Biotechnology with Business Enterprise MSc

Year of entry

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Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
12 months full time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons)
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components
UK fees
£12,750 (total)
International fees
£28,000 (total)

Course overview

Female scientist making a presentation on team meeting

Transform the world by turning scientific discoveries into commercial products

This unique business-focused biotechnology Masters programme has been specifically designed to tackle the enterprise skills gap in the bioscience graduate jobs market. Hosted by the Faculty of Biological Sciences and run jointly with Leeds University Business School, this interdisciplinary Masters provides the skills to translate scientific research breakthroughs into exciting enterprise ventures with commercial application.

You’ll learn key theoretical knowledge whilst being given the opportunity to gain practical hands-on experience in our field-leading facilities. This will not only equip you with a cutting-edge scientific understanding, but also with the skills necessary to turn lab-based inventions and knowledge into commercial enterprises and socially useful products. You will also develop skills such as knowledge transfer, venture capital, business development, intellectual property and technology transfer, all of which are extremely desirable within the biopharmaceutical, biotechnology and molecular bioscience industries. Alternatively, graduates of the programme may choose to conduct research at PhD level and subsequently create their own new business ventures.

This programme is open to a diverse range of students who have backgrounds in biology, biotechnology, biochemistry, health, natural sciences, medicinal chemistry and bioengineering.

Course highlights

  • Interdisciplinary learning with business components taught by the renowned Leeds University Business School.
  • Commercially-focussed Masters developed to enhance transferable and entrepreneurial skills, highly sought-after by industry.
  • Gain the intellectual property (IP), translational and commercialisation skills to develop your own business ventures based on ideas created at the laboratory bench.
  • Learn entrepreneurial skills to transform the world by solving problems and develop leadership skills to communicate and manage change.
  • Gain support and advice with starting your own business from Spark.

Course details

Modules will be taught approximately 60% by the Faculty of Biological Sciences and 40% by Leeds University Business School.

Semester 1

The core biotechnology topics will introduce you to modern biopharmaceutical drug discovery and development, and the commercialisation of pharmaceuticals. You’ll learn the essentials of small and large molecule processes, medical, societal and economic drivers, and basics of GLP/GCP/GMP manufacturing. A module in practical bioinformatics will equip you with the necessary skill set in this key area of computational data mining and analysis. In addition, you will learn how to plan a research programme and effectively communicate its findings.

The core enterprise module in this first semester will establish a detailed understanding of intellectual property (IP) considerations; then develop foundational understanding for commercial enterprise, entrepreneurship and the creation of a new business.

Semester 2

You’ll undertake a protein engineering lab project which will provide you with practical training in a fundamental range of experimental techniques.

You’ll continue to learn about the mechanics of establishing a new business venture, whilst able to select from a range of optional topics such as treatment of infectious disease and cancer, and medical diagnostics. Each optional module has been carefully chosen to allow you to broaden and tailor your knowledge, and have an impact in a variety of areas. For example, you could study a module on sustainable agriculture, giving you additional knowledge to have an impact in the area of climate-conscious food security. Further optional enterprise modules include topics in global entrepreneurship.

Semester 3

In the final semester we’ll give you the opportunity to undertake either a practical lab-based, data analytic or literature independent research project. You’ll utilise the techniques and skills learned during your time at Leeds, which will culminate in you demonstrating your readiness for employment in the diverse field of biotechnology.

Choose your independent advanced research project from a wide list of topics, which are designed to offer you an immersive individual research experience, as well as the opportunity to contribute to science in an area you are passionate about.

As an alternative, subject to availability and to satisfactory academic performance, we will offer an option of short business internships with locally-based commercial bio-enterprises arranged in partnership with Leeds University’s NEXUS innovation and entrepreneurship hub.

