MSc in Biotechnology in UK: Complete Course Guide

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    Bhavya Rawal

    Study Abroad Expert

    MSc in Biotechnology in UK is a laboratory-based teaching program available with over 35 universities. The duration of the program in UK universities is usually around 1-3 years (full-time) and 2-4 (part—time). MSc in biotechnology aims at teaching students a broad range of topics that can help in solving real-world problems. The course offers advanced knowledge of underpinning modern biotechnology and molecular genetic technologies. 

    MSc in Biotechnology in UK costs around 23,700 to 43,864, which for an Indian student will equal around 22 to 44 LPA. With an investment as high as this, a higher return is expected. On completion of your MSc in biotechnology from universities in UK, you can be employed at starting salary (without experience) of around 25,000 to 50,000 GBP/year (23-46 LPA).

    Two of the leading sectors employing biotechnology are Pharmaceuticals and Microbiology industries, both of which have a huge employment base in UK, allowing students to find the desired job. From 2021 onwards, UK has also introduced a two-year stay back on the student visa that will further help students to find attractive offers for themselves within the UK. 

    Why Study Masters in Biotechnology in UK

    • There are around 450 biotechnology companies in UK.
    • These companies account for 35% of drug development products in the UK and 41% of new drug development in stage clinical trials.
    • COVID-19 has also brought the advancement of drug development and biotechnology in UK to the light. With Oxford University leading in making a successful vaccine, which is currently under trials (July’2020) it can be clearly stated that UK houses best-education facilities and advanced technologies for biotechnology and related fields
    • London is one of the biggest hubs for biotechnology companies in Europe.
    • Companies like Nightstar, Heptare, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, AstraZeneca, and more look forward to hiring graduates in biotechnology from UK.

    MSc in Biotechnology in UK from Top Universities

    Given below is a list of UK universities offering masters in biotechnology that are recognized globally not only through their rankings but also for their high-quality, research-intensive biotechnology programs. The table also discussed the cost of study, specialization available, and the duration of the program.

    University AWRU (Biotech ranking’20) Course Offered Annual Fees (GBP)
    University of Cambridge #6 M.Phil Biotechnology (11 months) 43,864
    University of Oxford #15 MSc. (Res) in Chemical Biology* (2-3 years) 26,405
    Imperial College London #30 MSc in Applied Biosciences and Biotechnology (1 year) 30,000
    University of Edinburgh #37 MSc in Biotechnology 32,500
    University of Glasgow #101-150 MSc in Biotechnology 23,500
    Newcastle University #151-200 MSc. Industrial and Commercial Biotechnology (1 years) 23,400
    University of Manchester #151-200 MSc in Biotechnology and Enterprise (1 year) 27,000
    University of Birmingham #151-200 MSc in Molecular Biotechnology (1 year) 23,310
    University of Nottingham #151-200 MSc in Biotechnology (1 year) 25,695
    University of Warwick #151-200 MSc in Biotechnology, Bioprocessing and Business Management 27,160
    University of Leeds #201-300 MSc in Plant Science and biotechnology 24,000
    University of Sheffield #201-300 MSc Molecular Biology and Biotechnology 23,750

    Note: There are a variety of inter-disciplinary related fields that are also offered to study at Universities like UCL (biomedical sciences, genetics of human disease), KCL (Biopharmaceuticals and biomedical and life sciences), University of Bristol (Biological Science and Bioinformatics), University of Liverpool, and more.

    *University of Oxford only offers a full-time course. 

    MSc in Biotechnology in UK: Course Highlights

    Degrees MSc/Mseng/Mphil/MRes
    Basic Eligibility bachelors with 2:1 equivalent scores
    Language Proficiency Scores IELTS: 6.5
    Standardized test score GRE or GMAT not required
    Annual Fees 23,000 to 43,000 GBP
    Recruiters Heptare, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Nightstar, Autolus, Cell Medica, Mina Therapeutics, etc
    Starting Salary 25,000 to 50,000 GBP (annual)
    Salaries with Experience 60,000 to 100,000 GBP (annual)

    MSc in Biotechnology in UK: Admissions 

    Though pursuing education from top universities in the UK is a great opportunity, but getting admissions with these is not a cakewalk. The admissions are strictly based on the academic merit of the students and merely fulfilling the basic eligibility criteria does not guarantee admissions. The competition for admissions to MSc. in Biotechnology in UK is very high and hence, international students are suggested to ensure that they score higher than the minimum requirement of their choice of college/university. 

