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Do you want to focus your scientific career on one of the fastest moving sectors of science? The UK has hundreds of biotech companies and is a leader in innovating specialist products from living organisms. Biotech applications are enhancing food production, treating medical conditions, and having a significant impact on the global future.

Given the common expectation for job candidates to have some form of postgraduate qualification, this Masters course offers a route to careers in biotechnology as well as the broader life sciences industry. If your first degree included the study of genetics and molecular biology, and a research module, you’re well-placed to join us.

Do you want to focus your scientific career on one of the fastest moving sectors of science? The UK has hundreds of biotech companies and is a leader in innovating specialist products from living organisms. Biotech applications are enhancing food production, treating medical conditions, and having a significant impact on the global future.

Given the common expectation for job candidates to have some form of postgraduate qualification, this Masters course offers a route to careers in biotechnology as well as the broader life sciences industry. If your first degree included the study of genetics and molecular biology, and a research module, you’re well-placed to join us.

Course Information

Level of Study
Postgraduate

Mode of Study
1 year full-time
1 other options available

Department
Applied Sciences

Location
Ellison Building, Newcastle City Campus

City
Newcastle

Start
September 2019

Videos / Discover Applied Sciences at Northumbria

Book an Open Day / Experience Biotechnology

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Biotechnology at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

We aim for interactive teaching sessions and you will engage in discussions, problem-solving exercises and other activities.

Teaching can start in the lab or classroom and then you make the material your own by exploring and applying it. Technology Enhanced Learning makes this easier; each module has an electronic blackboard site with relevant information including electronic reading lists and access to websites, videos and other study materials that are available anytime, anywhere.

You will undertake assignments within small groups and we provide training in communication skills relevant for scientific communication. The course aims to foster your ability to work at a professional standard both individually and as part of a team.

Book an Open Day / Experience Biotechnology

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Biotechnology at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

The quality of teaching in life sciences at Northumbria has been recognised by strong performance in student-led awards. Further evidence of academic excellence is the number of invitations to members of our team to join the editorial boards of scientific journals.

Our teaching team maintains close links with biotech companies and research labs, including via on-going roles as consultants, which helps ensure an up-to-date understanding of the latest technical and commercial developments. Several academics are involved in biotech ventures that make use of the University’s facilities: Nzomics Biocatalysis develops enzyme alternatives to chemical processes, and Nu-omics offers DNA sequencing services.

Staff Profiles / Biotechnology

Book an Open Day / Experience Biotechnology

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Biotechnology at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

The technical facilities at Northumbria University are excellent. We are fully equipped for molecular biology manipulations and imaging – techniques include RT-PCR to show whether or not a specific gene is being expressed in a given sample. We also have pilot scale bioreactors so that we can scale up experiments and processes.

For cell biology and immunology, we have two multi-user laboratories. Technologies include assays for measuring immune responses at the single-cell level, and for monitoring the functioning of cells in real time. Further capabilities include biomarker analysis, flow cytometry, chemical imaging and fluorescence microscopy. For genomics, proteomics and metabolomics, our capabilities include genomic sequencing, mass spectrometry, 2D protein electrophoresis and nanoflow liquid chromatography.

All our equipment is supported up by highly skilled technical staff who will help you make the best use of all the facilities that are available.

Facilities / Biotechnology

Book an Open Day / Experience Biotechnology

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Biotechnology at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

In fast-moving fields like biotechnology, it’s particularly important for teaching to take account of the latest research. Many of our staff are conducting research in areas such as molecular biology, bio-informatics, gene expression and micro-biology of extreme environments. They bring all this experience and expertise into their teaching.

As a student, you will be heavily engaged in analysing recent insights from the scientific literature. You will undertake a major individual project in molecular and cellular science that will encompass all aspects of a scientific study. These include evaluation of relevant literature, design and set-up of experiments, collection and processing of data, analysis of results, preparation of a report and presentation of findings in a seminar.

Research / Explore our current Departmental Research Themes

Book an Open Day / Experience Biotechnology

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Biotechnology at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

Many recruiters in the biotech industry expect candidates to have studied at postgraduate level so our Masters qualification will help you get through the door of the interview room. Once there, your major project and other assignments will help ensure there is plenty to catch their attention.

Employers are looking for the ability to solve problems, think critically, work with others and function independently – which are exactly the attributes that our course develops to a higher level.

During your time at Northumbria, we encourage you to participate in the activities organised by the Career Development Service. We also encourage you to apply for associate membership of the Royal Society of Biology, with full membership becoming possible once you have at least three years’ postgraduate experience in study or work.

