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4868F - Biotechnology and Biodesign MRes

Biotechnology and Biodesign MRes

Entry Year:

Start in: September 2021

Our MRes provides a foundation into how design and engineering approaches are used in the creation of new biotechnological processes and products.


Advances in biotechnology, computing, and laboratory automation are being coupled with design thinking approaches and engineer biological systems.

These may produce more sustainable products than traditional manufacturing. Examples include:

  • the production of synthetic meat substitutes
  • dairy-free milk
  • adaptive building materials
  • petroleum-replacement products
  • designer antimicrobial compounds
  • smart drug delivery systems

Our Biotechnology and Biodesign MRes:

  • provides a foundation in design thinking approaches
  • covers recent developments in applied biotechnology
  • provides an opportunity to develop and refine your laboratory skills
  • provides the opportunity to develop your own research project

The training forms an excellent foundation for students opting to follow a research-orientated career path. It also opens up opportunities for successful careers in the biotechnology industry

The course is interdisciplinary. You'll be suitable for this course if you are a science graduate and are looking to develop your knowledge and research skills.

You'll gain the skills to address critical global challenges in:

  • sustainability
  • food security
  • the environment
  • healthcare


Important information

We've highlighted important information about your course. Please take note of any deadlines.

What you'll learn

Throughout the course, you'll gain an advanced understanding of:

  • scientific concepts and practices that underpin industrial biotechnology
  • principles of design thinking and project design
  • scientific concepts of the role of recombinant DNA technology in both fundamental research and applied technology
  • the role of microorganisms in the search and discovery of commercially significant natural products
  • the role of biotechnology in agriculture and commercial enterprise
  • control and modelling concepts and their application in bioprocessing systems
  • statistical concepts and theory and their application in process engineering
  • advanced practical skills in molecular biological techniques, handling microorganisms and data analysis


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.

How you'll learn

Your development

You'll cover the foundational principles of design thinking in the context of biodesign. You'll also develop skills in:

  • handling microorganisms and plants
  • molecular biology techniques
  • data analysis
  • preparation of research proposals and product pitches
  • laboratory automation

During the MRes, you’ll participate in research group meetings and the seminar programme within the school. You'll join a large cohort of PhD students, allowing you to experience a research-intensive study environment.

Newcastle University has long-standing and successful participation in the iGEM competition, dating from 2008. Team members are drawn from a range of undergraduate and master’s programmes.

Your future

Our Careers Service

Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.

Visit our Careers Service website

Quality and ranking

All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body


The School of Natural and Environmental Sciences has an outstanding range of facilities to support our research and teaching including:

  • fully equipped teaching and research laboratories
  • lab scale fermentation of novel biological compounds
  • mini bio-foundry with commercial and open-source laboratory robotics
  • fabrication laboratory with 3D printers, electronics, and laser cutters
  • access to bioinformatics software, GPU computing, and literature resources

Find out more about the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences 

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2021 entry (per year)

What you're paying for

Tuition fees include the costs of:

  • matriculation
  • registration
  • tuition (or supervision)
  • library access
  • examination
  • re-examination
  • graduation

Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.

Find out more about:

  • additional costs
  • living costs
  • tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts

Search for funding

Find funding available for your course

Entry requirements

The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

Qualifications from outside the UK

English Language requirements

How to apply

Using the application portal

The applicant portal has instructions to guide you through your application. It will tell you what documents you need and how to upload them.

You can choose to start your application, save your details and come back to complete it later.

If you’re ready, you can select Apply Online and you’ll be taken directly to the applicant portal.

Alternatively you can find out more about applying on our applications and offers pages.

Apply Online  

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

Open days and events

Open days

The situation with Covid-19 means that we're unable to hold open days on campus. However, you don’t have to visit in person to experience Newcastle.

From the comfort of your sofa you'll be able to:

  • explore our beautiful campus
  • find out about our vibrant city
  • discover what students think about studying at Newcastle

You'll also have the opportunity to speak to academic staff and find out more about the courses you're interested in.

Find out about upcoming postgraduate open days


We regularly travel overseas to meet with students interested in studying at Newcastle University.

We also hold various online and virtual events.

Visit our events calendar for the latest events

Get in touch

Questions about this course?

If you have specific questions about this course you can contact:

Academic Secretary
School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5498


For more general enquiries you could also complete our online enquiry form.

Fill in our enquiry form

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