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The award
MSc

How long you will study
1 - 2 year

Domestic course fees
find out

How you will study
full-time

Course starts
January, September, January

International course fees
find out

All study options

About Biotechnology at The School of Science and Technology, Nottingham Trent University

This exciting biotechnology postgraduate degree is designed to give you the theoretical and practical skills needed for a career in Biotechnology within companies and research organisations.

Biotechnology is a key international growth area and this course is driven by the latest commercial and research advances in the field. Students have the opportunity to learn from experienced academic researchers with the possibility of undertaking a research project in industry.

This course is ideal if you:

  • are a recently qualified undergraduate and are looking for the professional skills needed to obtain a job in a Biotechnology company
  • are working in an organisation and want a masters-level qualification to give you a competitive edge
  • require the skills and experience needed to study for a research degree
  • are an international student who would like to study abroad
  • would like a course delivered by experienced research academics, with the possibility of completing a research project in industry
  • want to use cutting-edge facilities to develop your own learning and research.

One year paid work experience option available

Postgraduate open events: We hold postgraduate open events throughout the year. Find out more and book a place.

Contact details: Email us
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 8351

What you'll study

The course is completed with a five-month laboratory based research project. You may carry out the work either in the School or in another academic or industrial research laboratory in the UK or abroad, subject to approval by the Course Team.

  • Modules

    During this course you will study six core modules as well as undertaking a research project. You will also choose from two optional modules.

    Core modules:

    • Molecular Biology (20 cp) - During this module, you'll consolidate your knowledge of the molecular biology of prokaryotes and eukaryotes, and how to prove hoe genomes are mutated, analysed and manipulated in the detection, study and therapy of disease. You'll study the control of gene expression in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, and the control at transcriptional, post-transcriptional (RNAi, microRNA) and translational levels.
    • Cell Culture and Antibody Technology (20 cp) - You'll explore the scientific basis of cell culture and antibody technologies, and assess how they're used to solve problems in biotechnology, molecular biosciences, and biomedical sciences. You'll look at the relationship between cell and antibody technologies, as well as other technologies, particulary recombinant DNA technology and how these may develop in the future.
    • Special Topics in Biotechnology (20 cp) - You'll study the molecular basis of the approaches used in plant and yeast biotechnology. This knowledge will be used to explore how problems in biotechnology can be solved. In addition, you'll discover the environmental implications that come with using biotechnology. This eLearning module is supported by on-campus workshops.
    • Business and Enterprise (20 cp) - You'll approach ideas generation in a creative manner to understand the role of new business concepts, and their development in the biosciences industry. You'll explore all aspects of starting up a new biosciences company, including new product development, marketing and research, pricing, distribution, and promotion.
    • Research Methods and Bioethics (20 cp) - This module encourages you to think beyond your own subject, and interact accordingly. You'll gain a solid foundation in literature review, research design and planning, data analysis and a poster presentation by focusing your studies on a related ethical issue. Ethical issues in research will also be explored, as you discover when and how to obtain ethical clearance in accordance with ethical governance at NTU.
    • Research Project (60 cp) - In consultation with a supervisor at NTU, you'll select a research topic comprising an original, defined research question (or series of such questions), and develop a written research proposal for the Project. You'll then present this proposal as part of the Research Methods and Bioethics module.
    • Working individually with the guidance of supervisors, you'll design your experiments and computer-based approaches to address the research questions. A diary-stlye record of protocols or methods will be used to generate entries for your skills portfolio.

      You'll communicate your findings through a written thesis, and a poster presentation. For the MRes course, an interim written report and oral presentation will be assessed after six to eight months of work, in order to review your progress.

    Optional modules:

    • Microbial Diagnostics (20 cp) - This module aims to provide you with an understanding of the rationale and process of designing modern microbial diagnostic assays. Furthermore, you'll explore the theory and rationale of techniques such as culture-based diagnosis, serology, PCR, real-time PCR, microarrays, and sequencing for infectious disease diagnostics. You'll gain practical experience of performing real-time PCR detection from a sample.
    • Techniques in Macromolecular Analysis (20 cp) - The aims of this module are to provide an advanced knowledge and understanding of the techniques that can be used to isolate and purify macromolecules, and the approaches that can be used to track, study and predict macromolecular structure and function. You'll explore a range of current topics, and their application to macromolecular analysis. These topics will include the macromolecular analysis of proteins, protein purification programs and simulations, and protein bioinformatics.
  • Learn a new language

    Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have.

    Learning a new language can:

    • Enhance your communication skills;
    • Enrich your experience when travelling abroad; and
    • Boost your career prospects.

    Find out more about the ULP.

  • Qualification types

    • Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) - choose to study 60 credit points (cp) of taught modules
    • Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) - choose 120 cp of taught modules for the award, does not include a research project
    • Masters of Science (MSc) - complete 180 cp of taught modules and a research project

    If you are unsuccessful in completing the 180 cp required for MSc, you will be awarded PGCert if you have passed at least 60 cp, or PGDip if you have passed 120 cp. All PG Cert, PG Dip and Masters students are taught together.

  • Key stats

    • 100% of our biomedical science research activity achieved world-leading, internationally-excellent or internationally-recognised status (latest Research Excellence Framework 2014)
    • 95% of our postgraduates are in work or further study within just six months of finishing their degrees (latest Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2014-15)
    • 83% of NTU postgraduate taught students said that overall they were satisfied with the quality of their course (Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2016)
    • Leading university in the UK for the number of postgraduate students taking professional qualifications (latest Higher Education Statistics 2014/15)

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

How you're taught


Modules assessed by a variety of different types of course work including written assignments, oral presentations and poster presentations, and examinations. The Research Project will involve the design, implementation and reporting of a major research task.

Study hours

Contact hours for a 20 cp modules are typically around 50 hours, with a further 150 hours expected from you for directed and independent study.

Careers and employability

This Biotechnology Masters degree provides students with the professional skills, experience and knowledge necessary to pursue a wide range of careers within the field of biotechnology, alongside valuable transferable skills. Students would also be well-placed to study for a PhD.

This course offers you the opportunity to take a one year, paid placement. If you start this course in September / October you will complete your placement following your taught modules and research project. If you start in January you will complete one term of taught modules and your project, then go on placement before returning to NTU for your final term of modules.

Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Practice

To qualify for the additional qualification of Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Practice (PGDIPP) you must submit a work placement portfolio which includes a placement diary, reflective report and updated CV, as well as deliver an oral presentation on your placement experience.

Help and support

We will work closely with you to help you strengthen your CV and interview techniques. During the placement year, an academic member of staff will visit at least twice to check on your progress and offer any advice.

Study options for this course

Notes about fees for this course

UK Fees

Tuition fees 2017

  • Full-time study: £6,500
  • Part-time study: £3,250 per year
  • Placement year: £1,350

Tuition fees 2018

  • Full-time study: £7,800
  • Part-time study: £3,900 per year
  • Placement year: £TBC

Please see our Fees and Funding page for details and scholarships.

International Fees

Tuition fees 2017

  • Full-time study: £12,900
  • Placement year: £1,380

Tuition fees 2018

  • Full-time study: £13,900
  • Placement year: £TBC

Please see our Fees and Funding page for details and scholarships.

Funding

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

International qualifications

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our UG and PG degrees. If you're not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Pre-masters and foundation courses

If you need to do a foundation or pre-masters course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you're already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our foundation and pre-masters courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study.   We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please contact our international team for advice.

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