As the field of synthetic biology grows, computational design of biological systems is important. It allows the construction of complex and large biological systems.
This Synthetic Biology master's specialises in computational design. Laboratory approaches to engineering biological systems are also a major focus. The course provides you with essential computing and engineering skills. You'll learn to develop software to program biological systems.
We've designed this Synthetic Biology master's 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 from:
- Computing Science
- Mathematics and Statistics
- the Medical Faculty
- 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. Newcastle's research in life sciences, computing and mathematics is internationally recognised.
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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.
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What you'll learn
You'll take compulsory modules (70 credits) and optional modules (20 credits). This is 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.
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.
Module information 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.
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.
Optional modules availability
Some course have optional modules. Student demand for optional modules may affect availability.
To find out more please see our terms and conditions.
|Fundamentals of Cell and Molecular Biology||10|
|Computational Analysis of Complex Biological Systems||10|
|Computing for Digital Biology||10|
How you'll learn
This interdisciplinary programme is based in the School of Computing and taught jointly with:
- the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics
- the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
- 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.
Depending on your modules, you'll be assessed through a combination of:
- Computer assessment
- Design or creative project
- Professional skills assessments
- Oral presentation
- Practical lab report
- Problem-solving exercises
- Research proposal
- Written exercise
Your five-month research project gives you real research experience in synthetic biology. You'll 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
Our experienced and friendly staff are on hand to help you. You'll gain the experience of working in a team in an environment with the help, support and friendship of fellow students.
Your teaching and learning is also supported by Canvas. Canvas is a Virtual Learning Environment. You'll use Canvas to submit your assignments and access your:
Throughout your studies, you’ll have access to support from:
- our University Student Services Team
You'll also be assigned an academic member of staff. They will be your personal tutor throughout your time with us. They can help with academic and personal issues.
The teaching staff are successful researchers in their field and publish regularly in highly-ranked systems synthetic biology journals.
Students have a unique opportunity to complete a work placement with one of our industrial partners as part of their projects.
Previous students have found placements with organisations including:
- NHS Business Services Authority
- Metropolitan Police
- Network Rail
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.
Quality and ranking
All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body
From 1 January 2021 there is an update to the way professional qualifications are recognised by countries outside of the UK
The School of Computing is based in the £58million Urban Sciences Building, a flagship development located on the £350m Newcastle Helix regeneration site in the heart of Newcastle. It brings together:
- the public sector
- business and industry
Fees and funding
Tuition fees for 2022 entry (per year)
If your studies last longer than one year, your tuition fee may increase in line with inflation.
Depending on your residency history, if you’re a student from the EU, other EEA or a Swiss national, with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you’ll normally pay the ‘Home’ tuition fee rate and may be eligible for Student Finance England support.
EU students without settled or pre-settled status will normally be charged fees at the ‘International’ rate and will not be eligible for Student Finance England support.
If you are unsure of your fee status, check out the latest guidance here.
We support our EU and international students by providing a generous range of Vice-Chancellor's automatic and merit-based scholarships. See our searchable postgraduate funding page for more information.
What you're paying for
Tuition fees include the costs of:
- tuition (or supervision)
- library access
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
If you're applying for funding, always check the funding application deadline. This deadline may be earlier than the application deadline for your course.
For some funding schemes, you need to have received an offer of a place on a course before you can apply for the funding.
Search for funding
Find funding available for your course
The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.
Qualifications from outside the UK
English Language requirements
How to apply
Using the application portal
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Alternatively you can find out more about applying on our applications and offers pages.
Open days and events
Open days and events
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- Campus tours
- On-campus open days
- Virtual open days
We regularly travel overseas to meet with students interested in studying at Newcastle University.
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Questions about this course?
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