Course structure

Compulsory modules:

Introduction to Pharmaceuticals: Science & Commerce (15 credits) - This introductory module lays the groundwork for the more specialised modules that follow. You will learn about the origins of modern biopharmaceutical discovery from its beginnings in observational studies of bioactive small molecule compounds (usually natural product extracts) through to the extremely sophisticated multi-billion dollar, knowledge-driven industry we see today. Aspects such as the trend towards biopharmaceuticals (e.g. therapeutic antibodies), the continuing role of traditional small molecule drugs, adaptations to the demands of personalised healthcare, antibiotic resistance, and unmet medical need in the ‘global south’ are introduced – as are the commercial drivers behind the continued evolution of the industry.

Practical Bioinformatics (15 credits) - Here you will gain an overview of the practical problems that bioinformatic tools can be used to solve in academic and industrial biological research. You’ll use these tools to work on a defined research problem as part of a team and to describe the investigation and results in written and verbal form.

Research Planning & Scientific Communication (15 credits) - You'll learn how to plan and structure research from an individual experiment to a program of work. Furthermore, you’ll be trained in communicating scientific research in different formats including; literature review, scientific research papers and oral presentations.

Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Creation (15 credits) - This module aims to integrate knowledge of entrepreneurship with new enterprise design. It will help you create an advanced understanding of the process of new enterprise design within the context of enterprise skills and the theory of entrepreneurship.

Protein Engineering Laboratory Project (15 credits) - You will receive practical skills training in a range of modern biological experimental techniques principally based around molecular biology. In addition, you’ll receive training in data analysis, maintaining good laboratory records and in writing your results in the format of a scientific research paper.

New Venture Creation (15 credits) - You will be supported in developing a new venture as a live case study, giving you the chance to explore the potential of your ideas by working with tutors, entrepreneurs/practitioners, and your peers to develop and evaluate a new venture idea. Once you have decided the focus of your project, you’ll work on developing a portfolio around your new venture initiative. The portfolio will enable you to produce a business plan for the venture at the end of the module. As an independent project, you will develop your venture using your initiative.

Throughout the module a series of interactive workshops will support you in developing your idea while working with your peers in challenging your assumptions and developing solutions. This action-orientated module provides a ‘virtual` experience of developing a new venture from scratch, which should be of relevance to your future new venture creation activities – either in start-ups or in helping to grow established organisations.

Bioscience MSc Research Project (60 credits) - In this module, you will choose a research project from a diverse group of biotechnology-related areas. Work in a research group, interacting with research scientists and developing your professional skills in Biotechnology research. You’ll gain skills in understanding the methodology and philosophy of Biotechnology research and acquire skills in use of scientific literature, analysis and in the presentation of data and scientific writing by preparation of a final project dissertation in the form of a research paper.

Optional modules:

Circular Approaches to Sustainable Agriculture (15 credits) - Here, you will learn about the circular economy, and how such approaches can be used to increase the sustainability of agriculture, as well as the integration of agriculture into the broader industrial and energy sectors. This includes the ability of circular approaches to increase waste valorization, reduce greenhouse gas reductions, and generate renewable energy within the agricultural sector. This module features a combination of lectures and seminars.

Medical Diagnostics (15 credits) - Your module will cover techniques used to diagnose disease and decide which therapies will work best for individuals. Three major areas of human disease will be covered including infectious disease, hereditary disease and oncology. Both ‘traditional’ and novel methods of diagnosis will be discussed including PCR, immunological testing, FISH, microarrays, sequencing and the use of medical biosensors. In addition the potential of genome and proteome scale analysis, particularly in relation to biomarker discovery and their role in disease diagnostics will be covered as will the potential of AI in tumour diagnostics.

Treatment of Infectious Disease and Cancer (15 credits) - You will be exposed to current and emerging approaches to treating human diseases caused by infectious agents (bacteria, viruses, fungi) and cancer. In particular, this module will describe the mode of action and use of therapeutic agents, discuss their successes and limitations, and explore the process by which novel therapeutics are identified and developed. Examples of therapeutic modalities that will be covered include chemotherapy, gene therapy, immunotherapy and RNA therapy.

