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Pharmaceutical Biotechnology MSc

This course will provide a unique holistic insight into the technologies that allow the development and production of biopharmaceuticals. It provides students from diverse professional backgrounds with extensive knowledge and transferable skills which will enable them to have a competitive advantage in gaining employment in the emerging biopharmaceutical field.  

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

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.

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.

You will study an interdisciplinary subject that is based on the teaching and research expertise of our experienced practitioners and research-active 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.

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.

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

“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

Key features

  • Our reputation of more than 100 years’ pharmacy teaching ensures we produce graduates of the highest calibre.
  • Develop your professional skills in specialist laboratories, using technology and equipment aligned to that used in industry. This includes FACS analysis, confocal microscope, electron microscope, mass spectrometer, fermentation units and tissue culture suites.
  • 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.
  • You will focus on the business and intellectual property aspects that are interwoven with biotechnological innovation and entrepreneurship to enable career progression.
  • 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.
  • Benefit from block teaching, where most students study one subject at a time. A simple timetable will allow you to really engage with your learning, receive regular feedback and assessments, get to know your course mates and enjoy a better study-life balance.


More courses like this:

Pharmaceutical Quality by Design

Advanced Biomedical Science


DMU has been shortlisted for the Postgraduate Award in the 2024 Whatuni Student Choice Awards (WUSCAs), as voted for by students.

  • UK
  • EU/International

Course code: C71071

Duration: One year full-time

Attendance is up to five days per week, depending on your mode of study. Average attendance is 15 hours per week.

Start date: September 2024

Location of study: De Montfort University Leicester UK

Fees and funding:

2024/25 tuition fees for UK students: £7,500

Find out more about postgraduate course fees and available funding.

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

Course code: C71071

Duration: One year full-time

Attendance is up to five days per week, depending on your mode of study. Average attendance is 15 hours a week.

Start date: September 2024

Location of study: De Montfort University Leicester UK

Fees and funding:

2024/25 tuition fees for EU and international students: £16,800

Find out more about postgraduate course fees and available funding.

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.


Entry criteria

  • Entry onto the course requires a minimum of a 2:2 or equivalent honours degree in a forensic science, bioscience or relevant biological subject including pharmacy, biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, chemical engineering, 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 overall with no less than 6.0 in each band (or equivalent) when you start the course is essential.

English Language tuition, delivered by our British Council-accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it. 

Structure and assessment


Course modules

Teaching and assessment

Academic expertise


Course modules

  • Block one: Cellular and Molecular systems for Biotechnology (30 credits) – This module is designed to provide students with an ability to effectively apply and demonstrate advanced and comprehensive knowledge of current developments in areas of pharmaceutical biotechnology. Students will focus on the basic cellular building blocks and their utilisation to produce active biopharmaceuticals and the associated challenges of implementing this, provides practical skills and theoretical considerations covering cell culture, gene isolation and protein expression.
  • Block two: Bioinformatics and Bioanalysis (30 credits) – This module aims to introduce students to bioinformatics and bioanalytical techniques and to enable them to appreciate the impact knowledge gained through these approaches has on target identification and drug development, providing an understanding of research tools and methodologies used in molecular investigations as well as the basic theory and employment of bioinformatics.
  • Block three: Biopharmaceuticals & Biotechnology (30 credits) – This module offers an in-depth exploration of nucleic acid-based therapeutic strategies, targeted therapies, for example for cancer and immune system targeting, and the intricate process of developing, producing, and delivering biopharmaceuticals.
  • Block four: Research & Innovation (30 credits) – This module is designed to complete the concept-to-consumer arc of knowledge underlying the overall programme. The product development process for both pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical products, including regulatory requirements, marketing and management aspects of the industry. It also 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.
  • Block five and six: Research Dissertation (60 credits) - The module will provide each student with the opportunity to conduct an independent research project in a topic aligned to Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. It will build on the students' knowledge of research methods and concepts.

Note: All modules are indicative and based on the current academic session. Course information is correct at the time of publication and is subject to review. Exact modules may, therefore, vary for your intake in order to keep content current. If there are changes to your course we will, where reasonable, take steps to inform you as appropriate.

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 four blocks of teaching 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 fifth and sixth blocks of teaching, the learning venue will depend on your dissertation topic and will be aimed at guided self-study.

The quality of our teaching offers 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 hours of teaching and learning. 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 in Health and Life Sciences has developed our teaching and learning facilities to help you develop 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 apply theory to practice in a safe environment. You will receive guidance and support from staff, to ensure that your practical ability in the clinical skills suites is accurate.

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

Library services

On campus, the main Kimberlin Library offers a space where you can work, study and access a vast range of print materials, with computer stations, laptops, plasma screens and assistive technology also available. 

As well as providing a physical space in which to work, we offer online tools to support your studies, and our extensive online collection of resources accessible from our Library website, e-books, specialised databases and electronic journals and films which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose. 

We will support you to confidently use a huge range of learning technologies, including Learning Zone, Collaborate Ultra, DMU Replay, MS Teams, Turnitin and more. Alongside this, you can access LinkedIn Learning and learn how to use Microsoft 365, and study support software such as mind mapping and note-taking through our new Digital Student Skills Hub. 

The library staff offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching, reference management and assistive technology. There is also a ‘Just Ask’ service for help and advice, live LibChat, online workshops, tutorials and drop-ins available from our Learning Services, and weekly library live chat sessions that give you the chance to ask the library teams for help.

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

Find the people who will open doors for you

DMU's award-winning careers service provides guaranteed work experience opportunities DMU Careers Team

DMU Global

This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world.

Through DMU Global, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.


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.

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