MSc in Systems and Synthetic Biology


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Programme description

We offer an opportunity to train in one of the newest areas of biology: the application of engineering principles to the understanding and design of biological networks. This new approach promises solutions to some of today’s most pressing challenges in environmental protection, human health and energy production.

This MSc will provide you with a thorough knowledge of the primary design principles and biotechnology tools being developed in systems and synthetic biology, ranging from understanding genome-wide data to designing and synthesising BioBricks.

You will learn quantitative methods of modelling and data analysis to inform and design new hypotheses based on experimental data. The University’s new centre, SynthSys, is a hub for world-leading research in both systems and synthetic biology.

Programme structure

The programme consists of two semesters of taught courses followed by a research project and dissertation, which can be either modeling-based or laboratory-based.

Compulsory courses: All students will take the following courses

  • Social Dimensions of Systems and Synthetic Biology
  • Dissertation project
  • Practical Systems Biology
  • Tools for Synthetic Biology

Compulsory Course - Options In addition to the above compulsory courses, all students will need to choose 10 additional credits from this list of compulsory courses:

  • Information Processing in Biological Cells
  • Applications of Synthetic Biology

Option courses:

  • Biochemistry A
  • Bioinformatics Programming & System Management
  • Computational Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Economics & Innovation in the Biotechnology Industry
  • Gene Expression & Microbial Regulation
  • Introduction to Scientific Programming
  • Mathematical Biology
  • Neural Computation
  • Practical Skills in Biochemistry A
  • Statistics and Data Analysis
  • Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine
  • Biobusiness
  • Biodesign
  • Bioinformatics Algorithms
  • Biological Physics
  • Drug Discovery
  • Functional Genomic Technologies
  • Industry & Entrepreneurship in Biotechnology
  • Metagenomic Analysis of Microbial Communities
  • Molecular Phylogenetics
  • Next Generation Genomics
  • Probabilistic Modelling and Reasoning

Career opportunities

The programme is designed to give you a good basis for managerial or technical roles in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. It will also prepare you for entry into a Ph.D. programme.

Entry Requirements

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, with a strong background in one or more of the following areas: bioinformatics, computer sciences and modeling, molecular biology and related sciences, engineering or biotechnology.

We may also consider your application if you have a background in 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

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 with at least 20 in each section

  • PTE Academic: total 61 with at least 56 in each of the Communicative Skills scores

  • CAE and CPE: total 176 with at least 169 in each paper

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions 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, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Last updated Dec 2019

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