Gain the advanced skills and knowledge needed to specialise in biotechnology. You study the latest advances and applications of a wide range of technologies for modifying living organisms or their products, in areas such as genetic engineering, production of therapeutic proteins, and cell and tissue culture methodologies.
Enhance your knowledge and skills in biosciences with an emphasis on biotechnology and increase your competitiveness in the job market. Whether you are a new graduate or already employed and seeking to further your career prospects, this course offers a solid career development path. You can also choose this course if you wish to pursue research in biotechnology at PhD level.
Biotechnology is the application of biological processes and is underpinned by • cell biology • molecular biology • bioinformatics • structural biology. It encompasses a wide range of technologies for modifying living organisms or their products according to human needs.
Applications of biotechnology span medicine, technology and engineering.
Important biotechnological advances including
• the production of therapeutic proteins using cloned DNA, for example insulin and clotting factors
• the application of stem cells to treat human disease
• the enhancement of crop yields and plants with increased nutritional value
• herbicide and insect resistant plants
• production of recombinant antibodies for the treatment of disease
• edible vaccines, in the form of modified plants
• development of biosensors for the detection of biological and inorganic analytes
• up-to-date knowledge of the cellular and molecular basis of biological processes
• an advanced understanding of DNA technology and molecular biotechnology
• knowledge of developing and applying biotechnology to diagnosis and treatment of human diseases
• practical skills applicable in a range of bioscience laboratories
• the transferable and research skills to enable you to continue developing your knowledge and improving your employment potential
The course is led by internationally recognised academics who are actively involved in biotechnology research and its application to the manipulation of proteins, DNA, mammalian cells and plants. Staff also have expertise in the use of nanoparticles in drug delivery and the manipulation of microbes in industrial and environmental biotechnology.
You are supported throughout your studies by a personal tutor.
You begin your studies focusing on the fundamentals of advanced cell biology and molecular biology before specialising in both molecular and plant biotechnology. Practical skills are developed throughout the course and you gain experience in molecular biology techniques such as PCR and sub cloning alongside tissue culture.
Core to the program is the practical module where you gain experience in a range of techniques used in the determination of transcription and translational levels, for example.
All practicals are supported by experienced academic staff, skilled in the latest biotechnological techniques.
Research and statistical skills are developed throughout the program. Towards the end of the program you apply your skills on a two month research project into a current biotechnological application. Employability skills are developed throughout the course in two modules.
What is biotechnology
Biotechnology is the basis for the production of current leading biopharmaceuticals and has already provided us with the 'clot-busting' drug, tissue plasminogen activator for the treatment of thrombosis and myocardial infarction. It also holds the promise of new treatments for neurodegeneration and cancer through recombinant antibodies. Recombinant proteins are also found throughout everyday life from washing powders to cheese as well as many industrial applications.
Genetically modified plants have improved crop yields and are able to grow in a changing environment. Manipulation of cellular organisms through gene editing methods have also yielded a greater understanding of many disease states and have allowed us to understand how life itself functions.
2017 entry requirements
You must have one of the following
• a minimum of a 2:2 honours degree in a biological subject or equivalent
• a professional qualification of equal standing to an honours degree, for example MIBiol by examination, FIMLS
• other qualifications such as HND, HNC or unclassified degree in a biological subject, plus significant relevant work experience
You may also be able to claim credit points which can reduce the amount of time it takes to complete your qualification at Sheffield Hallam. Find out more
If English is not your first language you will need an IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in all skills, or a recognised equivalent. If your level of English language is currently below IELTS 6.0 we recommend you consider an appropriate Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve the required level of English.
Full time – September start – typically 12 months
Full time – January start – typically 12 months
Part time – September start – typically 24 months
Part time – January start – typically 24 months
Typical modules may include
The masters (MSc) award is achieved by successfully completing 180 credits.
Cell biology (15 credits)
Biotechnology (15 credits)
Plant biotechnology (15 credits)
Molecular biology (15 credits)
Applied biomedical techniques (15 credits)
Professional development (15 credits)
Research methods and statistics (15 credits)
Research project (60 credits)
Choose one from:
Human genomics and proteomics (15 credits)
Cellular and molecular basis of disease (15 credits)
Cellular and molecular basis of cancer (15 credits)
The postgraduate certificate (PgCert) is achieved by successfully completing 60 credits.
Assessment methods include written examinations and coursework including
The course is suitable for people wishing to develop their knowledge of molecular and cell biotechnology and its application to solving health and industrial problems.
You can find career opportunities in areas such as • biotechnology research • medical research in universities and hospitals • government research agencies • biotechnology industry • pharmaceutical industry.
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Please note tuition fees may increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation. More information can be found in the ‘Tuition Fee Increases’ section of our Fees Regulations (PDF, 2.10 MB)
2016/17 academic year
Full-time – typically £6,300
Part-time – typically £2,100 a stage for PgCert, PgDip and MSc stages
Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are available across the majority of subject areas.
2017/18 academic year
Full-time – typically £6,400
Part-time – typically £2,135 a stage for PgCert, PgDip and MSc stages
2016/17 academic year
Typically £12,500 for the course
2017/18 academic year
Typically £13,250 for the course
Additional course costs
This link allows you to view estimated costs associated with the main activities on specific courses. These are estimates and, as such, are only an indication of additional course costs. Actual costs can vary greatly depending on the choices you make during your course.
International and European entry qualifications
If you are an International or non-UK European student, you can find out more about the country specific qualifications we accept on our international qualifications page.
Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and student Regulations.