    The section below is an approach of detailing the basic and language proficiency eligibility for various top colleges in UK offering MSc in biotechnology:

    Eligibility for MSc in Biotechnology in UK 

    The university-specific basic eligibility criteria, the score equivalents, and English language proficiency test scores that are required are listed below: 

    University Entry Requirements Percentage/Grade Equivalents IELTS TOEFL
    University of Cambridge First or Upper Second Class (honor) Degree
    ATAS required
    70% BSc or 60-70% BSc Honors 7.0 100
    University of Oxford First or Upper Second Class (honor) Degree
    Prior publications can help but are not mandatory
    70% BSc or 60-70% BSc Honors 7.0-7.5 100-110
    The University of Edinburgh Upper Second Class 60-70% 6.5 92
    University of Leeds Upper Second Class 60-70% 6.5 87
    Imperial College London Upper second class degree with honors in biochem or biology-related subject 60-70% in UG honors with biochem or bio-related subject 6.5 92
    The University of Manchester Three years UG degree with first class in bio or related field 70% or more 6.5 90
    The University of Warwick Second class honors degree 50% or more in an honor degree 6.5 92
    Newcastle University Lower Second Class degree 50% or more
    Indian students are required to have 58-65% in their UG
    6.5 90
    University of Birmingham 4-year bachelors with first-class or upper second class
    3-year bachelors with first-class

    4-year bachelors with 70% or 60-70%
    3-year bachelors with 70% or more

    6.0 80
    University of Sheffield Upper Second class 60% or more in UG  6.5 88
    University of Nottingham Lower Second class in UG 50% or more in UG 6.0 -
    University of Glasgow Second class honors degree 50% or more in an UG honors degree 6.5 90

    ATAS/Academic Technology Approval Scheme

    MSc in Biotechnology in UK: Cost to Study 

    The overall cost involved in studying abroad begins when you are still in your home country. Various expenses like application fees, student visa fee, and more are encountered when you are still making arrangements to study in UK. As soon as you are accepted by a university, expenses like tuition fees and cost of living in UK follow. The details of these expenses are catered in the preceding sections:

    Pre-arrival Cost

    The expenses like fees of exams required to study in UK and more encountered when you are still at home:

    Type Cost (in GBP)
    UCAS Application Fee 20 (for single course application)
    UK Student Visa Fee 348
    Health Insurance 260
    TOEFL Fee 298
    IELTS Fee 160-182

    Tuition Fees for MSc in Biotechnology in UK

    As for most of the universities, the MSc in biotechnology is a one-year program, the total course fees range between 23,700 to 79,215 GBP. This for an Indian student would range between 22 to 74 Lakhs overall. This is a hefty amount as compared to the cost of MS in biotechnology in India. For students who are on a budget but are still planning to pursue their degree from UK can look for the number of scholarships available to study in UK.   

    Cost of Living in UK

    Securing a position in the top universities of the UK is the best decision ever but what can be apprehensive is the cost of living in the UK which is slightly higher. But we have you covered all the details of the cost of living to ensure a smooth study session.·

    Monthly Amount (GBP)
    University residence 515-727
    Private residence 505-848
    Leeds 43
    Manchester 47
    Birmingham 45
    Liverpool 45
    Bread (1 pack) 0.71
    Milk (1.13 l) 0.81
    Chicken (300 g) 1.57
    Eggs (6) 1.51
    Rice (1 kg) 1.51

    The graphical image below compares the cost of living on campus for various popular universities in UK:

