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The Master's in Bioscience Enterprise (MBE) programme is a multidisciplinary biotechnology and business degree course, designed for high-achieving individuals with an enthusiasm for enterprise. Students extend their knowledge of the latest advances in exploitable biotechnology and medical science, and gain an understanding of the ethical, legal and regulatory issues associated with bringing scientific advances to market. The course equips students with the requisite skills in enterprise, management and entrepreneurship required to take up executive roles, establish and build biotechnology companies or work in the life sciences consultancy sector. Teaching takes place from October to June, and graduates are awarded the degree of a Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.).
Science and technology, business and transitionary modules are taught in each term, integrating commercial know-how with advances in research, and demonstrating the many complex issues associated with bringing discovery and innovation from the laboratory to the market. The programme is highly participatory and includes practical elements in the form of interdisciplinary projects, workshops, case studies and business planning activities. Students have opportunities to undertake a consulting project and a technology company internship placement, and gain an international perspective during a (self-funded, optional) study tour to the USA.
The MBE class is based at the Institute of Biotechnology, renowned for its practical and successful approach to entrepreneurship and the exploitation of bioscience inventions. Students benefit from a unique combination of teaching and mentoring from experienced business and academic contributors. The faculty pursue a variety of research interests and the application of the resulting technologies has led to the founding of many spin-out companies. The Institute’s innovative achievements were recognised by the Queens Anniversary Award (2007). Management modules are in part delivered by faculty of Cambridge's Judge Business School, which is internationally recognised for the high quality of its teaching and the strength of its research.
As members of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology MBE students are integrated into a vibrant multi-disciplinary environment, where PhD programmes and taught Master's courses are run in parallel with the Department's ongoing research and commercialisation activities. In the 2008 UK Research Assessment Exercise, 85% of the department’s research activities were rated as internationally excellent. Students are members of a Cambridge college and profit from the breadth of study and social activities available in this historic University.
The programme enjoys strong connections with the biotech industry in both the UK and overseas. Case-studies of biotech firms, frequently described by senior executives from the companies themselves, illustrate the commercial exploitation of scientific discoveries from a practical standpoint and provide an insight into the managerial challenges that arise in high tech companies. Cambridge is Europe's leading biotech cluster and excellent business networking opportunities are available to all course participants. A highpoint of the year is the study tour to the Boston biotech cluster, where students gain a USA perspective on the highly international bio-business sector.