One year full-time, employability enhancing articulation pathway leading to a BSc Hons Biotechnology degree for bioscience sub-degree graduates.


A strict definition of biotechnology is difficult but broadly speaking it is the use of living organisms or systems derived from them (e.g. enzymes) for manufacturing of bio-products or other technological applications in health care (medical), crop production and agriculture, non food (industrial) uses of crops and other products, and environmental uses. This course is designed to reflect modern biotechnology, with its coverage of genetic engineering as well as cell and tissue culture technologies. The balance of applications throughout the course is towards health care (medicine) applications for drug production, pharmacogenomics, gene therapy and genetic testing. Our course is not designed for school leavers but for those with sub degrees or even BSc Hons students who did not complete their degree. We need to be able to accredit you for your prior learning to the value of 120 credit points at Level 4 and at least 80 credit points at Level 5.

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Coleraine campus

Our coastal and riverside campus with a primary academic focus on science and health

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About this course

In this section


This course provides opportunities for students to:

◦ Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of living organisms and their place in the natural environment and how they can be exploited for the benefit of mankind

◦ Develop core skills necessary to evaluate and undertake research in biotechnology

◦ Develop and apply intellectual, practical, enterprise and personal skills (including communication, team work, problem solving, decision making, initiative and creativity) which will enable effective life-long learning in the biosciences.


Students typically complete bridging module(s) during semester three (summer) of the academic year of application, followed by full-time studies in semesters one and two of the next academic year.

All applicants enter via the appropriate bridging module(s) as shown below: Transferable Skills in Biosciences (10 credit points at level 5): Higher Diploma in Biotechnology graduates from IVE, Chai Wan, and BTEC HND or National Diploma/BSc (Ord) graduates in a science subject which includes a major element of Applied Science. Exploitation of Biology (20 credit points at level 5) and Transferable Skills and Genetics (20 credits at level 5).

Associate Degree of Science (Biological Science) or Associate Degree of Health Science (Biomedical Sciences) from HKU SPACE. Either Transferable Skills in Biosciences or Transferable Skills and Genetics or Exploitation of Biology and Transferable Skills and Genetics depending on the specific qualification: Graduates frm other sub degree qualifications in biosciences which are judged by the course team to be equivalent to the above mentioned qualifications and those who can demonstrate through a process of APC/EL, credit points to a total value of 120 at level 4 and between 80 and 110 at level 5. UK students who have completed the first two years of a cognate degree will be considered on their merits for transfer into final year of this programme.

Start dates

  • September 2018
How to apply


Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year two

Exploitation of Biology

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module considers a wide number of aspects and issues in biotechnology, sufficient to underpin and reinforce other topics in life sciences. Topics include production, commercialisation and ethics of biotechnology products and the impact of biotechnology on modern society.

Transferable Skills: Biosciences

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop transferable and study skills in a food and nutrition or human nutrition or biosciences context. Students articulate their knowledge of a topic drawn for their educational background, and also develop their scientific writing skills based on a specified topic in food and nutrition or human nutrition or biosciences. The module is taught by lectures, tutorials, seminars and practicals.

Transferable Skills and Genetics

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module aims to provide students with opportunities to develop transferable and independent learning skills, and to enhance study skills, in a biomedical science context. This module also expands, applies and integrates knowledge on genetics in the context of human disease. The module is taught by online lectures, e-tutor interaction and directed studies.

Year three

Current Advances in Biosciences

Year: 3

This module involves an in depth study of selected bioscience issues which are the subject of considerable current public policy controversy. Alternative interpretations of related controversial material will be examined and critically evaluated by participants.

Microbial and Food Biotechnology

Year: 3

This module aims to develop the students' understanding of fundamental biotechnology principles and their ability to apply those principles to the study and exploitation of microorganisms, and within the context of traditional and contemporary food processing. Teaching methods include lectures and practicals.

Enterprise in Biosciences

Year: 3

This module provides opportunities for enterprise and employability skills to be assessed, nurtured and developed within the context of biosciences. Ethical and intellectual property issues in the exploitation of bioscience will also be considered. This module is taught by virtual lectures, seminars and tutorials, and assessed by a group business planning project and individual contributions to creativity, personal development planning, discussion and reflection exercises.

Natural Products

Year: 3

The module provides an overview of the varied roles played by naturally occurring organic chemical compounds. The importance of stereochemical features of such compounds is emphasised; means of determining biochemical pathways are illustrated and techniques of isolation, modification and synthesis of biologically significant molecules are described. Lectures, tutorials, directed reading and group activities will be featured.

Investigative project

Year: 3

This Investigative Project is an independent piece of work completed by the student, designed to develop key research and transferable skills in a discipline relevant to biomedical sciences/biosciences.

