Microbiology

Biomedicine - MSc

Join our Postgraduate Virtual Open Event on Thursday 20 May from 16.00 - 19.00 GMT. Meet and talk to specialist academics and admissions staff about postgraduate study in the UK and Europe.

A flexible programme that allows you to pursue diverse interests at the interface of biology and clinical sciences.

Overview

Based around a core structure of practical training in cutting-edge molecular biosciences –including CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technologies – the course provides an advanced training in the research and transferable skills that are valued by employers.

An impressive range of optional modules in diverse areas of biomedicine – infection, cancer, reproductive technology, neuroscience, ageing, bioinformatics, drug development and biotechnology – allow you to develop your own specific biomedical interests. An extended research project in the summer months allows advanced, independent investigation in an area that relates to your programme of study.

Biomedicine is a particular research strength at the University of Kent, and the curriculum has been designed by world-leading experts within their fields. Connections with the clinical community ensure that you have access to the interface between biological science and medicine, and a true insight into how biomedical research improves patient care and changes lives.

The programme offers a progression route to PhD level of study for those wishing to pursue a research career, while transferable skills development supports access to careers in clinical trials, public engagement, scientific writing, industrial research, and many other career structures within and outside the laboratory.

As a Biomedicine student you join a vibrant, ambitious and friendly academic community of around 150 postgraduate students, and a School ranked in the top 10 in the UK for research intensity by the Times Higher Education, based on data from the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF).

About the School of Biosciences

The University of Kent’s School of Biosciences ranks among the most active in biological sciences in the UK. We have recently extended our facilities and completed a major refurbishment of our research laboratories, which now house over 100 academic, research, technical and support staff, of whom more than 120 are postgraduate students.

Research in the School of Biosciences revolves around understanding systems and processes in the living cell. It has a strong molecular focus with leading-edge activities that are synergistic with one another and complementary to the teaching provision. Our expertise in disciplines such as biochemistry, microbiology and biomedical science allows us to exploit technology and develop groundbreaking ideas in the fields of genetics, molecular biology, protein science and biophysics. Fields of enquiry encompass a range of molecular processes from cell division, transcription and translation through to molecular motors, molecular diagnostics and the production of biotherapeutics and bioenergy.

In addition to research degrees, our key research strengths underpin a range of career-focused taught Master’s programmes that address key issues and challenges within the biosciences and pharmaceutical industries and prepare graduates for future employment.

Entry requirements

Smiling female postgraduate student
You are more than your grades

For 2021, in response to the challenges caused by Covid-19 we will consider applicants either holding or projected a 2:2. This response is part of our flexible approach to admissions whereby we consider each student and their personal circumstances. If you have any questions, please get in touch.

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:2 Honours degree or equivalent in a Biosciences related discipline.

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Some typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice.

If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes.

English language entry requirements

The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Need help with English?

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

Form

Keep updated

Sign up here to receive all the latest news and events from Kent  

Sign up now

This field is required
This field is required
Please enter a valid email address
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required

View our Privacy Notice

Course structure

Duration: One year full-time, two years part-time

The MSc in Biomedicine involves studying for 120 credits of taught modules. You undertake a period of advanced training in research, technical and transferable skills with application in the biomedical research area, including an extended practical training in cutting-edge genome editing. You then choose options from a wide selection that includes microbiology, oncology, biotechnology and instrumentation, drug development and reproductive science – allowing you to pursue particular interests within a flexible curriculum. During the summer term and summer vacation, you undertake an extended, 60-credit research project in one of our research groups under the supervision of a member of academic staff.

In addition to producing traditional scientific laboratory reports, you gain experience in a range of scientific writing styles relevant to future employment, such as literature reviews, patent applications, regulatory documents, and patient information suitable for a non-scientific readership.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

You take all compulsory modules and then choose 60 credits from a list of optional modules.

