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The University of Edinburgh: Synthetic Biology and Biotechnology

Institution The University of Edinburgh View institution profile
Department School of Biological Sciences
Study type Taught


Synthetic biology is a multidisciplinary area that seeks to provide novel solutions for medicine, manufacturing and agriculture, by creating new biological components and systems that do not already exist in nature. Synthetic biology strives to make the engineering of biology easier and more predictable by applying key engineering principles to biology such as standardisation and modularisation, thereby accelerating the creation of novel products, services and industries.

Our Synthetic Biology and Biotechnology MSc is a fast-paced and dynamic programme of study. Your studies will draw on the latest research in the fields of synthetic biology, (bio)engineering and biotechnology. Through this programme, you will have the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge necessary for developing innovative solutions and tackle the pressing global challenges we are facing:

  • rapidly changing human demographics and resulting health pressures

  • growing demand for more and healthier food

  • resource shortages

  • sustainable fuel transition and a cleaner environment

Throughout this interactive degree, you will be encouraged to engage with academic experts from different disciplines, as well as industry experts, who contribute to the discussions and provide guest lectures. You will engage in practical learning, participate in group activities and offer your critical analysis of the topics.

The programme combines the teaching of theory and academic knowledge, with the development of applied and practical skills. We aim to equip our synthetic biology graduates with the skills required for further education and research, and for employment in the growing synthetic biology sector and other related industries.


Postgraduate Diploma - PgDip

Edinburgh. Extraordinary futures await.

The University of Edinburgh is one of the world's top universities, consistently ranked in the world top 50, and placed 22nd in the 2024 QS World University Rankings.

Our position as one of Britain’s leading research universities was reaffirmed by the results of the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF). The University of Edinburgh is one of the world’s top research-intensive universities, ranked 4th in the UK for research power (Times Higher Education, Overall Ranking of Institutions), with 90% of our research activity classified as world leading or internationally excellent in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework.

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