Taught course

Molecular Biology and Biotechnology

University of Sheffield · Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology

Entry requirements

A 2:1 degree or equivalent university qualification in molecular biology or a related subject (eg Biochemistry, Genetics, Biotechnology, and Microbiology). Candidates with professional experience may also be considered following interview.

Months of entry


Course content

About the course

The biotechnological applications of molecular biology underpin major industries in the medical and agricultural sectors. Insights from the study of genetic material are already benefitting the development of new diagnostic tests, therapeutic agents, bioenergy production systems, improved crops and more. The range and value of these developments is rapidly increasing.

This exciting MSc Molecular Biology and Biotechnology program provides training for bioscience graduates to develop confidence and independence in their practical skills and knowledge relevant to careers in this area. Successful graduates will be ready to undertake further study at PhD level or to enter employment in the biotechnology sector.

You’ll learn essential practical skills; study the relevant theory in the Departments of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (MBB) and Chemical and Biological Engineering (CBE); and carry out an individual research project, in which you’ll learn how to design and conduct research, keep records and present the research in different styles.

Where your masters can take you

Our graduates work in health care, pharmaceuticals, food safety and production, brewing and agrochemicals. Many of our masters students go on to do a PhD then pursue a career in research; others have gained entry to the prestigious NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP).

An international reputation

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) ranks Sheffield No 1 for biomedical research and in the UK top five for biological sciences generally. We have regular seminars from distinguished experts, and our motivated staff undertake collaborative research ranging from biotechnology to medicine.

Teaching and assessment

Our masters courses give you a solid grounding in experimental science, with personal supervision and tutorials by experienced scientists, based in modern and well-equipped labs, leading on to a research project in which you design and conduct your own research. You will learn cutting edge science from research leaders, and gain practice in reading the scientific literature and writing reports. Assessment is based on a combination of coursework, project work, formal examinations and a dissertation.

Core modules

Laboratory Skills in Molecular Bioscience; Principles of Biochemical Engineering; Advanced Research Topics; Literature Review; Research Project (typical research areas include plant genetic engineering, engineering of proteins of commercial importance, or genetic studies by random mutagenesis).

Examples of optional modules

Choose two from: The RNA World, Cells as Factories, Plant Biotechnology, Microbiology of Extreme Environments.

Information for international students

Overall IELTS grade of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months

Course contact details

Mrs Linda Harris
+44 (0)114 222 2750