Compulsory modules currently include

Science has a profound influence on public life. This module considers the ways in which different professional and public groups interact with science and scientists, and how this influences the work that scientists do. It considers the social roles and responsibilities of scientists beyond their own scientific research, the context in which science operates, and the careers that exist for scientists outside of the traditional laboratory environment. In considering specific scientific developments in light of ethics, policy, media and public perception, the module will develop a range of academic skills that support learning in more specialised modules. It also provides transferable skills valued in the science sector, particularly science communication.

Find out more about BIOS8600

The module aims to develop understanding and practical skills in molecular biology, based around interactive workshops, practical sessions and group work. The module will involve practical sessions covering key practical and transferable skills in molecular biology and biotechnology. The module will feature an extended mini-project focused on CRISPR-Cas9-based genome editing - a cutting-edge technology with wide application in the biological sciences – alongside presentation of findings in extended written report format to provide experience of the dissemination platform widely used in biological research.

Find out more about BIOS8590

This module will develop the advanced research skills that are required in modern biological research and transferable across biological research disciplines. This will include the development of skills in bioinformatics, statistical analysis, research publication and peer review through a combination of online exercises, seminars and group work. These skills will be discussed, enhanced and contextualised in tutorials that consider their application of these skills through consideration of literature and case studies drawn from the field of biomedicine.

Find out more about BIOS8690

Optional modules may include

This module describes the anatomy, physiology, pathology, and therapy of the blood and blood forming tissues, including the bone marrow. It covers a wide range of disorders including haematological malignancies, infection with blood-borne parasites that cause malaria, and inappropriate clotting activities such as deep vein thrombosis.

Find out more about “BIOS6270”

The module aims to develop understanding and analytical skills in order to fully embed students within the culture of cancer research. Based around seminars and interactive workshops, the initial stages of the module will involve an intensive rotation of seminars covering recent key developments in the field of cancer, delivered by experts, accompanied by critical evaluation and analysis of research articles exploring these research themes. Students will analyse, present and discuss the relevant research literature. They will gain experience in scientific design, literature analysis, scientific communication and the analysis and statistical interpretation of complex experimental data. The later stages will focus on the students' own extended research project and will involve the preparation of a research proposal.

Find out more about BIOS8570

Compulsory modules currently include

Teaching and assessment

Assessment involves a mixture of practical classes, innovative continuous assessment to gain maximum transferable and professional skills, and examinations, depending on the optional modules selected.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • provide an excellent quality of postgraduate-level education in the field of biomedicine
  • promote engagement with research into biomedicine and inspire students to pursue scientific careers inside or outside of the laboratory
  • provide a research-led, inspiring learning environment
  • provide a regional postgraduate progression route for the advanced study of biomedical science
  • provide a flexible programme that allows a range of specialisms within biomedical science
  • develop subject-specific and transferable skills to maximise employment prospects 
  • promote an understanding of the impact of scientific research on society and the role for scientists in a range of professions.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain a knowledge and understanding of:

  • principles, application and the critical context of key techniques in modern molecular bioscience and its application to biomedicine
  • the mechanisms by which scientific knowledge and research is disseminated to different stakeholders eg media, policymakers and public
  • research ethics and academic integrity, and the application of related principles and procedures in an advanced biological research context.

Intellectual skills

You gain the following intellectual skills:

  • Research skills: how to formulate original research questions and hypotheses to address current scientific issues
  • Analytical skills: scholarly interpretation of data, marshalling information from published sources, critical evaluation of own research and that of others
  • Information technology: use of appropriate technology to retrieve, analyse and present scientific information
  • Statistical evaluation: the use of appropriate statistical analysis methods in handling and critically interpreting scientific data

Subject-specific skills

You gain the following subject-specific skills:

  • Experimental skills: how to design experiments to address specific research questions and hypotheses
  • Practical skills: key techniques in modern molecular biology and their application in molecular bioscience to solve research problems
  • Data handling: how to record experimental procedures and data appropriately using good laboratory practice
  • Presentation of scientific research: how to write research articles in an appropriate scholarly style in keeping with high-impact-factor scientific journals, and posters and oral presentation for conferences and symposia
  • Science writing: how to present scientific information to scientific and non-scientific audiences
  • Careers: a recognition of career opportunities for scientists outside of the laboratory
  • Principles and procedures for health and safety in the laboratory research environment

