Postgraduate

Synthetic Biology MSc

Synthetic Biology MSc

Full time: 12 months

Profile

This course provides you with a balance of molecular biology, engineering, computing and modelling skills necessary for a career in synthetic biology. Computational design of biological systems is important as the field of synthetic biology grows. This allows the construction of complex and large biological systems.


Your course during COVID-19

Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the programmes, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption.

Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to guidelines that may be in place from time to time.

View our COVID-19 Study page, which gives information about your Newcastle University study experience for the academic year 2021-22.

See our terms and conditions and student complaints information


Recognition of professional qualifications outside of the UK

From 1 January 2021 there is an update to the way professional qualifications are recognised by countries outside of the UK.

Read our detailed explanation


While laboratory approaches to engineering biological systems are a major focus, the course specialises in computational design. This provides you with essential computing and engineering skills to allow you to develop software to program biological systems.

Our course is designed for students from both biological and computational backgrounds. Prior experience with computers or computer programming is not required. Students with mathematical, engineering or other scientific backgrounds are also welcome to apply. It is ideal if you are aiming for careers in industry or academia.

We provide a unique, multidisciplinary experience that is essential for understanding synthetic biology. The programme draws together the highly-rated teaching and research expertise of our Schools of Computing Science, Mathematics and Statistics, and Biology, as well as the Medical Faculty and the Institute of Human Genetics.

Research is a large component of this course. The emphasis is on delivering the research training you will need in the future to meet the demands of industry and academia effectively. Newcastle's research in life sciences, computing and mathematics is internationally recognised.

The teaching staff are successful researchers in their field and publish regularly in highly-ranked systems synthetic biology journals.

Our experienced and friendly staff are on hand to help you. You gain the experience of working in a team in an environment with the help, support and friendship of fellow students.

Project work

Your five-month research project gives you real research experience in Synthetic Biology. You will have the opportunity to work closely with a leading research team in the School and there are opportunities to work on industry-led projects.

The project can be carried out:

  • with a research group at Newcastle University
  • with an industrial sponsor
  • with a research institute
  • at your place of work.

Delivery

This interdisciplinary programme is based in the School of Computing and taught jointly with the Schools of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics and Natural and Environmental Sciences, and the Faculty of Medical Sciences.

We cater for students with a range of backgrounds, including Life Sciences, Computing Science, Mathematics and Engineering. Half of the course is taught and the remainder is dedicated to a research project.

You take compulsory modules (70 credits) and optional modules (20 credits), followed by a six-month individual project that may be taken within the University or with a bioinformatics or pharmaceutical company (90 credits). Optional modules enable you to tailor your degree to either a computational/numerical theme or a more biologically oriented theme.  

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A writer in the lab podcast: Engineering life with synthetic biology
Student Profile

I enjoy the practical focus of my course because this makes it more interesting and more interactive.

Richard's student profile

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Modules

You will study modules on this course. A module is a unit of a course with its own approved aims and outcomes and assessment methods.

Modules for 2021 entry

Module changes

Course content changes 

The information above is intended to provide an example of what you will study.

Our teaching is informed by research. Course content changes periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.

Optional module availability

Student demand for optional modules may affect availability.

Full details of the modules on offer will be published through the Programme Regulations and Specifications ahead of each academic year. This usually happens in May.

To find out more please see our terms and conditions.

Fees & Funding

2021-2022 fees

The fees displayed here are per course.

MSc

Home

Full time: £12,600

International

Full time: £24,900


EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals

For courses commencing from September 2021 and beyond, EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fees or Student Finance England support.

If you are from the EU you will pay international tuition fees.

All students

Find out more about our tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts.


Funding opportunities

Entry Requirements

A 2:1 honours degree, or international equivalent, in computing science, a maths based subject or any biological science based subject such as:

  • genetics
  • biochemistry
  • biology

We will also consider your application on an individual basis if you have a degree in a related subject not listed above or a lower/non-standard qualification with significant industrial or professional experience.

Find out the equivalent qualifications for your country.

Use the drop down above to find your country. If your country isn't listed please email: international.recruitment@ncl.ac.uk for further information.

English Language Requirements

Select an English language test from the list to view our English language entry requirements.

Please email us at international.recruitment@ncl.ac.uk for further information.

If you have lower English Language scores, you may be accepted onto a Pre-sessional English course. 

How to Apply

You apply online, track your application and contact the admissions team via our applicant portal. Our step-by-step guide can help you on your way.

Applications for 2022/23

You'll be able to apply for 2022/23 entry from September 2021


Start dates

The course starts in September. There is no application closing date for this course.

We suggest international students apply at least two months before the course starts. This is so that you have enough time to make the necessary arrangements.

Deposit

If you live outside the UK/EU you must:

  • pay a deposit of £1,500
  • or submit an official letter of sponsorship

The deposit is payable after you receive an offer to study at Newcastle University. The deposit is non-refundable, but is deducted from your tuition fees when you register.

Contact

Admissions Secretary
School of Computing
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 2736
Email: Computing.Admissions@ncl.ac.uk

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