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School - School of Environment & Life Sciences

Subject area - Biomedical Science

Start Dates(s): September; January


MSc (one year full-time or up to three years part-time)


Part-time - £1,260 per 30 credit module

UK - £7,560

International - £13,860

In Brief:

  • Excellent career prospects in biotechnology and related fields
  • Multidisciplinary course uniquely integrating molecular biology, genomics, and proteomics with both medical and green biotechnology
  • Biotechnology is a priority growth area in the UK (particularly the North West) as well as a globally important industry
  • Part-time study option
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

This course provides strong scientific training in many issues at the forefront of modern biotechnology, as well as the professional skills that you will need to work in the field.  

Course content is well balanced across the areas of biology, biomedicine, biochemistry and molecular biology, and covers topics such as green and medical biotechnology, genomics and bioinformatics, microbiology and proteomics; you will be taught by specialists in these fields. You will also have the  opportunity  to  study a module in Bioscience with Enterprise that has been uniquely developed to allow you to advance your business skills along with core scientific skills.

Biomedical Research at the University of Salford

Course Details  

This module aims to provide you with the key skills and knowledge to pursue research at postgraduate and professional level; developing your knowledge and understanding of the current ‘big issues’ in the bioscience and drug design fields; providing an introduction to ethics and bioethics,        and enhancing critical thinking through seminars/debate in controversial subject areas.
This module aims to introduce you to the fundamentals of modern molecular techniques that are central to biotechnology. You will attain knowledge of current molecular biology and proteomic techniques and learn how these are used in conjunction with bioinformatics to drive innovation in biotechnology.
The aims of this module are to build a systematic understanding of whole genome sequencing technologies and the field of genomics; to develop a general understanding of sequence assembly, annotation and analyses using different types of sequence data; to demonstrate a range of medical applications of        genomics and describe future directions of the field, including employment opportunities and the skills required for research in this field and to enhance your ability to handle and analyse large genomics datasets.
The aims of this module are to develop an understanding of the molecular and cellular biology of, primarily, age-related pathologies; to develop a comprehensive conceptual understanding of novel molecular medicine derived treatment strategies; to encourage critical thinking and debate of these increasingly        controversial issues and to develop theoretical and practical knowledge in the application of laboratory techniques applicable to translational molecular medicine.

Semester 2  

This module aims to build a systematic understanding of how green biotechnology can contribute to agriculture (food and fuel). You will develop a comprehensive conceptual understanding of this topic including technical approaches, laboratory techniques and applications, as well as developing an appreciation of the green biotech industry.
This module aims to increase your understanding of how biotechnology can contribute to medical advances. You will build a systematic understanding of of genome editing, stem cells and regenerative medicine. You will also develop a conceptual understanding of how the challenge of antimicrobial resistance to antibiotics is being addressed. Additionally you will gain practical knowledge in the application of laboratory techniques in the field of study.
This module aims to build a systematic understanding of how technological developments are exploited in life sciences. You will develop applied entrepreneurial skills, including those that enable students to identify potential business opportunities arising from research in life sciences and exploit entrepreneurial opportunities.
This module aims to provide you with knowledge and understanding of the current principles of analytical bioscience and the applications of separation science.  You will also learn the necessary skills to undertake a research project.

Semester 3  

Following successful completion of Semesters 1 and 2, full-time students will undertake a laboratory-based research project for a minimum of four months (June-September).  Set projects are available but you are welcome to propose your own project, providing you choose a supervisor and discuss          the project with them.        

Examples of Staff Research Interests:        

  • Biotechnology: plant and insect biotechnology          
  • Biofuels and enzyme discovery          
  • Cancer Studies: DNA repair mechanisms, function of DNA glycosylases, protein – protein interactions          
  • Cancer Studies: glycobiology, anticancer drugs          
  • Parasitology and Diseases: microbiology, bacteriology, microbial pathogenicity, MRSA, antibiotics, antimicrobials          
  • Synthetic organic and medicinal chemistry: free radical chemistry, asymmetric synthesis of anticancer agents          
  • Development of spectrometry-based techniques to measure biomarkers of DNA, protein and lipid damage and DNA repair          
  • Pharmacology: biological evaluation of novel anticancer agents

Entry Requirements

Applicants should possess at least a UK lower second class honours degree (2:2) or equivalent in bioscience, biochemistry, pharmacy medicine or related subject.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this.

Suitable For

This course is for UK and international graduates who wish to gain knowledge in the emerging fields of biotechnology, and acquire the skills necessary for entering employment in the growing biotechnology industries such as food production, biomedicine and pharmaceuticals.

Applicant profile

This course is ideal for those who are interested in Biology, Biotechnology and Biochemistry and are motivated by experimental science.

Fees 2018-19

Type of StudyFee
Part-time£1,260 per 30 credit module
Full-time International£13,860

Additional costs

  • Field courses - a non refundable deposit of £25 is charged for all residential field courses 
  • Field trips - students will not be charged for field (day) trips but are expected to provide their own refreshments.

