Master's Degree in Biotechnology, Genetics and Cellular Biology (MBGC): 2012-13


Branch of knowledge Health Sciences
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Number of Credits 60
Places available for new applicants 80
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Title Description

Candidate profile and admission requirements

Students may be accepted on the ‘ Master's Degree in Biotechnology, Genetics and Cellular Biology ’ if they fulfil one of the following admission criteria:

Spanish Graduates with an Official Title from before the ECTS System.

  • Holding an official title from before the ECTS system (Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Pharmacy, Agricultural Science, Medicine and Surgery, Chemistry and Veterinary Science) where it included component knowledge of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Genetics, Cellular Biology, Microbiology, Animal and Plant Physiology, and Chemistry.

Spanish Graduates with Studies based on the ECTS System.

  • Holding a degree title or, failing that, a minimum of 180 ECTS credits from undergraduate studies, as long as the latter include all the training contents common to a degree title. Said studies must be content-rich in Cellular Biology, Genetics, Microbiology, Biotechnology and other related knowledge areas.

Overseas Graduates.

  • If in possession of a validated degree title, the access procedure is identical to that for Spanish graduates. If not in possession of a validated title, admission will be granted after the UIB verifies an equivalent training level to that of Spanish degree titles.

In all cases, the Academic Committee must evaluate any lack of fundamental contents in Genetics, Cellular Biology, Microbiology, Plant Physiology, Biotechnology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Chemistry. If any lack is detected, students must follow the subjects recommended by the Committee.

The admission system for the ‘Masters in Biotechnology, Genetics and Cellular Biology’ is as follows:

  1. Students must present an explanation with the corresponding title documentation, academic transcript and Curriculum Vitae.
  2. The Academic Committee examines the applications and decides if students are admitted or not.
  3. Where admission is granted, students formalise registration at the corresponding administrative services in the established conditions.

Modules taken on other UIB Masters will be validated. Concretely, the Microbial Biotechnology module given on the Masters in Advanced Microbiology and the Plant Biotechnology Module on the Masters in Mediterranean Plants. In turn, any subject given on the postgraduate programme and having been previously studied by students or which, due to its contents and number of credits, has a high match to said subjects may also be subject to validation.

For any other situation, recognition and validations will be done by the Academic Committee, in accordance with the criteria set out above.

Students may produce a doctoral thesis in the framework of this proposal if they fulfil one of the following admission criteria:

A) Access to the formative period of the doctoral program

Spanish Graduates with an Official Title from before the ECTS System.

  • Holding an official title from before the ECTS system (Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Environmental Sciences, Pharmacy, Agricultural Science, Medicine and Surgery, Chemistry and Veterinary Science) where it included component knowledge of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Genetics, Cellular Biology, Microbiology, Animal and Plant Physiology, and Chemistry; being in possession of the DEA (Advanced Studies Diploma) and demonstrating they have worked in a Biotechnology, Cellular Biology, Genetics, Microbiology or Plant Physiology laboratory for a period of no less than 500 hours.
  • Holding an official title from before the ECTS system (Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Environmental Sciences, Pharmacy, Agricultural Science, Medicine and Surgery, Chemistry and Veterinary Science) where it included component knowledge of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Genetics, Cellular Biology, Microbiology, Animal and Plant Physiology, and Chemistry; having studied 60 ECTS postgraduate credits content-rich in Biotechnology, Cellular Biology, Genetics, and other related knowledge areas (Biochemistry, Cellular Biology, Molecular Biology, Genetics).
  • Holding an official title from before the ECTS system (Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Environmental Sciences, Pharmacy, Agricultural Science, Medicine and Surgery, Chemistry and Veterinary Science) where it included component knowledge of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Genetics, Cellular Biology, Microbiology, Animal and Plant Physiology, and Chemistry, and holding the Masters offered by us.

Spanish Graduates with Studies based on the ECTS System.

