Applied Bioscience MSc

Postgraduate (12 months, 15 months full-time, part-time)


January, September

Intermediate awards: PG Cert, PG Dip

Full-time - January start, 15 months. September start, 12 months.

Part-time - January start, 33 months. September start, 28 months.


Develop your skills in major areas of biomedical science, including molecular cell biology, biomedical genetics and specialised topics in medical diagnostics. You'll focus on rapidly-evolving research into the applications of bioscience in healthcare whilst working in our impressive Cambridge Science Centre laboratories.

Find out more about teaching options and studying during COVID-19 in the Entry requirements section, below.

Full description


Healthcare is a rapidly growing and constantly evolving sector. MSc Applied Bioscience course encourages the development of specialist cross-disciplinary laboratory skills, such as molecular genetics and bioinformatics, accompanied by an emphasis on professional practice.  Graduates from the MSc Applied Bioscience course will have training to progress into a wide range of careers within the sciences, including industry and academic research, clinical trials, product development, production and quality assurance.

Cambridge is the home of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, the Biomedical Campus at Addenbrooke's Hospital and the Babraham Research Institute. Throughout the course, you will have the opportunity to attend seminars or events with Cambridge’s many local biotechnology companies.  Graduates from the course are also in the perfect position to continue an academic career and move up to our Biomedical Science PhD.

MSc Applied Bioscience is the right course for you if you:

  • Want to develop a wide array of practical and conceptual scientific skills which are vital for a career in Biosciences
  • Find the biosciences fascinating and want to deepen your understanding of the applications in healthcare
  • Are interested in pursuing a career in research – either academic, clinical or industrial

Modules & assessment

Core modules

  • This module establishes a core understanding of genetics to underpin the techniques laboratory work taught in other parts of the course. The application of bioinformatics is also covered in order to extract meaningful biological information from useful but vast amounts of raw experimental data currently being produced by an increasingly sophisticated and automated genetics industry. Emphasis will be placed on the human genome project and other genome systems and will aim to link experts from local biotechnology businesses, such as the Sanger Centre and Babraham Research Institute. Lectures will discuss the availability and use of computational tools for extracting and comparing biological information from nucleotide sequences. Computer based practical sessions will utilize bioinformatics software in order to manage, search, compare and analyse genetic sequences.
  • This 30 credit module introduces the rapidly evolving field of medical diagnostics and aims to cover a broad and flexible range of current issues and techniques in this field. Teaching will be delivered by a mixture of lectures and student-led critical discussions in a seminar format. Consideration will be made to current diagnostic and research topics, the potential impacts of applied bioscience within the community (with a specific focus on healthcare). Topics will therefore change regularly in response to current issues e.g. antimicrobial developments, drug delivery technologies, modern diagnostic practices and methodologies, and translational medicine. Students are expected to develop a thorough knowledge base of topics through peer-reviewed literature, allowing them to contribute to class discussions and develop their ability to appraise material critically. There is flexibility in the choice of topics, to enable students to target subject areas of their choice.
  • During this module you will define an area of study that could or will form the basis of your masters research project. You will be expected to undertake an appropriate and critical review of the available literature and other information germane to the proposed project. If a laboratory-based project is envisaged you will need to give due consideration to the instrumentation required, provide experimental design criteria, at least for the initial stages of the proposed work, and also take account of all health and safety regulations (including COSHH) and appropriate ethical considerations. If necessary, you will need to prepare a formal application for ethical approval of your work.
  • This module is predominately laboratory-based, giving you hands-on experience in a range of molecular and cellular techniques used in applied bioscience. Throughout the semester, lectures will provide the theory and principle behind the practical methodologies covered in the laboratory session. Laboratory work will include a broad range of the techniques, including e.g. DNA analysis, protein analysis, microbiology, cell culture, and other molecular biology techniques. You will also work to Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) standards, creating a clear laboratory note book outlining the work they undertake. There will be some consideration of bioinformatics analysis, including how to analyse and edit sequence data, interpret results using phylogenetics and the use of online genetic databases like the NCBI’s GenBank.
  • This module aims to ensure that you develop key employability skills which are appropriate for those of you wishing to embark on a career in applied bioscience research or industry (or similar). You will build on the essential communication skills required for a successful scientific career using both oral and written forms of communication, such as presentations, posters, scientific articles. You will be expected to attend departmental research seminars, and contribute to group discussions at Masters level. Ethical issues relevant to applied bioscience research or industry, especially in the medical diagnostics field, will be covered in depth through discussions and case studies.
  • You now have the opportunity to select and explore in-depth, a topic that is of interest and relevant to your course in order to develop a significant level of expertise. You will demonstrate your ability to generate significant and meaningful questions in relation to your specialism, undertake independent research using appropriate, recognised methods based on current theoretical research knowledge and critically understand method and its relationship to knowledge. You will also develop a critical understanding of current knowledge in relation to the chosen subject and to critically analyse and evaluate information and data, which may be complex or contradictory, and draw meaningful and justifiable conclusions. You will develop the capability to expand or redefine existing knowledge; to develop new approaches to changing situations and/or develop new approaches to changing situations and contribute to the development of best practice. You will Demonstrate an awareness of and to develop solutions to ethical dilemmas likely to arise in their research or professional practice and communicate these processes in a clear and elegant fashion, and evaluate your work from the perspective of an autonomous reflective learner.