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Scholarships and Bursaries

For more information please see our funding section


You will be supervised by expert staff who are actively engaged in international research programmes. Teaching is by:

  • Lectures
  • Tutorial
  • Practical sessions
  • Guided reading
  • Guest lectures
  • Research projects


Assessment is by a combination of written examinations, oral presentations, coursework, laboratory reports and submission of the dissertation.There are eight taught 15 credit modules each of which have only one assessment (100%). Each exam is 2 hours.

Research Methods (15 credits)

Summative Assessment: Coursework portfolio.  

Formative assessment: Draft report

Molecular Biology and Proteomics (15 credits)

Summative assessment: Lab portfolio

Formative assessment: Lab practical and MCQs  

Novel Therapeutics (15 credits)

Summative assessment: Exam

Formative assessment: Laboratory report  

Genomics (15 credits)

Summative assessment: Lab portfolio

Formative assessment: Workshop and MCQs

Medical Biotechnology (15 credits)

Summative Assessment: Exam

Formative Assessment: Mock exam  

Bioscience Enterprise (15 credits)

Summative Assessment: Presentation portfolio

Formative Assessment: PBL sessions;

Analytical Methods (15 credits)

Summative Assessment: Laboratory portfolio

Formative Assessment: Lab based assessment;

Green Biotechnology (15 credits)

Summative Assessment: Lab portfolio

Formative Assessment: Draft lab report    

Research Project/Dissertation (60 credits)

Summative assessment: Presentation (25%) / Dissertation (75%)

Postgraduate Staff Profile

Dr Natalie Ferry

Expertise: GM Crops  

Dr Rhod Elder

Expertise: DNA repair and cancer

Daniel Fawkes
MSc Biotechnology graduate

I found my time studying Biotechnology at the University of Salford to be extremely rewarding and fulfilling. This was due to a number of reasons such as the staff and facilities. The first part of the course I was introduced to was the lectures. The lectures that were provided were extremely well prepared  and  were carried out by accomplished and very knowledgeable lecturers who were more than willing and able to answer any questions and/or have a discussion regarding the material covered. These lectures formed the backbone of the taught part of the course and were utilised during the laboratory sessions. 

The laboratory sessions were extremely well organised and the facilities themselves were more than able to cater to the number of people on the course meaning all sessions ran smoothly. The sessions linked in with the lectures carried out previously which allowed for a more thorough understanding of  what  was taking place in the labs which then further helped when we were required to produce a written report on the session. 

As well as the taught portion of the course, I was also more than satisfied with the research project portion of the course. Throughout the project which lasted around eight weeks, my supervisor was more than able to answer any questions or queries I had surrounding the subject matter. During my  time  in the labs the PhD students present, along with my supervisor, were more than happy to help demonstrate any techniques I was not familiar with and/or to provide their knowledge on such techniques to help with any issues that arose. 

Overall my experience studying MSc Biotechnology at the University of Salford was overwhelmingly positive and rewarding. I would recommend to anyone thinking of studying this subject to seriously consider this course and look into it in further detail.

Shahrukh Khan
MSc Biotechnology graduate

I have really enjoyed studying this course at Salford, particularly the Molecular Biology and Protonomics modules. Natalie Ferry, the course tutor is fantastic at motivating everyone on the course and is really responsive in terms of queries. The majority of the time, I received a response within the hour. The campus at Salford is great and the library is really good! I would definitely recommend this course to others.


Career Prospects

This course is particularly suited to those who wish to pursue a career in the biotechnological or pharmaceutical industries, which are priority areas in both the UK and abroad. However, this course will also equip you to pursue careers in hospital laboratories and research institutes, or to continue to a PhD programme.

Links with Industry

Certain modules include industrial site visits and research projects may be carried out at other institutions (recently Universities in Bremen or France and the Cancer Research UK Manchester institute). We also invite visiting lecturers to share their expertise on the subject areas.

Further Study

After completion of this course you may wish to specialise in a chosen subject area in one of the School’s two main research centres: Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre (EER) or Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).

Biomedical Research at Salford

Kariem Reda Ahmed
MSc Biotechnology graduate

I particularly enjoyed the Plant Biotechnology (now Green Biotechnology) module of the course and found the lab work helpful as this related to the theoretical aspects of the course and really helped me to understand certain elements. This course has helped me in terms of career potential and I am now  looking  at roles in pharmaceutical companies, in hospitals and in food processing. I am also considering continuing my studies at Salford and working towards a PhD in stem cells and cancers.

Rozalia Lubiatowsua
MSc Biotechnology graduate

I have really enjoyed studying for the MSc in Biotechnology at the University of Salford. My tutor, Natalie Ferry, has been especially helpful and supportive and actually helped me get a job after the course at the Christie Hospital Oncology Unit in Manchester. I am currently undertaking the role of  Clinical  Trials Coordinator and was passed this opportunity by Natalie. I have particularly enjoyed the lab classes as part of this course and the tutors were all really helpful and would respond to any queries really quickly. I would definitely recommend this course to others as long as you are well  organised  and have good practical skills.


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