MSc in Synthetic Biology & Biotechnology

General

Read more about this program on the institution's website

Program Description

This academically challenging and career-developing programme focuses on research and development using biological and chemical principles and systems to create new products, services and industries.

You will employ elements of the developing field of synthetic biology to bring about significant changes and major innovations that address the challenges of rapidly changing human demographics, resource shortages, energy economy transition and the concomitant growth in demand for more and healthier food, sustainable fuel cycles, and a cleaner environment.

Programme structure

You will learn through a variety of activities, including:

  • lectures
  • workshops
  • presentations
  • tutorials
  • seminars
  • discussion groups and project groups
  • problem-based learning activities

You will attend problem-based tutorial sessions and one-to-one meetings with your personal tutor or programme director.

You will carry out research at the frontier of knowledge and can make a genuine contribution to the progress of original research. This involves carrying out project work in reviewing relevant papers, analysing data, writing reports and giving presentations.

Compulsory courses

You must take these courses:

  • Tools for Synthetic Biology (Semester 1)
  • Applications of Synthetic Biology (Semester 2)
  • Research Project Proposal (Biotechnology) (Semester 2)
  • Social Dimensions of Systems and Synthetic Biology (Semester 2)
  • MSc Project and Dissertation (Synthetic Biology & Biotechnology) (Semester 2)
  • Metagenomics for Industrial Biotechnology (Semester 2)
Course options

Semester 1
Select exactly 50 credits of the following courses:

  • Bioinformatics 1
  • Molecular Modelling and Database Mining
  • Introduction to scientific programming for MSc in Drug Discovery & Translational Biology
  • Information Processing in Biological Cells
  • Economics and Innovation in the Biotechnology Industry
  • Practical Systems Biology
  • Bioinformatics Programming and System Management
  • Biochemistry A
  • Biophysical Chemistry for MSc Biochemistry
  • Stem Cells and Industry

Semester 2
Select exactly 10 credits of the following courses:

  • Next-Generation Genomics
  • Innovation-driven Entrepreneurship
  • Functional Genomic Technologies
  • Commercial Aspects of Drug Discovery
  • Drug Discovery (MSc Level)
  • Industry and Entrepreneurship in Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry B
  • Programming for the Life Sciences
  • Comparative and Evolutionary Genomics

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the programme you will have gained:

  • strong background knowledge in the fields underlying synthetic biology and biotechnology.
  • an understanding of the limitations and public concerns regarding the nascent field of synthetic biology including a thorough examination of the philosophical, legal, ethical and social issues surrounding the area.
  • the ability to approach the technology transfer problem equipped with the skills to analyse the problem in scientific and practical terms.
  • an understanding of how biotechnology relates to real-world biological problems.
  • the ability to think about the future development of research, technology, its implementation and its implications.
  • a broad understanding of research responsibility including the requirement for rigorous and robust testing of theories and the need for honesty and integrity in experimental reporting and reviewing.

Career opportunities

You will enhance your career prospects by acquiring current, marketable knowledge and developing advanced analytical and presentational skills, within the social and intellectual sphere of a leading European university.

The School of Biological Sciences offers a research-rich environment in which you can develop as a scientist and entrepreneur.

Entry Requirements

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent. You should have a strong background in one or more of the following areas: biotechnology, biochemistry, molecular biology and the related sciences.

We may also consider your application if you have a background in engineering (particularly bioengineering), physics or mathematics.

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

For 2021 entry we will accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: a total of 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 with at least 169 in each paper.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.

For 2022 entry we will accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module).
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 100 (at least 20 in each module). We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module).
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Last updated Nov 2020

About the School

We are one of the largest biology departments in the UK. As the modern inheritors of our 400-year-old reputation for excellence, our staff and students contribute to a vibrant academic community whose ... Read More

We are one of the largest biology departments in the UK. As the modern inheritors of our 400-year-old reputation for excellence, our staff and students contribute to a vibrant academic community whose visions are shaping tomorrow’s world. Read less