We use a range of assessment methods to enable both you and the university to check your progress during your studies and then to ensure that you meet the required standards when you complete the course.

Although they vary, our assessment strategies are all carefully designed to challenge you so that you expand your critical and analytical thinking as well as your problem-solving skills. The assessments will enable you to demonstrate that you can synthesise existing knowledge and accumulate new knowledge, and will evidence the development of your professional practice. Some examples of assessment include poster and oral presentations, essays and portfolios of evidence. In addition, you will undertake practicals in many of the modules, developing your technical laboratory skills.

Please note that you will need to complete all of the above core modules. This course does not have any optional modules.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Science & Engineering is one of the largest of the four faculties at Anglia Ruskin University. Whether you choose to study with us full-time or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, BSc, MSc, PhD or professional doctorate.

Whichever course you pick, you’ll gain the theory and practical skills needed to progress with confidence. Join us and you could find yourself learning in the very latest laboratories or on field trips or work placements with well-known and respected companies. You may even have the opportunity to study abroad.

Everything we do in the faculty has a singular purpose: to provide a world-class environment to create, share and advance knowledge in science, technology and engineering fields. This is key to all of our futures.

Where can I study?

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK students starting 2022/23 (full-time, per year)


UK students starting 2022/23 (part-time, per year)


International students starting 2022/23 (full-time, per year)


International students starting 2022/23 (part-time, per year)


UK students starting 2023/24 (full-time, per year)


UK students starting 2023/24 (part-time, per year)


International students starting 2023/24 (full-time, per year)


International students starting 2023/24 (part-time, per year)


Important fee notes

The part-time course fee assumes that you're studying at half the rate of a full-time student (50% intensity). Course fees will be different if you study over a longer period. All fees are for guidance purposes only.

How do I pay my fees?

UK students

You can pay your fees upfront, in full or in instalments – though you won't need to pay until you've accepted an offer to study with us. Find out more about paying your fees.

International students

You can pay your fees upfront, in full or in two instalments. We will also ask you for a deposit of £4,000 or a sponsorship letter. Details will be in your offer letter.

Funding for postgraduate students

It’s important to decide how to fund your course before applying. Use our finance guide for postgraduate students to learn more about postgraduate loans and other funding options.

We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships and bursaries, which provide extra financial support while you're at university. These include an Alumni Scholarship, worth 20% off fees for ARU graduates.

International students

As well as a number of scholarships, we offer an early payment discount. Explore your options:

Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

You'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting a course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning.

Teaching at ARU

We offer face-to-face campus teaching (with the exception of Distance Learning courses), supported by our established online learning systems, which provide additional support for individual study and engagement. The number of contact hours varies course by course, and you can contact us for further information.

In the event that there are restrictions that are put into place due to the pandemic by the government - we will endeavour to retain face to face teaching as much as possible but will respond accordingly to the restrictions placed on the University.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.

Check the standard entry requirements for IELTS requirements for this course.

International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of face-to-face and online learning from September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning.

Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

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Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 686868

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 683680

Enquire online