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BSc (Hons)Biotechnology

University of Surrey
United Kingdom, Guildford, Surrey
Tuition fee To be confirmed
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Expenses, accommodation, working etc.



Biotechnology is the study of the systems that govern gene expression and metabolic pathways, and how manipulation of these systems can be applied to the use of microbes as ‘cell factories’ to make gene therapies, replace missing components in defective cells and synthesise therapeutic drugs from by-products of microbial metabolism.

Gene analysis and other developments from the ‘post-genomic era’ provide technologies that enable the manipulation of microbial genes to enhance the production of valuable metabolites that can be used, for example, as medicines or fuels. Microbial ‘cell factories’ are used to produce drugs for treating conditions as diverse as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, haemophilia and cancer, as well as curing infections. A fungal mating factor is even used for preventing tissue rejection after transplant operations.

On this programme you will study how microbes can be manipulated to ‘overproduce’ by-products of their metabolism that can be harvested and purified for a range of important applications. You will also study how traditional products such as fermented foods and beverages have benefited from modern, high-tech applications developed by biotechnologists.

Programme structure

Year 1 (FHEQ Level 4)
In Year 1, you will study a broad range of microbiology and biotechnology topics to allow you to develop a strong foundation of knowledge in the subject. Laboratory practical sessions will complement your study of theoretical modules in topics such as medical microbiology, cell biology and molecular biology. You will also study some biochemistry, in order to refine your understanding of biochemical aspects of microbiology.

Modules include:

Cell Biology
Chemistry and Maths for Biosciences
Microbiology: An Introduction to the Microbial World
Molecular Biology

Year 2 (FHEQ Level 5)
During Year 2, you will study aspects of microbiology and biotechnology in greater depth, and will apply basic theories to more complex scenarios and scientific phenomena. Specifically, areas such as cellular microbiology, immunology and virology are explored. A specific focus of your studies in Year 2 is preparation for your Professional Training placement year.

Modules include:

Cellular Microbiology and Virology
Food Microbiology: The Microflora of Food
Food Science: Perception, Processing and Presentation
Introduction to Immunology
Microbial Communities and Interactions
Molecular Biology
Pathology and Medicine
Professional Training placement (optional)
Our Professional Training programme is one of the very best available, and the majority of our students choose to undertake a placement year.

Year 3 (FHEQ Level 6)
In Year 3, the core taught modules you will study vary, depending on your specialist pathway, and include topics such as advanced immunology, molecular biology, systems biology and medical biochemistry. The largest single component of the year is the research project (equivalent to two modules), carried out under the supervision of a member of staff. For their research project, students on the Biotechnology programme have recently chosen to investigate the generation of energy by microbes, the microbial production of antibiotics and useful pharmaceuticals produced by eukaryotes.

Modules include:

Biomedical Product Discovery
Clinical Immunology and Immunohaematology
Epidemiology and Control of Infectious Diseases
Metabolic Engineering and Systems Biology
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases
Research Project

Career opportunities

Graduates over the last few years have secured roles such as:

Procter & Gamble, Microbiology Researcher
Campden and Chorleywood Food Research Association, Senior Research Officer and PhD
Tesco, Technical Development Executive
Northern Foods (Solway Foods Factory), Process Development Technologist
TMO Renewals, Scientist
Jordans & Ryvita Company, Taste and Development Technician
Leatherhead Food Research, Research Assistant
Sanofi Aventis, Microbiology Analyst
University of Eastern Finland, Researcher
Many students progress to higher degrees at Masters and doctorate levels.

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States