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Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology



The MPhil in Bioscience Enterprise (MBE) programme is an intensive taught science and business course intended for those who have an interest in enterprise and the ambition to found technology companies or take up leadership, executive or consultancy roles in the life sciences sector. The syllabus comprises a series of interdisciplinary modules covering the commercial exploitation of the latest advances in biotechnology together with the business expertise and management skills associated with bringing scientific opportunities to market. Further to the extensive lecture programme, students gain practical business and management experience through professional practice assignments, together with a consulting project and a research placement, both of which they normally undertake with host companies.


The MBE programme is a component part of the biotechnology teaching and research theme within the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology. Now in its nineteenth year, more than 450 students have graduated from the course and have progressed their careers to occupy positions in every aspect of the life science business sector.

Building 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 on the University's West Cambridge science site.

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.

Fundamental to the Cambridge experience, MBE students are also members of a Cambridge College and profit from the breadth of cultural and enterprise activities available throughout the wider University innovation ecosystem.