Postgraduate Diploma-MSc Biotechnology

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  • Entry requirements
    Entry Conditions Postgraduate Diploma One of the following: • a first or second class honours degree with an overall mark of 55% or greater; in a science subject which contains a significant element of biological sciences; • a general degree in a biological subject with an overall mark of 55% or greater; • a qualification deemed to be equivalent to the above. This category will be judged on an individual basis and may require candidates to attend for interview. And for applicants whose first language is not English, a certificate of English proficiency is required. English Language Qualifications Accepted- Minimum IELTS 6.0 or TOEFL 550. MSc By successful completion of the Postgraduate Diploma with an overall mark of not less than 50%.
  • Academic title
    Postgraduate Diploma/MSc Biotechnology
  • Course description
    These linked programmes are designed to provide advanced level training in both the academic and practical skills essential to the biotechnology industry. They build on undergraduate programmes by focusing on the applied aspects of modern biology. On completion, you will be familiar with current thinking across biotechnology and will have practical experience of problem-solving and research design in a range of selected biotechnology areas.

    Duration and Mode of Attendance

    Postgraduate Diploma – one academic year
    MSc – a further semester

    Postgraduate Diploma – two academic years
    MSc – one further academic year

    Structure and Content

    Semester I
    Enterprise in Biotechnology
    Recombinant DNA technology or Introduction to Bioinformatics
    Process Biotechnology
    Research Design and Statistics

    Semester II
    Environmental Biotechnology
    Molecular Biotechnology

    Semester III
    Biotechnology Research Project

    Full-time and part-time lectures/practicals/tutorials will be scheduled during the working day.

    You undertake six taught modules with a credit value of 120 points for a Postgraduate Diploma in Biotechnology. On satisfactory completion of each of the six modules, and if overall mark of 50% has been achieved across the six modules, you may proceed to undertake a research project module with a credit point value of 60 in order to graduate with the degree of Master of Science in Biotechnology. The length of the course for PGDip is two semesters and for the MSc one calendar year.

    All the modules of study are rated under the Credit Accumulation and transfer Scheme (CATS). Each taught module in Semester I contributes 15 points and each Semester II module 30 points. The biotechnology research project contributes 60 points. Thus students would accumulate credit points for specific awards as below:
    Postgraduate Diploma in Biotechnology – 120 points
    Master of Science in Biotechnology – 180 points

    The modules are assessed by a combination of cumulative assessment and a final sessional examination or 100%. The assessment includes seminars, essays, project reports, and poster presentations.
    The academic content of the course is outlined below:
    Postgraduate Diploma in Biotechnology
    Semester I
    Process Biotechnology
    The module aims to give you an appreciation of bioprocess engineering concepts and their relevance to the food/biotechnology industry. Teaching is primarily through interactive lecture and practical/demonstration sessions. Theory is put into practice during a one-week fermentation practical which is also used to develop technical skills.
    Coursework: 30% Exam: 70% Credit points: 15
    Recombinant DNA technology
    You are introduced to the principles underlying medical and industrial applications of recombinant DNA. Selected examples are used to highlight the techniques in production, diagnosis and research. Emphasis is placed on ethical issues and public perception of the technology as well as the scientific issues. Teaching methods include lectures and seminars.
    Coursework: 40% Exam: 60% Credit points: 15
    Introduction to Bioinformatics
    The module is assessed through sessional examination (50%) and continuous assessment (50%). The examination is designed to test the students understanding of the central themes of Bioinformatics. The continuous assessment will be comprised of formative and summative assessment. Weekly Assignments ( during weeks 1-6) (15%) will examine students understanding of concepts as they are developed, plus their ability to communicate this understanding to their peers. During weeks 7-12 students will work on a mini-project (35%) designed to demonstrate the students understanding of building a search protocol. Emphasis will be on research design, presentation and statistical analysis of the results.
    Coursework: 50% Exam: 50% Credit points: 15
    Research Design and Statistics
    This module aims to provide a foundation for the execution of good research. Design of experimental investigations and statistical methodology are discussed. The module includes practical computer sessions, critical evaluation of literature and the completion of 3 brief research proposals.
    Coursework: 100% Credit points: 15
    Enterprise in Biotechnology
    This module aims to provide you with an insight into the process necessary to bring a biotechnological innovation from research laboratory to the market. It enables you to gain an appreciation of the range and industrial activities of the biotechnology sector at national and international levels.
    Coursework: 100% Credit points: 15
    Semester II
    Environmental Biotechnology
    You are provided with a comprehensive guide to key aspects of environmental biotechnology. You address issues of biodegradation of pollutants, pollution control technologies, bioprocessing of fuels and metals, molecular environmental management. Teaching and learning methods include interactive lectures, and a laboratory-based project.
    Coursework: 45% Exam: 55% Credit points: 30
    Molecular Biotechnology
    The module mainly comprises a review of protein biochemistry, sources of proteins, protein purification and the exploitation of proteins as commercial products (e.g. industrial enzymes, particular therapeutic proteins in biomedical science etc.). The isolation, structural elucidation, synthesis and biosynthesis of small molecular mass natural products such as alkaloids is also discussed as is topical separation techniques in molecular biotechnology such as GLC, HPLC and CE.
    Coursework: 50% Exam: 50% Credit points: 30
    Master of Science in Biotechnology
    The course comprises of six PGDip Biotechnology taught modules plus a biotechnology research project.
    The Biotechnology Research Project
    This module aims to provide a chance to apply the knowledge acquired in lectures to a relevant laboratory project of your choice. The effort involved will include production of a literature review, planning and costing of the practical study and the subsequent experimental work. The module advances skills that were developed in the Research Design and Statistics module. The results of the experimental work will be produced in the form of a journal article.
    Coursework: 100% Credit points: 60
    Teaching and learning methods Each taught module will require approximately 150 hours of effort which will include between 36-48 staff/student contact hours. The modules in Semesters I and II are designed around interactive lectures and seminar sessions. These concentrate not on imparting factual material but on promoting understanding of essential concepts and on applying knowledge of solving problems within biotechnology. Class presentations are made by both teaching staff and students.
    Practical laboratory experience, in the form of short investigations rather than set practical tasks, is provided for the recombinant technology, molecular biotechnology, process biotechnology and environmental biotechnology modules including group exercise sessions.
    Careers And Postgraduate Opportunities

    What are the jobs/opportunities in Biotechnology ?

    Biotechnology is gradually entering into a wider and wider range of industries, they include:
    • DNA fingerprinting a key technique in forensic science
    • Traditional Brewing and Distilling industry
    • Food industries employing new strains of microorganisms to produce fermented food products and synthetic microbial meat substitute e.g. Quorn
    • Bioremediation technologies for the treatment of residues/wastes
    • Health care for treatment and diagnosis
    • Biotransformation of chemical and drugs in the Pharmaceutical industry

Other programs related to biotechnology

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