  • Having a total 300 ECTS undergraduate and postgraduate credits, a minimum 60 being postgraduate. Said studies must be content-rich in Cellular Biology, Molecular Biology, Genetics, Microbiology and Plant Physiology. Students must demonstrate they have worked in a laboratory from these disciplines for a period of no less than 500 hours.
  • Having a total of 300 ECTS undergraduate and postgraduate credits, holding the offered ‘Masters in Biotechnology, Genetics and Cellular Biology’ (60 ECTS credits).

Overseas Graduates.

  • If in possession of a validated degree title, the access procedure is identical to that for Spanish graduates. If not in possession of a validated title, Doctorate admission will be granted after the UIB verifies an equivalent training level to that of Spanish degree titles. Where postgraduate studies have been taken overseas, an equivalent training level to that required for Spanish students should also be accredited. In turn, students must demonstrate they have worked in a laboratory from disciplines relating to this Masters for a period of no less than 500 hours.

In all cases, the Academic Committee is responsible for assessing student experience and, lacking this, obliging those subjects be followed where necessary.

B) Access to the research period of the doctoral program

  • Students who have completed the formative period of the doctoral program.
  • Students with a graduate degree with a duration at least 300 credits.
  • Students with the Diploma of Advanced Studies (DEA) obtained according to Royal Decree 778/1998 or students with research aptitude according to Royal Decree 185/1985.

Candidates having obtained the DEA in the specified areas, or having graduated and completed a minimum 300 credits in undergraduate and postgraduate studies of which a minimum 60 are from official postgraduate programmes may apply for admission to this doctorate, if they have completed courses that can be validated with the indicated from the Master in Biotechnology, Genetics and Cell Biology:

  1. The cell cycle and its disorders: cancer,
  2. Placement in Biotechnology companies;
  3. Molecular Genetics. If they can not validate these subjects, must take them in the first or second year of their PhD studies.

In addition, and for Doctoral studies, student acceptance by the academic Committee will be carried out where there is:

  1. production of a detailed thesis project which must be positively assessed by the Academic Committee
  2. acceptance received for Thesis Supervision from one of the Doctors linked to the research groups supporting this proposal
  3. a financed Research Project related to the Thesis project in the Research Group to be joined

Academic and Professional Objectives

The ‘Biotechnology, Genetics and Cellular Biology’ postgraduate programme covers two fundamental areas in the university context. On the one hand, it provides for teaching in the field of molecular cellular biology and genetics. These areas of biology are vitally important in the field of natural sciences in general and biomedicine specifically. The number of students following biology and choosing branches involving the areas of knowledge involved in this offer (Cellular Biology, Genetics, Microbiology and Plant Physiology) is very wide; in this way, an educational scenario where the teaching offered here did not exist, would be incomplete.

On the other hand, the ‘Biotechnology, Genetics and Cellular Biology’ postgraduate programme clearly positions itself in the biotechnology sector. All scientific and economic fora recognise biotechnology as a revolution comparable with industrial and technological revolutions having taken place over the last centuries. In the case of biotechnology, the most modest estimates consider each job created in the sector leads to the generation of a further 100 jobs, although the most optimistic estimates calculate the possible number of jobs at 400. Biotechnology is a discipline with wide economic implications due to the impact it may have for human health benefits, quality of life and the environment. Since the base for biotechnology is precisely the four aforementioned knowledge areas, joint efforts have led to a balanced offer allowing students to acquire modern biotechnology knowledge.

The central aim of the ‘Biotechnology, Genetics and Cellular Biology’ postgraduate programme is to train specialised scientists and professionals in the industrial area of Biotechnology or in the academic field in the areas of Genetics, Molecular Cellular Biology for insertion into the industrial, service, health, academic sectors, and in public and private research centres. The proposed Masters specially concentrates on integrated and multidisciplinary student training. Central aspects include the development of student critical, evaluation and problem-solving ability so as to train independent specialists with decision-making ability for their scientific and professional work.

