Skip to Content

BT5014: BIOTECHNOLOGY (2018-2019)

Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

Modern biotechnology is absolutely dependent upon our increasingly sophisticated ability to use microbial and mammalian host cells as factories to produce high quantities of protein pharmaceuticals, e.g. insulin. Increasingly, cells engineered with multiple foreign genes are also being used to drive small molecule drug production. This course will explore how such heterologous protein expression processes can be engineered and optimised to drive efficient synthesis of the next generation medicines on which healthcare systems are increasingly depending. 

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Professor Ian Stansfield

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This course will provide a detailed description of a range of modern biotechnological processes and principles that underpin a range of protein expression systems used in the manufacture of modern medicines and protein biologics. The course will explain the challenges in overexpressing foreign proteins in host cells, and how those challenges are overcome to maximise yield, while optimising downstream purification and processing of the expressed protein. The course will introduce a range of heterologous expression systems, and explore their relative advantages.

The knowledge and skills this course will equip you with will be directly relevant to a range of bioscience career options, including employment in the rapidly expanding biotechnology sector.

In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Computer Practical during University weeks 12 - 14
  • 3 Lectures during University weeks 9 - 11, 13, 15 - 17
  • 5 Lectures during University week12
  • 4 Lectures during University week14
  • 1 Practical during University weeks 12 - 14

More Information about Week Numbers

In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for second half-session courses may be subject to change. All updates for second-half session courses will be actioned in advance of the second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

Practical report (50%); Examination (50%).

Resit: viva exam with two academic staff.

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.


Feedback provided via on-line marking platforms within MyAberdeen

Course Learning Outcomes


Compatibility Mode

We have detected that you are have compatibility mode enabled or are using an old version of Internet Explorer. You either need to switch off compatibility mode for this site or upgrade your browser.