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MPhil in Bioscience Enterprise


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 programme is a component part of the Biotechnology teaching and research theme within Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology. Now in its fifteenth year, more than 300 students have graduated from the course and have progressed their careers to occupy positions in every aspect of the life science business sector.

Image of West Cambridge Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology front entranceBuilding on its origins in the Institute of Biotechnology with its global reputation for a practical and successful approach to entrepreneurship and the exploitation of bioscience inventions, the MBE programme now occupies purpose built facilities in the department’s newly opened headquarters at West Cambridge.

The programme enjoys strong connections with the biotech industry in both the UK and overseas. Students benefit from a unique combination of teaching and mentoring delivered by business and academic contributors, who bring their diverse and first hand knowledge of life science research commercialisation and business activities to the course. 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.

As members of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology MBE students are integrated into a multi-disciplinary environment, where PhD programmes and taught Master's courses are run in parallel with the Department's ongoing research and spinout company activities.  In the most recent UK Research Assessment Exercise, 85% of the department’s research activities were rated as internationally excellent and many faculty members have experience of founding their own companies.

MBE students are also members of a Cambridge college and profit from the breadth of cultural and enterprise activities available throughout the University.