Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Biotechnology in practice
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Practical 2 x 40 Hour Practicals
Field Trip 4 x 8 Hour Field Trips
Seminar 8 x 2 Hour Seminars
Lecture 2 x 4 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Grant Application  70%
Semester Assessment 30 Minute Oral Presentation  30%
Supplementary Assessment Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate awareness of GLP in a professional research environment, including risk assessments

2. Evaluate the relative merits and limitations of different technologies

3. Critically evaluate the challenges of applying biotechnology in an industrial environment

4. Assess the context, risks and opportunities that exist in the biotechnology industry, including different business models

5. Communicate appropriately with biotechnology stakeholders including academics, industrialists and funding agencies

6. Demonstrate professional skills applicable to a career in biotechnology

Brief description

The module will include an overall introduction to Industrial Biotechnology. A series of talks by practitioners of various aspects of biotechnology, including AU staff working on intellectual property and industrial research partnerships, will be followed by visits to a minimum of four biotechnology-related companies, including a workshop at global Agri-business Syngenta, to provide the student with direct experience of applied biotechnology. A placement in an active laboratory and a series of innovative group sessions will enhance the learning experience and focus on career development. Assessment will be via a grant application and a presentation incorporating the industrial visits.


To provide the students with an experience of Industrial Biotechnology, including laboratory skills, the commercialisation of biotechnology research and
diverse biotechnology-related industries. Understanding of the industrial perspective will enhance career opportunities and employability.
Components include:
  • A placement in a laboratory conducting industrially-focused research
  • Writing a research proposal and developing a professional CV
  • Different business models, e.g. IP vs technology
  • Existing and emerging applied biotechnology applications
  • Biotechnology within an industrial environment (R&D, production, batch testing, etc)
  • Making biotechnology profitable


Week 1: A series of 8h of lectures,
Weeks 2-10: 6x2h group seminars, a laboratory placement of 1-2 weeks, 2x2h assessed seminars
A minimum of 4 industrial visits (4-8h each).
Companies will include Volac, AberInstruments, BioComposites, Perkin Elmer, a brewery and Syngenta.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Required for general laboratory practices such as designing experiments, making up solutions etc
Communication The assessed grant proposal and presentation
Improving own Learning and Performance Reflective seminars including staff feedback
Information Technology Research for assessed grant proposal
Personal Development and Career planning Laboratory and industrial experience. Developing a grant proposal including a professional CV
Problem solving Troubleshooting in the laboratory
Research skills Research for the assessed grant proposal
Subject Specific Skills
Team work Group seminars


This module is at CQFW Level 7