Key facts

Course Dates
Three intakes per year
Up to 5 years
Entry Requirements
Graduate level or relevant experience
Fee info
From £6,150
IFST Membership
Your course enrolment also entitles you to one year of free membership to the IFST (Institute of Food, Science and Technology).
CQFW Level
Course Provider
Aberystwyth University
Course Arrangements
Full joining instructions will be confirmed by the course provider.
Course Location
Aberystwyth University, Online
AFTP Cohort
Course Logistics
Our distance learning modules are designed to be flexible so that you can fit studying around your work and other commitments. A typical master's participant is expected to study for 200 hours when taking a 20 credit module. As a rule of thumb you should anticipate spending approximately 2-3 hours a week on online lectures, presentations and podcasts, and the remaining time on readings and assignments; the more time and effort you can put in, the more you'll benefit from studying the module and the better your grades are likely to be.

Course overview

The MRes Industrial Biotechnology allows participants to carry out an extensive research project in the workplace after completing two taught modules of their choice (see below for options) and developing their research proposal through the research methods module. The research component makes up two thirds of the coures and is expeced to take around 2 years.

This Masters programme is taught entirely online by distance learning, participants may choose 2 of the below modules delivered by Aberystwyth University.

Completing this course results in a postgraduate qualification. See Our Qualifications for more information.

Learning outcomes


Additional Course Information

A flexible approach to postgraduate learning:

  • Take 5 years to complete as many or as few modules as you like
  • Choose modules to meet your needs
  • Carry out work-based reserch to benefit your business

Course Structure

Biobased Product Development

Start Date: Starts Sept 2019
Location: Aberystwyth University, Online
Credits: 20 credits

The Biobased Product Development course examines the potential end-products from bio-refineries, such as biodegradable plastics, biocomposites and biofuels. All these products come from biomass, which is renewable and sustainable, unlike fossil oil-based conventional products.

Our knowledge of how to refine organic biomass has improved and we are able to extract new molecules (or bioproducts) that can only be made from biomass, and hence dictate availability and price of that product. Following governmental policies on banning the landfilling of recyclable plastics, single-use plastic waste and the trouble of recycling contaminated fossil-based plastics, biodegradable plastics are an important topic for the agrifood sector, not to mention using biobased items is more sustainable and thus applicable to ‘green tax’.

The course focuses on both industry standard and newly emerging technologies. This includes the product innovation chain including commercial elements, life-cycle analysis and regulatory considerations.

The course is aimed at the postgraduate level (Masters). This qualification will be of great benefit to Construction industries, any industry using plastic packaging, any industry that produces a waste stream that could be valorized.

Previous participants who benefited from the module have been involved in several biotech industries, from teaching in China to farm management and technicians based in an anaerobic digestion plant.

Biorefining Technologies

Start Date: 10 Jan 2018
Location: Aberystwyth University, Online
Credits: 20 credits

The Biorefining Technologies course provides a detailed examination of  current and emerging technologies. You will examine the validity of mining for value added minor components whilst leaving large quantities of biomass for secondary processing; and take a comprehensive look at layered approaches to valorisation within diverse feedstocks e.g. from micro-algae to agricultural waste.

This module can be taken as a stand-alone course or as an option in the following courses:

Biorenewable Feedstocks

Start Date: TBC
Location: Aberystwyth University, Online
Credits: 20 credits

The Biorenewable Feedstocks course focuses on research into a range of feedstocks including dedicated feedstock crops grown for energy and for the biopharmaceutical chemical industry. Biorefining of agricultural waste and food waste streams will also be investigated for valorisation. This course is driven by on-going biorefining and bioenergy research at Aberystwyth University in collaboration with  partners from the chemical industry.

We will explore how and why research programmes in dedicated crops can improve biorenewable feedstocks and how this drives the bio-economy. We will begin with an overall introduction to biotechnology, crop breeding in the chemical industry and biorenewable feedstock improvement and look at the societal drivers and impacts of this sector.

Participants will gain understanding and appreciation of the technologies used to identify variation in feedstocks and to improve yield and composition including: trait analysis, imaging and spectral analysis, conventional breeding, GM and association genetics. Participants will also gain knowledge of funding sources and business innovation to ‘make biotechnology happen’.

This module can be taken as a stand-alone course or as an option in the following courses:

Drivers of the Bioeconomy

Start Date: starts May 2019
Location: Aberystwyth University, Online
Credits: 20 credits

The biobased economy encompasses much more than our need to find renewable substitutes for oil in the face of climate change and the finite nature of fossil fuels. It is a global issue encompassing sustainability, food production, economic growth and public health.

This module examines the societal drivers that shape the bio-economy and looks at what makes production viable. The need for energy efficiency will be highlighted, along with vertically integrated production pipelines. There will be a focus on global policies and economic trends and we will look at the implications, restrictions and opportunities they present to biobased industries, and we will consider the approaches used to underpin and evaluate them, such as LCA and the application of green chemistry to conversion processes.

Waste Stream Valorisation

Start Date: May 2019
Location: Aberystwyth University, Online
Credits: 20 credits

Organic waste arising from many biotechnological industries can be processed to extract useful products or sources of energy. Much waste therefore has a value, determined by extraction costs and by the market value of its metabolites. 

This module explores the potential to valorise a range of waste streams and will include case studies of exemplary waste streams as well as from participants’ own chosen areas of interest.  The methods, technologies and equipment used to separate and fractionate waste, both downstream and upstream, will be discussed, as will the biotechnologically important metabolites that we can expect to be in demand in the future.

My AFTP training course has given me greater confidence day-to-day and more insight into the impact of new techniques and technologies.
Andy Russell - Fresh Produce Technologist, Bakkavor

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