Molecular Biology MSc 2020/21 entry

Course code:

MSc Molecular Biology (HLST176)
MSc Molecular Biology with Professional Experience (HLST177)

Study options:

1 year full-time
18-20 months (with professional experience)
2 years part-time (UK/EU only)

How to Apply
Location:

Coventry University

Starting:

September 2020

 

Fees:

2020/21 fees TBC*
2019/20 fees - £8,350
£12,450 (with prof. experience)

Find out more

Faculty:

Get in touch

Recruitment and Admissions Office

+44(0)24 7765 5989
+44(0)24 7765 5958
+44(0)24 7765 5388

 

ukpostgraduate@coventry.ac.uk

 

Overview

Molecular biology – the study of the basis of life, focuses on the structure and function of DNA, RNA and protein and their interactions with each other.

This knowledge has led us to understand molecules within viral, microbial and eukaryotic organisms and has been at the forefront of scientific discovery since the identification of the structure of DNA by Watson and Crick in the 1950’s. It is responsible for new and exciting techniques to detect and treat disease, produce drugs and vaccines, and uncover further the path of evolution.

This Master’s course responds to the demand for highly skilled scientists who can identify defects in cellular systems at the nucleic acid level and conduct genetic modification of organisms which allow a greater understanding of cellular function. Such insights and innovations are already responsible for the development of new diagnostic tests, novel products, therapeutic agents, detection of biomarkers, identification of faulty genes and subsequent correction of those defects.

Our multimillion pound, state-of-the-art Alison Gingell Building features a suite of analytical and biological laboratories where you can gain hands-on experience in cutting-edge industry techniques.

See the facilities available in our brand new Alison Gingell Building

Why Coventry University?

An award-winning university, we are committed to providing our students with the best possible experience. We continue to invest in both our facilities and our innovative approach to education. Our students benefit from industry-relevant teaching, and resources and support designed to help them succeed. These range from our modern library and computing facilities to dedicated careers advice and our impressive Students’ Union activities.

Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities

Employability

Career-ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Student experience

All the support you need, in a top student city
Facilities Test Image

SuperLab

The Alison Gingell building contains a state-of-the-art SuperLab, capable of holding up to 270 people at once. The lab's facilities include equipment for microscopy, DNA analysis and forensic testing.

Facilities Test Image

Mock Operating Theatre

Our Alison Gingell building includes a full-size mock operating theatre, containing scrub sinks and theatre lights. We also have a mock hospital ward so that we can study a complete patient pathway.

Facilities Test Image

Hospital Wards

We have two fully-equipped mock hospital wards, each containing 4 beds. The wards are built to NHS standards and contain moveable beds, first aid equipment and patient monitoring tools.

What our students say...

The standard of teaching on the MSc Molecular Biology course has so far exceeded my expectations. Lecturers are happy to devote time to provide extra support if needed creating a relaxed and engaging atmosphere for us to work in. This course is engaging and enjoyable whilst also providing us with the knowledge and skills required for us to succeed post-university.

Matthew Bullen-Hooper, MSc Molecular Biology, 2018-19

Course information

Focused on key elements of molecular biology, this course aims to expand your knowledge of and proficiency in advanced molecular biology techniques and molecular microbiological methods.

The programme is composed of a combination of modules which progressively build to the award of Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) or Master’s. Core subject areas include cellular molecular biology, genetics, protein biology, numeracy, statistics and computing and a broad coverage of instrumentation and analytical techniques.

We provide hands-on practical laboratory experience, introducing you to essential techniques in molecular biology including: bioinformatics; nucleic acid and protein extraction; PCR, RT-PCR and qPCR analysis; gel-based analyses; molecular cloning and gene expression.

You will be trained in research strategies and gain a sound understanding and knowledge of recombinant DNA technology and recent advances made in the study of a range of diseases from cancer, hepatitis, respiratory viral infections, Alzheimer’s disease and hereditary disorders,  with the emphasis on how advanced molecular technologies inform and impact upon clinical practice. 

To qualify at Master’s level, you will undertake a research project/dissertation. A large selection of projects are offered each year from our academic supervisors and allocated across a spectrum of topics related to molecular biology.  You will have the opportunity to graduate with exceptional scientific understanding and a host of cognitive, practical and professional skills.

