BSc Biotechnology with Industrial/Professional Experience / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course description

Our BSc Biotechnology with Industrial/Professional Experience course will enable you to gain experience of the workplace on a year-long placement during your degree, making you more attractive to potential employers after graduation.

This course is designed to produce graduates who have a solid understanding of science, technology and business management, along with the entrepreneurial skills required to exploit technological advances within a competitive environment.

You will learn about how new start-up biotechnology companies are created, as well as about exploring the market potential of products and processes, creating business plans and raising money from venture capitalists.

Our group enterprise projects, which involve close collaboration with entrepreneurs, provide a great opportunity for you to stand out from other graduates.

In Year 3, you will have the opportunity to go on a placement with one of our `trusted partner' organisations in the UK or abroad.  Alternatively, you can choose to arrange your own placement (subject to approval from the School of Biological Sciences).

Placements range from research project work to roles in education, the biotechnology industry and science communication.

Our course has Advanced Accreditation from the Royal Society of Biology , which recognises academic excellence in the biosciences and highlights degrees that educate the research and development leaders and innovators of the future.

Special features

Work with entrepreneurs

Undertake a group enterprise project involving collaboration with entrepreneurs to develop a business plan for a real life sciences product or service.

Foundation year available

You can prepare for the full degree course if you do not have the appropriate qualifications for direct entry by undertaking our foundation course first.

Wide range of placements

Choose from placements with our partner organisations in the UK or overseas.

Flexibility to transfer between courses

You can transfer between most of our biological sciences degree courses at the end of your first year or, in some cases, later.

Teaching and learning

You will benefit from a wide range of teaching and learning methods that suit the content and aims of each course unit.

These range from lectures and tutorials to practicals and research projects, including the final year project .

Find out more about how you will learn and see a typical Year 1 timetable on our teaching and learning page.

Coursework and assessment

Assessment methods vary widely to suit the nature of the course unit and each level of study. 

  • Lecture units are usually assessed by written exam (multiple choice or essay-based), which are held at the end of an academic semester in either January or May/June.
  • Field courses are usually assessed via oral and written presentations, group work and/or projects.
  • Practical units are usually assessed by experimental report and/or short written assignment and/or written exam.
  • The proportion of independent study assignments increases during each year of study.

Year 1

Lecture units are usually assessed by e-learning activities during the unit and multiple choice exams at the end of the semester. 

If you wish to continue on the modern language or industrial/professional experience course, you must normally obtain a mean mark of at least 60% in Year 1.

Year 1 contributes 10% to your overall degree mark.

Year 2

Lecture units are usually assessed by essay-based exam.

Year 2 contributes 30% to your overall degree mark.

Placement year

You will complete a scientific report and undergo an oral examination on your research that contributes approximately 10% to your overall degree mark.

You will be marked out of 110% for your whole degree.

Year 4

Lecture units are usually assessed by essay-based exam.

You will also take two 'honours' papers and examinations comprising essays and data-handling problems.

A significant part of the year (accounting for one-quarter of the overall degree mark) is the project, which is assessed by literature review and a written report.

Year 4 contributes 60% to your overall degree mark.

Course unit details

This course is modular. You will study compulsory course units and choose some optional units.

Most units are assigned 10 credits and you will take 120 credits each year.

Course content for year 1

You will gain a broad introduction to biological sciences, covering key concepts such as:

  • biochemistry
  • genetics
  • microbiology
  • pharmacology
  • molecular biology.

In addition, you will study fundamental concepts of management and entrepreneurial skills.

Year 1 also provides an introduction to the essential data handling and laboratory skills required for all biological scientists.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Academic Tutorials Year 1 BIOL10000 10 Mandatory
Biochemistry BIOL10212 10 Mandatory
Molecular Biology BIOL10221 10 Mandatory
From Molecules to Cells BIOL10232 10 Mandatory
Introduction to Laboratory Science BIOL10401 10 Mandatory
Introduction to Experimental Biology - Molecular & Cellular Biology BIOL10412 10 Mandatory
Microbes, Man and the Environment BIOL10532 10 Mandatory
Writing and Referencing Skills (online unit) BIOL10741 0 Mandatory
Exploring Enterprise MCEL10001 10 Mandatory
Entrepreneurial Skills MCEL10002 10 Mandatory
A History of Biology in 20 Objects BIOL10381 10 Optional
Biodiversity BIOL10511 10 Optional
Genes, Evolution and Development BIOL10521 10 Optional
Body Systems BIOL10811 10 Optional
Drugs: From Molecules to Man BIOL10822 10 Optional
Excitable Cells: the Foundations of Neuroscience BIOL10832 10 Optional
Chemistry for Bioscientists 1 CHEM10021 10 Optional
Chemistry for Bioscientists 2 CHEM10022 10 Optional
Fundamentals of Chemistry CHEM10111 10 Optional
Science & the Modern World HSTM10221 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 20 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

You will continue your studies in greater depth and begin to specialise. You will also undertake a dissertation.

