A key feature of the course is the three-month industrial placement, which provides an exciting opportunity to develop your ability to research a subject of industrial or biomedical relevance and gives you a full appreciation of what is required by modern industry.
The placement takes place from May to August, with a variety of placement opportunities, locally and nationally. The school’s industrial placement supervisor helps you to apply for and secure a placement, and will visit you during your placement.
At the end of the placement, you will be required to submit a written report. Where appropriate, special arrangements can be made for international students to undertake this placement in their normal country of residence.
Fundamentals of Biomolecular Sciences
This module will provide you with a firm understanding of the basic chemistry behind the properties of biomolecules - properties which underpin their behaviour in vivo - and their technology and some of the techniques used to characterise their size. You will learn about biomolecular structure, properties and function relevant to industry or in a biomedical environment.
Basic Laboratory Techniques
This module will provide practical experience in basic laboratory techniques including microbiological methods (media preparation, sterile technique, growth measurement etc), basic biochemical methods (buffer preparation and centrifugation) and molecular biological techniques (preparation and analysis of DNA). Practical work will be supported by lectures to provide an understanding of the basis of the techniques, the limitations of the methods and the appropriate methods of analysis.
Industrial and Biomedical Macromolecules
This module will provide you with a firm understanding of the structure, properties and function of industrially and biomedically important macromolecules under a variety of conditions (solution, colloid, glassy state, crystal). You will learn about biomolecular structure, properties and function of relevance to an industrial and biomedical setting.
Genetic Analysis and Bioinformatics
This module is designed to provide a forum to overview and discuss current developments in genetics. You will contribute in workshops covering aspects of modern genetics, human genetics, evolution and population genetics with case studies. You will also receive training in key skills in bioinformatics.
This module will provide you with an understanding of how antibody biotechnology can be applied to solve problems in an industrial and biomedical context. It will cover the following: antibody structure and function, monoclonal antibodies, IgE and its receptors, the immunoglobulin system, the structure of immunoglobulins and their complexes with antigen, solution structure and properties of antibodies, and other related topics.
This module will equip you with a firm appreciation of the techniques used to characterise biomolecular structure in solid state and in solution form. Advanced solution structural techniques: Sedimentation analysis, diffusion analysis, x-ray scattering. Solution modelling of structures. High resolution structural techniques: molecular graphics, x-ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance and electron microscopy.
Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology
This module focuses on protein production and protein engineering. It considers the biological factors that affect protein production and looks at the advantages and disadvantages of a range of different protein expression systems, including bacterial, yeast, fungal, viral and transfection of eukaryotic cell lines. Detailed examples of protein engineering of food-relevant proteins are considered in the context of the legislative framework governing the use of GM material.
Polysaccharide and Drug Delivery Biotechnology
You will learn how knowledge of enzyme and carbohydrate-based biotechnology can be applied to solve problems in an industrial and biomedical setting, including polysaccharides and other macromolecular drug delivery systems, "Smart" hydrogel and encapsulation and controlled release technologies, and therapeutic polysaccharides.
Industrial and Laboratory Placement with Project Dissertation
The three month industrial placement aims at developing your ability to research a subject of industrial or biomedical relevance in depth and gives a full appreciation of what is required by modern industry. You can also consider industrial placements requiring a management project, and can do your placement in a University setting as long as it has a strong industrial focus.
The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. This course page may be updated over the duration of the course, as modules may change due to developments in the curriculum or in the research interests of staff.
Teaching methods and assessment
This course requires 180 credits.
You will take taught modules (120 credits) over the autumn and spring semesters before completing a 60-credit three month industrial placement and dissertation project.
The University is surrounded by many high-tech pharmaceutical and biotech small-medium-enterprise companies, in addition to the pharmaceutical and food ‘giants’ such as Astra Zeneca, Boots, Riker 3M, Mars-Pedigree, Northern Foods, Cott Beverages, PepsiCo and United Biscuits.
Job opportunities may arise in these companies who share a good relationship with the University.
Average starting salary and career progression
100% of postgraduates in the School of Biosciences secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £28,000 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £65,000.*
* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates who were available for employment, 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.
Careers support and advice
We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students whatever your course, mode of study or future career plans.
You can access our Careers and Employability Service during your studies and after you graduate. Expert staff will help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.
More than 1,500 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.