The Maters’ structure into interactive modules with theoretical contents and practical activities in a collaborative student-lecturer environment in the framework of undertaking research projects and placements in professional settings external to the University, is a fundamental tool for attaining the general skills of:

  • Providing a solid, up-to-date training in basic, methodology and applied knowledge in Biotechnology, Genetics and Cellular Biology to graduates and professionals related to health, the environment, the food industry, the pharmaceutical industry and biotechnology.
  • Providing a scientific base and methodology skills to begin a Doctoral Thesis in the described area and for training professionals in basic and applied research in these knowledge areas.
  • Providing society with specialised professionals in the advanced aspects of Biotechnology, Genetics and Cellular Biology for working in companies in the industrial, health and service arena, both in production and analysis aspects as well as R+D+I.
  • Providing students with an integral vision of eukaryotic cells, their genome and regulation, the biological properties and role and applications in ecology, health, industry, agriculture and biotechnology.
  • Acquiring understanding and knowledge in Cellular Biology, Genetics and Biotechnology above those obtained in their source degrees, providing sufficient elements for the development and/or application of ideas, including at research level.
  • Being able to apply knowledge, as well as skills, to solve biology and biotechnology problems in new or familiar settings (companies, public management, research centres, etc.) in addition to bringing knowledge to multidisciplinary contexts.
  • Acquiring the skill to integrate knowledge and face complex problems, as well as formulate opinion calls from incomplete or limited information involving reflections on social and ethical responsibilities linked to applying acquired knowledge and the ability to issue judgements.
  • Being able to communicate extracted conclusions as well as knowledge in Biotechnology, Genetics and Cellular Biology to both expert and non-expert audiences, always in a clear unambiguous way.
  • Developing learning skills allowing them to continue studies independently.

The specific skills may be grouped into two large areas arising from the possible curricular pathways. One of these would be more focused on industrial biotechnology and the other aimed at an academic and business setting. The specific skills on the curricular pathway in the area of Basic Biological Sciences , i.e. Genetics and Cellular and Molecular Biology, may be summarised as:

  1. Setting the molecular bases of cellular physiology in the area of relations between cell structure and function, as well as cell dynamics and inter-cell links.
  2. Defining the cell signalling routes in healthy and unhealthy cells and, in this way, identifying possible cell targets for developing new therapies.
  3. Studying the bases of Molecular Genetics in humans and other organisms.
  4. Defining the principles of Evolutionary Genetics and its role in the knowledge of anthropology, conservation and evolution at a cytogenetic and organic level.
  5. Applying Genetics and Cellular Biology techniques to studying in vivo and in vitro biological systems, both in laboratories and field studies.
  6. Active student involvement in the learning process, via studying book chapters, scientific articles and other teaching material and the preparation of specialised work in the field of Genetics and Cellular Biology.

Specific skills in the field of curricular pathways associated to Biotechnology are as follows:

  1. Distinguishing the different aspects to applying basic biological knowledge in developing biotechnology processes: Cellular Biology, Genetics, Microbiology and Plant Physiology.
  2.  
  3. Bringing necessary scientific-technical knowledge for training top-flight professionals in the biotechnology sector.
  4.  
  5. Bringing theoretical-practical tools for uncovering applications and initiating work in a public institution or private company in any of the known biotechnology areas: the biomedical-pharmaceutical sector; the food sector; the industrial sector and the environmental sector.
  6.  
  7. Learning how to apply different biological techniques to developing new products of biotechnology interest.
  8.  
  9. Active student involvement in the learning process, via studying book chapters, scientific articles and other teaching material and the preparation of specialised work in the field of Biotechnology.

With regards to the professional pathway for this postgraduate programme, it should be pointed out that the sectors of biomedicine and biotechnology are increasingly creating jobs. At present, the postgraduate teaching offer in these fields would benefit from the existence of this present programme. The programme will work with basic theoretical and practical knowledge acquisition to strengthen an academic, technical or research profile. This programme will be interesting for both future professionals in the academic sphere (university) and scientists in the biotechnology, basic research and biomedical sector. For this reason, we believe this proposal is extremely interesting to justify its presence on the UIB syllabus.

