Taught course

Algal Biotechnology and Bioeconomy

University of the Highlands and Islands · Energy and Technology

Entry requirements

  • 2:2 honours degree or above in a relevant biological or other biology- related STEM subject
  • Other degree routes, third or ordinary degrees will be considered on application and based on interview
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must also have a minimum overall IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent – please see our English Language requirements guide for further details
  • All applicants will be required to attend an interview

Months of entry


Course content

Algal biotechnology is a rapidly expanding discipline that seeks to understand and harness the resources of some of the most diverse groups of organisms on the planet.

Algae are comprised of microscopic photosynthetic organisms and macroscopic seaweeds, and are key to human life on earth, producing much of the oxygen that we breathe and underpinning the base of freshwater and marine food chains. Furthermore, algae and their natural products have a huge range of current and potential applications for humans: developing applications include pharmaceuticals, pigments, nutraceuticals, biofuels, enzymes, fertilisers, and bioremediation materials, on earth and even for space applications.

The aim of this programme is to produce highly motivated and trained scientists in the sphere of Algal Biotechnology, with the skills, knowledge and abilities to compete effectively within the employment market of this rapidly expanding area of research and commercial application.

Special features

  • Learn from experts in the algal biotechnology field
  • The course is delivered by scientists from: the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), a leading institute in algal research; the wider UHI network; and other sector experts
  • Theory and practical sessions, including residential experiences
  • Train using the latest equipment at SAMS and CCAP
  • Small class sizes, plus networking across courses and modules
  • Amazing marine location in the highlands and islands of Scotland
  • Opportunities to carry out research abroad
  • Opportunities to participate in professional skills courses, which cover a range of topics such as: presentation skills; poster design; CV and grant writing skills; science communications; and the art of networking

Fees and funding


There may be scholarships and bursaries available to fund your studies. For further information, please view our Fees/Funding tab: MSc Algal Biotechnology and Bioeconomy (uhi.ac.uk)

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification
  • You will learn through a combination of face to face lectures and tutorials for all modules, with the exception of the Introduction to R module, which is held online via Inverness UHI
  • All modules at SAMS contain a mix of theory and practical classes
  • There will be a field trip to other algal growth facilities, such as the Algal Innovation Centre at the University of Cambridge, in semester 2
  • The research dissertation can be hosted at SAMS or other external industry or academic sites, in the UK or abroad, if funding allows

Course contact details

01463 279190