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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 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 sector.

The programme is designed to provide students with core and advanced knowledge as well as practical and research skills in biotechnology. Additionally, it allows 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 leaders 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
  • business-relevant knowledge and skills

Students acquire basic and advanced theoretical knowledge in biotechnology, focusing 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 biotech sector. 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 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, 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, 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 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, 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 will allow 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 beginning of November. It is a great opportunity to ask questions to admissions staff and academics, explore the Colleges virtually, 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

Master of Philosophy

Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2023

Applications open
Sept. 15, 2022
Application deadline
June 30, 2023
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2023

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

Course Funding Deadline
Jan. 5, 2023
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 12, 2022

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2023, Lent 2024 and Easter 2024.

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