MSc in Biotechnology


Program Description

Biotechnology is a revolutionary science with proven impact in the health, medicine, food, environment and energy sectors.

  • Year of entry: 2020
  • Duration: 1-year full time, 2-year part-time
  • Mode of study: Full-time, Part-time
  • Entry requirements: 2:2 (or international equivalent) in biotechnology, plant sciences, animal sciences, microbiology, genetics or veterinary medicine
  • IELTS: 6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any element)
  • UK/EU fees: £9,945
  • International fees: £25,695
  • Start date: September
  • Course location: Sutton Bonington Campus
  • School/department: ScienceBiosciences

National Cancer Institute / Unsplash


This exciting new course will equip you with the knowledge and application of science and technology to tackle today's' global challenges.

It offers specialisms in plant, microbial and animal biotechnology. The overarching theme is based upon understanding the fundamental cellular mechanisms, genetic manipulations of biological systems and production processes.

You will be introduced to pioneering technologies in biotechnology and have the opportunity to find out more about current opportunities in this field of science with visits to industry and careers workshops.

A key feature of the course is a three-month research project in your chosen pathway, with an option to choose projects based in industry.

Key elements of the course include:

  • training in advanced molecular methods
  • industry placement and offsite visits to industries
  • training in professional skills and core competencies
  • training in research skills
  • skills in bio-entrepreneurship
  • career workshops

Research project

You will complete a three-month research project in your chosen pathway (plant, microbial or animal biotechnology) supervised throughout by an experienced member of academic staff. Projects can be chosen either to be conducted at the University or in industry. Our dedicated placement officers will work on a one-to-one basis to help you source and prepare for your industrial placement.

Sutton Bonington Campus

The campus is a self-contained site only 20km south of Nottingham. Sutton Bonington is an easy bus or car journey to University Park Campus and on to Nottingham city, with a free bus service between campuses. Two other cities, Derby and Leicester are nearby. East Midlands International Airport is 7km away, and there are fast rail links close by to London.

Entry requirements

2:2 (or international equivalent) in biotechnology, plant sciences, animal sciences, microbiology, genetics or veterinary medicine

Course structure

The course consists of 120 credits of taught modules, with a research project and a dissertation contributing 60 credits. This course offers unique components related to specialist skills in three pathways; plant, microbial or animal biotechnology:

Plant Biotechnology pathway

This will provide theory and practical skills in plant genetic manipulation, plant breeding and genome research, which underpin all aspects of agriculture and horticulture worldwide. Specialist modules will provide an understanding of plant cell biology and the role of phytohormones in plant physiology.

Microbial Biotechnology pathway

This offers knowledge in using micro-organisms as production platforms for valuable compounds such as therapeutics, food additives and antibiotics. Specialist modules will provide you with an understanding of how antibody biotechnology can be applied to solve problems in an industrial and biomedical context. The theory is supported by practical based learning approaches and industry visits.

Animal Biotechnology pathway

This stream covers a range of topics from molecular techniques used to study gene function in eukaryotic cells to whole organisms, to more specialised aspects of bioinformatics, glycoengineering, molecular immunology, developmental epigenetics, molecular nutrition, reproductive biotechnologies and stem cell technologies. Our areas of expertise include multidisciplinary projects, e.g. transgenic technologies, in vitro embryo production systems, biomarker discovery, nutritional influences on physiological functions, the genetic and epigenetic basis of disease, genetic evaluation and healthy ageing.   

Core modules – all pathways

  • Basic Laboratory Techniques - 20 credits
  • Advanced Molecular Methods in Biotechnology
  • Cell Factories - 10 credits
  • Postgraduate Research Project - 60 credits
  • Technology Entrepreneurship - 10 credits
  • Professional Skills for Biotechnologists - 10 credits

Plant Biotechnology pathway


  • Plant Cell Signalling - 10 credits
  • Plant Biotechnology MSc Pre-Project - 20 credits
  • Sex, Flowers and Biotechnology - 10 credits
  • Plant Biotechnology Industrial Visits - 10 credits


Genetic Improvement of Crop Plants20 credits

Microbial Biotechnology pathway

  • Antibody Biotechnology - 10 credits
  • Microbial Biotechnology Industrial Visits - 10 credits
  • Bioprocessing and Bioengineering - 10 credits
  • Research Skills in Microbial Biotechnology - 20 credits

Animal Biotechnology pathway

  • Animal Biotechnology - 10 credits
  • Animal Biotechnology Industrial Visits - 10 credits
  • Molecular Nutrition (Biotechnology Option) - 10 credits
  • Research Techniques in Animal Biotechnology - 20 credits

The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. This course page may be updated over the duration of the course, as modules may change due to developments in the curriculum or in the research interests of staff.

Teaching methods and assessment

Most formal teaching is provided by lectures, tutorials and practical classes; learning is enhanced by the production of written reports and essays. Although lectures and practical classes still play an important role as the course progresses, your learning experience is enhanced by placing greater reliance on self-directed study, written dissertations and research project work. 

Skills are assessed through a combination of essay style or short-answer written examinations or by the use of multiple-choice questionnaires. Assessment of acquisition and interpretation skills also uses coursework assignments based on exercises such as oral presentations, writing essays, reports and dissertations, presentation of posters, and research project work.

Careers and professional development


Biotechnology is a fast-growing and dynamic sector with ample career opportunities in both industry and academia. Alternatively, with an innovative idea and a mix of business skills, you can start your own enterprise.

Average starting salary and career progression

100% of postgraduates in the School of Biosciences secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £28,000 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £65,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates who were available for employment, 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Careers support and advice

We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students whatever your course, mode of study or future career plans.

You can access our Careers and Employability Service during your studies and after you graduate. Expert staff will help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

More than 1,500 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

Fees and funding

Scholarships and bursaries

There are many ways to fund your postgraduate course, from scholarships to government loans.

The University also offers masters scholarships for international and EU students. Our step-by-step guide contains everything you need to know about funding postgraduate study.


This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

Last updated Jun 2020

About the School

The Faculty of Science undertakes world-class research spanning wide-ranging topics including quantum physics, plant genomics, human imaging, sustainable chemistry, neuroscience, mathematical modellin ... Read More

The Faculty of Science undertakes world-class research spanning wide-ranging topics including quantum physics, plant genomics, human imaging, sustainable chemistry, neuroscience, mathematical modelling and beyond. We work closely with industry on the training of the next generation of scientists and collaborate worldwide to ensure our research has a major societal impact. The Faculty of Science comprises seven schools and has strong links with the School of Life Sciences and School of Veterinary Medicine and Science. Schools from within the faculty also collaborate with those from the University's other faculties to form various research centres and research institutes. Read less
Nottingham , Sutton Bonington , Nottingham + 2 More Less