Biotechnology is the exploitation of living systems or molecules from them for commercial gain. Although the word 'biotechnology' is only a few decades old, humankind has been using biotechnology for millennia, for example in baking, brewing and sewage treatment. Modern biotechnologies rely on our increasing ability to manipulate organisms at the genetic level and include novel waste treatments and bioremediations, new pharmaceuticals, the exploitation of enzymes in 'green catalysis' and exciting new diagnostic techniques. In the 20th century our lives were transformed by information technology; the 21st century may see an equally great transformation, but this time led by biotechnology.
This Masters degree aims to teach the fundamental molecular bioscience underpinning biotechnology along with examples of its current applications. In addition, fundamental biological research skills are taught and students are given an understanding of bio-entrepreneurship. The degree culminates in a three-month, intensive research project in a laboratory in Queen's, thus preparing graduates for a career in research biotechnology.