More detail on the Queen’s molecular biology masters

A few weeks back when I was at the Queen’s open day the course director for the molecular biology masters kindly offered to send me the course calendar and research topics. I finally got around to dropping him a line yesterday and received a really rapid reply which is encouraging in itself and the content just as much.

The first semester has six hours a week starting with Protein structure & function in the first month and moving on to Advanced molecular biology (Nucleic Acid Structure and Function) in the second. Alongside that is a couple of hours a week of  Foundations for research in the biosciences (including literature review). The second semester has three hours a week of Biotechnology (a certificate course linked with the MSc) and four of Bio-entrepreneurship and Advanced Skills. That doesn’t include lab time or the project but seems almost doable full-time alongside work. Naturally, there’d also be additional study time required in addition to that ie it’s not just 12 hours a week work.

The final semester is taken up entirely with the research project of which the topics cover quite a range with some sounding quite fascinating (eg “Characterisation of macromolecular biosignatures for life detection in hostile environments such as those on Mars”) and others a big yuck (eg “Recovery and recycling of phosphorus from waste”) but with a “something for everyone” feel about the list.

Now “all” I need to do is to a) get a decent mark from my final life sciences course and b) work out how to fit the masters in with real life.

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