Course Specification
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Modules

Overview

This course includes the Professional Development module. Each of the participating postgraduate courses have an individually tailored version of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) Professional Development module.

Modules

  • Postgraduate Diploma

    • Research Techniques in Molecular Biology
    • Principles of Molecular Biology
    • Critical Review in Molecular Biology
    • Synthetic Biology
    • Medical Molecular Biology
    • Molecular Biology Scientific Presentation
    • Global Professional Development - Entrepreneurship
    • Research Principles and Preparation or Professional Experience Preparation

  • Master’s degree

    • Research Project

  • Master’s degree with Professional Experience

    • Professional Experience in Life Sciences 1
    • Professional Experience in Life Sciences 2
    • Life Sciences Professional Experience Project and Reflection

We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.

In more detail...

  • Industrial links with local companies such as Inocardia, BioCote and LyteGro.
  • Teaching links with the local National Health Service (NHS) cardiac rehabilitation team and with staff in hospital diagnostic laboratories.
  • Students enrolled onto MSc Molecular Biology with Professional Experience will undertake 6-8 months of professional experience, either externally or on campus. MSc Molecular Biology with Professional Experience enhances employability skills, excites and stimulates students and ensures that they gain and develop valuable skills sought by employers.
  • High levels of student satisfaction for ‘Biology and related Sciences’ – 89% for the quality of teaching compared to a sector average of 83% in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTSE) 2016.
  • Guest lecturers from current practitioners in the pharmaceutical industry, laboratory research and other jobs in science in areas including pharmacogenomics, neuropharmacology, pharmacovigilance and drug transport and development.
  • Research-inspired teaching with input from experts in our Sports, Life and Exercise Sciences research centre (CSELS), which focuses on the themes of: cellular and molecular biosciences; biological systems, health and disease; and physical activity, exercise and obesity.
  • Access to a well-equipped suite of analytical and biological laboratories where you will have the opportunity to gain hands on experience using industry standard techniques, such as flow cytometry, mass spectrometry, high performance liquid chromatography, and confocal microscopy.

Your main study themes are:

  • Research Techniques in Molecular Biology: This module provides a comprehensive laboratory programme covering modern techniques used in molecular biology based investigations, supported by workshops to discuss the underlying principles of these techniques and to analyse and interpret laboratory data. Students will extend their knowledge of bioinformatics databases and their applications, and learn and apply appropriate statistical analysis methods.

  • Principles of Molecular Biology: Students will develop their understanding of core topic areas such as –omics, the regulation of gene expression in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes and the manipulation of genetic material to produce novel organisms, recombinant proteins and gene expression control strategies.

  • Critical Review in Molecular Biology: This module will develop students’ skills as a critical reader of scientific literature. It will bring together understanding of the current knowledge base in molecular biology together with the laboratory and data analysis methods that are commonly employed.

  • Synthetic Biology: Students will learn how to design synthetic DNA constructs carrying out mutagenesis on the T7 promoter. Cloning techniques will be developed alongside analysis of gene expression using a GFP reporter system. Students will carry out relevant bioinformatics e.g. sequence analysis of the synthetic constructs.

  • Medical Molecular Biology: In this module the molecular biology of selected disease examples covering infectious and non-infectious disease will be considered in depth, including the development of novel diagnostics and therapeutics. Alongside the theoretical material the ethical, legal and social aspects surrounding the applications of these new advances will be covered.

The course can be studied over three semesters and one year as a traditional full-time Master’s programme and two years part-time, starting in September and January. It can also be studied over 20 months as an extended full-time programme ‘With Professional Experience’. This incorporates two additional professional experience modules, in which you have the opportunity to gain experience throughout either an internship with an external organisation or with the University.

Internships, subject to competitive application and selection, will normally be undertaken for three to five days per week for 18-22 weeks over two semesters, though shorter internships are subject to approval. 

Teaching and learning incorporates lectures, workshops, tutorials, presentations, group and individual problem-based learning projects. In practical laboratory sessions, all supported by an extensive suite of analytical and biological laboratories staffed by experienced technicians, you will be exposed to the use of cutting-edge laboratory techniques and equipment. In addition, each module is supported by extensive online material to help prepare you for your taught sessions and to assist with your personal study. 

You will have the opportunity to receive a series of lectures and seminars on selected contemporary topics in molecular biology, delivered by University teaching, research staff and invited speakers from other universities’ research institutes.

