Bioscience MSc

Year of entry

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Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
12 months full time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a relevant subject.
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component
UK fees
£13,500 (Total)
International fees
£31,000 (Total)

Course overview

This image is a graphic representation of cancer cells. The cells are red, pink and blue on a dark blue background.

Customise your study to your interests in the Biosciences

This course will equip you with the expertise necessary to work at the forefront of modern bioscience. The knowledge and skills gained are applicable to fields as diverse as health, renewables, food, and agriculture. You are needed as there is currently a highly noticeable shortage of qualified STEM graduates in the bioeconomy, despite rapid growth in the sector.

As well as developing essential core skills and competencies, you can choose from a wide range of optional modules to select the combination of topics that most interest you. You’ll study exciting, contemporary subjects and be introduced to the cutting-edge techniques being used to advance scientific discovery.

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

The strong research element of MSc Bioscience, along with the specialist and fundamental skills you’ll develop, will prepare you for a vast and exciting range of careers within academia, commercial, and public sector organisations. Many graduates of the programme progress to PhD study, others to different aspects in bioscience-related research and a diverse array of graduate level occupations.

This course requires a solid foundation in the molecular and cellular basis of life (e.g. knowledge of cell structure, function of proteins and organelles, DNA replication and gene expression).

Course highlights

  • The Faculty of Biological Sciences is one of the largest groupings of life science researchers in the UK
  • MSc Bioscience is an incredibly flexible programme
  • Tailor and customise your degree to suit your passions and interests
  • Take advantage of the diverse expertise we have to offer

Course details

This is a full time 12 month MSc programme which is assessed entirely through coursework.

In each semester you will select up to 2 additional optional modules (to a maximum of 30 credits total) enabling you to tailor this course to your interests and career aspirations.

Semester 1

In semester one you will study Practical Bioinformatics, introducing you to relevant tools and approaches. You will gain hands on experience of bioinformatics methods for exploring and evaluating sequence information. You will also study Research Planning and Communication, developing transferable skills essential for scientific research such as reading and understanding research papers, literature searching, writing a literature review, and writing a grant proposal for a programme of research. Your choice of optional modules in Semester 1 includes subjects in: bioimaging, global challenges in sustainable agriculture, crop production in a changing environment, high-throughput technologies, advanced immunology, infectious and non-infectious diseases.

Semester 2

In semester two, Advanced Biomolecular technologies provides you with the theoretical background to a variety of cutting edge techniques and helps with your development of skills in data analysis and interpretation. You’ll also apply your knowledge to an extended practical investigation in the form of a laboratory-based mini-project (Proteing Engineering Laboratory Project), involving practical training in a range of modern molecular biology and protein engineering techniques such as gene cloning, PCR, mutagenesis, protein expression, protein purification and analysis. Your choice of optional modules in Semester 2 includes subjects in: treatment of infectious diseases and cancer, medical diagnostics, crop science and biotechnology, introduction to genetic epidemiology, cancer biology and molecular oncology.

Semester 3

In the final part of the course you'll choose and undertake an independent research project on a specific topic aligned to your interests. Building on your theoretical and practical knowledge from your other modules, you’ll receive extensive specialist training in experimental design, the practical use of advanced techniques and technologies, and data analysis with interpretation. You will be assigned a research project supervisor who will support and guide you throughout your project.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Bioscience MSc in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Practical Bioinformatics 15
Research Planning and Scientific Communication 15
Advanced Biomolecular Technologies 15
Protein Engineering Laboratory Project 15
Bioscience MSc Research Project 60

Learning and teaching

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.

You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods including formal lectures, interactive workshops, seminars and tutorials, problem-solving, practical classes and demonstrations. A significant component of the course is delivered via small group sessions.

Through your research project and your selected optional modules, you’ll receive substantial subject-specific training. Our teaching and assessment methods are designed to develop you into a scientist who is able to think independently, solve problems, communicate effectively and demonstrate a high level of practical ability.

The course is designed to develop your independent thinking, problem-solving, communication skills and practical ability, making you attractive to employers or providing an excellent foundation for further study (eg, PhD).

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.


The course is primarily coursework based. There are a range of assessments in different formats such as: practical work, data handling and problem solving exercises, group work, literature reviews, research paper critiques, posters and oral presentations. Your individual research project is written up in research paper format. These assessment types all develop skills relevant to a future career in academia as well as a variety of careers in public and commercial science.


Entry requirements

Applicants should normally have a bachelor’s degree with at least a 2:1 in a subject that has covered the cellular and molecular basis of life such as: Genetics, Microbiology, Biochemistry.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

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

Our Masters programmes are very highly regarded and are therefore competitive in terms of the number of places we can offer. They also focus quite strongly on molecular aspects of science.

