Pharmaceutical Biotechnology image_02

Pharmaceutical Biotechnology MSc/PG Dip/PG Cert

This course equips you for the rapidly expanding field of biopharmaceuticals, covering a broad range of topics relating to DNA and protein-based medicines

Explore DMU from home with our Virtual Open Day Explore


Due to high application demand and COVID restrictions for teaching on campus, we have now closed applications for international student places onto our Postgraduate Taught 12 month programmes starting in September/October 2020, and are no longer accepting deposits for this intake. If you have already paid your deposit and requested (but not received) your CAS we will be in touch to clarify your individual situation. Many of our courses benefit from multiple intakes, including options to start in January 2021, please contact us for more information.

Applications can be made using the postgraduate application form, or using the online portal. Please send any queries to

Pharmaceutical Biotechnology is a rapidly expanding field focusing on the development and production of biopharmaceuticals that could lead to cures for many major diseases.

Globally, pharmaceutical biotechnology courses are rare and no other course offers such a broad scope where, as well as theory, you’ll be able to develop your skills with a key focus on practical content, studying pre-clinical studies, clinic and marketing that will help prepare you for a diverse career in either industry or academia.

Study an interdisciplinary subject based on the teaching and research expertise of our experienced practitioner and research-based staff. Our research is driven by societal strategic priorities and fully aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Areas of expertise include Pharmaceutical Technologies and Nanomedicine, Pharmacology and Neuroscience and Infectious Disease research.

Benefit from major investment in state of-the-art laboratories and specialist equipment to match that used in the best industrial laboratories. This includes FACS analysis, confocal microscope, electron microscope, mass spectrometer, fermentation units and tissue culture suites.

Key features

  • Our reputation of more than 100 years’ pharmacy teaching ensures we produce graduates of the highest calibre.
  • Benefit from major investment in state-of-the-art laboratories and specialist equipment at par to that used in industry.
  • Learn from a combination of unique academic expertise across faculties by sharing one core module with students on a Master of Business Administration (MBA), broadening understanding around the importance of business in this area.
  • International and UK students have benefited from this established course and progressed to PhD study and global relevant employment in the biotech sector.
  • Study a range of specialist modules allowing you to receive up-to-date subject matter on multiple protein expression systems.
  • Many of our graduates have progressed on to study for PhDs or work in roles in the biotech sector in both the UK and overseas.

“I came to DMU because the facilities here are excellent and it offered me the opportunity to learn about these therapies and will help me achieve my dream of developing new technologies and innovations that could influence governmental regulations and healthcare systems back home. ”

T Karikari, PhD student

“The course was designed in such way that it is suitable not only for fresh undergraduates but also experienced working people like me. All laboratories were equipped with latest equipment which enables students to learn and apply new technology in field of biopharmaceuticals.  I would definitely choose DMU again because of the dedicated lecturers”

I Krishnan, Biotech Manager 

At DMU, we are committed to helping our graduates enhance their careers and personal development through further study.

DMU Sports Scholarship
Find out more about the DMU Sports Scholarships worth up to £6,000.

More courses like this:

Pharmaceutical Quality by Design

Advanced Biomedical Science

Quality by Design for the Pharmaceutical Industry

  • UK/EU
  • International

Key facts for UK/EU students

Institution code: D26

Course code: C71071

One year full-time

Up to five days per week, for one -seven hours depending on your mode of study

Start date: September 2020

Location of study: De Montfort University Leicester UK

Fees and funding:
For 2020/21 full-time tuition fees will be £6,700

Vice-Chancellor's 2020 Scholarship:
Up to 50 per cent off tuition fees offered to Home/EU DMU graduates who wish to continue their studies at DMU by enrolling on a postgraduate taught course. For more information visit our Vice-Chancellor’s 2020 Scholarship page.

Find out more about postgraduate course fees and available funding.

Find out more about the Vice-Chancellor's Sports Scholarships worth up to £6,000.

Find out more about additional costs and optional extras associated with this course.

Please visit for more information or call us on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70.


Linkedin   Twitter   Youttube  

Key facts for international students

Institution code: D26

Course code: C71071

One year full-time

Up to five days per week, for one -seven hours depending on your mode of study

Start date: September 2020

Location of study: De Montfort University Leicester UK

Fees and funding:
For 2020/21 full-time tuition fees will be £14,600

Find out more about postgraduate course fees and available funding.

Find out more about the Vice-Chancellor's Sports Scholarships worth up to £6,000.

Find out more about additional costs and optional extras associated with this course.

Please visit for more information or call us on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70.


Linkedin   Twitter   Youttube  

Entry criteria

  • An honours degree (2:2 minimum) in a relevant subject such as in a bioscience or science including pharmacy, biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, chemical engineering, chemistry, microbiology or molecular biology (or equivalent)
  • Alternatively, a portfolio of professional and/or academic qualifications of equivalent standing to an honours degree


English language requirements:

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent when you start the course is essential. English language tuition, delivered by our British Council accredited Centre for English Language Learning (CELL), is available both before and during the course.

Please visit for more information.


Structure and assessment


Course modules

Teaching and assessment

Academic expertise


Course modules

The course provides a response to the rapidly-expanding field of biopharmaceuticals (DNA and protein-based medicines) and focuses on the role of proteins as therapeutic agents and as tools for the identification of such agents.

It provides insight into how researchers may select and use appropriate protein expression systems for the large-scale to mass production of a protein, that would ultimately lead to its complete characterisation before it is applied to humans.

You will also focus on the business and intellectual property aspects that are interwoven with biotechnological innovation and entrepreneurship to enable career progression.

