Biology (Biotechnology) BSc Honours | Middlesex University London
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Biology (Biotechnology) BSc Honours

Learn about the course below
Code
J700
Start
October 2018
Duration
3 years full-time
Attendance
Full-time
Fees
£9,250 (UK/EU) *
£13,000 (INT) *
Course leader
Steve Kett

From the development of innovative gene therapies and novel drugs to improving washing powders so they neutralise bacteria at lower temperatures, biotechnological research shapes the development of the world we live in. Biotechnology encompasses the latest discoveries regarding biological molecules, cells and organisms and applies them to problems arising in health, industry and the environment. This discipline continues to expand as technology develops.

Why study BSc Biology (Biotechnology) at Middlesex University?

Biotechnology encompasses the latest techniques in biological molecules, cells and organisms and applying knowledge of these to problems arising in health, disease, industry and the environment. As a discipline, biotechnology continues to expand as technology develops.

This course has been designed to give you knowledge of biotechnological processes and to explore the applications of biotechnology in industry for food, food products and enzyme production, in plant and animal biotechnology, and in environmental and medical settings. You will acquire the fundamentals of scientific thought together with essential skills and knowledge required for work across a range of biotechnological processes essential for maintenance of life within the developed world.

BSc Biology (Biotechnology) is part of a suite of biology courses, designed to offer choice and flexibility in the modules you study. There is a common first year that focuses on covering the fundamentals of biology so you have the option of changing pathway at the end of the first year. The other courses in this suite are:

Course highlights

  • There are placement opportunities for an internship in your third year – which can be completed in the summer or on day release. We will support you with sourcing the best placement or internship for you and making your application
  • A specialist module (Innovation in Bioscience) is dedicated to teaching students how to prepare their ideas for application in the ‘real world’ of biotech industry
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module.

What will you study on the BSc Biology (Biotechnology)?

This course will introduce the cross disciplinary nature of biotechnology and its wide range of applications providing the skills and technical knowledge to work in a multidisciplinary environment. You will develop an awareness of the impact of biotechnology on the environment applying technical knowledge to tackle global challenges.

You will begin by focusing on core biological disciplines including plant and animal biology, cell biology and microbiology. In Year 2 you will begin to specialise in biotechnology and develop your knowledge of biochemistry (particularly enzyme function and metabolic pathways). You will examine green biotechnology and applications of micro-organisms in pollution remediation as well as the principles, practice and applications of plant and animal biotechnology. You can also select from a choice of specialist modules that introduce a range of important biotechnological applications like gene therapy, plant transgenics, drug design and environmental remediation.

The fundamental role of the biotechnologist as the 'maker' of a product is explored and includes input from prestigious industry partners.

What will you gain?

Throughout the three-year course you will develop essential skills in laboratory and fieldwork and build detailed knowledge of research methodologies. You will acquire practical skills and analytical associated with biotechnological research and development. This course will prepare you for work at postgraduate level and/or for employment in the field of biotechnology.

Modules

  • Year 1

    • Anatomy and Physiology of Plants and Animals (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module explores the cell as the basic functional unit of life investigating the structure and function of cell components and introducing the cell cycle and the biology of disease. Concepts of evolution and the principles of inheritance are explained at the molecular level.

    • Chemistry for Biologists (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides students with the skills and knowledge of chemistry that underpin studies in biology. Emphasis is placed on building a knowledge base around key academic concepts in chemistry and biochemistry using examples from health and the environment to reinforce ideas. Students acquire a range of laboratory skills, learn how to analyse experimental results in the context of theoretical concepts.

    • Principles of Microbiology (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module is an introduction to the scope of microbiology, the nature and importance of micro-organisms and factors influencing their growth and survival. The module explores the field of microbiology and its applications and importance in biotechnological processes, the environment and in health and disease.

    • Biological Techniques (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module introduces students to fundamental laboratory and research techniques that underpin the study of biological sciences. Skills introduced in this module include observations and note taking; data handling, analysis and presentation; safe working practises and the ability to communicate scientific ideas in a variety of formats. The module will enable students to develop these skills within their degree programme and facilitate recognition of these skills in relation to employability.

    • Cell Biology and Genetics (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module explores the cell as the basic functional unit of life investigating the structure and function of cell components and introducing the cell cycle and the biology of disease. Concepts of evolution and the principles of inheritance are explained at the molecular level.

  • Year 2

    • Research Methods and Project Planning (30 credits) - Compulsory

      The module aims to provide students with the skills necessary to plan, implement, analyse and report project-based work, with the focus on preparation for the final year project module. The module also develops core research skills fundamental to a scientific research design, irrespective of discipline. Specific research skills include analytical techniques appropriate to individual programme requirements.

    • Microbial Life (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will explore microbial diversity and extend knowledge of the role of micro-organisms in relationships with other organisms, the environment and in the cause of disease. The module aims to further underpin knowledge of the numerical concepts associated with growth and death.

    • Biology of Complex Organisms (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to acquaint students with the organisation and complexity of Eukaryotic biota on Earth, their fundamental biological processes and interactions with each other and the environment. Students will gain a solid grounding regarding Eukaryotic diversity as well as specific, functional knowledge of how they reproduce, respond to stimuli and maintain the requirements of life. Emphasis is laid upon establishing links between each specific topic and between those in other modules so students may develop their own biological synthesis throughout the module.

