Biotechnology and Business - MSc

Overview

A flexible programme that allows you to pursue diverse interests at the interface of modern biology and business 

Gain an in-depth understanding of translating laboratory findings from a modern bioscience laboratory to the clinic / commercial utility. Learning is based around practicals, lectures, interactive workshops and an extended, milestoned research project.

The programme content and specification ensures that your exposure to modern biosciences (i.e. drawing from the existing advanced optional modules in Cancer Biology, Infectious Diseases, Biotechnology & Bioengineering and Reproductive Medicine) coupled with your exposure to existing Business Modules (Marketing, Financial & Management Accounting and Strategy) and a new innovation module that focuses on Translating Bioscience to Business. 

Kent and Medway Medical School

Kent is moving forward with the Kent and Medway Medical School (KMMS), due to take the first cohort of students in September 2020. 

KMMS will be a significant addition to the University, with exciting opportunities for education and research in the School of Biosciences.

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

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

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications. 

International students

Please see our International website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, international fee-paying students cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.

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.

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Course structure

Duration: 1 year full-time

The MSc in Biotechnology and Business will provide in depth understanding of translating laboratory findings from a modern bioscience laboratory to the clinic / commercial utility, based around practicals, lectures, interactive workshops and an extended, milestoned research project. 

The programme content and specification ensures that the students exposure to modern biosciences (i.e. drawing from the existing advanced optional modules in Cancer Biology, Infectious Diseases, Biotechnology & Bioengineering and Reproductive Medicine) coupled with their exposure to existing Business Modules (Marketing, Financial & Management Accounting and Strategy) and a new innovation module that focuses on Translating Bioscience to Business. 

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.

You take all compulsory modules and then choose 30 credits from a list of optional modules available to MSc programmes in Infectious Diseases, Cancer Biology & Therapeutics, Biomedicine, Biotechnology & Bioengineering and Reproductive Medicine: Science & Ethics.

Teaching and assessment

Examinations, Laboratory reports, Continuous assessments (eg. presentations and posters) and Project Dissertation 

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • provide an excellent quality of postgraduate-level education in the field of biosciences and business
  • promote engagement with research into biology 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 biosciences at the business interface
  • 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 business, society and the role for scientists in a range of profession

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain a knowledge and understanding of:

  • Principles and application of key molecular bioscience techniques and an appreciation of the current innovation landscape in modern bioscience
  • principles, application and the critical context of key techniques in modern molecular bioscience and its application to biomedicine
  • The uses and limitations of a range of research methods/techniques; the collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data, synthesis and reporting, and an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses for providing information and evaluating business options
  • 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
  • Robust theoretical grounding in the broad area of business and management, development of a range of transferable skills as well as demonstrate a systematic understanding of ability to select, organise, develop and synthesise complex material
  • 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
  • Business skills: insight into the planning and execution of a development milestones from laboratory to clinic
  • 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
  • Demonstrate an ability to understand the international and ethical dimension to business operations and the principles and procedures for ethics, health and safety in the laboratory and clinic
  • 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
  • Planning: the ability to both understand the translational development pathway and the planning required to progress and deliver 
  • Team work: the ability to work both independently and as part of a research group using peer support, diplomacy and collective responsibility

Fees

The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

  • Home/EU full-time £7900
  • International full-time £19800

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

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:

The Complete University Guide

In The Complete University Guide 2020, 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 2020 for more information.

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.

Staff research interests

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.

Dr Alessia Buscaino : Senior Lecturer in Fungal Epigenetics

Genetics and epigenetics of repetitive DNA domains.

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Dr Peter Ellis : Lecturer in Molecular Biology and Reproduction

Reproductive functions in models of infertility, genes on the mouse Y chromosome and their roles in spermatogenesis and in genome evolution, DNA repair mechanisms in meiosis and cancer.

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Professor M.D. Garrett : Professor of Cancer Therapeutics

Research is focussed on cell signalling and cell division, and how these cellular processes can be targeted for the treatment of cancer.

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Professor Michael Geeves : Professor of Physical Biochemistry

How the mechanochemistry of the myosin motor domain is tuned to produce widely differing activities and how the motor activity is regulated.

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Dr Ben Goult : Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry

How cells sense mechanical forces. Mechanical signalling,  Cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) adhesion complexes, cell migration, Mechanobiology, Structural Biology 

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Dr Campbell Gourlay : Senior Lecturer in Cell Biology

Investigating the regulation of mitochondria in cell health and ageing; Regulation of microbiomes in human health; Identification of new methods to combat human fungal pathogens; Yeast as a model for Motor Neurone Disease.