In this context, the role the BIOIB (Balearic Biotechnology Company Association) may play should be highlighted, since its participation in this proposal may allow placements in companies to be undertaken and the dynamisation of the job market for students on this Masters and related programmes.

The ‘Biotechnology, Genetics and Cellular Biology’ Postgraduate Programme is completely tailored to the Universitat de les Illes Balears strategic objectives. On the one hand, one of the four preferential lines in the UIB 2002-2006 Strategic Plan is ‘ Quality of Life ’. Practically all the aspects involved in the proposed programme are focused on improving quality of life.

On the other, biotechnology is directly involved in the development of therapy tools for treating human diseases. Furthermore, biotechnology applied to the food area leads to the development of functional foods that may improve human health. In addition, projects such as the recovery of plant species of human interest (e.g. malvasia in the Balearic Islands) or the development of biotechnology processes with environmental impact (e.g. Biofuel), are examples of projects combining economic benefits with scientific and human interest. With ever more weight, biotechnology is strengthening in several economic niches and a university can not turn its back on an event of this magnitude. Furthermore, the existence of Graduate studies (at least at second stage level) is an increasingly real need which has taken shape at many Spanish universities where a Biotechnology degree is offered.

Therefore, this proposal matches UIB objectives, both those set out explicitly in the 4 preferential lines at the university and the general serious quality academic training objectives with major economic connotations and an outstanding social demand.

Access to other professional courses and pathways

Students holding the official Masters in Biotechnology, Genetics and Cellular Biology title may apply for admission to postgraduate studies leading to the title of Doctor by the UIB within the Biotechnology, Genetics and Cellular Biology programme.

Course Structure

The Masters in Biotechnology, Genetics and Cellular Biology may be taken in one academic year, following 60 credits from amongst the 102.5 ECTS credits offered.

The curriculum can be found in the publication of BOE No. 14 of January 17, 2011 - Resolution 907 and the subjects in the " Subjects " of this degree .

Curricular Structure: Students must follow at least one module from modules 1 and 2 (minimum 15 credits) and another module from modules 3 and 4 (minimum 15 credits). In any case, and with this proviso, all subjects offered are elective. The minimum number of credits to be taken is 60.

The Practicum and the Final Project must be successfully completed for the degree of Masters in Biotechnology, Genetics and Cellular Biology to be awarded.

The Doctorate in Biotechnology, Genetics and Cell Biology has the following organization of the research period.

Period research of the PhD Program Description
Doctoral thesis Production of a doctoral thesis in a the research field of the doctoral program
Research stays abroad Only if necessary for methodological aspects of the thesis
Publications We recommend at least one publication in a research journal.
Conference attendance It is considered a minimum requirement one contribution toa n especialized congress

Final Examination

Presentation and public defence of a dissertation.

Assessment Criteria and Examinations

Continual student evaluation will be prioritised. Additionally, each subject will have its own evaluation system, shown in the corresponding subject descriptions.

ECTS Coordinating Lecturer

The basic academic coordination body is the Academic Committee, comprising Dr. Antònia Picornell and Dr. Pablo Escribá.

Administrative Procedures and Other Useful Information

Programme Suggestions Form

Comments and suggestions

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Quality Assurance System

Nominal Composition of the Quality Assurance Committee (CGQ)

Responsable de qualitat  Pablo Vicente Escribá Ruiz
PDI  Antònia Picornell Rigo
PDI  Gwendolyn Barceló Coblijn
PDI  José Castro Ocón
PAS  Margalida Prohens López
Alumne  Marina Matas Crespí

Accountability and transparency

Procedure Document Date/Year
Monitoring Annual follow-up and internal assessment report (2010-11) 2010-11

Comments and Suggestions

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