• Four Master students in a typical molecular biology laboratory during their course.
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    Prepare for a career in Algal Biotechnology

Algal Biotechnology & Bioeconomy MSc

Course leader: Dr Matthew Davey

Full-time: 1 year

Campus: Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), Oban, Scotland, PA37 1QA.

SAMS is an academic partner of the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI).

About Algal Biotechnology

Algal Biotechnology is a rapidly expanding discipline that seeks to understand and harness the resources from some of the most diverse groups of organisms on the planet. Algae are comprised of microscopic photosynthetic organisms and macroscopic seaweeds. They are key to human life on earth, producing much of the oxygen that we breathe and underpin the base of freshwater and marine food chains. Furthermore, algae and their natural products have a huge range of current and potential applications for humans. For example, developing applications include pharmaceuticals, pigments, nutraceuticals, biofuels, enzymes, fertilisers and bioremediation materials on earth and even for space applications.

About our course

The aim of this new and unique full-time one-year programme is to produce highly motivated and trained scientists in the sphere of Algal Biotechnology with the skills, knowledge and abilities to compete effectively within the employment market of this rapidly expanding area of research and commercial application. The course is delivered by scientists from the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), a leading institute in algal research, the wider UHI and other experts in the sectors. The course comprises of six taught modules and a research dissertation module, all of which are delivered by lectures, practical sessions, seminars and a residential trip to Algal Innovation Centre at the University of Cambridge in the UK in semester two.

- Learn from experts in the algal biotechnology field 

- Theory and practical sessions including residential excursion  

- Training using latest equipment at SAMS and CCAP  

- Small class size with networking across courses and modules 

- Spectacular beachside location on the west coast of Scotland 

- Opportunities to carry out research abroad

 

Semester 1:

Key skills for Algal Biotechnologists: (Prof Mike Zubkov, SAMS). 20 credits.

Students of this module will learn the research approaches (biological, statistical and management) essential for becoming an expert phycologist.

Managing Biological Lifecycles – Micro and Macroalgae: (Dr Marie-Mathilde Perrineau, SAMS). 20 credits. Students gain extensive, detailed and critical knowledge of the main features, techniques and current research and policy on micro and macroalgal cultivation globally.

Introduction to R and Data Visualisation, online only (Dr Andrew Duncan, Inverness): 20 credits. Analysing data often begins with visualising it, observing the relationships that appear and discovering anything unexpected. This module will teach students how to use the open source statistical software R to visualise data including cleaning, preparing and summarising the data sets.

Semester 2:

Blue Biotechnology: (Prof Michele Stanley, SAMS) 20 credits.

Topics to be covered include the taxonomy, systematics, and physiology of micro and macro-algae. The emphasis will be on the biotechnological exploitation of these organisms focusing on: their use as human/animal food; hydrocolloids; fine chemicals; green fertilisers and as feed-stock to produce algal biofuels.

Genomics and Metabolomics in Algal Biotechnology: (Dr David Green, SAMS) 20 credits.

The module will provide theoretical and practical skills in the use of genomics and metabolomics. Knowledge in both areas is highly sought after across a wide range of research and commercial/industrial biotechnological settings, not least in algal biotechnology.

Algal Scale up and Processing: (Dr Matthew Davey, SAMS). 20 credits.

Topics to be covered through lectures and practical sessions include the process of microalgal scale-up from cells on small agar tubes or liquid vials to 70+L algal bioreactors in the SAMS-CCAP ARIES system. An off-site visit to the University of Cambridge Algal Innovation Centre (AIC) will expose the students to different ways of growing and harvesting algae in larger settings.

Dissertation module: January – August 12-16 weeks - 60 credits.

This module aims to provide students with an opportunity to undertake a sustained and independent investigation or project on one area or topic within Algal Biotechnology under academic and/or industrial supervision. The project can either be at SAMS, SAMS Enterprise, anywhere at the wider UHI institutes by agreement or at an external academic group or industrial partner in the UK or internationally. Extra independent funds to cover non-SAMS placements will be investigated by the student and course leader during the year.

The programme is open to both UK/EU and international students and there are spaces for a maximum of 10 students.

