Industrial Physical Biochemistry MRes

Industrial Physical Biochemistry MRes MRes Industrial Physical Biochemistry
This course provides graduates with an advanced knowledge and understanding of physical biochemistry, with particular relevance to industry.

Fact file

MRes Industrial Physical Biochemistry
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Entry requirements
MRes: 2:1 (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject or 2:2 (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject with a Merit at masters; other qualifications may also be accepted
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element) If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
Sutton Bonington Campus
Other requirements



Focusing upon technical knowledge and practical skills, the course is ideal for those wishing to pursue careers in research or develop a leading career in the fields of physical biochemistry. 

Course structure

The award of MRes requires 180 credits for completion. You will undertake a taught module 'Fundamentals of Biomolecular Science' during the autumn semester (20 credits) including lectures, tutorials and a practical. 

The research project (140 credits) spans both semesters from the start of the course (late September) until the end of August the following year. This is an opportunity to complete a major piece of independent research under the supervision of a member of academic staff. The project can be undertaken wholly or partially in an industrial company’s laboratory. You will also take 20 credits of Graduate School generic training modules.


Typical taught modules:

Fundamentals of Biomolecular Science
This module covers: Macromolecular size and shape. Basic Physical Biochemistry (1st & 2nd laws of thermodynamics). Water as a solvent: pH, ionic strength. Concentration of solutions of macromolecules and its measurement. Dilute solutions. Solubility: Raoult's & Henry's laws. Colligative properties: Osmotic pressure. Non-ideality of macromolecular solutions. The volume and charge effects of macromolecules. Basic Laboratory Skills, handling experimental data, Error and approximations. Criteria for rejecting data. Indices, logarithms. Statistical function keys on calculators. Macromolecular hydration. Heterogeneity of macromolecular solutions - molecular weight averages. Flexibility of linear macromolecules - persistence length and radius of gyration. Absolute and relative methods for determining the molecular weight of macromolecules. Hydrodynamic and imaging techniques. SDS PAGE, Analytical Ultracentrifugation. Basic Colloidal Science, Phase Separation. 
Statistics and Experimental Design for Bioscientists

This module explains the major principles and techniques of statistical analysis of research data without becoming too involved in the underlying mathematics. Now that computer software is very well established for data analysis, it is more important to understand WHAT a statistical test is doing (and thus whether or not it is appropriate) than to be able to perform the underlying calculations by hand. It is equally important to collect data in an appropriate and planned manner for later analysis.

At the end of the course, participants should have an overall grasp of the major analytical techniques available, and how they relate to each other, and have developed abilities in experimental design, data analysis using appropriate software and presentation of results.

Writing and Reviewing Research Proposals

This module aims to develop your skills in analysis and writing of research proposals. Specific areas covered include: how to develop a research idea and write a grant application and peer review of research proposals.

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.


The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list. 

Course location 

The school is based on the Sutton Bonington Campus, a self-contained site only 20km south of Nottingham. The campus has its own accommodation, sports centre, social amenities and state of the art teaching and research facilities dedicated to the study of biosciences. The campus is also the location of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science. Altogether there are some 2000 students on campus, from over 30 countries.

Sutton Bonington is an easy bus or car journey to University Park Campus and on to Nottingham City, with free bus service connections between campuses. Two other major UK cities, Derby and Leicester are nearby. East Midlands International Airport is 7Km away, plus there are fast rail links to London close by.

Key facts

  • The school is ranked the no. 1 research environment in the UK for agriculture, veterinary and food science 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

  • The National Centre for Macromolecular Hydrodynmicsis based within the school, in the food sciences research group

  • Computing facilities within the school are excellent. PCs are extensively used and students will become familiar with word processing, the use of spreadsheets and data analysis and presentation; advice on mathematical analysis, statistical design and computer programming is provided



Specialist facilities at the National Centre for Macromolecular Hydrodynamics and other laboratories in the University relevant to Industrial Physical Biochemistry include:

  • Analytical ultracentrifugation
  • Dynamic Light scattering and SEC-MALS
  • Protein and carbohydrate biochemistry
  • Surface Plasmon Resonance
  • Atomic Force Microscopy
  • Fluorescence
  • NMR facilities with links to X-ray and neutron methods and other facilities at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories, Harwell and the Institut Laue Langevin at Grenoble

Research support

The Graduate School has prime responsibility for the delivery of the generic skills training and has a dedicated training team who provide a comprehensive generic research training programme. These courses include IT training, presentation skills, intellectual property rights, business studies, career management, research skills and techniques, the research environment and management and courses for students involved in teaching and demonstrating. 

The Graduate School operates from the main campus of the University, in a dedicated and well equipped centre to provide central coordination, communication and leadership of postgraduate training. However, there is a dedicated postgraduate centre on the Sutton Bonington campus, where the School of Bioscience is located. 

A number of University support services exist to assist you during your time at Nottingham and beyond. The Students' Union is a particularly important source of support.


Find a supervisor

We encourage you to get in touch with a member of academic staff about your research proposal before submitting an application. They may be able to help you with your proposal and offer support to find funding opportunities in your area. Details of research supervisors at the University can be found on our research A to Z.

Fees and funding

UK/EU students

Please visit the University's postgraduate  funding pages.

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.



Career destinations have included biochemists, lecturers, medical scientists and scientific researchers. Companies and organisations our graduates have gone on to work for include Domantis GSK, GE Healthcare, Lonza Biologics, Mars Confectionary, Q Chip and Unilever.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2017, 100% of postgraduates in the school 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

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.

Male student using a microscope and imaging software, QMC

Get in touch


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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