Taught course


University of Cambridge · Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

Entry requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK High 2:1 Honours Degree.

The programme was designed primarily for those who have a background in physical sciences or technology (eg engineering, physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer sciences). Candidates with other backgrounds who have strong analytical skills will also be considered.

Months of entry


Course content

The MPhil in Biotechnology is a unique programme that draws on world-leading academics and industry champions to deliver an in-depth multidisciplinary curriculum at the interface of biology with physical sciences and technology. Providing state-of-the-art education and research training in cutting-edge areas, the programme was designed to respond to major talent needs and skills gaps in the biotech and pharma sectors.

The programme is designed to provide students with core and advanced knowledge as well as practical and research skills in biotechnology. Additionally, the programme intends to promote the development of transferable skills and business awareness that are relevant to biotechnology research and industry practice. Overall, the programme intends to produce graduates with the fundamental understanding and the skillset that are necessary to become a leader in the biotech sector or in satellite fields.

The programme provides all-round training covering four key learning areas:

  • core and advanced knowledge,
  • practical skills,
  • research skills, and
  • transferable skills, including business-relevant competences.

Students acquire basic and advanced theoretical knowledge in biotechnology, focussing on core areas as well as learning about the latest technologies in relevant fields. Additionally, they gain practical skills for wet-lab and computer-based work, and develop competencies to become business-savvy scientists in the fast-growing biotechnology sector. The programme offers the students the possibility of tailoring their studies to their educational needs and career goals.

Learning Outcomes

The MPhil in Biotechnology equips the students with the knowledge and set of skills necessary to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical, healthcare, agritech, or bioenergy sectors, or in other areas where bioprocesses are important, either in academic or industry settings.

At the end of the programme, the students will demonstrate fundamental and advanced technical knowledge of biotechnology. They will have received a technical grounding in core topics, explored current trends and looked at the latest technologies in biotechnology. Upon conclusion of the programme, the students will also show proficiency at practical work in biotechnology, and be aware of modern bioanalytical techniques and their limitations.

With a strong research component, the programme will prepare the students to undertake a research project which requires an understanding of a wide range of techniques and published literature, originality in the application of knowledge, and some degree of self-direction.

The programme promotes the development of a wide range of transferable skills. In particular, the graduating students will be able to communicate by formal reports and oral presentations at a high standard, effectively manage tasks and work to deadlines, and work in teams. Additionally, they will be aware of the best practices in research data management and understand the scientific publishing process as well as the need to be able to communicate science in outreach contexts. The successful students will also demonstrate a degree of business awareness relevant to roles in the biotechnology sector, which should allow them to be able to effectively communicate and interact with a range of stakeholders. In particular, they will understand the process of transforming new technologies and ideas into marketable products, have an idea of the main issues in translational research, and be acquitted with intellectual property and bioethics key concepts.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details