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Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology


Course content

The MPhil in Biotechnology provides all-round training covering four key areas:

  • core and advanced knowledge,
  • practical skills,
  • research skills,
  • and business-relevant knowledge and skills.

In addition to theoretical knowledge, we ensure that our students acquire the necessary practical skills in biotechnology both for wet-laboratory and computer-based work. Throughout the programme, we place significant emphasis on the development of research skills, including critical thinking, documenting and reporting, academic writing and communication, and research management. The fast-paced, demanding and competitive environment in which biotechnology research and commercialisation takes place calls for business-savvy scientists, be it in academia or industry. Our programme also offers a range of opportunities for students to acquire business-relevant knowledge and skills.

Overall, our goal is to produce graduates with fundamental and advanced understanding of biotechnology that have the necessary skillset and business acumen to become future leaders in biotechnology either in academic or industrial settings.



Teaching and assessment

In line with the programme structure, teaching is delivered through a combination of formal lectures, practical classes, supervised research in one-to-one and group settings, and a range of other means supporting the development of practical and transferable skills (e.g. training workshops, seminars, formal and informal presentations).   

The taught courses are assessed through a combination of some or all of the following:  individual or group coursework, class participation, formal written examination, and individual or group presentations. The programme’s research component is examined by appraisal of reports and oral presentations taking place during the MPhil in Biotechnology Symposium at the end of the programme. In order to be awarded the MPhil degree, the students need to pass satisfactorily both the taught and research components of the programme.



Industry links

While the academic environment at the University of Cambridge provides an invaluable and incomparable learning experience to our students, we also ensure that the training we provide is strongly connected to industry. 
Our students have plenty of opportunities to benefit from input from industry experts in order to understand the biotech industry landscape and boost their professional networks.

We are proud to be supported by a diverse group of industry champions as well as the Milner Therapeutics Institute, whose goal is to coordinate companies and academic, pharmaceutical and biotechnology partners in a global therapeutic alliance. 
Our industry champions are part of our Strategic Committee, playing a role in the direction of the programme. Their input is useful to ensure that the training we provide not only is academically sound, but is also aligned with workforce needs, current practices and developments in industry. Furthermore, our industry champions, as well as number of local biotech companies, contribute to teaching by delivering lectures and seminars on specific topics as well as hosting and supervising research projects (individual and team projects).