University of Edinburgh

University of Edinburgh

Synthetic Biology and Biotechnology

This programme focuses on research and development using biological and chemical principles and systems to create new products, services and industries. Students employ elements of the developing field of synthetic biology to bring about significant changes and major innovations that address the challenges of rapidly changing human demographics, resource shortages, energy economy transition and the concomitant growth in demand for more and healthier food, sustainable fuel cycles, and a cleaner environment.

Entry requirements

Students should hold a UK university undergraduate degree, or its international equivalent (usually at least a 2.1 Honours degree or its equivalent). Students are expected to possess a strong background in one or more of the following areas: biotechnology, biochemistry, molecular biology and the related sciences. Engineering , particularly bio-engineering, physics, mathematics or other backgrounds, will also be considered on a case-by-case basis. If English is not the 1st language, students must have 1 of the following qualifications as evidence of their spoken and written English: IELTS Academic module: 6.5 (with score no lower than 6.0 in each section); TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (with no score lower than 20 in each section); PTE: 61 (with no score lower than 56 in each section); CPE: Grade C; CAE: Grade B.

Course modules

Compulsory courses: practical systems biology; applications of synthetic biology; tools for synthetic biology; social dimensions of systems and synthetic biology; environmental gene mining and metagenomics; research project proposal; MSc project and dissertation. Option courses: introduction to scientific programming; commercial aspects of drug discovery; stem cells and regenerative medicine; biological physics; biochemistry; enzymology and biological production; next generation genomics; machine learning and pattern recognition; drug discovery; biophysical chemistry; bioinformatics programming and system management; economics and innovation in the biotechnology industry; biobusiness; molecular modelling and database mining; industry and entrepreneurship; practical skills in biochemistry; functional genomic technologies; information processing in biological cells; data mining and exploration; intelligent agriculture; gene expression and microbial regulation; bioinformatics; principles of industrial biotechnology.

Assessment methods



Qualification Study mode Fee Course duration
MSc Full-time £ 9,650 per Academic year (home fees) 1 calendar years
MSc Full-time £ 21,350 per Academic year (overseas fees) 1 calendar years
PgDip Full-time £ 9,650 per Academic year (home fees) 1 calendar years
PgDip Full-time £ 21,350 per Academic year (overseas fees) 1 calendar years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
University of Edinburgh Edinburgh EH8 9JU Scotland

Key information

Programme Secretary
Telephone number: 
0131 650 5513