Postgraduate MSc

Biotechnology

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Attendance

Full-time

Part-time

Course

One year

Three year

Next enrolment

January 2021

Introduction

In a nutshell

The field of biotechnology has been revolutionised in the past ten years by advances in molecular biology, genome sequencing and large scale-omics profiling (including proteomics) as well as the ability to manipulate genomes via genetic modification and genome editing tools.

During your studies, you will explore global challenges of population growth, increased life expectancy, antibiotic resistance, sustainable agriculture and the demand for food and fuel.

Available with full and part-time study routes, the programme is designed to develop the analytical techniques and problem-solving skills necessary for postgraduate-level employment in the biotechnology sector. 

You will:
  • Develop the skills needed to address some of the major challenges facing the world today
  • Learn how genetic modification and genome editing contribute to both medical and commercial research
  • Learn genome editing technology (CRISPR) and the possibility of adjusting the genome to achieve desired goals
International

students accepted

This is for you if...

1.

You are fascinated by recent developments in biotechnology

2.

You are looking to develop your career in this priority growth area

3.

You want to help address some global challenges

Course details

All about the course

The Biotechnology programme is available in flexible study formats, including full and part-time pathways. It comprises eight 15 credit taught modules, followed by a 60 credit research project.

  • Full-time students will take modules in trimesters one and two, and complete the project module in trimester three.
  • Part-time students will spread their studies over trimesters one and two of two years, and complete the project module in year three.

This course draws on highly relevant topics including molecular biology, proteomics, genomics, medical biotechnology, novel therapeutics and green (plant) biotechnology. Throughout the programme, the learning approach will develop your communication skills, analytical ability, confidence in critical evaluation, and competence in interpreting bioscience data.

The independent research project provides you with the opportunity to produce a robust scientific argument, to formulate and test hypotheses and to assess contrasting scientific theories. This dual approach consolidates crucial skills whilst offering the flexibility to pursue a semi-independent research agenda.

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.

Genomics

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?

TEACHING

The co-creation of knowledge is an overarching learning and teaching strategy at the University. You are encouraged to see yourself as producers of knowledge and collaborators 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. You will experience a combination of lectures, seminars, and laboratory practicals. Seminars are designed to enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups.

Alongside formal teaching, you will also have regular timetabled meetings with your personal tutor. 

ASSESSMENT

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

Typical assessment methods:

  • Coursework portfolios 
  • Lab reports
  • Case studies
  • Examinations
  • Laboratory portfolios
  • Presentations
  • Peer reviews

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Rising to the challenge of a rapidly changing world, our multi-disciplinary courses will shape the next generation of urbanists, scientists, engineers, consultants and conservationists. Shaped by industry and delivered by supportive programme teams, you can develop the skills to become unstoppable in your career.

Facilities

During your studies, you will experience a modern learning environment, enriched with accessible lecture theatres and AV-equipped classrooms and laboratories, computing suites and multimedia libraries, with access to industry journals, databases, and simulation 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?

Employment

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 science 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

Many Biotechnology postgraduates 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 our 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 research assistant

A research associate

A technician

A researcher

And more...

Career Links

Salford is well-positioned to provide you with access to career networks and research opportunities. Locally, the North West is 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 School has a regular Postgraduate Research Seminar Series in which experts from outside the University share their knowledge and latest research findings. 

Requirements

What you need to know

APPLICANT PROFILE

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

It is recommended if you want to develop knowledge in biotechnology, and build relevant skills to work or pursue research in dynamic sectors, such as biomedicine, genomics, green biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS

International applicants are required to demonstrate proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (with no element below 5.5) is proof of this.

 

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 2020/21 £9,000per year
Full-time international 2020/21 £15,210per year
Part-time 2020/21 £1,500 per 30 credits
Full-time home 2021/22 £9,180per year
Full-time international 2021/22 £15030per 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.

 Scholarships for international students 2021/22

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our international scholarships worth up to £5,000. Our international scholarships include the Salford International Excellence Scholarship.

Visit our International Scholarships page for more information.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

January 2021

September 2021