Postgraduate study
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

Biotechnology MSc, PgDip

Awards: MSc, PgDip

Study modes: Full-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Biotechnology

Changing demographics and growing demand for food, fuel and agricultural and environmental sustainability are among the key challenges the world faces today.

In this Biotechnology MSc, you will:

  • learn research and development skills to enable the creation of new products and services
  • investigate the economic basis for current biotechnology structures and areas of future demand, including the global pharmaceutical industry and carbon sequestration
  • learn how technology can be applied to solve pressing real-world biological problems
  • gain the skills and expertise needed for future developments in biotechnology

Why study Biotechnology?

This MSc investigates both the scientific and the economic basis for current biotechnologies and considers areas where future demand is likely to come from. It offers an opportunity to enhance your knowledge, research and business development skills using biological principles and systems to create new products, services and industries.

This programme consists of two semesters of taught courses followed by a research project or industrial placement, leading to a dissertation.

The core taught courses cover the key areas of biotechnology and its future development, while a broad range of options is available to allow individual students to tailor their programme based on interests and career aims. The courses are taught by staff from across the University, as well as external experts and industry specialists.

Research and laboratory work

There will be a considerable practical element to the programme. You will work in a biotechnology laboratory and learn how experimental technology is designed and operated in the context of real-world biotechnological questions.

Industrial and field visits are an integral part of these courses.

Research project or industrial placement

Your dissertation can be based on a research laboratory-based project or an industrial placement.

You can work with employers in the thriving Scottish biotechnology sector in areas such as medical biotechnology, bioenergy or industrial processes.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScBiotechnology1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2023/24
PgDipBiotechnology9 MonthsFull-timeProgramme structure 2023/24

During this programme, students are given the opportunity to:

  • examine the key role of innovation in biotechnological industries
  • understand how environmental samples can be collected and how to undertake analysis using molecular techniques
  • use high-level research skills, practical industrial experience, experience in literature and data evaluation experiment planning and design
  • demonstrate practical experimentation, data analysis, data recording, data interpretation skills
  • explore the biological and technological principles which govern actual and potential bio-business
  • develop strong skills in scientific writing through a diverse selection of in course assessments

The programme will open up a wide variety of career opportunities, Including:

  • further study at PhD level
  • industrial research and development
  • manufacturing and quality control
  • entrepreneurship and business development

Our Careers Service will support you throughout your time studying with us and for 2 years after your course finishes. They can provide:

  • tailored advice
  • individual guidance and personal assistance
  • internship and networking opportunities (with employers from local organisations to top multinationals)
  • access to the experience of our worldwide alumni network

Studying at the University of Edinburgh will lay the foundations for your future success, whatever shape that takes.

These entry requirements are for the 2024/25 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2025/26 academic year will be published on 1 Oct 2024.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, with a strong background in biotechnology, biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, chemistry, pharmacy, chemical engineering, plant sciences or related sciences, with evidence of quantitative and computer science skills.

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

Regardless of your nationality or country of residence, you must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 185 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 59 in each component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries (non-MESC).

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Deposit

If you receive an offer of admission you will need to pay a deposit to secure your place.

  • £1,500 (this contributes towards your tuition fees)

Any applicants who are required to pay will receive an offer with full details.

Find out more about tuition fee deposits:

Living costs

You will be responsible for covering living costs for the duration of your studies.

Tuition fees

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScBiotechnology1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
PgDipBiotechnology9 MonthsFull-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

  • your programme
  • the duration of your studies
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Biology Teaching Organisation
  • School of Biological Sciences
  • James Clerk Maxwell Building
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3FD
Programme start date Application deadline
9 September 2024 31 May 2024

Due to high demand, the school operates a number of selection deadlines.

We strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. Applications may close earlier than the published deadlines if there is exceptionally high demand.

We will make a small number of offers to the most outstanding candidates on an ongoing basis, but hold the majority of applications until the next published selection deadline.

We aim to make the majority of decisions within eight weeks of the selection deadline.

If we have not made you an offer by a specific selection deadline this means one of two things:

  • your application has been unsuccessful, in which case we will contact you to let you know, or
  • your application is still being considered, will be carried forward for consideration in the next selection deadline and we’ll be in touch once a decision is made

Selection Deadlines

Round Application Deadline Decisions made or applications rolled to next deadline
1 15 December 1 March
2 31 March 31 May
3 31 May 31 July

You must submit one reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Biology Teaching Organisation
  • School of Biological Sciences
  • James Clerk Maxwell Building
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3FD