Medical biotechnology student using microscope in lab

Medical Biotechnology MSc

Build your career in a rapidly expanding industry and gain practical laboratory and scientific skills with our 1 or 2 year Master’s in Medical Biotechnology.

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Overview

On this MSc Medical Biotechnology degree, you’ll develop practical and analytical skills in molecular biotechnology, including the exploration of online biological databases, therapeutics, bioinformatics and diagnostics. 

You'll build practical laboratory skills used in academia and industry, and study in a challenging learning environment informed by professional practice, current research and advanced laboratory techniques.

Medical biotechnology is a rapidly expanding industry. With the UK being Europe’s leading biotech hub (McKinsey & Co) and Portsmouth ranked third of all post-1992 universities in the UK for research power, there’s no better time to take your previous studies to postgraduate level.

When you graduate, you’ll be ready for a successful career in research or industry in the biotechnology sector, or in the fields of bioscience or pharmaceutics.

Eligibility

This course accepts UK, EU, and International students.

Course highlights

  • Unpack a practical and theoretical understanding of the molecular techniques used in the medical biotechnology sector
  • Conduct independent medical biotechnology research in areas such as pathology, drug development, clinical trials, business and bioinformatics
  • Access professional research equipment in the University's many laboratories, including the Biophysical and Pharmaceutics labs
  • Learn from medical professionals and academics working in drug design, synthesis and diagnostics – with the opportunity to undertake a research project in a professional environment (previous project partners have included Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust and Sierra Medical)
  • Have opportunities to build your business ideas through our Student start-up and Entrepreneurs in Residence

Discover MSc Medical Biotechnology

Hear from our students and staff, meet the course leader, and discover career opportunities as you explore our MSc Medical Biotechnology degree.

Dr David Rusling

Medical biotechnology is all about the application of molecular and cellular techniques to the study, diagnosis and treatment of disease. We offer four core modules and we have one optional module.

Robert Baldock

It's a Master’s course that's designed to really tell students and get them involved in the process of developing a drug and evaluating its performance so that it can actually be taken forwards through to clinical trials and benefit patients in the longer term.

Sajjad Ahsan

Since it's a Master’s course it transitions students from a theoretical perspective and then it shifts them towards hands-on experience.

Priyanka Dey

They will have a full breadth of knowledge from theory to practical, to the textbook knowledge, to the most current research.

Dr David Rusling

What's really good about our course is we offer them the ability to go away and do independent research in one of our laboratories. You get to spend a substantial amount of time delving deeply into an area of biomedical science that's relevant, current, and it's new to the student, and we can generate novel data that really helps drive that field forward.

Melissa Hernandez

It will be really helpful for me when I apply to the jobs that I want.

Robert Baldock

There are a number of career opportunities that students can pursue after completing this Master’s, and that includes research and development, they could be involved in regulatory pathways, how you get the drugs to market, intellectual property as well as academic careers if they want to be researching those new drugs.

Dr David Rusling

The most exciting opportunity the students have is placements. It's something that employers really like and look to employ students from.

Priyanka Dey

We as the team really try and make the students achieve the best they can, and that's why I think it’s the best thing to study at the University of Portsmouth.

Melissa Hernandez

We get to talk with the professors and they encourage us, you can, any time, come to me. I'm gaining the skills that I didn't have when I graduated doing an undergrad.

Contact information

Admissions

+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

Entry requirements

Eligibility

This course accepts UK, EU, and International students.

September 2024 / January 2025 start

Qualifications or experience

  • A second-class honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject. Professional experience and other qualifications may be taken into consideration for applicants not meeting this requirement.

Please get in touch if you're not sure if your undergraduate subject is relevant to this degree.

Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will also be considered, such as previous study, employment, voluntary work and training courses, including courses and qualifications you didn't complete. Learn more about our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

If you're applying as an international student with a non-UK degree, you’ll need to show you meet the UK entry requirements listed above.

To find out if your non-UK degree or other qualification is accepted, please visit our page for your country and view the UK equivalent of your qualification. 

