The expanding global bioscience sector creates a demand for the development of scientists at postgraduate level skilled in biotechnology and business, to counter the shortage of scientists with business management and entrepreneurial expertise. Biotechnology with Business at Oxford Brookes enables you to develop key skills as a modern biotechnologist with business expertise, and it opens the way to many exciting career paths.
The core of this course focuses on key business skills, product development from initial concept to delivery, regulation, good manufacturing practice, genome science and generic skills. The business aspect is delivered by the Business School at Oxford Brookes and is uniquely designed to develop the business, entrepreneurial, marketing and management skills that modern bioscientists need to drive the sector forward.
* Our staff undertake world-class research in biotechnology, microbiology and cell and molecular biology, as reflected in the UK government's latest assessment. Some of this research has been spun off into new biotechnology companies or licensed for use by existing companies.
* Our teaching is research informed, supported by opportunities to develop significant research and technical skills.
* We have close links with the Oxfordshire Bioscience Network, local biotechnology industry and Oxfordshire's hospitals. Our experience and network is used to enhance the course as well as providing potential project and career opportunities.
* Work with our internationally-renowned consultancies in baculovirus expression and gene regulation to experience how biotechnology is applied in the commercial world first hand.
Due to the rapidly growing global biotechnology sector and the thriving local biotechnology industry, career prospects are plentiful. Graduates of this MSc can pursue a variety of career paths but primarily we envisage our graduates bridging the gap between scientific and management skills and developing careers in management and leadership within companies in the biotechnology sector.
Full-time: MSc: 12 months, PGDip: 8 months
Part-time: MSc: 24 months, PGDip: 20 months
Traditional scientists are exposed to business and management knowledge, and often have insufficient understanding of how business works and the role of management. Likewise many managers do not have an in-depth understanding of the sector in which they work and lack a full understanding of the science and its applications. Yet many critical decisions have to be taken that lie at the interface between the bioscience and commercial sides of the industry.
The biotechnology sector is high risk and speculative for many investors. For organisations to survive and succeed in such an environment requires them to have management skills and knowledge, as well as scientific and technical expertise.
The course provides the opportunity to acquire the skills underpinning both biotechnology and business through modules focused on:
* finance and management skills
* product development from initial concept to delivery
* entrepreneurial skills
* good manufacturing practice
* genome science and generic skills.
The continued expansion of the global bioscience sector will open the way to many exciting career opportunities.
The outcomes of the course are designed to be of immediate use. Preparing a business plan (or key project plan) should deliver a significant contribution to the successful management and business side of an organisation or new venture, and provide a platform to pursue a management role if you wish to develop your career in this direction.
You will achieve an MSc degree on successful completion of all of the course modules including the dissertation. A postgraduate diploma will be awarded for completion of course modules without the dissertation. The course is also offered on a part-time pro-rata basis and we encourage applications from professionals from academia and industry who wish to upgrade their qualifications.
MSc students are required to complete 180 M-level credits. PGDip students are required to complete 120 M-level credits, excluding the Research Project.
* Business for the Biosciences (20 M credits) is designed to equip scientists with management, finance and business knowledge and skills. These, combined with an understanding of the bioscience business sector, are required to operate professionally within the sector, to take informed decisions and actions, and to develop a business plan. We also examine the skills needed to launch a spin-off company.
* Molecular Biology (20 M credits) will develop the core skills needed for molecular biology as it focuses on recombinant DNA technology. The history, principles and development of molecular biology techniques will be studied with discussion of variations and applications.
* Advanced Fluorescence Technology (20 M credits): confocal and fluorescence microscopy enable the study of cellular structure and function using fluorescence technologies. Fluorescently-tagged antibodies are used to study cell and tissue protein localisation in prepared tissues and fluorescent proteins are used in the study of living cells. Use of green fluorescent protein (GFP) and its colour variants has increased from a curiosity to one of the most vital tools in cell biological research during the last 10 years and, as such, we will spend a significant portion of the module learning about it.
* Independent Study (20 M credits) is individual work on an appropriate theoretical or practical topic or set of topics, which may include work-based activities.
* Product Development and Biotechnology (20 M credits) discusses the development of the biological systems that are vital to biotechnology, and their key features. Drug discovery and product development, including modern screening methods, structure function prediction, and the application of nanobiotechnology, will be examined. The regulation of drug development, including clinical trials, preclinical studies and ethics, will also be studied.
* Career Development and Research Skills (20 M credits) consists of seminars from industrialists on careers in biotechnology. Topics covered include research skills, management, presentation and communication, business and enterprise, and grant-writing strategies. For evaluation you will write and present a mock grant proposal to secure funding for a biotechnology-based project.
* Genome Science (20 M credits) develops an understanding of genome science, or genomics, and studies the structure, content and evolution of genomes. The genomes and genome projects of model representative organisms from mammals, fungi, insects, bacteria and viruses are studied and their unique features explored. The experimental techniques and evidence that have contributed to our developing understanding of genomes will be emphasised.
* Topics in Biotechnology (20 M credits) is a series of blocks of lectures and seminars in specialist areas of biotechnology delivered by leading researchers in these areas, which include molecular microbiology and virology, vaccine development, and plant biotechnology.
* Research Dissertation (60 M credits): you will use primary and secondary data to analyse and develop a business area or problem within the biotechnology business sector, for example developing business, marketing, and strategic plans. These areas will be developed in close cooperation with academic tutors, local biotechnology companies, and university spin-off companies to address critical issues arising from their business. The increasing complexity of business demands that any recommendations be based on an integrated approach to problem solving at a strategic level. You will develop a research plan in Semester 1 and conduct practical research over Semester 2 and the summer. The evaluation is based on a thesis-style write up of your research. Examples of past projects include clinical trials, biofuel development, molecular biology product development and developing a market strategy for a novel medical device.
Please note: as courses are reviewed regularly the list of modules may vary from that shown here.
Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).
Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.
All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.