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Professor Darren Griffin : Professor of Genetics

The cytogenetic basis of gametogenesis, in particular genome organisation; chromosomes in early mammalian development and implications for pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. Comparative genomics and genome evolution in avian and mammalian species.

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Dr N. Kad : Lecturer in Molecular Biophysics

My lab is aimed at understanding biological systems important in cancer, ageing and cardiac disease. We are well-funded and focused on using state-of-the-art imaging based techniques to watch these processes in real time in vitro and in vivo.
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Dr Dan Lloyd : Reader in Pharmacology

Cellular responses to DNA damage, with particular emphasis on the repair of DNA damage in human cells induced by environmental and clinical agents; novel radiopharmaceuticals used in the imaging treatment of cancer.

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Professor Martin Michaelis : Professor of Cell Biology

Cancer cell biology and cancer cell response to therapy with a focus on drug resistance; Virus biology, pathogenicity, and antiviral therapies.

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Dr Dan Mulvihill : Reader in Cell and Molecular Biology

The characterisation of myosins from the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, which have been implicated in diverse roles in its life cycle; characterising enzymatic properties of these myosins and correlating these with established in vivo assays.

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Dr Pauline Phelan : Senior Lecturer in Cell Biology

Gap junctions in nervous and immune systems; assembly, regulation and functions of innexin-based junctions.

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Professor Colin Robinson : Professor in Biotechnology

Mechanisms of protein transport across biological membranes; the twin-arginine translocation (Tat) system in bacteria and chloroplasts; protein sorting in cyanobacteria.

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Dr Gary Robinson : Senior Lecturer in Microbial Technology

Microbial communication and microbial biotechnology.

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Dr Mark Shepherd : Lecturer in Microbial Biochemistry

Antimicrobial resistance in bacterial pathogens; resistance mechanisms of bacterial pathogens to nitric oxide; biochemical/genetic studies on bacterial respiration; biofuel production using solventogenic Clostridium species.

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Professor Mark Smales : Professor of Mammalian Cell Biotechnology

Protein and cell biotechnology; synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, animal cell engineering; proteomics and protein bioprocessing, biotherapeutic drug development.

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Dr Anastasios Tsaousis : Senior Lecturer in Molecular and Evolutionary Parasitology

Exploring the biological role of parasites within the microbiome and their biochemical interactions with their hosts .

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Professor Mick Tuite : Professor of Molecular Biology

The mechanism and control of translation in yeast; yeast prion proteins; molecular chaperones.

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Dr Jennifer Tullet : Lecturer

Understanding Ageing: Our lab exmines the molecular detail of the ageing process and how this interacts with the environment. We achieve this using the nematode worm C. elegas combined with powerful genetic, molecular and cell biological techniques.  Check us out: www.jennytulletlab.com

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Dr Tobias von der Haar : Senior Lecturer in Systems Biology

How the protein synthesis apparatus is regulated in cells and how it can achieve synthesis of exactly the right proteome for the right occasion.

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Professor Martin Warren : Professor of Biochemistry

Metabolic and genetic engineering; protein structure and function; biosynthesis of natural products including vitamins, cofactors and prosthetic groups.

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Dr Mark Wass : Senior Lecturer in Computational Biology

The use of bioinformatics approaches to analyse big data across many areas of biology. These include analysis of genetic variation and its link with disease, drug resistance in cancer and also analysis of determinants of virus pathogenicity including that of Ebola viruses.

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Dr Richard Williamson : Senior Lecturer in Protein Biochemistry

The structure and function of proteins that play key biological roles within the body or that are known to be important in human disease; protein folding.

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Dr Wei-Feng Xue : Senior Lecturer in Chemical Biology

Investigation of the structure, the assembly mechanism, the biological function, the disease-associated properties, and the physiochemical properties of forms of protein known as amyloid, and transmissible amyloid know as prions. Key methods include Protein chemistry,  atomic force microscopy and transmission election microscopy.

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Dr Tim Fenton : Lecturer in Molecular Biosciences

Wet lab and computational approaches, focusing on human papillomavirus (HPV)-driven carcinogenesis as a paradigm for understanding tumour development.

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Dr Christopher Mulligan : Lecturer in Molecular Biosciences

Investigating the molecular mechanisms of membrane transport proteins involved in important physiological processes, including; antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and nutrient uptake in bacteria, and the onset of age-related metabolic diseases (diabetes and obesity) in humans. Key questions include how transporters recognise compounds and inhibitors, how they harness different energy sources to power transport across the the membrane, and how these proteins move during the transport cycle.

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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 2019. 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.

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