Book an Open Day / Experience Biotechnology

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Biotechnology at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

The biotech industry has made huge progress in the last few decades and the years ahead promise to be even more transformational.

With an MSc Biotechnology, you will be ready to contribute to the changes ahead through a rigorous scientific approach and your grasp of the fundamental knowledge, insights and skills that underlie modern biotechnology.

Scientific research is at the heart of the course and you will strengthen pivotal skills that will enhance your employability in any research-rich environment. By developing the practices, standards and principles relevant to becoming a bioscience professional, you will also prepare yourself for success in other sectors of the life sciences industry and beyond.

Student Profiles / Meet our Biotechnology Students

Book an Open Day / Experience Biotechnology

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Biotechnology at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

Entry Requirements 2019/20

Standard Entry

Applicants should normally have:

A minimum of a 2:2 honours degree, or equivalent, in a science degree related to biology or biotechnology, including the study of genetics and molecular biology and a completed a scientific research project or module in your final year or comparable research experience.

International qualifications
 
If you have studied a non UK qualification, you can see how your qualifications compare to the standard entry criteria, by selecting the country that you received the qualification in, from our country pages. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/yourcountry 
 
English Language requirements
 
International applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with 6 in each component (or approved equivalent*).
 
*The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS.  You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/englishqualifications 

Fees and Funding 2019/20 Entry

Full UK Fee: £6,990

Full EU Fee: £6,990

Full International Fee: £15,000

ADDITIONAL COSTS

Throughout your course you will be expected to print out some course materials, such as workbooks for laboratory sessions and tutorials. Individual printing costs vary greatly depending on how much you wish to print out and whether you choose colour or black and white printing. The cost of printing will therefore be in the region of £50. The core texts for this programme are available in the University library, there is an option to purchase additional books. The costs associated with these purchases are approximately £100 - £200.

FUNDING INFORMATION

Click here for UK and EU Masters funding and scholarships information.

Click here for International Masters funding and scholarships information.

Click here for UK/EU Masters tuition fee information.

Click here for International Masters tuition fee information.

Click here for additional costs which may be involved while studying.

Click here for information on fee liability.

 

 

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Modules Overview

Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

AP0700 -

Graduate Science Research Methods (Core, 20 Credits)

This module will provide you with an opportunity to develop your skills in the use and understanding of relevant literature and in both quantitative and qualitative methods. You will learn how to evaluate and contribute to the scientific literature and to interpret and disseminate scientific information. You will appreciate the desirable properties of research design and be able to select an experimental design appropriate to a given system and create the design matrix. You will learn how to assess the kinds of scientific data and tests of hypotheses and will be able to select, apply, and interpret the output from statistical methods of data analysis, and to evaluate the results of statistical analyses as applied to a given data set. Using contemporary science stories, you will develop scientific communication skills in systematic searching, summary writing and critical analysis of the underpinning primary research.

More information

AP0701 -

Molecular Biology (Core, 20 Credits)

You will learn to evaluate recent developments in molecular biology in the context of the new techniques that have been developed, which will be assessed by an online test, demonstrate an ability to perform skilled laboratory techniques in a competent and safe manner, which is assessed by practical report, and evaluate laboratory results in the form of a scientific paper, which is assessed by practical report. You will also learn to demonstrate an awareness of the wider social and political implications of the topics covered in the module.

More information

AP0702 -

Bioinformatics (Core, 20 Credits)

You will learn the fundamental importance of bioinformatics to 21st century biology and how it is applied to the investigation of bacterial sequences. Topics include:
•Utilisation of databases for the analysis of nucleotide and amino-acid sequences, including introduction to the algorithms used in sequence alignment and sequence searching
•Practical experience of sequence analysis using freely available bioinformatics tools, looking at nucleotide, protein, and genome databases. These tools include BLAST, SWISS-Prot, PubMed, UCSC Genome Browser
•Microbial DNA sequencing and next-generation sequencing
•Genome annotation and analysis of SNPs.
•The importance of molecular phylogeny
•Genome editing using CRISPR-Cas
•Proteomics, covering protein structure analysis and identification of common motifs

More information

AP0703 -

Subject Exploration (Core, 20 Credits)

This module allows you to explore a topic related to your Masters programme of your own choosing to an advanced level developing a critical appreciation of the methodologies, recent advances and future potential in that field. In doing so, you will develop and refine your research skills including information retrieval, evaluative, analytical, and problem solving skills together with group-based written and oral communication skills.