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

You do not need an IELTS or equivalent certification if:

  • you have a UK degree
  • you have a degree from a majority English speaking country (not taught by Distance Learning)
  • you are a national of a majority English speaking country

Degrees taught solely in English from non-majority English speaking countries will be considered on a case by case basis. Find out more about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Course courses and funding

Tuition fees (September 2024 / January 2025 start)

  • Full time: £12,000
  • Part time: £6,000 per year

(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Full time: £12,000
  • Part time: £6,000 per year

  • Full time: £19,200
  • Part time: £9,600 per year

University of Portsmouth graduates may receive a 20% alumni tuition fee discount

Fees are subject to annual increase. Read our tuition fees terms and conditions.

You'll be able to pay your fees in instalments. Find out how to pay your tuition fees.

Funding your studies

Explore how to fund your studies, including available scholarships and bursaries.

If you're a UK student, you may be eligible for a Government Postgraduate Master's Loan, which you can use to help with course fees and living costs.

International student scholarships are available across the University. 

International students can apply for our January 2024 Faculty scholarship

Loans, scholarships and bursaries

Browse funding such as the Government Postgraduate Loan, our scholarships for new and returning students, and subject specific loans.

Female Master's student
Explore funding

Funding for international students

Learn more about sponsorships, scholarships and loans for students applying from outside of the UK.

international business students
Discover your options

Fees and funding for Master's courses

Explore Master's funding options, including loans, scholarships, bursaries and more.

Explore funding

Additional costs

These course-related costs aren't included in the tuition fees, so you'll need to budget for them when you plan your spending. Additional costs could include:

  • Accommodation: Accommodation options and costs can be found on our accommodation pages.
  • Recommended reading: You can borrow key texts from the library and if you choose to purchase these texts they may cost up to £60 each.
  • General costs: Such as photocopying, memory sticks, printing charges, binding and specialist printing. We suggest budgeting £75 per year.
  • Final project transport or accommodation: where necessary, which related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Modules

Full-time

On this course, you'll study four core modules and one optional module

Core

In this project module, you'll design and undertake a complex lab-based project, building on skills in research techniques, literature review and ethics. You'll also build your communicative skills for sharing your analysis with fellow scientists. When you complete the module, you'll be able to show your experience in producing new knowledge in a professional manner.

You'll get hands-on experience with current medical biotechnology tools and techniques in this module, focusing on the skills most in demand for diagnostic laboratories and research positions. As you study the methodologies and validity of each technique, you'll improve your ability to analyse and communicate scientific data from laboratory sessions and literature reviews.

You'll gain hands-on experience with laboratory-based techniques and understand the validity of these techniques across various therapeutic applications. You'll obtain the knowledge and skills to critically assess the data that these techniques generate and use appropriate methods to present findings.

You'll discuss current and emerging approaches to diagnostics and prognostics, clinical management, and treatment of various conditions aimed at developing an understanding of diseases at the molecular level. You'll also work in groups to master a systematic problem-solving approach to science, readying yourself for further study or a scientific career.

Optional

  • Use computer software to handle and analyse nucleotide and protein sequences.
  • Interpret the data in online genetic and genomic databases.
  • Apply the principles of recombinant gene technology.
  • Design R script and unix commands to perform bioinformatics tasks.
  • Use computer software to handle next generation sequencing data.

You’ll gain hands-on practice evaluating opportunities, preparing business cases for investment and sharpening your entrepreneurial skills from self-direction to leadership. By considering startups and innovation roles across biotech contexts, you’ll develop plans to profitably translate inventions, IP and discoveries into products and services that responsibly serve society.

You'll learn to apply clinical reasoning and interpret laboratory test results to identify different disease profiles and how these can benefit patient care and treatment.

You'll explore tissue engineering — from man-made materials to harnessing cells, biomaterials and stem cell therapies — and design a new potential treatment to regenerate or replace a specific tissue. This module could lead to further study or careers in injury rehabilitation, prosthetics development, orthopedics, and more.

Part-time

In year one, you'll study three core modules.

Core

You'll get hands-on experience with current medical biotechnology tools and techniques in this module, focusing on the skills most in demand for diagnostic laboratories and research positions. As you study the methodologies and validity of each technique, you'll improve your ability to analyse and communicate scientific data from laboratory sessions and literature reviews.

