Molecular Biology MSc 2021/22 entry

Course code:

HLST176
HLST177(with professional experience)

Study options:

1 year full-time
18-20 months (with professional experience)

How to Apply
Location:

Coventry University

Starting:

September 2021

 

Fees:

£10,400 | £15,450 (with professional experience)

Find out more

Faculty:

Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:


Course code:

HLST176
HLST177(with professional experience)

Study options:

1 year full-time
18-20 months (with professional experience)

How to Apply
Location:

Coventry University

Starting:

September 2021

 

Fees:

£16,600 | £18,950 (with professional experience)

Find out more

Faculty:

Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:


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 Franklin, Watson and Crick in the 1950s. 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.

You will have the opportunity to study a broad range of molecular biology at a theoretical and a practical level. This includes opportunities to gain hands-on experience of molecular biology techniques, as well as develop a range of transferrable and research skills that will expand your knowledge and may enhance your employment potential.

You will also have the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the molecular principles underlying the biology of selected diseases (including inherited cancers) and microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeasts. A core focus will be genome structure, regulation and transfer and the implications for DNA technology. 

Our multi-million 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.

The MSc also offers a 'with Professional Experience' route which provides you with the opportunity to undertake a six month professional experience either on or off campus.*

*Professional experience opportunities (whether within an external company or within the university) are subject to a competitive application and selection process. Such experiences may be paid or unpaid, and this will depend on what is being offered and agreed with the host organisation or university. Students who are not successful in securing professional work experience outside the university will have the opportunity to undertake campus-based professional experience, which will deliver similar learning outcomes through supervised projects and activities designed to offer students the opportunity to integrate theory with an understanding of professional practice. Please note that fees for students on the professional experience route are higher than the standard fees payable by students on the MSc Molecular Biology course without professional experience.

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.

COVID-19

The University may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via emerging online technologies and methods across all courses. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are prepared for courses due to start in or after the 2020/2021 academic year to be delivered in a variety of forms. The form of delivery will be determined in accordance with Government and Public Health guidance. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.

Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to Covid-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) and some non-academic offerings (particularly in relation to international experiences), may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.

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

Accreditation and Professional Recognition

This course is accredited and recognised by the following bodies:

Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

The course includes the Entrepreneurship module, accredited by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). Please visit the CMI website for full details on the CMI accreditation.

Coventry University’s accreditation with CMI is currently ongoing for the relevant modules but is frequently reviewed and monitored by the CMI through their quality systems. If any changes occur with respect to our accreditation related to these modules, we will seek to notify applicants and students as soon as possible.

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.

Core subject areas include cellular molecular biology, genetics, protein biology, numeracy, statistics and computing and a broad coverage of instrumentation and analytical techniques.

We aim to 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 such as cancer, hepatitis, respiratory viral infections, Alzheimer’s disease and hereditary disorders. The emphasis is 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.

This course also includes an individually tailored version of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) Professional Development module.

Course Specification
Download PDF

Modules

Overview

Throughout the course you will investigate key areas of molecular biology at postgraduate level including synthetic biology and medical molecular biology, and have the opportunity to further develop your laboratory skills .

Modules

  • Postgraduate Diploma

    • Research Techniques in Molecular Biology: This module aims to ensure that you develop the necessary lab skills and competencies required for your course, and to enhance your employability after graduation. The content includes 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.  
    • Principles of Molecular Biology: This module aims to ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of current knowledge in cell and molecular biology. You will be guided to develop your 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 offers you the chance to develop your 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: This module aims to provide you with an overview of synthetic biology and enable you to apply aspects learnt to a mini-project. Synthetic biology uses the principles of engineering to design new biological entities – it is a multi-disciplined science with molecular biology as one of the central components. You should learn how molecular circuits are made from genes and promoters - these circuits can be constructed to re-engineer cells to carry out desirable processes.
    • Medical Molecular Biology: This module aims to provide you with in-depth knowledge of molecular mechanisms of disease and the use of molecular biology for development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic techniques.
    • Molecular Biology Scientific Presentation: In this module you are asked to utilise your knowledge of contemporary challenges in disease diagnosis and therapy, and in synthetic biology, to design a creative solution to a problem. You will utilise the entrepreneurship skills gained in the Global Professional Development module to consider a suitable market and will have the chance to present your ideas in the form of a scientific poster at a School Symposium.
    • Global Professional Development - Entrepreneurship (CMI): The aim of this module is to give you the opportunity to critically assess the relationship between entrepreneurship and other domains of management, such as strategy and leadership. You will have the opportunity to gain an understanding how entrepreneurial thinking can enhance organisational performance and leadership through the application of a more enterprising mindset.
    • Research Principles and Preparation or Professional Experience Preparation: This module looks at a detailed consideration of the complex processes necessary to formulate, develop and test a scientific/clinical hypothesis. You will apply these to the design of an individual research experiment in a chosen area.

