Biotechnology, in its broadest sense, is the commercial exploitation of living organisms or their components, such as proteins. Traditionally, these technologies have encompassed industrial microbiology, and dealt with ancient processes such as brewing or the microbial production of cheese and yoghurt, for instance. In the last few years, however, an avalanche of genetic and protein information has been discovered, with equally impressive advances in transgenic and animal cloning technologies. In this light, biotechnology has broadened its scope and is poised to make significant impacts on our health and nutrition, and how we interact with our environment.

Areas of study

Instruction is provided in the areas of fermentation technology, aspects of medical technology, down-stream processing and protein purification. In addition, the specialisation also includes courses in computing, managing technology and a wider appreciation of the social, legal, and ethical place of biotechnology in society.

You can study Biotechnology in the following programmes:

What you will learn

You will be provided with an appropriate academic background for a professional career in the traditional and emerging biotechnology industries. Standards are high, but career prospects are excellent. You will get a strong grounding in the biological and engineering basis of biotechnology, as well as learning about new technologies.

Career opportunities

Biotechnology is at the forefront of the knowledge economy, and is an excellent specialisation if you’re interested in the commercialisation of cutting edge science. Graduates are likely to qualify for technical and research assistant positions within fundamental and applied research programmes in Crown Research Institutes, universities, biotechnology companies; the brewing, dairy and other traditional fermentation industries; pharmaceutical companies; and diagnostic facilities in medicine and agriculture.

More information

For more information see Biotechnology.