Modules include:

  • Biopharmaceuticals and Molecular Toxicology (15 credits) - discusses the underlying principles that allow for the selection of a biopharmaceutical in the treatment of a disease
  • Microbial Fermentation/ Downstream Processing, Drug Development (15 credits)  - looks at the role of microbial fermentation drug development as well as issues of scale-up, bulk production, downstream processing, bio-safety and toxicology
  • Gene Cloning, Expression and Analysis (30 credits) - provides practical skills and theoretical considerations covering cell culture, gene isolation and protein expression
  • Bioinformatics I and II (15 credits) - provides an understanding of research tools and methodologies used in molecular investigations as well as the basic theory and employment of bioinformatics
  • Business Creation & Innovation (15 credits) - aims to provide a guide to the key theories about enterprise and innovation, looking at their relationship to small businesses and to consider the methods that are taken to promote and finance them
  • Research Methods (15 credits) - with elective depending on type of research chosen for the third semester
  • Research Dissertation (60 credits) - a full-time project with research in pharmaceutical biotechnology or molecular toxicology topics

Teaching and assessment

You will be expected to participate in an extensive programme of learning that will require full commitment and focus throughout your study.

The learning environment for the first two semesters will be varied with lectures, tutorials, laboratories and computer laboratories. You can expect to spend about half of your directed study time working at the bench in our research laboratories. In the third semester, the learning venue will depend on your dissertation topic and will be aimed at guided self-study.

The quality of our teaching is amongst the best in the world, offering a varied selection of teaching methods to suit all learning requirements.


Teaching contact hours

Contact hours in a typical week will depend to some extent on the optional modules you choose to study. However, typically you will have up to 50. contact hours of teaching and this will break down as:

Personal tutorial/small group teaching: 5 hours of tutorials (or later maximum 8 hours per week of project supervision) each week

Medium group teaching: 8 hours of practical classes, workshops or seminars each week

Large group teaching: 7 hours of lectures each week

Personal study: 30 hours studying and revising in your own time each week, including some guided study using hand-outs and online activities 


Facilities and features

Health and Life Sciences facilities

Substantial investment has developed our teaching and learning facilities to help you expand your practical experience and theoretical knowledge beyond the classroom.

The 19th century Hawthorn Building has facilities designed to replicate current practice in health and life sciences, including contemporary analytical chemistry and formulation laboratories, audiology booths and nursing and midwifery clinical skills suites.

Purpose-built clinical skills areas allow you to practice in a safe environment. You will receive guidance and support from staff to ensure that you develop a precise and accurate practical ability in the clinical skills suites.

  • Range of multi-disciplinary experience across biology, pharmacy and biotechnology
  • Meshing of science, information technology with business and enterprise

Library services

The main Kimberlin Library is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (other than in exceptional circumstances) and offers a huge range of online resources, all of which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose.

The library is run by dedicated staff who offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching and reference management and assistive technology, and mathematical skills for non-maths students. There is also a Just Ask service for help and advice, available via email or telephone.

Learning zones

Our Learning Zones and The Greenhouse also provide space for group or individual work and study.

There are 1,600 study places across all library locations, more than 700 computer stations, laptops to borrow, free wi-fi and desktop power outlets.

You can also book rooms with plasma screens, laptops and DVD facilities for group work and presentations, secure an individual study room with adjustable lighting or make use of our assistive technology.

Opportunities and careers



As part of the university's commitment to enhancing the personal and career development of our graduates. We offer an Alumni scholarship programme. For more information visit Health and Life Sciences Alumni Scholarships.


Graduate careers

This course has been designed to give you a competitive advantage in gaining employment in any biopharmaceutical field in the world. This includes large global biopharmaceutical companies, small-to-medium biotechnology companies, academic institutions or research institutions allied to human health.

DMU Open Evenings

These events are a great way for you to find out more about postgraduate study at DMU.  

See when our upcoming events are taking place. 

Book now

Order a prospectus

Our prospectus will give you a clearer idea of what it's like to live and study at DMU and a snapshot of the courses we offer.

Order your copy

How to apply

We welcome applications from students with a wide range of qualifications and experience.

Find out more

More about your DMU

50% off selected PG courses
Postgraduate events
Research at DMU

50% off selected PG courses

If you’ve completed an undergraduate degree at DMU, then you can benefit from a tuition fee discount of up to 50 per cent on our postgraduate courses. The discount is available on selected full-time, part-time and distance learning postgraduate courses running across multiple start dates. 

The discount, based on academic achievement and merit, applies automatically to all DMU UK and EU students who are graduating this year or have graduated within the past two years and achieved a 2:1 (or equivalent) or above. Learn more here.


Open Evenings

The perfect way to find out more about DMU is to attend one of our postgraduate open evenings or events. Here, you can speak with course academics and current students, discuss fees, learn about your career prospects and tour the campus.

You can also watch and ask questions in one of our postgraduate live streams.


Research at DMU

The Leicester Institute for Pharmaceutical Innovation (LIPI) is a hub for the research of the Leicester School of Pharmacy. 

The institute’s research has a specific focus on multidisciplinary approaches to the study of medicines and healthcare products and services addressing: (i) the development of drug delivery technologies and the associated manufacturing processes, (ii) the study of the pharmacological activity of drugs, substances and medical devices and their interactions with biological systems and the environment, (iii) analytical science, forensic science and toxicology and (iv) the therapeutic uses and clinical application of drug products and medical devices; while (v) delivering education and training for those working in these fields.


Research at DMU

De Montfort University (DMU)’s growing reputation for research which benefits society has been confirmed with the publication of the REF 2014 results. Find out more.

Events at DMU

At DMU there is always something to do or see, check out our events for yourself.

News target area image

DMU is a dynamic university, read about what we have been up to in our latest news section.

Discover the DMU campus
Discover DMU

Take a look around DMU by exploring our Virtual Open Day.