Taught course

Bioscience Enterprise

University of Cambridge · Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

Entry requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK High II.i Honours Degree or its international equivalent. All documentation must be received by the deadline of June 30th. However, please note that offers are made on a rolling basis and once all 25 places have been filled no further applications will be considered. If the course is fully subscribed a notification of this will be displayed on the course website. There are currently funds available for student bursaries, sufficient to cover part of the tuition fees for several students.  Please inform the course administrator if you wish to be considered for a bursary.  Decisions regarding the recipients are made in June or July preceding admission in October.

Months of entry


Course content


The Masters in Bioscience Enterprise (MBE) programme is an intensive, taught science and business course intended for those who have an interest in enterprise and the ambition to found technology companies or take up leadership, executive or consultancy roles in the life sciences sector. Practical experience is gained through individual and group professional practice assignments, a consulting project and an internship placement, both of which are conducted with host companies.

Applicants must have a good first degree in biological, medical or physical sciences or a financial or legal background and demonstrate a strong interest in pursuing a business career in the life science sector. MBE students are based at the Institute of Biotechnology and have a close affiliation to Judge Business School, a combination that provides an unparalleled educational experience and an opportunity to learn from leading scientists, entrepreneurs and academics at the University of Cambridge.

Learning is based on real business examples and lectures and case studies are frequently delivered by senior company executives. There are optional opportunities to gain a global perspective of the industry sector during a study tour to a international biotechnology business cluster, an event which may be planned and led by members of the class.  Additional costs are incurred by students who elect to participate in these activities or incur other discretionary expenses associated with participation in the programme.

The educational aims of the M.Phil. programme in Bioscience Enterprise are to:

  • Enhance understanding of life sciences and related technological developments;
  • Foster research and analytical skills and methodologies;
  • Develop written and verbal communication skills;
  • Provide knowledge of the ethical, legal and regulatory issues associated with bringing scientific advances to market;
  • Develop applied business skills, including those that enable students to:
    • identify potential business opportunities arising from research in life sciences and related areas;
    • exploit entrepreneurial opportunities;
    • undertake senior executive roles within biotechnology companies and other commercial entities.

Other aims of the programme are to:

  • Provide a coherent and supportive learning environment, with students working closely with teachers drawn from both academic and biotechnology business executive backgrounds and whose teaching is informed by their own knowledge and business expertise;
  • Develop new areas of teaching in response to advances of scholarship and the community;
  • Continue to attract outstanding students, irrespective of race, nationality, background, gender or physical disability.

Fees and funding

Fee Home: GBP11175, EU: GBP11175, Overseas: GBP24309

Qualification and course duration


full time
9 months



A 10,000 word dissertation is an important aspect of course assessment. Passing this element of the course is crucial to attainment of the degree. The work is based on data collected during a research placement in a company, the analysis of which forms the basis of the work. The dissertation should show evidence of innovative thinking and must not be simply a review and subsequent extrapolation of previously published work.


Written submissions include in-depth science and technology in business papers, up to 10 essays of no more than 4000 words, a number of short reports and critical appraisals, a consulting project report and a dissertation of no more than 10,000 words based on research and analysis conducted during the internship placement. At the conclusion of the dissertation students make an assessed presentation. The Examiners may ask candidates to take an oral exam at the conclusion of the course.

The assignments are designed not only to test knowledge but to extend learning and to develop professional practice skills. Prospective students please note that owing to the relative brevity of the course the work-load is high and vacation periods brief.


There are no timed examinations.

Practical Assessment

Attainment is continuously assessed, with particular emphasis on practical activities, participation and learning through team-work in the research, preparation, and delivery of presentations. Where possible group work reflects the activities of a professional business environment.

Students are also encouraged to participate in extracurricular enterprise activities, including entrepreneurial competitions within the University and further afield, and submit a business development plan as one of the course assignments.

Course contact details

+44 1223 337733