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A unique opportunity to gain an understanding of the commercialisation of scientific ideas, the setting up of a bio-business and the research skills that are needed to accompany this knowledge.
This programme is studied on campus.
The growth in the industrial biotechnology and biopharmaceutical sectors has led to exciting career opportunities for experienced graduates. Our MSc in Biotechnology, Bioinformatics and Bio-business is a unique opportunity to gain training in advanced biotechnology and bioinformatics coupled with training in bio-business and the commercialisation of scientific ideas.
The University of Aberdeen has an impressive reputation for producing successful spin-out companies in the broad area of biotechnology and pharmacology. This MSc has harnessed these skills to provide you with an understanding of the commercialisation of scientific ideas, the setting up of a bio-business and the research skills that are needed to accompany this knowledge.
This MSc is ideal for graduates in life science, pharmacy and medical biosciences who want to improve their career prospects, widen their knowledge base linked to biotechnology and their own scientific interests, and are fascinated by the commercialisation of science.
This course will
describe the basic language of business and give examples of large versus small
businesses in the bioscience area.
Intellectual property rights will be explained as will how present your
business and how to set up a small biotech company. A comparison will be made of the big Pharma
business model and that of small biotech businesses.
This course will improve your employability skills. I-SEE (Individualised self-assessment to enhance employability) is a bespoke online resource developed to help identify your strengths and areas needing improvement. The self-assessment process allows you to identify development areas for employability skills like communication, IT and numeracy skills and personal attributes like creativity, organisation and timekeeping, flexibility, team working. This leads to automated, tailored feedback and signposting to self-study to assist in improving your CV. Reflection and an e-portfolio will assist in articulation of these enhanced skills/attributes during mock interviews. Some sessions are compulsory, but otherwise it involves self-directed learning.
course is designed to provide or revise the basic skills you will require for
your MSc. The course will revise basic laboratory skills and techniques and
advance these to a level required to undertake graduate practical classes and
projects by developing hands-on experience, competence and confidence in key
laboratory skills. An expert from the library will explain
the use and facilities of the library and the basics of database searching to
enhance research skills and project validation.
The course will focus on small molecule drug discovery. Receptor theory and cell communication and signalling will be revised to facilitate understanding of the remainder of the course. The basis of the drug discovery process will be described and the phases of drug development discussed. A range of targets for drug discovery will be identified and how small molecule drug affect these will be described. Issues around drug regulation will be raised.
is an introductory course in molecular biology basics for all taught
postgraduate programmes with a molecular biology content. It aims to ensure
that PG taught course students, with diverse educational backgrounds, on
programmes with a substantial molecular biology content, have an adequate
knowledge of the basic concepts and techniques of molecular biology. There is a
practical element with this course.
will provide students with microbiology knowledge for further advanced studies
and will provide training in microbiological laboratory techniques. At the end of this course students will have
an understanding of microbes associated with health and disease (including
bacteria, fungi and viruses), practical and academic understanding of
laboratory techniques required for the culture, identification and
characterisation of microbes, and increased confidence in reading and
critiquing primary research literature
This course intends to develop the student's awareness of the fact that statistical techniques are integral to scientific research. Researchers must be able to specify a precise research question in statistical terms and then select an appropriate study design in order to carry out an effective research project. They must also be able to assess the adequacy of the research presented in scientific or medical literature. The same skills are also required for many MSc dissertation projects.
As well as the courses listed below, you will also study new courses in "Advanced Bioinformatics and Genome Sequencing" and "Advanced Biotechnology" (please see ‘Why study Biotechnology Bioinformatics and Bio-business’, below for more details)
This advanced course builds
on the basics provided in Introduction to Bio-business
and the Commercialisation of Bioscience Research (BT5012). It provides more detail on financing and
setting up a Bio-business.
The course deals in depth with finance,
corporate governance and business models. The major assessment involves the students working together in teams to
set up a virtual bio-business and to pitch this business to a group of experts
in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector. The team will adopt the roles of senior
management team and present to the experts their part of the business.
This course is aimed at the understanding of novel areas of
drug discovery with the specific aim of understanding the roles immunology and
peptide chemistry play in informing the development of antibody and small
molecule peptide-based biologic therapies for diverse diseases.