This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will could vary depending upon the module. Assessment methods include laboratory reports, essays, oral and poster presentations.

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards the achieving the intended learning outcomes. Assessments may include exams, individual assignments or group work elements.

On completion, you should have knowledge of:

  • The molecular biology of genomes and the implications for DNA technology.
  • The production, maintenance and applications of animal and microbial cell cultures, and the use of immunochemical techniques for analysis, in molecular biology.
  • The molecular biology of mammalian cells – the control of gene expression; cellular signalling pathways; cellular trafficking pathways; cell cycle control; and cell and tissue development
  • The molecular biology of microorganisms – their genetic diversity; their interactions with their environment; their virulence factors; and the key molecular techniques used to manipulate microorganisms and to study their epidemiology.
  • The molecular biology of selected diseases – inherited cancers; protein folding and prion disease; and the molecular biology of the virulence factors of selected microbial pathogens.
  • Research methodology, including design and management of scientific research.

 

On completion, you should be able to:

  • Critically analyse, evaluate and interpret knowledge and practice in molecular biology.
  • Collect, analyse and present data using appropriate methods.
  • Apply scientific methods to the critical analysis of literature, reflection, information searching, and research methodology in areas of molecular biology.
  • Apply scientific/clinical methods to conducting and management of research.
  • Formulate and present a critical argument using a variety of methods (eg. presentation, essay) that would stand up to critical review and scrutiny in academic and professional settings.
  • Work safely in a laboratory, establishing fundamental techniques and carry out progressively more advanced laboratory-based investigations based on competence in molecular biological technologies, including bioinformatics, PCR, RT-PCR, qPCR, gel-based analyses, molecular cloning and analytical techniques that are particularly relevant to contemporary molecular biology.
  • Operate, to lead and collaborate with others in order to solve problems of a practical nature and to provide appropriate solutions.
  • Design a research study, including demonstrating awareness of safety and ethical issues.
  • Conduct an independent research project, including collection, analysis and presentation of data.

In a typical teaching week, you will have on average 15-18 hours of teaching contact based on lecture, tutorial and practical based teaching sessions. 

In addition, you will be expected to undertake a further 20 hours of self-directed study each week e.g. working on coursework assignments.

The continuous evolution of molecular biology has changed the way diseases are being diagnosed and treated, producing a raft of new methods for detecting bacteria, genetic variations and infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis quickly and more precisely. The wide range of technologies that have resulted are fuelling the demand within the global molecular diagnostics market, which is currently segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America. 

Coventry University is committed to preparing our students for the challenges of the global employment market and to strengthen and develop their broader personal and professional skills, through the many initiatives offered within our award-winning Global Leaders Programme (GLP). 

Students may have the opportunity to present a poster in an international location as part of a Scientific Presentation module. Students work together on joint presentation projects, which allow them to learn and interact from students from a different institution and culture. You will also benefit from teaching from a range of staff with international experience in countries like Malawi and Singapore, and some modules will feature external speakers who have an international research background.

Global ready

Did you know we help more students travel internationally than any other UK university according to data from the experts in higher education data and analysis, HESA?

In 2016/17, we were able to provide a total of 3,482 student experiences abroad that lasted at least five days.

Much of this travel is made possible through our Global Leaders Programme, which enables students to prepare for the challenges of the global employment market, as well as strengthening and developing their broader personal and professional skills.

Explore our international experiences

1st for

international experiences

Sending more students overseas than any other UK uni (HESA 2016/17)


3,482

Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2016/17


21,000

and counting

The number of students we’ve helped travel internationally so far

12

global programmes

As well as trips, we offer other opportunities like language courses


What our students say...

I chose to undertake professional experience along with my Molecular Biology master’s degree which enabled me to undertake opportunities across the world. My placement is in a Los Angeles Biotechnology company further applying my knowledge and expertise whilst working alongside other start-up companies and gaining insights into various business models.  This experience has provided me with skills that will allow me to in the future to work effectively with multi-disciplinary teams in different settings.

Claudia Vale Clara, MSc Molecular Biology with Professional Experience 2018-19

Entry Requirements

Applicants should hold the equivalent of a 2:2 undergraduate degree in Bioscience or Biological Chemistry. We would expect to see the study of one or more of the following modules in the final year of an undergraduate degree: molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology, microbiology, genetics, molecular immunology or molecular virology.

