Taught course

Pharmaceutical Biotechnology

De Montfort University · Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

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Entry requirements

  • An honours degree (2:2 minimum) in a relevant subject such as in a bioscience or science including pharmacy, biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, chemical engineering, chemistry, microbiology or molecular biology (or equivalent)
  • Alternatively, a portfolio of professional and/or academic qualifications of equivalent standing to an honours degree

English language requirements:

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 7 or equivalent when you start the course is essential. English language tuition, delivered by our British Council accredited Centre for English Language Learning (CELL), is available both before and during the course.

Please visit dmu.ac.uk/international for more information.

Months of entry


Course content


With a high practical content, the course reviews the process from start to finish (from pre-clinical studies, to clinic, through to marketing), preparing you for work in an industrial or academic setting and giving you an opportunity to gain employment in the global biopharmaceutical field.

Reasons to study Pharmaceutical Biotechnology at DMU:

  • Globally, pharmaceutical biotechnology courses are rare and no other course offers such a broad scope; you will develop a truly diverse range of skills
  • Suitable for direct undergraduate progression, as well as for experienced professionals in the sector and international students
  • Study an inter-disciplinary subject, based on the teaching/research expertise of our experienced practitioner and research-based staff, who themselves have interests in many specialist fields
  • Benefits from major investment in state-of-the-art laboratories and specialist equipment at par to that used in industry. This includes an, atomic force microscope, an electron microscope, fluorescence microscopes/plate-readers, mass spectrometers, fermentation units and tissue culture suites
  • Our range of specialist modules means you receive up-to-date subject matter on multiple protein expression systems for production of diverse biopharmaceuticals, encompassing a range of platform technologies, also focussing on the role of proteins as therapeutic agents and as tools for the identification of such agents
  • Numerous international and UK/EU students have benefitted from this established course and progressed to PhD studies and/or global relevant employment in the biotech sector
  • Benefit from a combination of unique academic expertise across three faculties: Health and Life Sciences, Technology, and Business and Law. This enables you to share one core module with students on a Master of Business Administration (MBA), broadening understanding around the importance of business in this area
  • Our reputation of more than 104 years’ pharmacy teaching ensures we produce graduates of the highest calibre

“I came to DMU because the facilities here are excellent and it offered me the opportunity to learn about these therapies and will help me achieve my dream of developing new technologies and innovations that could influence governmental regulations and healthcare systems back home. ”

T Karikari, PhD student

“The course was designed in such way that it is suitable not only for fresh undergraduates but also experienced working people like me. All laboratories were equipped with latest equipment which enables students to learn and apply new technology in field of biopharmaceuticals. I would definitely choose DMU again because of the dedicated lecturers”

I Krishnan, Biotech Manager

Course modules

The course provides a response to the rapidly-expanding field of biopharmaceuticals (DNA and protein-based medicines) and focuses on the role of proteins as therapeutic agents and as tools for the identification of such agents.

It provides insight into how researchers may select and use appropriate protein expression systems for the large-scale to mass production of a protein, that would ultimately lead to its complete characterisation before it is applied to humans.

You will also focus on the business and intellectual property aspects that are interwoven with biotechnological innovation and entrepreneurship to enable career progression.

Modules include:

  • Biopharmaceuticals and Molecular Toxicology (15 credits) - discusses the underlying principles that allow for the selection of a biopharmaceutical in the treatment of a disease
  • Microbial Fermentation/ Downstream Processing, Drug Development (15 credits) - looks at the role of microbial fermentation drug development as well as issues of scale-up, bulk production, downstream processing, bio-safety and toxicology
  • Gene Cloning, Expression and Analysis (30 credits) - provides practical skills and theoretical considerations covering cell culture, gene isolation and protein expression
  • Bioinformatics I and II (15 credits) - provides an understanding of research tools and methodologies used in molecular investigations as well as the basic theory and employment of bioinformatics
  • Business Creation & Innovation (15 credits) - aims to provide a guide to the key theories about enterprise and innovation, looking at their relationship to small businesses and to consider the methods that are taken to promote and finance them
  • Research Methods (15 credits) - with elective depending on type of research chosen for the third semester
  • Research Dissertation (60 credits) - a full-time project with research in pharmaceutical biotechnology or molecular toxicology topics

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

As part of the university's commitment to enhancing the personal and career development of our graduates. We offer an Alumni scholarship programme. For more information visit Health and Life Sciences Alumni Scholarships.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • Further details of qualification

    This course has been designed to give you a competitive advantage in gaining employment in any biopharmaceutical field all over the world. These can include; large global biopharmaceutical companies, smallto- medium biotechnology companies, academic institutions or research institutions allied to human health.

Course contact details

HLS Admissions
+44 (0)116 257 7700