Accessibility statement

Industrial Biotechnology - BIO00053M

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  • Department: Biology
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Neil Bruce
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Spring Term 2021-22

Module aims

To provide core knowledge and understanding in the area of Industrial Biotechnology to students registered for the MSc in Industrial Biotechnology.

Teaching will be delivered that enable students to appreciate the scope of the subject area in terms of the types of problems that can be addressed through Biotechnology (via microbial, plant and animal-based systems), the technical means by which these problems can be addressed, and the commercial considerations that need to be taken into account in the Biotechnology industry.

Students will explore topic areas of interest and produce a case report about a particular area: what the problem is, how industrial biotechnology has allowed the problem to be addressed, and the scope for future developments in the area. The expectation is that students will be able to display an appreciation of the Biology underpinning the technological process, and also put this into a context relevant to commerce.

Module learning outcomes

Subject Content

  • Understand how bacteria and other microbes can be manipulated by recombinant DNA technology or selective isolation for use industrial processes to generate products of interest.
  • Be familiar with fermentation technology and the issues surrounding industrial scale up.
  • Understand how plants can be used to bioremediate environments and produce high value chemicals.
  • Know how animal cells can be used as vehicles for production of products of interest for industry and medicine.
  • Know where funding is available in the Bioscience industry sector, and understand a number of ways to access this funding to develop biotechnology.
  • Understand the principle of Intellectual Property in the context of Industrial Biotechnology
  • Understand through case studies, how some biotechnology industries have developed and the nature of their business models.

Academic and Graduate Skills

  • Experience in the evaluation of both current peer-reviewed scientific literature and “grey” literature (company reports, etc.)
  • Be able to make an in-depth exploration into a topic related to the application of biology in industry
  • Be able to synthesise a report that draws together both the biological underpinnings and commercial evaluation of a biotechnological process.


Task Length % of module mark
3000 word report
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
3000 word report
N/A 100

Module feedback

Arrangements for feedback will be made clear at the start of the module.

Indicative reading

These are available through the VLE module site.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.