Applicants should hold the equivalent of a 2:2 undergraduate degree in Bioscience or Biological Chemistry. We would expect to see the study of one or more of the following modules in the final year of an undergraduate degree: molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology, microbiology, genetics, molecular immunology or molecular virology.

English as a Foreign Language This course requires IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 5.5. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Note: For January 2020 applications onwards IELTS requirements for the professional experience course will be 7 overall, with no component lower than 6.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

Applicants should hold the equivalent of a 2:2 undergraduate degree in Bioscience or Biological Chemistry. We would expect to see the study of one or more of the following modules in the final year of an undergraduate degree: molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology, microbiology, genetics, molecular immunology or molecular virology.

English as a Foreign Language This course requires IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 5.5. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Note: For January 2020 applications onwards IELTS requirements for the professional experience course will be 7 overall, with no component lower than 6.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

Tuition Fees

We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis and offer a wide range of scholarships to support students with their studies. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.

Starts

Fee


September 2020

2020/21 fees TBC*
2019/20 fees - £8,350
£12,450 (with prof. experience) (per year)


UK Scholarships

If you're a truly outstanding undergraduate candidate we may be able to offer you a Coventry University Scholarship. Coventry University Scholarships are awarded to recognise truly exceptional sports achievement and academic excellence.

Starts

Fee


September 2020

2020/21 fees TBC*
2019/20 fees - £8,350
£12,450 (with prof. experience) (per year)


EU Scholarships

We're investing into scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students.

Our scholarships are worth up to £10,000 and every student that applies will be considered. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

Starts

Fee


September 2020

2020/21 fees TBC*
2019/20 fees - £14,000
£16,700 (with prof. experience) (per year)


International Scholarships

We're investing into scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students.

Our scholarships are worth up to £10,000 and every student that applies will be considered. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

EU student fees

EU nationals and their family members starting in the 2019/20 academic year remain eligible for the same fees as home students and the same financial support. Financial support comes from Student Finance England, and covers undergraduate and postgraduate study for the duration of their course, providing they meet the residency requirement.

For tuition fee loans

EU nationals must have resided in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland for the three years prior to the start of their course. The purpose of that three year residency should not have been mainly for the purpose of receiving full time education.

For maintenance loans

EU nationals must have resided in the UK and Islands for the five years prior to the start of their course. The purpose of that five year residency should not have been mainly for the purpose of receiving full time education.

Career prospects

Molecular biology is one of the most buoyant sectors of the biosciences jobs market with above average growth in the employment market in this decade.

Few fields are so interesting, challenging and potentially so rewarding. You could develop and produce life-saving vaccines and drugs, design new tools to diagnose and detect disease or create genetically engineered crops that are more resistant to frost, drought, spoilage, diseases and pests.

The scientific knowledge and skills you acquire during the course can be a useful basis for a career in: teaching; technical and scientific writing (such as medical writing or writing for the media); clinical trials; drug registration, patenting or monitoring; medical publishing or other information services; regulatory affairs or sales and marketing. Opportunities also exist for further study upon completion of the course at PhD level. 

If you choose the ‘With Professional Experience’ route, you will have the opportunity to gain practical knowledge in a host organisation, not only increasing your awareness of current developments in the sector, but also experiencing the working environment and gaining valuable interpersonal skills, such as team working, all of which are important to your future career.

Coventry University is committed to preparing you for your future career and giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The University’s Careers and Employability team provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career.

Disclaimer

By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the University. A copy of the 19/20 Contract can be found here. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the University will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the University.

The tuition fee for the course that is stated on the webpage and in the prospectus will apply. If the duration of the course is longer than one academic year, the University may increase the fee for each subsequent year of study but any such increases will be no more than inflation.

*2020/2021 course fees have not yet been determined by the University or government legislation. Once the course fees have been determined, the course web page will be updated to reflect your first year course fee. Please continue to revisit the course web page to identify the fee before you accept an offer of a place on the course and/or before you enrol at the University.

Coventry University ranked 15 in the UK
Coventry University awarded TEF GOLD Teaching Excellence Framework
University of the year for student experience
QS Five Star Rating 2019
Coventry City of Culture 2021