Biotechnology MSc

Study level: Postgraduate
Students using science equipment

This master’s course is designed to provide the training and development necessary to meet the demand for highly skilled scientists within the expanding and global bioscience sector.

Year of entry

Location

Coventry University (Coventry)

Study mode

Full-time
Part-time

Duration

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

Course code

HLST180
HLST181(with professional experience)

Start date

September 2024
May 2025


Course overview

Biotechnology is predicted to be one of the most important applied sciences of the 21st century and a key driver in the world economy.

  • You can choose to study the Biotechnology MSc or the Biotechnology MSc with Professional Experience2 – they are the same course with the latter including a placement experience.
  • Our course is designed to expand your knowledge of the molecular, biochemical, cell biological and genetic techniques underpinning modern biotechnology and how they can be used to solve real-world problems and benefit society.
  • We will train you in biotechnology research strategies so that you have the chance to gain an understanding of the nature of business based on bioscience knowledge and research, opportunities for innovation, regulatory requirement constraints, intellectual property and ethical issues.
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Joint Top Modern University for Career Prospects

Guardian University Guide 2021 and 2022

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5 QS Stars for Teaching and Facilities

QS Stars University Ratings

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Top 5 UK Student City in England (Coventry)

QS Best Student Cities Index 2024

Why you should study this course

  • Tailored to provide the training and development necessary to meet the demand for highly skilled scientists within the expanding and global bioscience sector.
  • Access to a well-equipped suite of analytical and biological laboratories4 where you will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience using industry-standard techniques such as flow cytometry, mass spectrometry, high-performance liquid chromatography and confocal microscopy.
  • Research-inspired teaching with input from experts in our research centre for Health and Life Sciences (CHLS), which undertakes interdisciplinary scientific research through the application of biological sciences to understand life from the molecular level through to the whole body.
  • Guest lectures, usually from current practitioners in the biotechnology industry, laboratory research and other jobs in science in areas such as gene therapy, biomaterials, bioremediation, rapid diagnostics, biofuels and plant biotechnology (subject to availability)2.
  • Students enrolled on Biotechnology MSc with Professional Experience will undertake 6-8 months of professional experience, either externally or on campus2. Biotechnology MSc with Professional Experience aims to enhance employability skills, excite and stimulate students and ensure that they gain and develop valuable skills sought by employers.

Accreditation and Professional Recognition

This course has been accredited1 and recognised by the following bodies:

CMI Chartered Management Institute

Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

The course currently includes the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) accredited1 module, Entrepreneurial Practice. Upon successful completion of the module, you will gain the CMI Level 7 Certificate in Strategic Management and Leadership Practice at no additional cost. Further details can be found on the Professional Development module homepage. 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.


Our Award-winning Green Superlab

With space for over 250 students and packed full of industry-standard equipment, the Coventry University Superlab is an amazing place to learn, experiment and discover. Find out what we’re doing in our Superlab to make it greener and reduce our waste and carbon emissions.


What you'll study

Throughout the course, you will develop an understanding of the core subject areas in biotechnology, including cellular molecular biology, genetics, protein biology, bioinformatics, numeracy, statistics and computing, and a range of practical laboratory techniques.

Modules

  • This module will develop your skills as a critical reader of scientific literature. It will bring together an understanding of the current knowledge base in biotechnology together with the laboratory and data analysis methods that are commonly employed. You will be instructed on the critical review process. You will have opportunities to practice this skill through discussion groups with your peers and tutor, before embarking on your own critical evaluation of a published scientific research article in the field of biotechnology.

    Compulsory

  • The module aims to provide you with an insight into the interdisciplinary approaches that are employed in environmental and industrial biotechnology. You will explore, both through literature research and practical experimentation, processes such as biocatalysis, bioremediation, biofuel technologies, functional foods, and biosensors. An overview of the manufacturing methodologies and infrastructure in these industries will also be considered.

    Compulsory

  • This module aims to provide you with a framework of knowledge and understanding of how to effectively lead and develop people in a strategic and entrepreneurial way whatever the master’s degree of specialisation you elect to follow. You will explore, for example, the influence and impact of leadership theories, culture, wellbeing, the principles of entrepreneurial practice and understand the different contexts in which entrepreneurship can flourish as well as the characteristics of entrepreneurial leadership within different types of organisational scenarios.

    Ultimately, you will be given the opportunity to develop strategic priorities for entrepreneurial leadership.

    Finally, the module requires you to reflect critically on your personal learning and development needs and how you work with others, from an ethical and professional standpoint to encourage your continuing professional development.

