Bio-business (MSc)

Year of entry

2018

Start date

October 2018

Location

Central London

Status

Fully Approved

Duration

One year full-time or two years part-time

Attendance

Two to three evenings a week

For those seeking a role in the technology transfer, technology finance or pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, it is essential to develop an understanding of the science, regulatory environment, and communication and deal-making.

The Bio-business programme gives an overview of the history of, and trends in, industrial biosciences research and development. This is supported and complemented by business, entrepreneurial and industry-facing modules, including the structure of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries in the context of regulation and public perception. The programme highlights issues of risk and regulation and socio-economic benefits stemming from technology and material developments.

You will gain a broad understanding of these critical issues, and an insight into the theory and practice of entrepreneurship and business in the bioscience industry, recognising the differences between science-based projects and other types of commercial activity.

The programme features specialist presentations from researchers and authorities in areas such as ethics, biological products and business development. You will also take part in hands-on experiential learning, developing your ability to build talented teams and pitch for funds, among other essential skills.

Highlights

  • New biological sciences module content is informed by a high-profile industrial panel.
  • Requires you to carry out an independent piece of research within the subject area of the programme.
  • In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), in a joint submission with UCL, Biological Sciences at Birkbeck were ranked 11th in the UK, with a research environment supporting world-leading and internationally excellent research.
  • Entry Requirements

    Entry requirements

    Normally at least a second-class honours degree, preferably in a biological or chemical science subject area from a UK university or a non-UK equivalent. A professional or other qualification obtained by written examinations approved by the College.

    Relevant experience, supporting statements and references may be taken into consideration, especially in the case of non-standard applications.

    International entry requirements

    If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

    If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

    Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.

    Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

    If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.

    Find out more about credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL).

  • Fees

    Fees

    Part-time home/EU students: £5375 pa
    Full-time home/EU students: £10725 pa
    Part-time international students: £8200 pa
    Full-time international students: £16400 pa

    Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases. For more information, please see the College Fees Policy.

  • Teaching and assessment

    Teaching

    At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.

    Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading.

    Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.

    In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your Personal Tutor.

    Methods of teaching on this course

    Teaching is delivered via a variety of methods, including lectures, seminars, directed reading, practical exercises and supervised projects.

    It is designed to meet the needs of mature students in full-time and part-time employment and to make maximum use of the limited time available to them.

    Timetables

    Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).

    Indicative class size

    Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to large groups, with 30 to 100+ students in attendance, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups of 10 to 30 students, led by an academic.

    Academic support

    Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:

    • academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
    • written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
    • numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).

    Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.

    Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.

    Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short– or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.

    Assessment

    Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations. You will be given time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.

    Unseen written examinations are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June, and, in most cases, are held during the day on a weekday – if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance. Exam timetables are published online in March each year.

    Find out more about assessment at Birkbeck, including guidance on assessment, feedback and our assessment offences policy.

    Methods of assessment on this course

    Most of the taught modules are assessed by a combination of coursework and examination. The distribution of marks between coursework and examination varies by module; details are provided in the programme handbook. Two modules (Research Methods in Management 1 and Principles of Organization and Management) are assessed by examination only.

    Feedback

    As well as a mark for your coursework and exams, you will also receive feedback from your marker(s) to help you learn, improve and succeed. We encourage you to discuss feedback with your module tutor.

    Feedback can come in different forms: notes via Moodle (our online learning environment); a paper copy of a completed feedback form; or in-class or face-to-face feedback. The College Policy on Feedback on Assessment sets out what you can expect from your feedback.

    Your department will usually provide you with your marked coursework within four weeks of submission. Your initial mark is provisional until the relevant Board of Examiners has confirmed it.

    Your official coursework and exam results will be made available to you via your My Birkbeck Profile online.

  • Careers and employability

    Careers and employability

    Graduates go on to careers in the scientific and business sectors, as well as in research, public policy, and the biological/chemical industries. Possible professions include research scientist, science writer, or higher education lecturer. This degree may also be useful in becoming an operational researcher or management consultant.

    Find out more about these professions.

    We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application.

    Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.

    Application deadlines and interviews

    We recommend you apply as early as possible. Later applications may also be considered, subject to availability of places.

    Applicants selected for interview will be asked to attend on dates in the weeks beginning 11 December 2017, 22 January, 5 March, 16 April, 21 May, 2 July, 13 August and 14 September 2018; dates may be subject to change depending upon demand. Interviews will take place from 10am onwards and last approximately 45 minutes.

    Please note that applicants need to have submitted a full application and submitted any further documentation required, along with receipt of references, at least seven days before interviews can take place.

    We appreciate your co-operation. Do not hesitate to contact us by emailing biosciencespg@bbk.ac.uk if you have any questions.