Transferable skills

You gain the following transferable skills:

  • Communication: ability to organise information clearly, present information in oral and written form, adapt presentation for different audiences
  • Reflection: make use of constructive informal feedback from staff and peers and assess own progress to enhance performance and personal skills
  • Self-motivation and independence: time and workload management in order to meet personal targets and imposed deadlines
  • Team work: the ability to work both independently and as part of a research group using peer support, diplomacy and collective responsibility

Fees

The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

  • Home full-time £8100
  • EU full-time £15400
  • International full-time £20500
  • Home part-time £4050
  • EU part-time £7700
  • International part-time £10250

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact information@kent.ac.uk.

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Additional costs

General additional costs

Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent. 

Funding

Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both:

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Search scholarships

The Complete University Guide

In The Complete University Guide 2021, the University of Kent was ranked in the top 10 for research intensity. This is a measure of the proportion of staff involved in high-quality research in the university.

Please see the University League Tables 2021 for more information.

Complete University Guide Research Intensity

Independent rankings

Based on the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), the Times Higher Education ranks the School of Biosciences 7th in the UK for research intensity and in the top 20 in the UK for research output.

An impressive 93% of our research-active staff submitted to the REF and 100% of our research was judged to be of international quality, with 88% of this judged world-leading or internationally excellent. The School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development research of international excellence.

Research areas

Research in the School of Biosciences is focused primarily on essential biological processes at the molecular and cellular level, encompassing the disciplines of biochemistry, genetics, biotechnology and biomedical research.

The School is consistently highly ranked among biological science Schools in the UK and houses a dynamic research community with five major research themes:

  • industrial biotechnology
  • infection and drug resistance
  • cancer and age-related diseases
  • cellular architecture and dynamics
  • reproduction, evolution and genomics.

Each area is led by a senior professor and underpinned by excellent research facilities. The School-led development of the Industrial Biotechnology Centre (IBC), with staff from the four other schools in the Faculty of Sciences, facilitates and encourages interdisciplinary projects. The School has a strong commitment to translational research, impact and industrial application with a substantial portfolio of enterprise activity and expertise.

Associated centres

Kent Fungal Group

The Kent Fungal Group (KFG) brings together a number of research groups in the School of Biosciences that primarily use yeasts or other fungi as ‘model systems’ for their research. One strength of the KFG is the range of model fungi being exploited for both fundamental and medical/translational research. These include Bakers’ yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and Fission yeast (Schizosaccharomyces pombe) and yeasts associated with human disease, specifically Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans.

In addition to studying key cellular processes in the fungal cell such as protein synthesis, amyloids and cell division, members of the KFG are also using yeast to explore the molecular basis of human diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Creutzfeldt-Jakob, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s diseases, as well as ageing. The KFG not only provides support for both fundamental and medical/translational fungal research, but also provides an excellent training environment for young fungal researchers.

Industrial Biotechnology Centre

The School houses one of the University’s flagship research centres – the Industrial Biotechnology Centre (IBC). Here, staff from Biosciences, Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Computing and Engineering combine their expertise into a pioneering interdisciplinary biosciences programme at Kent, in order to unlock the secrets of some of the essential life processes. These approaches are leading to a more integrated understanding of biology in health and disease. In the Centre, ideas and technology embodied in different disciplines are being employed in some of the remaining challenges in bioscience. With such an approach, new discoveries and creative ideas are generated through the formation of new collaborative teams. In this environment, the Centre is broadening and enriching the training of students and staff in science and technology.

The Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies of Reproduction (CISoR)

The centre comprises several like-minded academics dedicated to the study of reproduction in all its forms. Drawing on a range of academic disciplines, CISoR's core philosophy is that the study of this fascinating field will advance further through a multidisciplinary approach. Impactful, excellent research forms the basis of CISoR’s activities including scientific advance, new products and processes, contribution to public policy, and public engagement.