    Compulsory


  • The module aims to explore the impact of modern biotechnology on health, focussing on the applications of biologically derived products in the prevention and treatment of disease. You will explore each topic within the remit of understanding not only the target and mode of action but also methods of manufacturing, ethics, cost, and sustainability. You will extend your team working skills through a collaborative laboratory project, and your scientific communication skills and confidence through student-led journal club meetings.

    Compulsory

  • This module aims to develop your theoretical understanding of the global impact of biotechnology, including economic aspects, legislation and ethical considerations. You will extend your knowledge of essential molecular biology which underpins modern biotechnology. This includes the theoretical aspects of modern genome science, genetic engineering, gene therapy, synthetic biology and transgenic organisms. You are encouraged to develop confidence in group discussion and oral presentation via regular peer discussion.

    Compulsory

  • This module provides a detailed consideration of the complex processes necessary to formulate, develop and test a scientific/clinical hypothesis. You will apply these principles to the design of an individual research experiment in a chosen area including the consideration of appropriate controls and replicates. You will also be instructed on the ethical and health and safety requirements for research at Coventry University.

    You will also be encouraged to consider and prepare for MSc graduation and your future career, through CV and application guidance and professional networking.

    Compulsory

  • This module aims to ensure that you develop the necessary skills and competencies required for the course, and to enhance your employability after graduation. The content includes a comprehensive laboratory programme including culture of micro-organisms, mammalian and plant cells and viruses. You will also extend your experience and understanding of molecular biology and analytical chemistry techniques that are core to modern biotechnology. The module also aims to extend understanding and application of bioinformatics and statistics in the analysis of laboratory data.

    Compulsory

  • In this module you will 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. You will need to demonstrate critical analysis of the literature, data collection and recording, data presentation, data analysis and data interpretation with reference to published literature. You will be expected to work independently with limited supervision, be able to deal with complexity and uncertainty and identify and troubleshoot problems.

    Compulsory

  • Professional Experience Preparation 1 and 2 - 0 credits

    These modules aim to prepare you for your forthcoming professional experience. They introduce the expectations of placement providers in the workplace, with reinforcement of the transferable skills, attitudes and competencies expected by the employer. You will continue to be supported by the Talent Team with further guidance on writing CVs, cover letters and interview skills to make applications and secure suitable professional experience opportunities.

    Professional Experience Placement 1 and 2 - 0 credits

    These two modules aim to provide you with a substantive professional experience. This may take the form of a professional experience with a host organisation2, which may include a university campus-based professional experience. These modules should help support the development of your personal and professional skills, including team-working, communication, self-management and critical reflection, to enhance future employability.

    Compulsory

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.


How you'll learn

This course can be studied over one year as a traditional full-time master’s programme and two years part-time. It can also be studied over 20 months as an extended full-time programme ‘With Professional Experience’. This incorporates the additional professional experience modules, in which you will have the opportunity to gain experience throughout either an internship with an external organisation or with the university2.

Internships are subject to competitive application, selection, additional fees, and meeting any applicable visa requirements, will normally be undertaken for three to five days per week for 18-22 weeks over two semesters. Those unsuccessful in gaining an external internship will undertake an internal internship that is based at the university, but which may have some input from external organisations, depending upon the nature of the internship.

Teaching across all versions can include:

  • lectures
  • workshops
  • tutorials
  • presentations
  • practical laboratory sessions.

This course can be offered on a part-time basis. Whilst we would like to give you all the information about our part-time offering here, it is tailored for each course each year depending on the number of part-time applicants. Therefore, the part-time teaching arrangements vary. Request further information about part-time study.


Teaching contact hours

In a typical teaching week, you will have up to 15 contact hours of teaching. Such contact hours are generally made up of laboratory sessions, lectures, workshops and tutorials each week.

In addition, you will be expected to undertake a further 25 hours of self-directed study each week e.g. working on coursework assignments.

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

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the university may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the University may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

Since COVID-19, we have delivered our courses in a variety of forms, in line with public authority guidance, decisions, or orders and we will continue to adapt our delivery as appropriate. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


Assessment

This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending upon the module.

Assessment methods may include:

  • formal examinations
  • phase tests
  • essays
  • group work
  • oral and poster presentations
  • reports
  • pProjects
  • coursework
  • exams
  • individual assignments.

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.


Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2024/25 entry.

Applicants should hold the equivalent of a 2:2 (2:1 for the professional experience course) undergraduate degree in Bioscience or Biological Chemistry.

We would expect to see the study of the following subjects in the final year of the undergraduate degree: molecular biology (e.g. recombinant DNA), microbiology, biochemistry, cell biology.

We recognise a breadth of qualifications, speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

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Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:

You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.

Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.

Typical entry requirements

Applicants should hold the equivalent of a 2:2 (2:1 for the professional experience course) undergraduate degree in Bioscience or Biological Chemistry.

