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Postgraduate Study

The MPhil in Biotechnology is a unique programme that draws on world-leading academics and industry champions to deliver a multidisciplinary curriculum at the interface of biology with the 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 sector.

In the programme, students acquire foundational and advanced knowledge in biotechnology, and gain practical and research skills for wet-lab and computer-based work. The programme also promotes the development of transferable skills and business competences that are relevant to biotechnology research and industry practice.

Overall, the programme aims to produce graduates who have the fundamental understanding of biotechnology and skills all the way from the lab bench to the market place, who will go on to become leaders in the fast-growing biotech sector and its satellite fields.

The programme offers students the possibility of tailoring their studies to their interests, educational needs and career goals.

Learning Outcomes

The MPhil in Biotechnology equips students with the knowledge and the skills that are 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, students will demonstrate foundational and advanced 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, 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 students to undertake a research project that requires understanding of a wide range of techniques and published literature, originality in the application of knowledge, and self-direction.

The programme promotes the development of diverse transferable skills. In particular, 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 collaborate as part of a team. 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 that is important for roles in the biotechnology sector, allowing them 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 acquainted with intellectual property and bioethics key concepts.


This is a stand-alone MPhil programme, which cannot be counted as the first year of a PhD degree. Strong students on the programme can apply for a PhD place at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology or at other departments in the University.

Open Days

The Postgraduate Virtual Open Day usually takes place at the end of October. It is a great opportunity to ask questions to admissions staff and academics, to explore the Colleges, and to find out more about courses, the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.

Beyond the Open Day, prospective students are welcome to get in touch by email at any time of the year if they wish to request further information about the programme.

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Key Information

11 months full-time

Study Mode : Taught

Master of Philosophy

Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2024

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
June 25, 2024
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Course Funding Deadline
Jan. 4, 2024
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 11, 2023

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.

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