Enterprise and Society (15 credits) - This module aims to provide you with the opportunity to explore the intersection between business and social and environmental issues. It explores different types of for-purpose organisations that entrepreneurs may wish to set up, or may work for in the future. It considers how these organisations use their business activity to address specific non-financial value creation whilst remaining financially viable and competitive. It considers the nuances of some of the missions/issues as framed by the sustainable development goals, the potential trade-offs and unintended consequences and how impact might be measured. It draws on real-life case examples to illustrate various aspects of these topics.

Critical Entrepreneurship Studies (15 credits) - This module will encourage you to engage with contemporary and critical issues and debates in the study of enterprise and entrepreneurship. During workshops you’ll have the opportunity to engage with academic speakers and experts to debate some of the most current and pressing challenges in enterprise and entrepreneurship studies.

Learning and teaching

You’ll have access to the very best learning resources and academic support during your studies.

Your learning will be heavily influenced by the University’s world-leading research as well as our strong links with highly qualified professionals from industry, non-governmental organisations and charities.

You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods including encompassing lectures, guest seminars, tutorial/workshop sessions, data analysis sessions, group flash presentations by students, laboratory practicals and demonstrations.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


Assessment will employ a range of approaches, varying by module, and will include: data analysis, essays, oral presentations (individual and group), peer assessment, reports, and end-of-module tests. Research projects and placements will be assessed by means of a written proposal, dissertation/thesis, and an oral presentation, poster or viva voce.


Entry requirements

Applicants should normally have a bachelor’s degree with at least a 2:1 honours or equivalent in a relevant subject such as: Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Pharmacology, Biomedical Science, Biotechnology, Biochemical Engineering, Natural Sciences,

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Science (6 weeks) and Language for Science: General Science (10 weeks)

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. Find out more about our six week online pre-sessional.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

The ‘Apply’ link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.


It is standard procedure to interview applicants, prior to making a decision on their application, for MRes Neuroscience, MSc Biopharmaceutical Development (Industrial) and MSc Sport and Exercise Medicine. Interviews do not form part of the standard admissions process for other programmes in the Faculty of Biological Sciences.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

Contact us

Faculty of Biological Sciences postgraduate taught admissions team



UK: £12,750 (total)

International: £28,000 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Scholarships for Faculty of Biological Sciences students

The Faculty of Biological Sciences offers a number of Masters scholarships to support and reward students from the UK and around the world. Don’t miss out on available support, visit our dedicated faculty scholarship page to check your eligibility.

Career opportunities

With an emerging focus on biotechnology and the need for products to have a greater societal impact, this programme will equip you with the knowledge, skills, experience and personal attributes to successfully translate biotechnology ideas into new commercial ventures. Skills in this areas are highly sought after by employers due to the unique attributes graduates will gain.

Throughout the programme, opportunities for networking with other Masters cohorts will be maximised to aid knowledge sharing.

The strong research element of this course, along with the specialist and generic skills you’ll develop, mean you’ll graduate equipped for a diverse range of careers.

Links with industry

We have a proactive Industrial Advisory Board who advise us on what they look for in graduates and on employability-related skills within our programmes.

We collaborate with a wide range of organisations in the public and commercial sectors. Many of these are represented on our Industrial Advisory Board. They include:

  • Labcorp (formerly Covance)
  • European Bioinformatics Institute
  • Astra Zeneca
  • Gowling WLG LLP
  • Qiagen
  • PWC
  • Barnsley Hospital (NHS)
  • ApotheCom
  • GlaxoSmithKline

Professional and career development

We take personal and career development very seriously. We have a proactive Industrial Advisory Board who advises us on what they look for in graduates and on employability related skills within our courses.

Our dedicated Employability and Professional Development Officer will ensure that you’re aware of events and opportunities to increase your employability. In addition, our Masters career development programme will support you to:

  • Explore career options and career planning.
  • Understand the PhD application process and optimise PhD application.
  • Learn how to use LinkedIn and other social media for effective networking and career opportunities.
  • Practice interviews for both job and PhD applications.

You’ll also have access to seminars and presentations from industry professionals (including our alumni) at faculty led career events. We also have regular research seminars presented by leading academics from around the world on their specialist subjects.