A NEW masters qualification in biotechnology has been launched by the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University.
The one year MSc Biotechnology will provide students with the key skills necessary to meet the challenges of biotechnology and train them in creative problem solving and strategic thinking.
Students will learn how to exploit opportunities and turn their ideas into a viable business or a successful grant application.
Biotechnology scheme and module coordinator Dr Gordon Allison says: “Biotechnology is a rapidly expanding sector providing employment opportunities for a wide range of biotechnology graduates. In the UK alone the industry employs 160,000 people and has annual revenues of £50 billion.”
“Our experience shows that biotechnology companies are increasingly recruiting Master’s students with specialized yet transferable job skills for positions previously the reserve of Doctorate students and this degree responds to the demands of industry”.
Students will get practical training in state of the art molecular and analytical bioscience techniques and technologies in Industrial Biotechnology (fermentation biotech) and Plant Biotechnology; two key areas of biotechnology.
The course also focuses on global issues such as marine, food and health biotechnology and how the sustainable use of bio-resources and bioscience can help meet the needs of the growing human population.
All course modules are delivered by academics and professional practitioners at the forefront of activity in the field.
Joe Freemantle, a recent graduate of MSc Biotechnology and Innovation Management, the predecessor to the current scheme, says: “I developed a wide range of practical lab skills, built industrial networks and since the conclusion of the scheme have had continued support from IBERS scientists. Six months since my course finished, I am the Chief Technology Officer and founder of a start-up company that is looking to develop novel solutions for the recycling of absorbent hygiene products and through my connection with Aberystwyth University have been featured on the BBC.
“Studying with and receiving support from IBERS, Aberystwyth University has definitely helped me to develop the capabilities required for a start-up venture .”
Dr Allison added: “There has never been a better time to choose biotechnology as a career. This MSc course provides students with vocational skills and specialist knowledge, giving them a valuable competitive edge in the job market and preparing them for a career in Biotechnology or in related research.”