  • Master’s degree

    • Research Project: You will have the opportunity to carry out a series of investigative, analytical or experimental studies in your selected field within biomolecular sciences and present your findings in a scientific manner. 

  • Master’s degree with Professional Experience

    • Professional Experience Preparation: The module aims to prepare you for your forthcoming professional experience. It introduces expectations of you in the workplace, with reinforcement of the transferable skills, attitudes and competencies expected by the employer. You will be supported to make applications and find suitable professional experience opportunities.
    • Professional Experience in Life Sciences 1 and 2*: These modules aim to provide you with a substantive professional experience. This may take the form of a professional experience with a host organisation*, which may include the university, or a campus based professional experience. The module should help support the development of your personal and professional skills, including team working, communication, self-management and critical reflection, to enhance future employability. 
    • Life Sciences Professional Experience Project and Reflection: You will report, analyse and critically evaluate your research findings gathered during the professional experience period. It is designed to enable you to demonstrate critical thinking ability, appropriate use of statistical analyses where relevant and a broad understanding of the context and prior knowledge framework into which your research study fits. 

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...

  • 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.
  • Our multi-million 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. These include flow cytometry, mass spectrometry, high performance liquid chromatography, and confocal microscopy.
  • 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 (subject to availability).
  • Industrial links with local companies such as Inocardia, BioCote and LyteGro.
  • Teaching links with the local NHS cardiac rehabilitation team and with staff in hospital diagnostic laboratories.
  • Students enrolled onto MSc Molecular Biology with Professional Experience can undertake 6-8 months of professional experience, either externally or on campus*. MSc Molecular Biology with Professional Experience aims to enhance employability skills, excite and stimulate students and ensure that they gain and develop valuable skills sought by employers.

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. You will have the opportunity to extend your knowledge of bioinformatics databases and their applications, and learn and apply appropriate statistical analysis methods.
  • Principles of Molecular Biology: You will develop your 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 your 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: You 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. You 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 therefore one year as a traditional full-time master’s programme. It can also be studied over 20 months as an extended full-time programme ‘With Professional Experience’. This incorporates two additional non-credit bearing professional experience modules - Professional Experience in Life Science 1 and 2 - where you have the opportunity to gain experience through 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 (subject to availability).

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 successful completion of this course, you will 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 of this course, you will 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 (e.g. 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. These could include bioinformatics, PCR, RT-PCR, qPCR, gel-based analyses, molecular cloning and analytical techniques that are particularly relevant to contemporary molecular biology
  • Operate, 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 lectures, tutorial and practical-based teaching sessions. 

The contact hours may be made up of a combination of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, and online classes and tutorials.

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) (subject to application and additional costs).

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

Please note that we are unable to guarantee any international experience opportunities and that any such opportunities referred to on this webpage may be subject to additional costs (e.g. travel, visas and accommodation etc.), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the requirements in this regard, please contact the International Office for further details if you are an EU or International student.

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 2018/19, we were able to provide a total of 5,469 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 2016/17


5,469

Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2018/19


12,000

and counting

The number of students we’ve helped travel internationally since 2016

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: 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 2021

£10,400 | £15,450 (with professional 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 2021

£16,600 | £18,950 (with professional experience) (per year)


Scholarships

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

Course essentials - additional costs

This course may incur additional costs associated with any field trips, placements or work experience, study abroad opportunities or any other opportunity (whether required or optional), which could include (but is not limited to) travel, accommodation, activities and visas.  

EU student fees

EU nationals starting in the 2020/21 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 starting in the 2020/21 academic year 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 starting in the 2020/21 academic year 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

Graduate Immigration Route visa

Based on current information from the UK Government, international students whose study extends beyond summer 2021 may be eligible for a visa under the UK Government’s Graduate Immigration Route, which will enable students to stay and work, or look for work, in the UK at any skill level for up to two (2) years. Check the most up to date guidance available to check your eligibility and any updates from the UK Government before making an application or enrolment decision.

Few fields are so interesting, challenging and potentially so rewarding as molecular biology. 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 at PhD level upon completion of the course.

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 Talent Team provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career.

Where our graduates work

Previous students have gone on to do related PhDs, work as genetic counsellors for the NHS and work for bioscience/biotechnology start-up companies.

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 2021/22 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 course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For UK and EU students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, we may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation. Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, EU students should be aware that there may be a change to UK laws following the UK’s exit, this may change their student status, their eligibility to study part time, and/or their eligibility for student finance. We will act in accordance with the UK’s laws in force in relation to student tuition fees and finance from time to time.

For International students the tuition fee that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For international students, we may increase fees for each subsequent year of study but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation.