Industrial Biotechnology

Key Facts

Course Code J740D
  • Qualification


  • Typical Course Length

    5 Years

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Equip yourself with the knowledge and skills to be part of the new bio-economy. This MSc focuses on substituting plant material for mineral oil and you can choose from a range of modules which incorporate the latest thinking around this.This programme is delivered entirely on-line (see sample).You can take as many or as few modules as you wish over your 5-year registration period. Modules are accessible as CPD or as credit-bearing units towards a range of postgraduate qualifications.


Why study MSc Industrial Biotechnology via distance learning at Aberystwyth University?

  • If you are working in the biotech industry or are developing policy for this sector, or if these are areas you would like to move into, this course is an ideal way to update your knowledge and gain a postgraduate qualification by studying part-time whilst you are working.
  • If you are a new graduate interested in pursuing a career in the biotech industry, you can study full or part-time to gain the qualification and knowledge that you need to start your new career.
  • Our training has been designed to be as accessible as possible. The course is entirely online, enabling you to study when and where (provided you have Internet access) is convenient for you.
  • This course is highly flexible. With a range of option modules available, you are able to pick and choose the modules you wish to study according to your needs and interests. We also work closely with Bangor University, which means that you can also take relevant Bangor modules as part of your studies.
  • In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) review of university achievement, 78% of our research was classed as world-leading or internationally excellent, and 76% of our work was recognised as having a practical impact on society at a world-class level. 
  • Our most recent joint submission to the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) was the 5th strongest submission in the UK and placed our Department in the top 10 universities in the UK for research intensity.
  • Both Aberystwyth and Bangor have strong, industry focused biotech research portfolios.
Our Staff

The majority of teaching staff at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences are qualified to PhD level and are research active. Vocational courses also have staff whose background lies within industry.  The Institute has a large number of research only staff with whom students may have contact.

Course Details

How to Apply

This course accepts three intakes every year (January, May and September). Applications are welcomed throughout the year.

Applications can be made online by visiting our Postgraduate Application Portal, or can be made offline (by post or email). Please see our How to Apply page for more detail.

Entry Requirements:

To be accepted as a postgraduate student, candidates must hold:

·         at least a second class honours degree in an appropriate science subject OR

·         have at least two years relevant experience. Applications from mature candidates with relevant experience will be considered on a case by case basis.

English Language Requirements:

If you have a Bachelor’s degree from a UK University, you do not need to take an English proficiency test.

Non-native English speakers who do not meet this requirement must take a University-recognised test of academic English language proficiency. For further information please see our English Language requirements page.

Course Fees:


Module cost £750, dissertation cost £1,800


Module cost £1,363 (commercial), £800 (with bursary), dissertation cost £3,271 (commercial), £1,800 (with bursary).

Fees are required to be paid in full before training commences.


Funding opportunities may be available, please check the funding calculator for details.

Contact Us

IBERS Distance Learning Office

Stapledon Building, IBERS

Aberystwyth University

Gogerddan Campus


SY23 3EE

Telephone: 01970 823224




Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Dissertation BDM3560 60
Research Methods BDM0120 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Biobased Product Development BDM7820 20
Biorefining Technologies BDM7720 20
Biorenewable Feedstocks BDM7620 20
Drivers of the Bioeconomy BDM8520 20
Genetics and Genomics in Agriculture BDM5820 20
Waste Stream Valorisation BDM8620 20

Teaching & Learning

How will I learn?

Modules can be taken for your own continuing professional development or interest, or they can be built towards a variety of postgraduate qualifications. Each topic comprises a 14 week distance

learning module worth 20 credits. Subject specific modules are delivered by Aberystwyth University and may be complemented by modules delivered by Bangor University. You can combine modules from both Universities to match your areas of interest. To complete an MSc part-time, you can take no fewer than 2 and no more than 5 years. However, if you are in receipt of a

student loan, you will be committed to finishing within 3 years.

The training is entirely web-based which means that as long as you have access to a reasonable broadband connection you can study where and when best suits you. Learning material for each module includes recorded lectures from academics and industry experts, presentations, podcasts, e-group projects, guided readings, interactive workbooks and discussion forums, as well as assignments and e-tutorials.

The research elements of this qualification are usually carried out in your workplace with regular academic supervision, allowing you to embed your research project into your work. However, there are also opportunities for research projects to be based at IBERS. Please ask us if this option would be of interest to you.

A typical Masters student is expected to study for 200 hours when taking a 20 credit module. You should anticipate spending approximately 2-3 hours a week on online lectures, presentations and podcasts, and the remaining time on readings and assignments. The more time and effort you can put in, the more you will benefit from studying the module and the better your grades are likely to be.

How will I be assessed?

There are no exams within this programme. Taught modules are assessed via coursework (namely reports and essays, but also literature reviews, case studies, research proposals and data analysis tasks), online assignments, presentations and forum discussion.

Course content

You can choose to take all five of the Subject Specific Modules:

  • Biorenewable Feedstocks
  • Biorefining Technologies
  • Bio-based Product Development
  • Waste-stream Valourisation
  • Drivers of the Bioeconomy

Or substitute in up to two Complementary Modules:

  • Genetics and Genomics
  • Carbon Footprinting
  • Anaerobic Digestion
  • Climate Change
  • Drivers of the Bio-economy