You'll gain hands-on experience with laboratory-based techniques and understand the validity of these techniques across various therapeutic applications. You'll obtain the knowledge and skills to critically assess the data that these techniques generate and use appropriate methods to present findings.

You'll discuss current and emerging approaches to diagnostics and prognostics, clinical management, and treatment of various conditions aimed at developing an understanding of diseases at the molecular level. You'll also work in groups to master a systematic problem-solving approach to science, readying yourself for further study or a scientific career.

In year two, you'll study one core module and one optional module.

Core

In this project module, you'll design and undertake a complex lab-based project, building on skills in research techniques, literature review and ethics. You'll also build your communicative skills for sharing your analysis with fellow scientists. When you complete the module, you'll be able to show your experience in producing new knowledge in a professional manner.

Optional

  • Use computer software to handle and analyse nucleotide and protein sequences.
  • Interpret the data in online genetic and genomic databases.
  • Apply the principles of recombinant gene technology.
  • Design R script and unix commands to perform bioinformatics tasks.
  • Use computer software to handle next generation sequencing data.

You’ll gain hands-on practice evaluating opportunities, preparing business cases for investment and sharpening your entrepreneurial skills from self-direction to leadership. By considering startups and innovation roles across biotech contexts, you’ll develop plans to profitably translate inventions, IP and discoveries into products and services that responsibly serve society.

You'll learn to apply clinical reasoning and interpret laboratory test results to identify different disease profiles and how these can benefit patient care and treatment.

You'll explore tissue engineering — from man-made materials to harnessing cells, biomaterials and stem cell therapies — and design a new potential treatment to regenerate or replace a specific tissue. This module could lead to further study or careers in injury rehabilitation, prosthetics development, orthopedics, and more.

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Facilities

Biophysical laboratories

Use professional-standard equipment to explore how the structures and functions of molecules change under different conditions.
Female student  on computer in biology lab
Discover the lab

Pharmaceutics laboratories

Develop a better understanding of the causes and consequences of diseases in these labs, as well as the skills and expertise needed to develop and test new drugs.
Pharmacology students experimenting with syringe in lab
Find out more about the labs

Lab and testing facilities

Discover how we use our lab and testing facilities to solve research challenges and gain experience using industry standard equipment.
Two female students in lab
Learn more about the labs

How you'll spend your time

We recognise that you'll probably be juggling more demands when you do your Master's degree, as you may be working or you may have family responsibilities.

We'll give you as much indication here as we can of how much time you'll need to be on campus and how many hours you can expect to spend in self-directed study, but please note that these indications are always subject to change. You should receive your full timetable several weeks before you start with us.

Course structure

Full-time (1 year)

We recommend that full-time students allocate around 37 hours per week to their studies – equivalent to a full-time job. Approximately:

  • 12 hours of on-campus, in-person teaching per week
  • 25 hours of self-directed study time per week

Part-time (2 years)

We recommend that part-time students allocate around 18 hours per week to their studies – equivalent to a part-time job. Approximately:

  • 6 hours of on-campus, in-person teaching per week
  • 12 hours of self-directed study time per week

On-campus, in-person teaching takes place over two teaching blocks (September to January and January to May). From May onwards, you'll focus on the development and realisation of your research project.

Master's study is deeper and more specialised than an undergraduate degree. This means you'll focus on something that really matters to you and your career as you work closely with academics committed to the subject.

You'll spend more time in independent study and research than you did for your undergraduate degree, but the majority of your teaching time will be in-person and face-to-face.

Teaching on this course includes:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • workshops
  • practical work

Assessment

You'll be assessed through:

  • written exams
  • practical work
  • problem solving
  • presentations
  • essay
  • project work

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

Teaching staff

These are some of the expert staff who'll teach you on this course:

Marta Roldo Portrait

Dr Marta Roldo

Associate Professor in Biomaterials

Marta.Roldo@port.ac.uk

School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

Faculty of Science and Health

PhD Supervisor

Read more
David Anthony Rusling Portrait

Dr David Rusling

Senior Lecturer

David.Rusling@port.ac.uk

School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

Faculty of Science and Health

PhD Supervisor

Read more

Term dates

September start

The Master's academic year runs from September to the following September. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter. Over the summer you'll be writing your project / dissertation.

