About the course
How can biological processes and organisms be used in the development of new technologies? Biotechnology enables us to improve practices in diverse fields including genetics, agriculture, bioremediation, immunology, diagnostics, energy production, and age-assisted living.
Our course provides you with knowledge, understanding and hands-on experience in modern biotechnology, and with practical insights into current commercial applications. It creates access to a broad range of career opportunities in this rapidly growing key technology.
You will learn about and appraise the approaches that can be used to address the challenges facing our planet, including:
- The development of biofuels, pharmaceuticals and crops to support and feed the growing human population
- Industrial, plant and medical biotechnology
- Gene and protein technology
- Synthetic biology
The course has a very high proportion of practical work that provides valuable experience for your career, and in addition to this, our optional module Creating and Growing a New Business Venture challenges you to think creatively. This increases your value to organisations, including small enterprises, which are a growing part of the biotechnology sector.
Your research project is a major component of this course, for which you perform novel laboratory and/or bioinformatic research in one of our academic laboratories, or (subject to approval) carry out research in an industrial or hospital setting.
Two-thirds of our research is rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014), and you learn from and work alongside our expert staff.
“Essex gave me the perfect platform from which to launch my scientific career. I learnt a wide range of cutting-edge theoretical science and practical skills that have enabled me to pursue a PhD at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.”
Timothy Skyes, MSc Biotechnology, 2013
Our expert staff
As one of the largest schools at our University, we offer a lively, friendly and supportive environment with research-led study and high quality teaching. You benefit from our academics’ wide range of expertise and research on important national and international problems using cutting-edge techniques.
The University of Essex has a Women's Network to support female staff and students and was awarded the Athena SWAN Institutional Bronze Award in November 2013 in recognition of its continuing work to support women in STEM.
Recent investment has provided modern facilities for functional genomics, computational biology, and imaging biological systems. On our course you have the opportunity to:
- Work in an open and friendly department, with shared staff-student social spaces
- Conduct your research alongside leading academics and PhD students in shared labs
- Learn to use state-of-the-art equipment
Our graduates are well placed to find employment in the ever-growing bio-based economy, and postgraduate study is often a requirement for becoming a researcher, scientist, academic journal editor and to work in some public bodies or private companies.
Many of our Masters students progress to study for their PhD, and we offer numerous studentships to support our students in their studies.
We work with our university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
UK entry requirements
We will consider applications with an overall grade of 2:2 and above.
International and EU entry requirements
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries.
for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the
undergraduate qualification you have already completed or are currently taking.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.
You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.
There is no application deadline but we recommend that you apply before 1 July for our taught courses starting in October. We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.
We hold postgraduate events in February/March and November, and open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:
- tour our campus and accommodation
- find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
- meet our students and staff
If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing email@example.com and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.