MSc / PGDip
The continued expansion of the global bioscience sector drives a clear demand for the development of scientists at postgraduate level skilled in biotechnology and business. There is a shortage of skilled scientists with business expertise. Biotechnology with Business at Oxford Brookes enables you to develop key skills as a modern biotechnologist with business expertise and open the way to many exciting career paths.
The core of this course focuses on key business skills, product development from initial concept to delivery, regulation, good manufacturing practice, genome science and generic skills. The business aspect of the course is delivered by the Business School at Oxford Brookes and is uniquely designed to develop the business, entrepreneurial, marketing and management skills that modern bioscientists need to drive the sector.
Traditional scientists are not brought up with business and management knowledge and often have insufficient understanding of how businesses work and the role of management. Likewise many managers do not have an in-depth understanding of the sector in which they work and lack proper understanding of the science and its applications. Yet, many critical decisions have to be taken that lie at the interface between the bioscience and commercial sides of the industry. The biotechnology sector is high risk and speculative for many investors. For organisations to survive and succeed in such an environment requires them to have management skills and knowledge, as well as scientific and technical expertise.
The course provides the opportunity to acquire the skills underpinning both biotechnology and business through modules focused on
* key business
* finance and management skills
* product development from initial concept to delivery
* good manufacturing practice
* genome science and generic skills.
The continued expansion of the global bioscience sector will open the way to many exciting career opportunities.
The outcomes of the course are designed to be of immediate use. Preparing a business plan (or key project plan) should deliver a significant contribution to the successful management and business side of an organisation or new venture and provide a platform to pursue a management role if you wish to develop your career in this direction.
You will achieve an MSc degree on successful completion of all of the course modules including the Research Dissertation. A Postgraduate Diploma will be awarded for completion of course modules without the Research Dissertation. The course is also offered on a part-time pro rata basis and we encourage applications from professionals from academia and industry who wish to upgrade their qualifications.
MSc students are required to complete 180 M-level credits, ie all the following modules. PGDip students are required to complete 120 M-level credits, ie all modules excluding the Research Project and PGCert students are required to complete 60 M-level credits.
Business for the Biosciences (40 M credits) is designed to equip scientists with the management, finance and business knowledge and skills which, combined with an understanding of the bioscience business sector, are required to operate professionally within the sector, to take informed decisions and actions, and to develop a business plan. We look at the skills needed to launch a spin-off company.
Molecular Biology (20 M credits) develops the core skills needed for molecular biology as it focuses on recombinant DNA technology. The history, principles and development of molecular biology techniques will be studied, along with discussion of variations and applications.
Product Development in Biotechnology (20 M credits) The development of the biological systems that are vital to biotechnology, and their key features, will be discussed. Drug discovery and product development per se will be discussed including modern screening methods, structure function prediction, and the application of nanobiotechnology. The regulation of drug development will also be studied, along with clinical trials, preclinical studies and ethics.
Genome Science (20 M credits) develops an understanding of genome science, or genomics, and studies the structure, content and evolution of genomes. The genomes and genome projects of model representative organisms from the mammals, fungi, insects, bacteria and viruses are studied and their unique features explored. The experimental techniques and evidence that has contributed to our developing understanding of genomes will be emphasised.
Career Development and Research Skills (20 M credits) consists of seminars from industrialists on careers in biotechnology. Topics covered include research skills in management, presentation, communication and business. For evaluation you will write and present a proposal for your business dissertation based on a real biotechnology sector issue.
Research Dissertation (60 M credits) In this dissertation module, students use primary and secondary data to analyse and develop a business area or problem within the biotechnology business sector, for example developing business plans, marketing, strategic development. These areas will be developed with input from local biotechnology companies, academics and university spin-off companies to address critical issues arising from their business with students working closely with the business involved.
Teaching, learning and assessment
Biotechnology with Business is a modular master’s course, in which different subject areas relating to biotechnology with business are taught and assessed separately. It is organised on a module-credit basis, with each 20 M-level credit module representing approximately 200 hours of student input. This includes approximately 36 hours of staff contact, normally timetabled through three-hour teaching blocks over the 12-week semester.
Teaching and learning methods reflect the wide variety of topics associated with biotechnology with business. Methods include lectures, directed reading, workshops, seminars, practical exercises, laboratory sessions and project work. Assessments are via assignments, presentations and written reports. Course tutors are from Oxford Brookes University, with industrialists and researchers delivering specialist seminars.