Documents and information you’ll need

  • Completed online application form (for Taught Postgraduate Study).
  • Full CV.
  • Transcript of degree examination marks achieved to date.
  • Copy of final degree certificate (if completed).
  • Evidence of English language qualification (non-native English speakers only).
  • Copy of passport (if you’re an overseas student).
  • Completed supporting statement.

To help us assess your application, please write a supporting statement. As a guideline, we would expect this statement to be 1-2 pages in length. In your statement please:

  • Provide a brief synopsis of any courses/modules you have studies that have covered the cellular and molecular basis of life. Please make reference to your academic transcript, as this information is not always apparent from the course titles.
  • Provide details of any previous or current research experience (e.g. undergraduate project, vacation placements, fieldwork, internships). Describe clearly the aim of the work, your part in it, how long the project lasted and whether this research was carried out individually or in a group. Also mention specific techniques you have used. Again, please ensure that you make reference to the cellular and molecular aspects.
  • Outline the reasons why you wish to study this particular Masters programme. Explain how the skills and experiences you have outlined above are relevant to your programme of choice and the career you intend to pursue.

Find out more about 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.

Next steps

  • We process your application.
  • We inform you of our decision.
  • If we make you an offer, you respond by accepting or declining.

Taught postgraduate confirmation

Taught postgraduate applicants are required to submit their results for consideration as soon as possible. Applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK are recommended to submit their results no later than 31 July, although they will still be considered if submitted after this date.


It is standard procedure to interview applicants, prior to making a decision on their application, for MRes Neuroscience, MRes Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation, MSc Biopharmaceutical Development (Industrial Placement) 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.

International application deadline: July 31 2024

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

This course is taught by

Faculty of Biological Sciences

Contact us

Faculty of Biological Sciences postgraduate taught admissions team



UK: £13,500 (Total)

International: £31,000 (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

We award a generous range of scholarships to UK and international students. We consider all eligible applicants who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and excellent personal and professional skills. Find out more about the range of scholarships we have to offer.

Government-backed loan = If you are ordinarily resident in England or the Republic of Ireland and planning to start your first full-time, part-time or distance learning taught or research Masters course from September 2023 you may be eligible to apply for a UK government Postgraduate Masters Loan to help towards your study-related costs. Find out more.

Alumni bursary = If you are a former student of the University of Leeds you may be eligible for a 10% alumni tuition fee bursary.

You can also search our postgraduate scholarships database or you can also find information on MoneySavingExpert.

Career opportunities

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

Our graduates work in a diverse range of areas, ranging from bioscience-related research through to scientific publication, teacher training, health and safety and pharmaceutical market research.

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 (formally Covance).
  • European Bioinformatics Institute.
  • Astra Zeneca.
  • Gowling WLG LLP.
  • Qiagen.
  • PWC.
  • Barnsley Hospital (NHS).
  • IAOCR.
  • ApotheCom.
  • GlaxoSmithKline.

Professional and career development

We take your personal and career development very seriously. As well as our Industrial Advisory Board, we also have a dedicated employability and opportunity team who ensure that you are 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 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.

Careers support

Graduate destinations

Examples of posts held by recent MSc graduates include:

  • Trainee Cytogeneticist, UK.
  • Commissioning Editor, scientific publishers, UK.
  • Research Fellow, National Centre for Biological Sciences, India.
  • Clinical Researcher, Kent and Medway Cancer Network and NHS Trust, UK.
  • Research Technician, University of Warwickshire/University of Oxford, UK.
  • Graduate Medical Degree, UK.
  • Bioassay analyst, Novartis Vaccines & Diagnostics, UK.
  • Laboratory technician, Exova Group Limited.
  • Quality Management at Johnson & Johnson Lifescan Technologies.
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education, UK.
  • Trainee Embryologist, UK.
  • Research Assistant, Qatar National Research Fund, Qatar.
  • Sypol, Health and Safety Services, UK.
  • Research Executive, Adelphi International Research, UK.
  • Biopharmaceutical Experimental Officer, Covance, UK.

Further study

A substantial proportion of our graduates undertake further study at Leeds or elsewhere. Recent graduates have gone on to PhD positions in the UK, Europe, USA, Canada, Australia.

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.

Student profile: Magda Hernandez

The layout of the course is extremely beneficial for anyone who wants to study further but gain an immersive experience in research. I could select classes from bioimaging to plant technology.
Find out more about Magda Hernandez's time at Leeds