We would expect to see the study of the following subjects in the final year of the undergraduate degree: molecular biology (e.g. recombinant DNA), microbiology, biochemistry, cell biology.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 5.5. 
  • If taking the course with professional experience IELTS: 7 overall (with at least 6 in each component area)

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course. 

For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.

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Fees and funding

2024/25 tuition fees.

Student Full-time Part-time
UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man £11,200 | £21,250 (with prof. experience) per year Request fee information
EU £11,200 | £21,250 (with prof. experience) per year with EU support bursary**
£18,600 | £21,250 (with prof. experience) per year without EU support bursary**
Not available
International £18,600 | £21,250 (with prof. experience) per year Not available

For advice and guidance on tuition fees3 and student loans visit our Postgraduate Finance page.

We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them.

The following are additional costs not included in the tuition fees:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits: £400+ per trip.
  • Any costs associated with securing, attending or completing a placement (whether in the UK or abroad).

*Irish student fees

The rights of Irish residents to study in the UK are preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement. If you are an Irish student and meet the residency criteria, you can study in England, pay the same level of tuition fees as English students and utilise the Tuition Fee Loan.

**EU support bursary

Following the UK's exit from the European Union, we are offering financial support to all eligible EU students who wish to study an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree with us full-time. This bursary will be used to offset the cost of your tuition fees to bring them in line with that of UK students. Students studying a degree with a foundation year with us are not eligible for the bursary.

  • We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Your fee status determines your tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available to you. The rules about who pays UK (home) or international (overseas) fees for higher education courses in England are set by the government's Department for Education. The regulations identify all the different categories of student who can insist on paying the home rate. The regulations can be difficult to understand, so the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has provided fee status guidance to help you identify whether you are eligible to pay the home or overseas rate.

    If you meet all the criteria required by any one category, including any residence requirements, your institution must charge you the home rate. You only need to find one category that you fit into.


Facilities

As part of the School of Life Sciences, you will have access to the state-of-the-art Alison Gingell Building which features a number of innovative facilities4.

Our multi-million-pound Alison Gingell Building features a range of mock healthcare settings, analytical labs and research labs, all equipped with top-of-the-range equipment.

superlab facilities

SuperLab

Our SuperLab can hold up to 250 students at one time and has equipment that allows you to gain skills and experience with techniques and equipment that you will encounter in your graduate careers including biosafety hoods, flow cytometers and DNA sequencers.
 

Students in Analytical Chemistry female student using a petri dish

Analytical Chemistry suite

This is where you can apply your practical and theoretical knowledge to real-life working scenarios. We use a new generation chromatography technique to analyse products ranging from pharmaceutical agents, to cosmetics, drinks and toxins.


Careers and opportunities

On successful completion of Biotechnology MSc or the Biotechnology MSc with Professional Experience, you will be able to:

  • Critically analyse, evaluate and interpret knowledge and practice in biotechnology
  • 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 biotechnology
  • 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 the laboratory, establishing fundamental techniques, and carry out progressively more advanced laboratory-based investigations based on competence in biotechnology, including microbiology, cell culture and differentiation, biochemical, molecular and analytical techniques that are particularly relevant to contemporary biotechnology
  • Design a research study, including demonstrating awareness of safety and ethical issues.

Within the life sciences, biotechnology is a rapidly growing sector, and it is predicted that the global expansion in this field will be a key driver in the world economy. This course is specifically designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge required for a career within biotechnology both in the UK and internationally.

Many biotechnologists are employed by companies in the biotechnology industry, where they may be involved in medical, industrial or agricultural biotechnology research. They can also work for contract research organisations (CROs) or academic departments within universities on research projects.

The scientific knowledge and skills you should 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.

Where our graduates work

Our previous graduates have gone on to careers in drug discovery and development, clinical trials development and governance within the pharmaceutical industry and university and hospital departments. Opportunities also exist for further study at PhD level upon successful completion of the course, which some of our past students have chosen to do here in Coventry or in universities as far afield as New Zealand and Africa.


How to apply

  • Coventry University together with Coventry University London, Coventry University Wrocław, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough, and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the University) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University.

    1Accreditations

    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or international opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be unpaid and/or subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel, public authority guidance, decisions or orders and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand any visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK (home) students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University 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.

    For international students, we may increase fees each year, but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.

    4Facilities

    Facilities are subject to availability. Access to some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and/or may have reduced availability or restrictions where the university is following public authority guidance, decisions or orders.

    Student Contract

    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 current 2023/2024 contract is available on the website for information purposes however the 2024/25 Contract is currently being updated so please revisit this page before submitting your application. 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.

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