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Biotechnology at Imperial College London

Imperial College London offers following Biochemistry or Biotechnology programme. In this programme, students have to follow the same core modules in the first two years of study before specializing, spending a year in industry or heading overseas. Core modules in the first year encompass Molecular Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Biological Chemistry, Enzymes and Proteins. In the second year, there are five core modules and optional course may be taken from outside of Biochemistry.

A wide spectrum of optional courses is available for students to choose from in subsequent years including subjects such as Genetics and Genomics, Damage and Repair in Biological Systems, Cancer, Cellular Neuroscience, Drug Design, Protein Engineering, Business and Biotechnology.

Course Structure

The BSc Biotechnology is a three-year degree. In the very first two years, students shall deal with subjects to make sure that they receive a solid grounding in the fundamentals. Consequently, they may specialize in the final year, making their choice from a broad range of research projects and options.

The biotechnology and biochemistry courses include topics covering various aspects of the applied biochemistry and biotechnology industry such as commercializing technology, intellectual property and patents, entrepreneurship with case studies and lectures from biotechnology business leaders and academics. In the final year of the Biotechnology programme, students are expected to take course options and a project in subjects concerning a significance aspect of biotechnology.

The BSc Biotechnology with Management is similar to J700 for the first three years. The BSc Biotechnology with a year in industry/research incorporates a year spent carrying out research in a medical, industrial or any other biochemical work environment. The BSc Biotechnology with Research Abroad includes a year spent carrying out research in industrial, medical or any appropriate biotechnological/biochemical work environment overseas.

The BSc Biotechnology with Management with one Year in Industry/Research (J7NF) is identical to J702. Students have to undertake an industrial/research placement year between the second and third year of the BSc course in Biotechnology and these are followed by a year in Imperial College Business School.

First Year

These courses offer the fundamental building blocks of biochemistry. Students have to take the following courses, which are run in parallel:

  • Molecular Biology I
  • Biological Chemistry
  • Proteins and Enzymes
  • Molecular Cell Biology I

Second Year

Students have to take the following five core subjects:

  • Molecular Biology II
  • Immunology
  • Physical Biochemistry
  • Molecular Cell Biology II
  • Protein Science

Besides core subjects, one course is generally taken from subjects outside biochemistry, for example, a language, fiancé, philosophy and communication skills.

Final Year

In the first two terms of the final year, students choose one course from each session. This allows them to specialize in an area of interest and significance to their future career plans. Biotechnology and biochemistry students are given guidance on the selection of four courses from those mentioned below. Each course encompasses a half-term's work.

Session 1

  • Damage and Repair in Biological Systems
  • Stem Cells, Regeneration and Ageing
  • Macromolecules in Three Dimensions
  • Genetics and Genomics
  • Advanced Topics in Plant Molecular Biology

Session 2

  • Integrative Systems Biology
  • Cellular Neuroscience
  • Mechanisms of Gene Expression
  • Cancer

Session 3

  • Molecular Basis of Development
  • Bioreactor and Bioprocess Technology
  • Molecular Neurobiology
  • Medical Glycobiology
  • Synthetic Biology

Session 4

  • Molecular Basis of Bacterial Infection
  • Biochemical Pharmacology and Drug Action
  • Biotechnology and Business
  • Protein Engineering and Drug Design

The college extends laboratory practical exercises to students throughout the final year courses. Students, after their final year exam, shall carry out either a literature-based dissertation or a full-time laboratory-based research project.


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