Postgraduate MSc


School of Science, Engineering and Environment





One year

Three year

Next enrolment

September 2021


In a nutshell

The revolution and rapid growth of biosciences, driven by advancements in genomics, applied immunology, and pharmaceutical therapies, is likely to increase in the post-COVID-19 era. Align your skills for career opportunities in this exciting field with our Biotechnology postgraduate degree.

Led by a research-active academic team, the course draws together developing and highly relevant topics, including molecular biology, proteomics, genomics, novel therapeutics and green (plant) biotechnology. You will explore how biotechnology can address a range of global challenges, including life expectancy, antibiotic resistance and sustainable agriculture.

Available with full and part-time study routes, the course provides you with opportunities to produce a robust scientific argument, and formulate and test hypotheses. You will develop science communication skills, analytical techniques and problem-solving approaches, as you prepare to be a next-generation scientist.

You will:
  • Understand how genetic modification and genome editing contribute to contemporary medical and commercial research
  • Learn about genome editing technology (CRISPR) and the possibility of adjusting the genome to achieve desired goals and overcome global health challenges
  • Strengthen your analytical ability, gain confidence in critical evaluation, and build competence in interpreting bioscience data

students accepted

This is for you if...


You are a science graduate looking to build further scientific skills that can solve contemporary global challenges


You are a science professional fascinated by novel therapies and genomics and keen to enhance your knowledge in this field


You are a science graduate ready to gain postgraduate level skills, carry out research and get hands-on with clinical lab work

Course details

All about the course

A view of the Bodmer Laboratories

The Biotechnology postgraduate degree course at Salford provides formal qualifications for science professionals looking to develop a laboratory-based skillset. By drawing on our pioneering scientific research, and by applying our collaborative learning approach, the course is designed to provide you with a platform for future career success.

Course delivery

The course is delivered through a range of highly-focused modules. The 180-credit MSc award comprises eight taught modules, plus a research dissertation. 

Flexibility is at the heart of our learning approach. You can choose to study this postgraduate course full-time or part-time on campus, with start dates in January and September:

  • Full-time students will complete four 15-credit taught modules in each of the first two trimesters on campus.  In the final trimester, you will complete a dissertation worth 60 credits.
  • Part-time students will complete two 15-credit modules in each of the first four trimesters on campus. In two additional trimesters, you will complete a dissertation worth 60 credits.
Course content

The course approaches biotechnology from both medical and commercial perspectives and focuses on applying it to highly relevant global topics and health challenges.

Current course topics include molecular biology, proteomics, genomics, medical biotechnology, novel therapeutics and green (plant) biotechnology. The independent research project which encourages you to formulate and test hypotheses is designed to consolidates crucial scientific skills whilst offering you the flexibility to pursue a semi-independent research agenda.

We regularly review module content with our industry partners to ensure acquired knowledge and skills reflect trends and needs within the science community. Learn more about the current course modules in the section below.

Trimester one

Postgraduate Scholarship Skills

This module will provide you with the key skills and knowledge to pursue academic research at the postgraduate and professional level. You will gain knowledge and understanding of the current ‘big issues’ in the life sciences and will understand how ethics and bioethics can enhance critical thinking in often controversial subject areas.

Molecular Biology and Proteomics

You will develop a comprehensive conceptual understanding of molecular biology and proteomics and their uses in biotechnology along with a practical knowledge of bioinformatics. Crucially you will develop skills in the application of laboratory techniques in the field of molecular biology.


You will build a systematic understanding of whole genome sequencing technologies and the field of genomics and develop a general understanding of sequence assembly, annotation and analyses using different types of sequence data.The module will demonstrate a range of medical applications of genomics, and genetics counselling, and describe future directions of the field, including employment opportunities and the skills required for research in this field.

Novel Therapeutics

You will develop an understanding of the molecular and cellular biology of age-related pathologies such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases and dementia as well as a comprehensive conceptual and practical understanding of molecular medicine driven treatment strategies. You will have the opportunity to use the acquired theoretical and practical knowledge for designing creative and innovative solution to “real world” problems applicable to translational molecular medicine.

Trimester two

Research Design and Delivery

This module will enable you to design, plan and execute a programme of research and to apply appropriate analysis of research results, it has a strong focus on acquiring laboratory skills prior to undertaking the final research project module and as such will develop your practical skills beyond that of a standard MSc programme. It will provide opportunities for you to develop essential research skills in the discipline and allow you to undertake project work broadly aligned to the focus of your dissertation.

Green Biotechnology

You will develop a systematic understanding of how molecular biology and genomics (green biotechnology) contribute to the agricultural (food and fuel) industry and build a comprehensive understanding of both technical approaches and real world applications of the technology. Your critical thinking will be enhanced and challenged through seminars/debate on this often controversial area and you will develop practical skills in the application of –omics laboratory techniques to the field of green biotechnology.

Medical Biotechnology

You will build a systematic understanding of how biotechnology can contribute to medical advances (focusing on personalised medical approaches, stem cells, regenerative medicine and genome editing technologies) and develop a conceptual understanding of how the challenge of antimicrobial resistance to antibiotics is being addressed. You will gain practical knowledge in the application of laboratory techniques in the field of medical biotechnology.