Careers

A postgraduate degree in the School of Biosciences is designed to equip our graduates with transferable skills that are highly valued in the workplace. Our research-led ethos ensures that students explore the frontiers of scientific knowledge, and the intensive practical components provide rigorous training in cutting-edge technical skills.

Destinations for our graduates include the leading pharmaceutical and biotechnological companies within the UK and leading research institutes both at home and abroad.

This programme launched in 2018. Based on the training available we expect our graduates to go into roles such as Research Assistants and Technicians, Journal Editors, Patent Attorneys and Clinical Trials coordinators. Graduates are also ideally placed to pursue further postgraduate qualifications.

Help finding a job

The School of Biosciences has a dedicated Placements and Employability Officer and your academic supervisor will be able to advise you and give you access to professionals in their network.

 The University has a friendly Careers and Employability Service, which can give you advice on how to:

  • apply for jobs
  • write a good CV
  • perform well in interviews.

These services are available to you for 3 years after completing your course.

Study support

Postgraduate resources

The School is well equipped, with excellent general research laboratories, together with a range of specialised research resources including facilities for growing micro-organisms of all kinds, extensive laboratories for animal cell culture and monoclonal antibody production, and an imaging suite providing high-resolution laser confocal and electron microscopy. Additionally, the macromolecular analysis facility provides resources for protein and mass spectrometry, CD and fluorescence spectroscopy, surface plasmon resonance, and HPLC and FPLC systems for all aspects of biochemical and microbiological research. Notably, the School has a new state-of-the-art Bruker Avance III four-channel 600 MHz NMR spectrometer equipped with a QCI cryoprobe, obtained via an equipment research award from the Wellcome Trust.

Support

Students on taught programmes are assigned a personal academic tutor to provide additional support. Throughout the course, you experience the research culture of the School by attending research seminars and careers guidance sessions, and also have opportunities to participate in our vibrant outreach programme within the local community. In addition to taught modules, an in-depth research project takes place during the summer under the guidance of members of academic staff. These projects benefit from our outstanding research environment and first-class facilities.

An active school

The School of Biosciences runs regular seminars at which external guest speakers or staff talk about recent research. In addition, the department runs FIREBio (Forum for Innovation, Research and Enterprise in Biosciences), an informal meeting for staff, postdoctoral students and postgraduates involving short presentations and discussions. Postgraduates can use the opportunity to present unpublished research findings and discuss them in a supportive environment.

Worldwide partnerships

Staff in the School of Biosciences not only collaborate extensively with other universities in the UK (Cambridge, Cardiff, King’s College London, University College London, Newcastle, Oxford, Sussex, York, Manchester, Durham and Sheffield), but also have a wide-ranging network across the world with institutes including: the Boston Biomedical Research Institute; University of Hanover; Monash University Melbourne; Harvard; University of California, Davis; Université Claude Bernard – Lyon 1; Goethe-Universität Frankfurt; University of Queensland, Australia; University of Utah; Texas A&M University; and Braunschweig University of Technology. We also collaborate with organisations such as the Marie Curie Research Institute, Cancer Research UK, National Institute for Medical Research, MRC London, GlaxoSmithKline and the European Union Framework 5 CYTONET.

The School currently receives funding from: BBSRC; Biochemical Society; British Heart Foundation; E B Charitable Hutchinson Trust; the EC; EPSRC; Kent Cancer Trust; The Leverhulme Trust; National Institutes of Health (USA); Nuffield Foundation; Royal Society; Wellcome Trust. It also receives funding on specific projects from a number of industrial organisations and collaborators.

Dynamic publishing culture

Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: Nature Chemical Biology; Journal of Biological Chemistry; Cell; Molecular Cell; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA; PLOS One; and Journal of Cell Science.

Global Skills Award

All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.  

Apply now

Learn more about the applications process or begin your application by clicking on a link below.

Once started, you can save and return to your application at any time.

Apply for entry to:

Contact us

bubble-text

United Kingdom/EU enquiries

MSc at Canterbury

Admissions enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

E: information@kent.ac.uk

Subject enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 823025

E: biopgadmin@kent.ac.uk

earth

International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk

network

School website

School of Biosciences