January start

Courses that start in January have the same amount of teaching as September-start courses, and normally run from January to the following January. There are breaks at Christmas, Easter and in the summer. In the last few months you’ll be writing your project / dissertation.

See key dates

Graduation Class of 2021

Joining us as an international student

You'll feel at home in our international community and our diverse city. You'll be joining over 5,000 international students from more than 150 countries who are studying with us.

Learn more about international student life and how we can help you with visas, applications, arrival and settling in. 

Information for international students

Career development

Careers this Master’s prepares you for

Once you complete this MSc Medical Biotechnology degree, you’ll have a greater understanding of the medical applications used in biotechnology and in-depth laboratory experience.

You’ll be set to build your career within small and medium-sized enterprises and global business in the area of biotechnology – as well as public and private health service providers. You could also decide to start your own business, which we can support you with. Alternatively, you could proceed to a research degree.

Graduates of this course have gone onto roles such as:

  • Clinical trials assistant
  • Data analyst
  • Bone densitometry technician
  • Molecular pathologist
  • Research scientist
  • Account executive

Graduates of this course have gone on to work for companies such as:

  • Eli Lilly
  • Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust
  • Publicis Health

Career outcomes shown are sourced from the latest available graduate outcome surveys. The data shows career outcomes at 15 months after graduation.

Career planning

During your course you'll have expert career support from your tutors and our Careers and Employability Centre – which you can access for up to 5 years after you graduate.

Female student standing at careers and employability help desk

You'll benefit from:

  • Networking events
  • Applied projects with employers
  • 1-to-1 appointments
  • CV and cover letter advice
  • Interview preparation and practice
  • Workshops to enhance your employability skills
  • Recruitment events including the Student and Graduate Opportunities Fair
  • Support starting your own business
Learn more about your career support

Startup support

If you're interested in starting your own business, our student enterprise team will be on hand to give you help, support and advice. You can even access specialist support from our Entrepreneurs in Residence to help develop your business ideas.

Supporting you

Master's study is more focused on independent learning than undergraduate study, but you'll get lots of support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to postgraduate study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your Master's.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning support tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • understanding and using assignment feedback
  • managing your time and workload
  • revision and exam techniques

All our labs and practical spaces are staffed by qualified laboratory support staff. They’ll support you in scheduled lab sessions and can give you one-to-one help when you do practical research projects.

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone, or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

The Maths Cafe offers advice and assistance with mathematical skills in a friendly, informal environment. You can come to our daily drop-in sessions, develop your mathematics skills at a workshop or use our online resources.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

How to apply

Unlike undergraduate applications, which go through UCAS, applications for this Master's course are made directly to us.

There's no deadline for applications to this course. We accept applications right up until the start dates in September and January, as long as there are places available. If you wait until your start month to apply, you may find that the course is full. 

If you're applying as an international student, remember that you'll need to leave plenty of time to get your visa organised.

You can find more advice about applying in our Master's application checklist. International students and current students and recent graduates of the University of Portsmouth also have some different application options, which are detailed below.

Extra information for international students

If you're an international student, you can apply directly to us using the same application form as UK students.

You could also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region. To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.

If you don’t meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Ready to apply?

I'm a current Portsmouth student, or a recent Portsmouth graduate

If you're currently in your final year of study at Portsmouth, or you graduated since July 2023, you're eligible to make a fast track application. You'll have:

  • a shorter application form to complete
  • access to the 20% Alumni fee discount
  • a guaranteed conditional offer, for most Master's courses 

Learn more about fast track

After you apply

Once we receive your application, we may ask you for further information. We will then either make you an offer or suggest alternatives if your application is unsuccessful.

You'll usually get a decision within 10 working days, so you shouldn't have to wait too long. Some courses have an interview stage – we'll let you know if you need to prepare for one.

Learn more about how we assess your application.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.