Taught course

Bioscience Enterprise

University of Cambridge · Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

Entry requirements

A minimum of a UK high 2:1 or equivalent first degree in the life sciences, physical sciences, engineering, medicine or veterinary science is the usual prerequisite. Occasionally suitable applicants from other backgrounds, for example, finance and law, are admitted providing they are able to demonstrate their strong interest in the core disciplines of the course. At least two years of postgraduate experience prior to application in a related industrial or business environment is highly recommended.

Months of entry


Course content

The MPhil 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.

The educational aims of the MBE 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; and
  • 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; and
    • 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; and
  • continue to attract outstanding students, irrespective of background.

Learning is based on real business examples and lectures and case studies are frequently delivered by senior company executives. There is an opportunity to gain a global perspective of the industry sector during a study tour to an international biotechnology business cluster, an event that is planned and led by members of the class. Additional costs are incurred by students who elect to participate in this activity.

MBE students have the opportunity to learn from leading scientists, entrepreneurs and academics at the University of Cambridge and are based in purpose-built, dedicated teaching facilities, a combination that provides an unparalleled educational experience.

Learning Outcomes

Students gain an understanding of the following:

  • life sciences, including fundamental concepts of basic science and how contemporary biological and medical research leads to exploitable science and commercial products;
  • business, including commercial and analytical skills required in biotechnology and healthcare-related businesses;
  • management, including strategy, leadership, marketing and financing of technology companies;
  • technology transfer, from academia to industry and from industry to industry, including the concepts of licensing, partnering, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions;
  • law and intellectual property frameworks, relating to companies, individuals and shareholders in different jurisdictions;
  • social and ethical issues, including fundamental constraints when applying scientific research to the development of new bioscience products;
  • global biotechnology trends, including comparisons of the current industry status in the UK, Europe, USA and elsewhere.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MPhil
    full time
    9 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details