In the Research Skills unit, you have the opportunity to carry out techniques that are widely used in current biological science research.

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Academic Tutorials Year 2 BIOL20000 10 Mandatory
Molecular and Cellular Biology EDM BIOL21041 10 Mandatory
Dissertation BIOL21090 10 Mandatory
Genome Maintenance & Regulation BIOL21101 10 Mandatory
`Omic Technologies & Resources BIOL21152 10 Mandatory
Prokaryotic Microbiology BIOL21181 10 Mandatory
Plants for the Future BIOL21202 10 Mandatory
Tools and Techniques for Enterprise MCEL30001 10 Mandatory
Proteins BIOL21111 10 Optional
The Dynamic Cell BIOL21121 10 Optional
Cell Metabolism & Metabolic Control BIOL21132 10 Optional
Cell Membrane Structure & Function BIOL21141 10 Optional
Principles of Developmental Biology BIOL21172 10 Optional
Principles of Infectious Disease BIOL21192 10 Optional
Immunology BIOL21242 10 Optional
Parasitology BIOL21252 10 Optional
Clinical Drug Development BIOL21302 10 Optional
Molecules and Cells in Human Disease BIOL21351 10 Optional
Disease in Nature BIOL21442 10 Optional
Chemistry of Biomolecules CHEM21162 10 Optional
Advanced Technology Enterprise MCEL30012 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 21 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

You will spend your third year on a placement with one of our partner organisations in the UK or overseas. 

We have partner organisations including pharmaceutical companies, research institutes and hospitals. Our Biotechnology students have recently had placements with organisations such as Eli Lilly and Lonza Biologies.

Our range of placements reflects both research career paths and the growing range of science careers outside of the laboratory in science enterprise, education and communication. We are unique in providing such a range of placements to our students.

Approximately 60% of placed students undertake paid placements or placements which are Erasmus+ funded. 

Read more about our industrial/professional experience placements .

Course content for year 4

Final year topics reflect the current hotspots of bioscience endeavour and the research interests of our staff, and are constantly being updated.

You will undertake an independent in-depth research project that may involve supervised practical work in a laboratory, or you may choose to work on e-learning, educational, data analysis, bioinformatics or enterprise topics. 

Please note the course units listed below are just a small selection and do not represent the number and breadth of course units available on this course.

Course units for year 4

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Academic Tutorials Year 3 BIOL30000 0 Mandatory
Projects BIOL30030 30 Mandatory
Project Literature Review BIOL30101 10 Mandatory
Post-Genome Biology (L) BIOL31301 10 Mandatory
Green Biotechnology (E) BIOL31501 10 Mandatory
Biotechnology - Essay Paper BIOL40522 10 Mandatory
Current Topics in Microbiology (E) BIOL31351 10 Optional
Gene Regulation & Disease (E) BIOL31381 10 Optional
Bioethics: Contemporary Issues in Science & Biomedicine (E) BIOL31522 10 Optional
Toxins, Toxicants & Toxicity (E) BIOL31602 10 Optional
Molecular Biology of Cancer (E) BIOL31742 10 Optional
Stem Cells (L) BIOL31751 10 Optional
Role of Diagnostics in Medicine BIOL31832 10 Optional
Chemistry of Biological Processes (E) CHEM31812 10 Optional
Enterprise Feasibility MCEL30052 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 15 course units for year 4

What our students say

Taking part in a placement was an invaluable experience. It enabled me to experience professional environments whilst having the support of the University. The amount of transferable skills obtained is endless and it shows employers that I've had experience in a real work environment.

Alex Palmer

Find out more about what it's like to study at Manchester on the  Biology, Medicine and Health Student Blog .

Facilities

Learning facilities

Our modern teaching labs are equipped for a range of biological and biomedical techniques. The following are just a few of the techniques you could undertake during your degree:

  • polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
  • DNA sequencing
  • gel electrophoresis
  • spectrophotometry
  • dissection and histology
  • electroencephalography (EEG) and electrocardiography (ECG)
  • immunofluorescence microscopy.

Our computing facilities include access to over 200 PCs in dedicated clusters and e-learning tools including online lecture notes, discussion boards, lecture podcasts and quizzes.

You will also have access to the University's other facilities for undergraduate students .

Research facilities

As a final year student, you have the opportunity to undertake a project in the labs of our world-class bioscience researchers.

To support our research, we have extensive  research facilities equipped with high-quality technology.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk