Postgraduate study
This taught course offers advanced training for biological, chemical and physical scientists (pure and applied) for careers in industry or as a basis for entry to MRes or PhD.
MSc Applied Biomolecular Technology
1 year full-time
Entry requirements
2:2 (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses may be available
Start date
UK/EU fees
£8,235 - Terms apply
International fees
£24,030 - Terms apply
Sutton Bonington Campus



This one year, full-time MSc provides you with advanced training and an opportunity to discover first-hand modern industry's need for skilled biomolecular technologists. Biomolecular technology underpins the production of drug delivery systems, the making of healthier food product, the design of healthcare products and vaccines. 

  • You will analyse the natural and artificially engineered large bio-molecules of importance to the pharmaceutical, food, nutrition, healthcare and biomedical industries. 
  • By the end of the course, you will be conversant with methods of gene-cloning and protein engineering central to the biotechnology sector.
  • A three-month industrial placement module and contributions from industry experts ensure that you have access to the latest developments in the field.

Key facts

  • The University is located close to many high-tech pharmaceutical and biotech small-medium-enterprise companies in addition to pharmaceutical and food 'giants' such as Astra Zeneca, Boots, Riker 3M, Mars-Pedigree, Cott Beverages, PepsiCo and United Biscuits
  • The course is run by the School of Biosciences in conjunction with the Schools of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biomedical Sciences and Clinical Laboratory Sciences
  • Teaching links also exist with the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Leicester
  • The school is ranked the no.1 research environment in the UK in the Research Excellence Framework 2014; 97% of our work in the Schools of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine and Science was judged to be of international quality

Full course details

The course will train you to analyse the natural and artificially engineered large bio-molecules of importance to the pharmaceutical, food/nutrition, healthcare, biomedical, oil and other important industries.

By the end of the course, you will be conversant with methods of gene cloning and protein engineering central to the biotechnology sector.

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.  



Core modules

Fundamentals of Biomolecular Science 

This module will provide students 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. Students 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 students 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). Students 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. Students will contribute in workshops covering aspects of modern genetics, human genetics, evolution and population genetics with case studies. Students also receive training in key skills in bioinformatics. Students will work their way through a series of exercises designed to provide experience of the common bioinformatics techniques and challenges presented by large datasets. Case studies will provide to train the ability to solve the problem on the genetics and bioinformatics.

Antibody Biotechnology

This module will provide the students with an understanding of how antibody biotechnology can be applied to solve problems in an industrial and biomedical context.

Structural Biology

This module is aimed at equipping students with a firm understanding and appreciation of the techniques used to characterise biomolecular structure in the solid state and in solution. Students will learn about advanced biophysical techniques of relevance to an industry and a biomedical environment.

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

Students will learn how knowledge of enzyme and polysaccharide biotechnology can be applied to solve problems in an industrial and biomedical setting, including drug delivery.

Postgraduate Research Project (D24PR0) Industrial and laboratory placement

The three month industrial placement aims at developing students' ability to research a subject of industrial or biomedical relevance in depth and gives a full appreciation of what is required by modern industry.

The placement takes place May–August, and students are placed either locally or nationally. The school’s industrial placement supervisor visits each student during their placement to ensure adequate progress is being made. All students are required to submit a written report. Where appropriate, special arrangements can be made for non-UK students to undertake this placement in their normal country of residence.

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. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and information is provided for indicative purposes only.


Fees and funding

UK/EU students

The Graduate School website at the University of Nottingham provides information on internal and external sources of postgraduate funding.   

Government loans for masters courses

Masters student loans of up to £10,906 are available for taught and research masters courses. Applicants must ordinarily live in the UK or EU.

International and EU students

Masters scholarships are available for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure you apply for your course with enough time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.


Careers and professional development

Graduates of the courses are deemed to have a highly attractive skill set by both academia and industry. We have a high proportion of graduates who are offered either fully funded PhD places or jobs in UK industry (eg biotechnology, pharmaceutical, food and medical sciences sectors) as a result of this course.

The University itself, with its location in Nottingham, 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. As such, job opportunities may arise in these companies who share a good relationship with the University.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2017, 100% of postgraduates in the School of Biosciences who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £28,000 with the highest being £65,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career prospects and employability

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers** and can offer you a head-start when it comes to your career. 

Those who take up a postgraduate research opportunity with us will not only receive support in terms of close contact with supervisors and specific training related to your area of research, you will also benefit from dedicated careers advice from our Careers and Employability Service

Our Careers and Employability Service offers a range of services including advice sessions, employer events, recruitment fairs and skills workshops – and once you have graduated, you will have access to the service for life.

** The Graduate Market 2013-2017, High Fliers Research.


This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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Professor SE Harding, Course Director
School of Biosciences
The University of Nottingham
Sutton Bonington Campus
LE12 5RD
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