides you with in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of key concepts in fermentation and bioprocessing, environmental microbiology, business planning and environmental policy which are relevant to the application of commercial-scale biotechnologies in an environmentally sustainable manner.

You’ll study the scientific concepts that underpin modern biotechnologies and how innovations can be exploited for the development of products and processes such as biofuels, novel bioactive compounds and waste conversion technologies. You’ll also explore the bioethical, socio-economic and regulatory aspects of environmental sustainability and the role of biotechnologies in environmental protection.

There is an emphasis on developing your practical laboratory skills with various opportunities for hands-on experience in a range of current techniques and practices such as fermentation and environmental monitoring. In your final trimester you’ll undertake an independent project within a vibrant research team, allowing you to apply and further develop your technical, research and professional skills. There may be the opportunity to conduct your research project with one of our Edinburgh Napier start-up companies or externally in a relevant organisation or industry.

You’ll also develop key skills including communication, problem solving, team work, project management, and leadership. You’ll learn through interactive lectures, workshops, tutorials, site visits, field trips and laboratory sessions, and by engaging with guided independent study. A variety of assessment tools are used to enhance and evaluate your learning.

This is a full-time programme over one year and is split up into three trimesters. You can choose to start in either January or September. There may also be some opportunities to study abroad.

Subjects include:
- Cell technology
- Business and bioethics
- Biotechnology for sustainable renewables
- Research skills
- Biotechnology for sustainable remediation
- Environmental sustainability management
- Independent research project

Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.


Environmental sustainability is an increasingly important consideration in many aspects of our lives. Biotechnology underpins many of the solutions to existing unsustainable practices and offers the possibility of new products and as such is predicted to be a key driver in the future global economy.

This course provides a wide range of career opportunities in areas such as sustainable waste management, bioremediation, environmental protection and monitoring, biorenewables, and bioprocessing, as well as product/technology development. You'll be prepared for a variety of roles including those with a research focus and those with an emphasis on leadership in both multinational companies and smaller biotechnology enterprises.

Opportunities may also exist in contract research companies and service providers to the environmental and industrial biotechnology sectors, in addition to government and environment protection agencies.

Successful completion of the MSc programme also provides a sound platform for further study in a research setting; graduates will be qualified to continue to PhD studies in the biosciences.

Visit the Biotechnology for Environmental Sustainability (MSc) page on the Edinburgh Napier University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A Bachelor (Honours Degree) at a 2:2 or above, or equivalent. We look for applicants to have a background in a biology discipline such as biological sciences, biotechnology, microbiology, molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, environmental biology, biomedical sciences in order to be eligible for the programme.

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