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Graduate Admissions

The MPhil in Bioscience Enterprise (MBE) programme is an intensive, taught science and business course intended for those who have an interest in enterprise and the ambition to found technology companies or take up leadership, executive or consultancy roles in the life sciences sector.

The educational aims of the MPhil are to:

  • enhance understanding of life sciences and related technological developments;
  • foster research and analytical skills and methodologies;
  • develop written and verbal communication skills;
  • provide knowledge of the ethical, legal and regulatory issues associated with bringing scientific advances to market; and
  • develop applied business skills, including those that enable students to:
    • identify potential business opportunities arising from research in life sciences and related areas;
    • exploit entrepreneurial opportunities; and
    • undertake senior executive roles within biotechnology companies and other commercial entities.

Other aims of the programme are to:

  • provide a coherent and supportive learning environment, with students working closely with teachers drawn from both academic and biotechnology business executive backgrounds and whose teaching is informed by their own knowledge and business expertise;
  • develop new areas of teaching in response to advances of scholarship and the community; and
  • continue to attract outstanding students, irrespective of race, nationality, background, gender or physical disability.

Learning is based on real business examples and lectures and case studies are frequently delivered by senior company executives. There is usually an opportunity to gain a global perspective of the industry sector during a study tour to a international biotechnology business cluster, an event that is planned and led by members of the class. Additional costs are incurred by students who elect to participate in this activity or incur other discretionary expenses associated with participation in the programme. The latter may include UK company visits; conference attendance; travel, occasional meals and refreshments; joint membership of an industry organisation and other miscellaneous expenses.

Applicants must have a good first degree in biological, medical or physical sciences or a financial or legal background and demonstrate a strong interest in pursuing a business career in the life science sector. MBE students have the opportunity to learn from leading scientists, entrepreneurs and academics at the University of Cambridge and are based in purpose-built, dedicated teaching facilities, a combination that provides an unparalleled educational experience.

Learning Outcomes

Students gain an understanding of the following:

  • Life sciences, including fundamental concepts of basic science and how contemporary biological and medical research leads to exploitable science and commercial products
  • Business, including commercial and analytical skills required in biotechnology and healthcare related businesses
  • Management, including strategy,  leadership, marketing and financing of technology companies
  • Technology transfer, from academia to industry and from industry to industry, including the concepts of licensing, partnering, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions
  • Law and intellectual property frameworks, relating to companies, individuals and shareholders in different jurisdictions
  • Social and ethical issues, including fundamental constraints when applying scientific research to the development of new bioscience products
  • Global biotechnology, including comparisons of the current industry status in the UK, Europe, USA and elsewhere


Students completing this course usually continue their careers in the life sciences commercial sector, specialist consulting firms, or their existing professional sector such as medicine or law. A number of graduates have successfully applied for PhD research programmes in either science or management disciplines.

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Key Information

9 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology


Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2019

Applications open
Sept. 3, 2018
Application deadline
June 28, 2019
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2019

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Graduate Funding Competition
Jan. 3, 2019
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 10, 2018

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