Professional Practice

This module provides the opportunity for you to use research skills acquired in the applied context of ‘real world’ project work in a variety of professional settings (companies, charities etc) and develop the skills necessary for successful delivery of project outcomes. You will design, plan and execute a programme of research through active enquiry and to apply appropriate analysis of research results.

Trimester three

Research project

Following successful completion of semesters one and two, you will undertake a laboratory-based research project for a minimum of four months. 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 and potential projects:

· Genomics, analysis of microbial genomes (including clinically relevant studies)

· Genomics, analysis of plant genomes

· Genome editing (CRISPR/Cas)

· Plant biotechnology (genetic modification)*Biofuels and enzyme discovery

· Cancer Studies: DNA repair mechanisms, 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

· Nanotechnology, medical and biosensor applications

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?


The co-creation of knowledge is an overarching learning and teaching strategy at Salford. We encourage you to see yourself as a producer of knowledge and a collaborator in your learning experience.

Learning methods are designed to train you to assess real-life situations and provide measures that would lead to improved professional practice.

  • Lectures will introduce core topics, with seminars and tutorials providing opportunities to discuss them further with your tutors and other students in smaller groups
  • Laboratory practicals delivered in our Bodmer Laboratories will enable you to apply your knowledge in real-world scenarios and build proficiency using equipment

Alongside formal teaching, you will also have regular timetabled meetings with your personal tutor where you can discuss elements of your course, learning progress and potential research topics.


Assessment is designed to develop your skills for future employability and study success. Feedback is regularly provided in the form of personal written communication, online notes, and group-based feedback.

Assessment types can vary with each module, but typical methods include:

  • Problem-based learning
  • Group work
  • Practical work
  • Individual report writing
  • Scientific communication
  • Peer review
  • Reflective writing

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Rising to the challenge of a changing world, our postgraduate courses are designed to shape the next generation of urbanists, scientists, engineers, consultants and industry leaders.

Driven by industry, and delivered by supportive programme teams, you can develop the knowledge and skills to take your career potential further.


During your studies, you will experience a modern learning environment, with accessible lecture theatres, AV-equipped classrooms and laboratories, computing suites and multimedia libraries featuring industry journals, databases, and software.

As a biotechnology student, you will learn in our cutting-edge Bodmer Laboratories which host industry-standard instrumentation including cell culture facilities, FACS, MALDI-TOF, LC and GC mass spectrometry, FTIR and FTNMR spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy and scanning electron microscopy.

Programme Team

The Biotechnology postgraduate programme is delivered by an academic team with exceptional research experience and extensive professional connections.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?


This programme prepares you for career developments in research, academia and related employment fields. With growing interest in biotechnology fuelled by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is anticipated that new research and work opportunities will arise.

Many of our biotechnology graduates secure roles working as research associates and technicians in clinical and research laboratories, at research universities, and at pharmaceutical and biotechnology organisations, both in the UK and worldwide. 

Further Study

Biotechnology postgraduates can choose research to further their knowledge of topics such as genomics, biofuels, cancer research and genome editing (CRISPR/Cas). Learn more about postgraduate research opportunities available through our Doctoral School.

Our Biomedical Research Centre is home to a collaborative community of molecular biologists, biochemists, chemists, clinicians, microbiologists, parasitologists, physiologists, and cell biologists, dedicated to advancing our scientific knowledge.

A taste of what you could become

A bioscientist

A diagnostic scientist

A pharmaceutical microbiologist

A laboratory technician

A clinical project manager

And more...

Career Links

Salford is well-positioned to provide you with access to career networks and research opportunities. Locally, the North West is one of the fastest-growing employment region outside of London in science and biomedical science-based vacancies.

The University i is driven by industry collaboration, and we ensure that learning is enriched by our partners and networks. Course modules include industrial site visits and opportunities to engage with research projects carried out at other institutions (recently Universities in Bremen or France and the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute). We also invite guest lecturers to share their expertise in relevant scientific fields.

The bioscience team also hosts a regular postgraduate research seminar series, in which experts from outside the University share their knowledge and latest research findings.


What you need to know


This course is designed for applicants motivated by experimental science and with an interest in biology, biotechnology and biochemistry.

We welcome applications from science graduates and professionals who want to develop knowledge in biotechnology, and build relevant skills to work or pursue research in biomedicine, genomics, green biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.


All of our courses are taught and assessed in English. If English is not your first language, you must meet our minimum English language entry requirements. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this, however we do accept a range of equivalent qualifications. 

Read more about our English language requirements, including information about pathways that can help you gain entry on to our degree courses.

Standard entry requirements

Undergraduate degree

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

Alternative entry requirements

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

We welcome applications from candidates 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).

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2021/22 £9,180per year
Full-time international 2021/22 £15,030per year
Part-time 2021/22 £1,530 per 30 credits
Additional costs

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

International student scholarships

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships. We offer a range of scholarships worth between £3,000-£5,000.

Learn more about our latest international scholarships.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2021

January 2022

September 2022