Master of Biotechnology (MBiotech)

Advances in biological science continually shape innovation in response to global challenges faced by humanity in the 21st century.

Biotechnology is the application of biological sciences to meet these challenges in areas like health and disease, the production of high value food and the sustainable use of natural resources to create new economies that leverage the explosive growth of knowledge on living systems.

Biotechnology has long been central to the New Zealand economy, driving innovation in crop science, agritech, and soil engineering. For example, the development of new plant cultivars that express consumer-desirable traits, improved disease resistance or producing high quality protein with a low carbon footprint. But biotechnology is increasingly evident in a wider range of economic activity, in biomedical industries such as vaccine and therapeutic drug development, or microbial developments that seek to minimise waste streams in the environment.

The new Master of Biotechnology is a vocation-focussed 180-point programme in which students will develop the specialist knowledge and skills that are required to contribute to these developing technologies and help tackle pressing national and global issues.

This masters qualification will be attractive to students with an interest in the application of biology and who wish to build on their undergraduate science foundation for greater career opportunities, job satisfaction, and a more streamlined transition into industry.

Students in the programme will be taught by leading academics in their respective fields and benefit from strong linkages between Auckland University and industry-focused Crown Research Institutes.

Within the programme, five specialisations have been developed to offer focus of study in defined disciplinary areas each of which is aligned to market sectors, industry need and recognised employer demand. Students may choose from specialisations in Bioinformatics, Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Molecular Microbiology, Plant Biotechnology and Protein Engineering. Alternatively, students can create their own programme by combining courses from each area of specialisation. The choice is yours.

Students will enter the Master of Biotechnology with a recognised undergraduate degree in biotechnology or biological sciences and prior exposure to molecular biosciences, biochemistry, microbiology, and genetics.

Students in the programme will be taught by leading academics in their respective fields and benefit from strong linkages between Auckland University and industry-focused Crown Research Institutes, like Plant and Food. As part of the programme, students undertake a supervised research project that could provide a path to future postgraduate studies.

Master of Biotechnology graduates may seek positions in the medical, diagnostic, and healthcare sectors, agriculture, food and dairy industries, and government sectors like regulatory agencies. They may also choose to work on transformational research within research institutes or pursue an entrepreneurial route building on their university research towards commercialisation and spinout.

Programme director: Dr John Taylor

Dr John Taylor is an experimental virologist with an interest in the development of novel vaccines and antiviral therapies.