Entry requirements for this course will be based on possession of a BSc (Hons) in a relevant biological or other biology related STEM subject at 2:2 or above. Third or ordinary degree holders will be considered on application and based on interview.

International Students

International students must possess comparable entry requirements. Assessment of international qualifications will be provided by certification from the UK ENIC – the UK National Information Centre for the recognition and evaluation of international qualifications and skills. Applicants whose first language is not English must have attained a satisfactory standard on an approved test in English as recommended in the link below (e.g. a minimum overall IELTS score of 6.5) before an offer of admission will be made as per UHI recommendation and regulations:

Useful links for international students:

https://www.uhi.ac.uk/en/studying-at-uhi/international/eligibility/english-language-requirements/

https://www.uhi.ac.uk/en/studying-at-uhi/international/eligibility/

When does the course start?

This course will start in September 2022 and will last one year.

How many hours per week does this course require?

Students should expect to dedicate 35-40 hours per week to the course which includes time spent in lectures and their own time spent on individual study and research.

How will I study this course?

You will learn through a combination of face-to-face lectures and tutorials for all the modules apart from the Introduction to R modules which is held online via Inverness UHI. The modules at SAMS will all contain a mix of theory and practical classes. There will be a field trip to other algal growth facilities such as the Algal Innovation Centre at the University of Cambridge in the UK in semester 2. The research dissertation can be hosted at SAMS or other external industry or academic sites in the UK or abroad if funding allows.

What can I do with an MSc in Algal Biotechnology?

Once you have successfully completed this course, you might like to consider careers in:

 - PhD research in algal biology and/or biotechnology

 - Companies growing algae at scale for high value products or aquaculture

 - Starting your own company

 - Scientific research assistant

 

Interested in applying for this course? 

APPLY via the University of the Highlands and Islands website 

For more information about this course please contact Dr Matt Davey - Matt.Davey@sams.ac.uk

 

 

 

The Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) are offering two fully funded scholarships for the MSc in Algal Biotechnology & Bioeconomy for the 2022/23 SAMS UHI academic session. The successful recipients must meet the Scottish Funding Council residency requirements and must undertake their dissertation project with one of the SAIC’s consortium partners. 

Award 

SAIC has awarded SAMS UHI a minimum of two fully-funded scholarships towards tuition fees.   

This scholarship is for new students commencing in the academic year 2022-2023. The recipients will be entitled to attend Masters training and networking events provided by SAIC and join the SAIC Scholars Virtual Learning Environment. 

Eligibility 

We welcome applications from Scottish resident students commencing the MSc in Algal Biotechnology & Bioeconomy here at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) on a University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI programme.  

Entry requirements for this course will be based on possession of a BSc (Hons) in a relevant biological or other biology related STEM subject at 2:2 or above. Third or ordinary degree holders will be considered on application and based on interview. 

Funding cannot be extended and funded places may not be deferred. Transfer of this scholarship to another programme is not permitted. 

Criteria 

The student must meet the Scottish Funding Council residency requirements, noting the new requirements that funded students must meet Scottish residency requirements (EU students and RUK students cannot be funded). 

Transfer of this scholarship to another course is not permitted.  

This scholarship is for academic year 2022/23. Funding cannot be extended and funded places may not be deferred.  

By accepting this Scholarship the student agrees to undertake an MSc project developed in partnership with a Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre consortium industry member company (where possible) that is relevant to the Scottish Industry. If there are any queries about this then project ideas / titles should be sent to Head of Skills for review. For an up to date list of consortium industry partners please see: https://www.sustainableaquaculture.com/about-saic/saic-consortium/   

If the student does not complete their project as detailed above, they will be required to repay this funding.  

The student will be required to produce a final report of their research and submit this to SAIC within two weeks of submission of their final assessment (SAICskills@sustainableaquaculture.com ). A copy of their dissertation is acceptable.  

Applying 

Applicants who have received a conditional or unconditional offer who meet the eligibility criteria are welcome to apply.  Applicants with conditional offers will only be valid to receive the scholarship once they receive an unconditional offer.  

Eligible applicants must email their Personal Statement to programme leader Dr Matt Davey: matt.davey@sams.ac.uk.  

The deadline to apply will be posted shortly. 

 

SAMS Algal Biotechnology and Bioeconomy MSc