MSc in Synthetic Biology & Biotechnology
The University of Edinburgh - School of Biological Sciences
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
GBP 38,500 / per year
Earliest start date
Synthetic biology is a multidisciplinary area that seeks to provide novel solutions for medicine, manufacturing and agriculture, by creating new biological components and systems that do not already exist in nature. Synthetic biology strives to make the engineering of biology easier and more predictable by applying key engineering principles to biology such as standardisation and modularisation, thereby accelerating the creation of novel products, services and industries.
Our Synthetic Biology and Biotechnology MSc is a fast-paced and dynamic programme of study. Your studies will draw on the latest research in the fields of synthetic biology, (bio)engineering and biotechnology. Through this programme, you will have the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge necessary for developing innovative solutions and tackle the pressing global challenges we are facing: rapidly changing human demographics and resulting health pressures, growing demand for more and healthier food, resource shortages, sustainable fuel transition and a cleaner environment.
Throughout this interactive degree, you will be encouraged to engage with academic experts from different disciplines, as well as industry experts, who contribute to the discussions and provide guest lectures. You will engage in practical learning, participate in group activities and offer your critical analysis of the topics.
The programme combines the teaching of theory and academic knowledge, with the development of applied and practical skills. We aim to equip our synthetic biology graduates with the skills required for further education and research, and for employment in the growing synthetic biology sector and other related industries.
This MSc programme comprises:
- compulsory and option courses (semesters 1 and 2)
- research project (semester 3)
You will be taught various synthetic biology-related topics across the compulsory courses, and will select your optional courses to tailor your learning to your own education or career goals.
In these courses, you will learn through a variety of activities, including:
- workshops, tutorials, practicals
- presentations, seminars
- group discussions and group projects
- problem-based learning activities
- research projects
The dissertation project will be your opportunity to conduct research on a topic of your choice. You will carry out research at the frontier of knowledge and can make a genuine contribution to the progress of original research. This will involve reviewing relevant papers, generating and analysing data, developing new and critical ideas, and writing a project dissertation.
We work with a wide multidisciplinary network of academics to propose a diversity of research topics, and also with external organisations and companies, to offer a wider range of project opportunities and enhance the real-world relevance of your degree.
By the end of the programme you will have gained:
- a strong background knowledge in the fields underlying synthetic biology and biotechnology
- the ability to think about the future development of research & technology, its implementation and its implications
- an understanding of how biotechnology relates to real-world biological problems
- an understanding of the limitations and public concerns regarding the nascent field of synthetic biology, including a thorough examination of the philosophical, legal, ethical and social issues surrounding the area
- the ability to approach the technology transfer problem, equipped with the skills to analyse the problem in scientific and practical terms
- a broad understanding of research responsibility including the requirement for rigorous and robust testing of theories and the need for honesty and integrity in experimental reporting and reviewing
The Synthetic Biology and Biotechnology MSc aims to provide businesses, industry, academia and governments with an annual cohort of graduates with the high-level knowledge necessary to promote innovative bio-based solutions to pressing global challenges.
You will enhance your career prospects by acquiring current marketable knowledge and developing advanced analytical and presentation skills, within the social and intellectual sphere of a leading European university. The programme offers a wide range of research projects that can be tailored to best suit your career goals: e.g. academic research, industry projects (companies and start-ups), science communication, etc. The School of Biological Sciences offers a research-rich environment in which you can develop as a scientist and an entrepreneur. We have fantastic resources through the University department 'Edinburgh Innovations' to help you successfully nurture your entrepreneurial ideas and launch your own enterprise.
Our graduates have been successful in securing employment in the synthetic biology and biotechnology sector. In addition, some alumni have gone on to create their own successful businesses. Although there is not a 'typical' job our graduates go on to do, they work or study in organisations around the world.
Our Careers Service plays an essential part in your wider student experience at the University, providing:
- tailored advice
- individual guidance and personal assistance
- internships and networking opportunities (with employers from local organisations to top multinationals)
- access to the experience of our worldwide alumni network
We invest in your future beyond the end of your degree. Studying at the University of Edinburgh will lay the foundations for your future success, whatever shape that takes.