More information

AP0704 -

Industrial Biotechnology (Core, 20 Credits)

You will explore various aspects of industrial microbial biotechnology and see how it contributes to the global goal of sustainable industrial development, using easily obtainable renewable feed-stocks to generate a wide range of useful (often biodegradable) products while avoiding the use of environment-damaging materials like petrochemicals. You will explore the development of traditional biotechnology industries such as the production of amino acids as food additives and the treatment of waste waters and the bioreactors they use. You will also learn about the use of enzymes in industry and explore the production of a complex enzyme preparation using bioreactors in the laboratory. You will learn how production strains of microorganisms were isolated and traditionally improved using biochemical principles. You will learn how the advent of genomic analyses facilitates analysis of hyper-producing strains to understand their productivity and how they can now be rationally designed using the genomic information in the future. Throughout the module you will consider the practicalities of operating at an industrial scale.

More information

AP0705 -

Current Topics in Biotechnology (Core, 20 Credits)

Biotechnology is a fast moving and growing field of science, that impacts on our society and our lives. In this module, you will explore several areas of biotechnology.
You will learn about genetically modified plants and animals. What is the scientific background of genetic modification – how is it done, what are the implications, why do we need genetically modified organisms – do we actually need them? You will learn about the different methodologies of transferring DNA into plants and animals, about the selection mechanisms involved, and about the ectopic expression of the transgenes, and about the effects (wanted and unwanted) on both the host species and the natural or agricultural environment. You will study a number of case studies in depth, looking at all aspects of the problem and its supposed biotechnological solution.
Biotechnology is of growing importance in the medical world as well. How can we apply our biotechnological and molecular genetic knowledge in the fight against disease? You will learn about the role of cell therapies in creating “future cures”, with a focus on stem cell technologies and the production and handling of cell based products.
You will also explore the controversy around biotechnological methods and applications. You will learn about the ethical, legal and social issues surrounding genetic modification and stem cell research, and get insight into the regulatory bodies, commercial, governmental and social pressures that drive medical biotechnology product development.

More information

AP0708 -

Applied Sciences Research Project (Core, 60 Credits)

This module provides you with a vehicle for developing, refining and applying your research skills in an independent project. Guided by a staff member, you will plan, carry out and report the outcomes of an independent research project to professional standards. You will identify stakeholders in your research and describe the projected impact your research holds for them. In order to prepare you for life as a research professional, assessments emulate authentic professional documentary formats aimed at securing project resources and disseminating your findings to ensure they develop real world impact.

More information

EF0177 -

Academic Language Skills Applied Sciences PG (Optional, 0 Credits)

The purpose of this module is to develop the participant’s ability in study skills and English language skills for academic purposes.

The module is designed to develop the participants as independent learners. The module is supported by a teaching and learning plan which outlines the formal sessions, together with the tutor-directed study and independent reading. An interactive approach to seminars will draw upon the directed learning undertaken and participants’ own experience of study skills. Directed learning will centre upon a range of activities including pre-reading, preparation for interactive activities and use of the discussion board on the e-learning platform.
Independent learning will focus upon the participants identifying those skills which they need to develop and understand through a range of learning activities that might include extended reading, and reflection. The sessions will attempt to follow the principles set out by the CEM model (Sloan and Porter, 2008)

More information

Study Options

The following alternative study options are available for this course:

Any Questions?

Our admissions team will be happy to help. They can be contacted on 0191 406 0901.

Applicants Contact Details:

bc.applicantservices@northumbria.ac.uk

Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.

Your Learning Experience find out about our distinctive approach at 
www.northumbria.ac.uk/exp

Terms and Conditions - northumbria.ac.uk/terms
Fees and Funding - northumbria.ac.uk/fees
Admissions Policy - northumbria.ac.uk/adpolicy

Order your prospectus

If you're a UK/EU student and would like to know more about our courses, you can order a copy of our prospectus here.

Get a downloadable PDF of this course and updates from Applied Sciences

Enter your details to receive an email with a link to a downloadable PDF of this course and to receive the latest news and information from Northumbria University

* By submitting your information you are consenting to your data being processed by Northumbria University (as Data Controller) and Campus Management Corp. (acting as Data Processor). To see the University's privacy policy please click here

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Alumni Discounts

Graduates of the University are entitled to a 20% alumni discount on Masters study at Northumbria (T&C’s apply).

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Masters Programmes

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