Course overview

The time is ripe to develop low carbon alternatives to petroleum-based products both in terms of what society wants and what economics demand. This makes it’s an exciting time to be part of the rapidly developing Biotech Industries. However, biorefining is a highly technical field and the successful growth of the industry is resulting in a lack of sufficient staff with the technical knowledge necessary to support its expansion.

Equip yourself with the knowledge and skills to be part of the new bio-economy. This MSc focuses on substituting plant material for mineral oil and you can choose from a range of modules which incorporate the latest thinking around this.

This training programme has been designed in consultation with existing UK industries to address this skills shortage. Since this programme is aimed at people who are already working, training is via distance learning.

Participants take at least 3 and up to 5 of the modules shown at the bottom of this page, plus Research Methods and a Work-based research project.  Up to 2 complementary modules may be taken from the following: Carbon Footprinting and LCA, Climate Change, Anaerobic Digestion, Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics 

This programme is delivered entirely on-line. Modules are accessible as CPD or as credit-bearing units towards a range of postgraduate qualifications.

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

Learning outcomes

The focus of this MSc is to increase understanding of the challenges facing the sector and awareness of current relevant research. To ensure academic coherence throughout the optional taught modules all work towards common learning outcomes, as follows:

  • The challenges facing land based agriculture to substitute for fossil carbon
  • Communicating scientific issues to both the scientific community and other stakeholders including policy makers and the public
  • An awareness of the social and societal issues associated with the application (and non-application) of different biotechnology options
  • Limiting impacts and integrating policy frameworks into development strategies
  • The nature of scientific investigation and the application of results into practice to foster greater sustainability and efficiency within industrial biotechnology
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 research to benefit your business

    Key facts

    Course Dates
    Three intakes per year
    Up to 5 years (3 years for those in receipt of a student loan)
    Entry Requirements
    Graduate level or relevant experience
    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
    Provider Reference Number
    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.
    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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