    • Molecular Biology (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will reinforce and expand on the year 1 module Cell Biology and Genetics. The overall aim is for the student to obtain understanding of the molecular processes occurring in organisms. In addition, students will gains experience in the principles, practice, quality assurance and application of commonly employed molecular methods and genetic tools and techniques.

    • Analytical Techniques (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides students with the knowledge of important “state of the art” analytical methods in biological sciences. There is a focus on developing practical skills in analytical methods and the analysis and interpretation of results. Particular emphasis will be on proteins in the context of clinical diagnostics and environmental assessment.

    • Biochemistry (15 credits) - Compulsory

      In this module students will develop a more complete appreciation for the structure, function and regulation of key cellular molecules. With a running theme of enzyme function, students will be provided with an overview of molecular and metabolic pathways and a detailed compilation of the mechanisms by which they are regulated as well as disorders affecting these. The module will also consider biochemical pathway diversity in prokaryotes and the impact on habitat and importance.

    • Microbial Biotechnology (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides the students with an introduction to the principles of fermentation technology and examines the ways in which micro-organisms are commercially exploited in the food industry.

  • Year 3

    • Dissertation (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will build on the skills the student has acquired when undertaking BIO2005 and from the knowledge and skills gained throughout the programme to date. Further development of research skills, analysis, critical thinking and scientific literary style will be promoted in completing a dissertation.

    • Gene technology (15 credits) - Compulsory

      The module considers current approaches to genetic manipulation and the widening fields of their applications. Ethical issues and regulations of the field of gene technology will be explored.

    • Sustainable Biotechnology (15 credits) - Compulsory

      The module enables students to recognise the current and future impact of sustainable biotechnology. The module will explore the role of biotechnology in plant and animal biotechnology, in waste remediation, clean and dirty water management, and the production of renewable energy sources. The importance of these processes for society and health will be explored.

    • Innovation in Biosciences (15 credits) - Compulsory

      The role of a biotechnologist includes working at the point of convergence between innovation and the application of technology to address an idea. This module is designed to enable students to appreciate the challenges associated with taking a biotechnological innovation into the product phase. The module supports students in preparing a product for development through innovation workshops and specialist speakers on product and business development.

    • Cellular and Molecular Biology (15 credits) - Optional

      The module explores genetic and environmental factors that lead to changes in cells and cell processes with an emphasis on cellular and molecular responses in cancer. It reviews the current and future potential for molecular biology in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease including the associated ethical issues.

    • Gene expression and control (15 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to provide an understanding of processes involved in regulation of gene expression and current laboratory methods available for investigation. It also aims to provide an understanding of how gene expression may be modulated according to changes in the cellular environment, how environmental conditions can trigger changes in these processes and how aberrations in gene expression can lead to disease.

    • Biology Work Experience (30 credits) - Optional

      This module enables students to gain credits for work experience related to their programme. It aims to link academic learning to a placement organization. The experience provides opportunities for students to work in a relevant organisation and enhance their skills of self-expression, communication, co-operation and self-reliance.

    • Conservation in a Changing World (15 credits) - Optional

      This module provides an overview of the concepts and methods associated with conservation within an increasingly anthropogenic environment. It addresses arguments for conservation as well as problems associated with wildlife conservation.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Module and programme information is indicative and may be subject to change.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning
  3. Assessment and feedback
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International

How can the BSc Biology (Biotechnology) support your career?

Biotechnology is a widely applied degree area so careers may lay in areas such as microbiology, drug design and development, biomimetic/organic materials science/ design, fermentation biotechnology, ecotechnology and environmental sciences as well as the pharmaceutical and food and drinks industries.

There are also careers in the environmental sector, water supply and in waste management for example. You may also wish to progress to postgraduate research or to teaching, both at primary and secondary level following a teaching qualification.

Natural Sciences Academic Society

The Natural Sciences Academic Society is the Middlesex University Student Union society that aims to Increase awareness of biosciences and their applications in jobs, research and innovation. Members and officers organise and participate in a variety of activities and events to showcase biological sciences and to illustrate that they offer more than just being enslaved to a laboratory. They aim to help students become the next generation of leading scientists by offering a spectrum of opportunities to bring out personal qualities and passions necessary for good science.

Dr Dirk Wildeboer
Senior Lecturer in Bioscience and Biomedical Science

Dr Dirk Wildeboer’s main research interest is in enzymes as sensitive and specific molecular markers for disease and their applications in human and veterinary diagnostics. Dirk also studies biochemical processes and molecular markers related to the detection and clean-up of environmental pollution.

Dr Dirk Wildeboer and his research team have developed a rapid on-site test for the detection of E. coli bacteria, a key indicator of faecal contamination in river water, using a portable fluorimeter. The test is based on a fluorogenic substrate for bacterial enzymes and miniaturised low-powered optics combining biotechnology and optical engineering. Wildeboer D, Amirat L, Price RG and Abuknesha RA (2010) Rapid detection of Escherichia coli in water using a hand-held fluorescence detector. Water Res 44(8): 2621-2628.

Dr Diane Purchase
Associate Professor in Environmental Health/Biology

Dr Diane Purchase’s research focuses on interactions between microorganisms and the environment, specifically on bioremediation. Diane employs a multidisciplinary approach, bringing biology, environmental science and environmental chemistry together, providing deeper understanding of the workings of microorganisms and their potential to provide sustainable solutions to tackle environmental challenges.

Other courses

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Biology (Molecular Biology) BSc Honours

Start: October 2018

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Biology (Environmental Biology) BSc Honours

Start: October 2018

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Code: C150

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