Molecular biology – the study of the basis of life, focuses on the structure and function of DNA, RNA and protein and their interactions with each other.
This knowledge has led us to understand molecules within viral, microbial and eukaryotic organisms and has been at the forefront of scientific discovery since the identification of the structure of DNA by Watson and Crick in the 1950’s. It is responsible for new and exciting techniques to detect and treat disease, produce drugs and vaccines, and uncover further the path of evolution.
This Master’s course responds to the demand for highly skilled scientists who can identify defects in cellular systems at the nucleic acid level and conduct genetic modification of organisms which allow a greater understanding of cellular function. Such insights and innovations are already responsible for the development of new diagnostic tests, novel products, therapeutic agents, detection of biomarkers, identification of faulty genes and subsequent correction of those defects.
Focused on key elements of molecular biology, this course aims to expand your knowledge of and proficiency in advanced molecular biology techniques and molecular microbiological methods.
The programme is composed of a combination of modules which progressively build to the award of Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) or Master’s. Core subject areas include cellular molecular biology, genetics, protein biology, numeracy, statistics and computing and a broad coverage of instrumentation and analytical techniques.
We provide hands-on practical laboratory experience, introducing you to essential techniques in molecular biology including: bioinformatics; nucleic acid and protein extraction; PCR, RT-PCR and qPCR analysis; gel-based analyses; molecular cloning and gene expression using northern, southern and western blotting.
Why choose this course?
The post-genomic era has transformed life sciences with the result that many different branches of biology in both the academic and industrial sectors now make use of molecular biology skills. Increasingly, we rely on analyses at the molecular level to drive developments and breakthroughs – for example using gene editing and stem cell therapy for the treatment of cancer.
This Master’s course is designed to meet the continual need for professionals with strong molecular biology expertise capable of understanding and utilising the latest technical advances in the field. It is intended for life science graduates from both home and overseas courses who wish to develop their knowledge and skills in biosciences with an emphasis on molecular biology. Developing confidence, independence, practical skills and knowledge, the aim of the course is to produce scientists who will be able to contribute to a range of careers including academic, commercial, industrial and healthcare applications of molecular biology.
You will have the opportunity to study a broad range of Molecular Biology at a theoretical and a practical level. This includes opportunities to gain hands-on experience of molecular biology techniques, as well as develop a range of transferrable and research skills that will expand your knowledge and enhance your employment potential.
You will study a broad range of molecular biology at a theoretical and a practical level, gaining a deeper understanding of the molecular principles underlying the biology of selected diseases (including inherited cancers) and microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeasts. A core focus will be genome structure, regulation and transfer and the implications for DNA technology.
International experience opportunities
The continuous evolution of molecular biology has changed the way diseases are being diagnosed and treated, producing a raft of new methods for detecting bacteria, genetic variations and infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis quickly and more precisely. The wide range of technologies that have resulted are fuelling the demand within the global molecular diagnostics market, which is currently segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America.
Coventry University is committed to preparing our students for the challenges of the global employment market and to strengthen and develop their broader personal and professional skills, through the many initiatives offered within our award-winning Global Leaders Programme (GLP).
On this course, we run an Online International Learning (OIL) project with students at the University of Seville, Spain, as part of the second semester ‘Mammalian Cell and Molecular Biology’ module. Students work together on joint presentation projects, which allow them to learn and interact from students from a different institution and culture. You will also benefit from teaching from a range of staff with international experience in countries like Malawi and Singapore, and some modules will feature external speakers who have an international research background.
Molecular biology is one of the most buoyant sectors of the biosciences jobs market with above average growth in the employment market in this decade.
Few fields are so interesting, challenging and potentially so rewarding. You could develop and produce life-saving vaccines and drugs, design new tools to diagnose and detect disease or create genetically engineered crops that are more resistant to frost, drought, spoilage, diseases and pests.
The scientific knowledge and skills you acquire during the course can be a useful basis for a career in: teaching; technical and scientific writing (such as medical writing or writing for the media); clinical trials; drug registration, patenting or monitoring; medical publishing or other information services; regulatory affairs or sales and marketing. Opportunities also exist for further study upon completion of the course at PhD level.
If you choose the ‘With Professional Experience’ route, you will have the opportunity to gain practical knowledge in a host organisation, not only increasing your awareness of current developments in the sector, but also experiencing the working environment and gaining valuable interpersonal skills, such as team working, all of which are important to your future career.
Coventry University is committed to preparing you for your future career and giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The University’s Careers and Employability team provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career.