The research project is the climax of the MSc programme and involves working on an independent research project for 12 weeks prior to completion of a dissertation. It involves utilisation of much of the skills developed throughout the previous 2 semesters, and is selected based on student interests and preferences.
We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
How You'll Study
The teaching of our MSc Biotechnology, Bioinformatics and Bio-business programme is lecture based with self-directed learning, practical classes and tutorials to support the lecture material.
In the second semester students have a unique opportunity to individually sequence and analyse the entire genome of a microorganism isolated and characterised by themselves. External experts are also regularly invited to provide specialist expertise.
Many lectures are recorded and can be viewed again when required. The MSc makes the most of hands-on learning to enable repeated exposure to evidence-based practice using real life examples. Some of the teaching methods employed in the programme include:
Inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary learning
Exposure to leading academic and industry experts
Research-led teaching taught by key opinion leaders
Insight into real-life situations and examples
On-going support is provided by the University’s dedicated, interdisciplinary team of experienced researchers, who will be tutoring you. Peer support will develop throughout the course(s) as engagement with students from other countries and disciplines is actively encouraged.
Much of the teaching on this course is participatory and you are expected to consolidate all taught content by completing related tasks and activities and engaging in independent study in your own time.
Each course has its own continuous assessment criteria based on the progress of practical and course work as well as a written degree examination.
Progression to a research project is dependent on performance in the individual courses. The MSc project is assessed with the submission of a thesis and viva examination.
Why Study Biotechnology, Bioinformatics and Bio-business?
You will be taught by world leading researchers in Biotechnology, Bioinformatics and Bio-business.
You will have access to business entrepreneurs and world-leading researchers on-site and you will experience studying within the one of the top 10 medical schools in the UK.
You will have an opportunity to contribute to cutting edge research during your project.
Brand new courses in Biotechnology and Advanced Bioinformatics and Genome Sequencing give you the opportunity to carry out whole genome sequencing from a bacterial species you have isolated from the environment, and analyse that genome for novel properties.
Advanced Biotechnology is a brand new course introducing the latest biotechnology approaches to protein expression, including synthetic biology and modelling of biological systems
Aberdeen is recognised as Scotland’s commercial centre for drug discovery, with University of Aberdeen spin-outs in the vanguard of this; our courses in Bio-business give you direct access to this expertise via invited lecturers from the biotech spin-out community.
Embedded within an active and dynamic research culture, you will have the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills required to enhance your employability and further your career. There will also be opportunities to build a network of contacts within the biotechnology and pharmaceutical field.
You will benefit from having access to teachers and researchers who are key opinion leaders in their field.
We strongly believe in inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary learning, which is reflected in the collaborations we organise with other universities, research institutions and governments within the UK, Europe, America and more than 12 developing countries.
We have a huge range of online learning materials so you can re-listen to lectures and access revision materials whenever you need to. We aim to make your learning as interactive as possible to improve your understanding of clinical scenarios and critical thinking.
All students entering the University must provide evidence that they can use English well enough to study effectively at the University of Aberdeen.
Details of our English language entry requirements can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages. This programme requires that you meet the College of Life Sciences and Medicine Postgraduate Standard level of English proficiency.
If you have not achieved the required scores, the University of Aberdeen offers pre-sessional English courses. Further details are available on our Language Centre website.
Nationals of some English-speaking countries or those who hold degrees from some English-speaking countries may be exempt from this requirement. Details of countries recognised as English-speaking can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages.
You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme.
an up-to-date CV/Resumé
a degree certificate showing your qualifications
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
All offer holders will be considered for our 3 x £6000 Tuition Fee Scholarships to be used towards tuition fees. The decision will be made based on academic merit and those nominated will be notified by the end of May.
There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.
You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
The Institute of Medical Sciences
Focused on developing future effective therapies, the Institute of Medical Sciences houses nearly 400 researchers and support staff working on cutting-edge biomedical subjects aimed at understanding the human body's response to infection and disease.
Foresterhill Health Campus
The Foresterhill Health Campus is one of the largest clinical complexes in Europe which includes the Medical School, large teaching hospital, the Institute of Medical Sciences and the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health.
A dedicated Medical Library on the Foresterhill Health Campus and the fantastic facilities in the Sir Duncan Rice Library at King’s College, are complemented by online access to the key medical and health sciences journals and textbooks.