MSc Biological & Bioprocess Engineering

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sheffield


The course is offered by the Department of Chemical & Process Engineering (CPE) that has a significant interest and research profile in biological engineering with strong industrial and academic links. It addresses two key areas of need for UK bio-industry: (i) a multidisciplinary training in the emergent discipline of biological engineering and (ii) training in industrial bioprocessing. These two needs are combined using a uniquely multidisciplinary teaching experience. The course is designed for students with a first degree (or equivalent) in engineering or science (with a qualification of 2:1 or above) that wish to specialise in the area, either before entering the field or after gaining some practical experience. Tailored 'conversion' courses designed to teach core interdisciplinary principles make the degree accessible to both bioscience and engineering graduates. Whilst based in CPE, the programme also incorporates highly complementary teaching modules provided by a range Sheffield's world-class departments (e.g. Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Biomedical Sciences, and Engineering Materials). The modules offered in the course are split between two semesters (cf. Case for support). The first semester consists of a 30 credit conversion module (either Principles of Biochemical engineering for bioscience graduates, or Principles of Biomolecular Sciences for chemical engineers), and two 15 credit compulsory modules (Biosystems Engineering & Computational Biology and Research Methods in Biochemical Engineering). The second semester consists of a 15 credit module on Biopharmaceutical Bioprocessing that is compulsory, and five 15 credit specialist modules (electives), from which the students select three. The specialist modules are designed around expertise uniquely available at Sheffield, and introduce the students to different emergent areas of interest to the bio-industry. These include Bionanomaterias, Tissue Engineering, Stem cell Biology, Microfluidics, and Bioenergy. The former three modules are offered by specialist Sheffield departments, whilst the latter two are offered by CPE. We propose to introduce a 10 credit module on Bioanalytical Technologies as a part of the 60 credit Research Project that will be taught in the first semester, to introduce generic practical skills and contemporary post-genomic technologies for biological engineering and bioprocessing, including recombinant DNA technologies, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and bioimaging, etc. A sixth specialist elective module on Synthetic Biology is also proposed for next year entry, and will comprise design principles and the legal, social and ethical framework. A year-long compulsary laboratory-based Research Project (60 credits) gives the student practical experience of research in a chosen area of biological and bioprocess engineering. The projects are chosen by the student in an area related to the research activities in CPE, and they are supervised by one or more members of academic and research staff (cf. Example research projects offered to current MSc cohort). There is an emphasis in the module on experimental design, planning, conduct and presentation of the research. The students are assessed on their ability to present the work in written report formats and through oral and poster presentations. In addition to formal lectures, the taught modules contain small group tutorials and coursework, where the students get the opportunity for self-reflection and interactive learning to enchance their learning experience. With the MTG funding, we propose to hold an Industrial seminar programme where our industrial partners will be invited to deliver lectures on specialist topics. We also propose to take the students away to a biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility that will add value to their education. The students will also get an opportunity to explore career options through attendance at relevant conferences, which we will


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