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Training in biotechnology research with a strong emphasis on development of advanced practical skills and research methods.
The overall purpose of the course is to provide advanced education in biotechnology research. The main objective of the course is to improve the pool of knowledge and technological skills available to support biotechnology-based industry and research nationally and internationally. The course has a strong practical element, with laboratory classes integrated in the modules across the first two semesters. Over the summer semester students also have the opportunity to undertake their own independent research project within one of the research groups in the internationally renowned Biomedical Sciences Research Institute (BMSRI) at Ulster. The BMSRI research covers biomedicine from the molecular to the whole human including disease development, prevention, diagnosis and therapy. BMSRI is ranked within the top five out of 94 universities submitted in the UK REF2014 panel in terms of research power in biomedical science. Significantly, in REF2014 our research environment was awarded an unprecedented 100% 4* (world-leading) and 95% of our research impact was scored world leading (4*) and internationally excellent (3*) while 81% of research published papers were judged to be world leading and internationally excellent (4* and 3*).
The course is primarily designed for those who wish to develop their career in the biosciences with particular emphasis on biotechnology research; including either academia or bio-pharmaceutical and bio-industries.
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About this course
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The MSc in Biotechnology Research programme comprises three academic semesters in duration.
In Semester 1 and 2, students will complete four 30-credit points modules, two in each semester. Details are given in modular structure section.
This programme is designed to provide up-to-date knowledge and understanding of core areas of biotechnology with particular emphasis on enhancing practical and research skills. Within the programme, students will cover a range of diverse topics including: bioinformatics, diagnostics, genetic modification, stem cell technology and proteomics and modules will include "hands on" training in advanced laboratory techniques. Further study in research planning, scientific communication, and professional practice will provide opportunities for critical reflection and evaluation of current practice and policy, enabling lifelong learning and professional development in biotechnology.
Full-time on campus three semesters.
- September 2017
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.
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Advanced biotechnology and bioinformatics
The module aims to give students an appreciation of the systems and concepts applied in Biotechnology research and provides relevance to the biomedical and biotechnology industries. Teaching is primarily through interactive lecture sessions, seminars and database mining.
Current Topics in Biotechnology Research
This module involves an in depth study of selected topics in biotechnology research which are the subject of considerable current interest. This module examines a diverse range of topics encompassing areas such as stem cell technology, genetic modification techniques, novel diagnostic technologies and innovations in biofuels and bioprotein. Case studies, augmented by laboratory practical work, are used to illustrate current applications of microbial diagnostics and future directions of diagnostics are discussed.
Scientific Methods and Communication
This module consists of independent pieces of work designed to develop key skills in the areas of literature searching, poster writing, presentation skills, and the critical analysis of disciplines relevant to biotechnology research.
This module is designed to facilitate personal development and a deeper understanding of professional practice in the growing and evolving global bio-sector, further developing personal core concepts, skills, and attributes to enhance graduate employability.
Biotechnology Research Project
Students are expected to apply theoretical knowledge to a problem of a practical nature. They will carry out experiments with the object of solving the problem. They will present their material in oral and written formats.
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.
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Applicants must have gained:
(a) second class honours degree or better in a bioscience subject from a university of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, or from a recognised national awarding body, or from an institution of another country which has been recognised as being of an equivalent standard;
or an equivalent standard (minimum 50%)
(b) provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English (GCSE grade C or equivalent);
(c) In exceptional circumstances, where an individual has substantial and significant experiential learning, a portfolio of written evidence demonstrating the meeting of graduate qualities (including subject-specific outcomes, as determined by the Course Committee) may be considered as an alternative entrance route. Evidence used to demonstrate graduate qualities may not be used for exemption against modules within the programme.
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.
Teaching and learning assessment
Learning and Teaching Methods: Lectures, seminars, laboratory sessions, group-work, module assignments, problem-based learning, and private study.
Assessment Methods: Coursework will assess outcomes and facilitate learning and the integration of knowledge. Structured coursework will include class test, case studies, literature-based assignments, a research project dissertation, supervisor’s report, plus other formative coursework as appropriate.
Careers & opportunities
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This course aims to prepare students for employment in specific bioscience sectors and to equip them for continuing personal, professional and intellectual development throughout their careers.
On completion of this course, students will have gained experience of advanced laboratory techniques, problem-solving and research design in a range of Biotechnology areas and be well prepared to work in research positions or to proceed on to do a research degree in a related area.
Fees and funding
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Fees (total cost)
Important notice - fees information
Please note fees displayed are for 2017/18 Academic Entry. Fees are correct at the time of publishing. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
View Ulster University’s 2017 fees policy
- Northern Ireland & EU:
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.