    Cost of Accommodation in UK

    Scholarships for MSc in Biotechnology in UK

    To afford the overall expenses involved in studying abroad, students often look for funding options. One of the most availed options is scholarships available in UK for international students. Listed below are some

    Universities Name Amount (GBP)
    University of Glasgow Scotland’s Saltire Scholarships 8000
    University of Glasgow International Leadership Scholarship 10,000
    University of Leeds Biological Sciences International
    Scholarship (Master’s)
    Dean’s International Achievement Scholarship (Master’s) 5,000
    The University of Edinburgh School of Biological Sciences Taught Postgraduate Bursaries 10,000
    The University of Manchester Alumni Bursary 1,000
    The University of Warwick School of Life Sciences (SLS) Excellence Scholarships 50% reduction of course fees
    Newcastle University GREAT scholarship 2020 10,000
    Vice Chancellor’s Excellence Scholarships: 50% and 100% 50% and 100%
    University of Sheffield International Postgraduate Taught Scholarship Varies
    University of Nottingham South Asia Postgraduate Excellence Award 4,000

    There are various other scholarships available to study in UK, such as Inlakhs Scholarship, JN Tata Scholarships, and more which a student can apply for to aid their studies. 

    MSc in Biotechnology in UK: Job Prospects

    With a master's in biotechnology, a student will have ample career prospects to choose from. With so many specializations available, opting for a job in molecular biology or genetics or drug discovery is the pathway to success. Following are the common designations held by biotechnology students:

    Designations Salaries (GBP) Designations Salaries(GBP)
    Biotechnologist 124,000 Biomedical Engineer 107,000
    Biotechnology Lead Data Manager 108,000 Bioinformatics Scientist 164,000
    Biostatistician 126,000 Clinical Operations Manager 143,000
    Molecular and cellular biologist 138,000 Pharmaceutical Production Assistant Manager 132,000

    In the biotechnology industry in the UK, there is a massive increase in salaries by 10% every 14 months. Top recruiters for biotechnology graduates in UK: Novo Nordisk, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN), Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN), Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX), Incyte Corp (INCY), Biomarin Pharmaceuticals, Autifony Therapeutics, Virion Therapeutics, GammaDelta Therapeutics, and more.

    A master’s degree in biotechnology from a university in the UK will guarantee a student a bright future which is evident from the scopes and job prospects. The UK is second in terms of education and the student will even receive an ample amount of scholarship options.


    Ques. What are the average fees for pursuing MSc in Biotechnology in the UK?

    Ans. The fees range for masters in biotechnology in UK from 23,700 to 79,215 GBP. This for an Indian student would range between 22 to 74 Lakhs overall

    Ques. What is the minimum score required in English proficiency tests for admission in MSc in Biotechnology in UK?

    Ans. For pursuing masters in biotechnology in UK you will need IELTS: 6.0-6.5 and TOEFL: 80-100.

    Ques. What are the entry requirements for a masters in biotechnology in UK?

    Ans. A first-class bachelor’s degree in related fields is required to get admission in MSc in Biotechnology in UK. This means you will need a bachelors degree in subjects like biology, biochemistry or related with a percentage of 70% minimum. 

    Ques. Where can I study MSc in Biotechnology in UK?

    Ans. Some of the popular univeristies offering masters in biotechnology in UK are University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, King’s College London, University of Glasgow, Newcastle University, etc.

    Ques. How much can I earn after MSc in Biotechnology in UK?

    Ans. After completion of masters in biotechnology in UK you can start earning with a minimum pacakge of 25,000 GBP to 50,000 GBP. When working with top tier firms you can earn as much as 80,000-90,000 GBP/year. 

    Ques. What are the specializations one can get in MSc in Biotechnology in UK?

    Ans. Each university has its own set of specializations. Few of them are: Bioinformatics, biodefense, drug research, environmental regulatory affairs and more.

    Ques. Are scholarships available for international students pursuing MSc in Biotechnology in UK?

    Ans. Yes, there are plenty of scholarships available for pursuing Masters in biotechnology in UK. The awards offered can go up to 10,000 GBP. There are various university-specific and general scholarships available for international students to chose from.