Pharmacology and Evidence-Based Practice

Year: 3

This module provides an understanding of applied and systems pharmacology of direct relevance to diverse clinical, industrial, and research careers, with an emphasis on development and application of advanced knowledge and skills, including utilization of evidence-based practice approach.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

A level

A levels are not an entry requirement for this programme - a higher level qualification is required as specified below.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Additional Entry Requirements

Applicants must satisfy the University’s general entry requirements and one of the following specific requirements outlined below:

- Hold a Higher Diploma in Biotechnology from the Institute of Vocational Education (IVE), Hong Kong (Chai Wan) with a minimum acceptable grade point average of 2.7.

- Hold an Associate Degree of Science (Biological Science) or Associate Degree of Health Science (Biomedical Sciences) from Hong Kong University, School of Professional and Continuing Education (HKU SPACE) with a minimum acceptable grade point average of 2.7.

- Hold a BTEC HND in a science subject which includes a major element of applied science, with at least four distinctions, three merits and one pass, or BSc Ordinary Degree in a science subject which includes a major element of applied science, with at least a merit grade 1, from an institution of the UK or RoI.

- Hold other sub degree qualifications in biosciences which are judged by the course team to be equivalent to above mentioned qualifications.

- Demonstrate all the learning outcomes associated with the above through a process of accreditation of prior learning (APC/EL).

Teaching and learning assessment

Students are taught using a range of methods including lectures, practical classes, independent learning packages, small group teaching and team projects.

Students will be assessed by a combination of Coursework and Examinations. Students undertake traditional written examinations at the Coleraine campus. Coursework includes essays, critical reviews, plans, discussions, reflective statements, investigative/group project reports, problem solving/data interpretation, and a dissertation.

Exemptions and transferability

No exemptions from completion of the level 6 modules can be given, as 120 credit points studied at the highest level at the University of Ulster is the absolute minimum required by the Qualification Framework for the University of Ulster to be able to award a BSc Honours degree. Appropriate BSc Hons Science students, having successfully completed 120 credit points at level 4 and 120 credit points at level 5, are eligible to transfer to this course.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Career options

Graduates from this degree have secured public and private sector quality assurance, technical services and development role at home and in Hong Kong. As a trained biotechnologist, graduates will have the tools which are increasingly in demand across a wide range of industries, from DNA fingerprinting, to more sophisticated brewing systems, biological waste treatment processes, and means of avoiding the risk of patient infection. Graduates will be able to progress to higher degrees (taught and research) at Universities at home and in Hong Kong. Graduates from this course have successfully completed taught higher degrees in biotechnology, food biotechnology and biomedical sciences, and research degrees in microbial and pharmaceutical biotechnology.

Work placement / study abroad

Typically, students enter having completed a work placement within their previous studies. Most students entering this programme are international students who previously studied overseas.

Academic profile

Biomedical Sciences is in the premier league of universities with 100% of our research environment judged to be world-leading, 95% of our impact is judged to be world leading or internationally excellent and 81% of our research papers are judged to be world leading or internationally excellent in UK Research Excellence Framework 2014. We are ranked among the top five universities in the UK in terms of research power in biomedical science. Through exposure to an internationally recognized research environment with state-of-the-art facilities, including the £14.5 million Centre for Molecular Bioscience (CMB) and Saad Centre for Pharmacy and Diabetes, students have the chance to gain unique insights into cutting-edge research and how this contributes to knowledge and understanding of health and disease.


How to apply Request a prospectus

Direct application online:

1. https://srssb.ulster.ac.uk/PROD/bwskalog.P_DispChoices

2. First time user account

3. Create a user name and pin, and ‘Login’

4. Application Type: ‘Taught Undergraduate Programme’

5. Admission Term: ‘Academic Year 17/18’

6. Insert your name details and ‘Fill out Application’

7. Click on each section and answer the questions – Under the Programme Selection section:- i) ‘Credit Bearing Modules – Life and Health Sciences PT CE’ ii) Type in choice e.g. ‘BSc Hons Biotechnology’ iii) Type in point of entry as ‘3’

Start dates

  • September 2018

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 18/19 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

Northern Ireland & EU:
England, Scotland & Wales:
£9,250.00  Discounts available
£13,680.00  Scholarships available

Scholarships, awards and prizes

Overseas applicants who are Higher Diploma graduates from IVE Chai Wan, Associate Degree graduates from HKU SPACE and Diploma graduates from Singapore Republic Polytechnic receive a discount on the full overseas fee in 2018/19 of approximately £2,000.

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.


Course Director: Mr Peter Mitchell

T: +44 (0)28 7012 3072

E: pc.mitchell@ulster.ac.uk

Application enquiries:

E: science@ulster.ac.uk

For more information visit

Faculty of Life and Health Sciences

School of Biomedical Sciences


My BSc Hons Biotechnology Project was an excellent introduction to research science, and it motivated me to pursue a PhD programme at Ulster. I found that I had the drive, talent and tenacity required of a research scientist, and this has served me well in my career to date within an innovative BioPharma company which has the expertise to produce specific antibodies for therapeutic, diagnostic and theranostic (diagnostic therapy for individual patients) applications.

Dr Kwok, Hang-Fai (Henry), Senior Scientist at FUSION Antibodies, Belfast