Appy Bhattacharya

Subject Biosciences
Course MRes Molecular and Cellular Biology
Country India
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Hello there, I hold an offer to study Msc in molecular biotechnology. I would like to know the options or the various fields students undertake after getting the degree from university of Birmingham. Also I would like to know if it is possible being an international student to apply for jobs in biotechnological companies in the UK after completing my course. Thank you!


First of all, congratulations on holding an offer of acceptance in the Molecular Biotechnology MSc programme at University of Birmingham! In my experience, the most common path that students take after getting a MSc in a field similar to yours is continuing education by doing a PhD in the same or similar field. While some students end up working as lab technicians or research assistants to gain more work experience, another lot end up working for Biotech companies in the UK or abroad. In addition, to address your second question, yes – you may apply for those companies after graduating from your program. However, you will have to secure sponsorship to stay and work in the UK from your future employer (since the student visa doesn’t allow you to work after your program). You will have to bring this up during or after your job interview with a potential employer and see if they are willing to sponsor your stay in the UK.

I’d also recommend checking out some of the following link:

Besides, note that:

Who is this programme aimed at?

  • Those looking for a future in a biotechnology or an other life sciences related industry
  • Those interested in pursuing a research career in life sciences in industry or academia
  • Those returning from industry to obtain higher qualifications


Let me know if you have any further questions and I hope the above information is helpful in your career planning.



Hi Appy, I’m looking to apply, how do I know if the Academics have the expertise for my chosen research subject?

Hi there!

I am glad you’re considering applying to UoB. Usually a good measure of the expertise of professors comes from their academic credentials, such as their educational and research backgrounds. You may go to the website of the department of interest and look for names of professors that fall under that department. You may then go to their specific websites and research their bios to ensure that they have expertise in the subjects you’re applying for.

Hope this helps.


Hello Appy, I am planning to apply for phd course in Molecular Biotechnology, what I want to ask you is whether the projects available are structured one or independent projects are also available??? Also something regarding funding other than tution fees and admission fees,,,do we get any monthly allowance for living


I honestly don’t understand your question. Let me clarify certain things: first, all PhD programs are independent projects, under the guidance of a mentor or PI, who has hopefully accepted them into your lab. There is some structure to the program obviously, but overall, you choose which lab you want to do your PhD in, and depending on their availability, you go from there. Besides, I am not sure if the university has a PhD specifically has a doctoral course in Molecular Biotechnology, per say. It has projects from different domains of Biosciences available for you to apply in, however. Please have a look at this link for more clarification:

Lastly, since you haven’t mentioned whether you’re an international, I am going to answer the question from my perspective as a non-EU student. A small number of PhD’s come with funding for non-EU students. However, its best to look for your own funds, such as Darwin Scholarship. If you look into the projects available in the above link, you will get an idea of how they are funded.

I only did a Masters in the UK, so I don’t have a very thorough idea of the PhD application process in the UK. However, I hope this helps.




Hi Appy, I’m currently applying for a MRes in Molecular and Cellular Biology. How detailed does the research proposal need to be which I need to write for the application? Thank you


To be honest, when I applied for my MRes program in 2012, I didn’t have to do a research proposal, so I am assuming things have changed now. I just had a look at the website and this is what it says:

*Research summary (maximum 2000 characters)

Provide a brief outline of your likely topic of research or which research group you wish to be attached to. A scanned copy of your full research proposal will be required at the upload documents section of the application.

So, I’d say don’t go overboard. Keep it succinct. Also, it might not hurt to email the admissions person or even the program director directly for specific instructions before you go on to write your research proposal.

Hope I could be of some help.

Good Luck,


Appy, I am from India, doing my undergraduate in Advanced Zoology and Biotechnology. I would love to pursue something in Neurosciences for my Masters. Since, Birmingham is my first choice, what course would you advise me to take that sort of covers my passion?

Hi there! I am glad to hear that Birmingham is your top choice for pursuing your Masters study abroad.

I did a simple search and the following postgraduate courses popped up under ‘Neuroscience’ :

Course Name Level Course type
Neuroscience and Neurophysiology PhD/MSc by Research Postgraduate Doctoral research
Brain Imaging and Cognitive Neuroscience MSc Postgraduate Taught
Computational Neuroscience and Cognitive Robotics MSc Postgraduate Taught
Psychology PhD/MSc (Research) Postgraduate Distance learning, doctoral research
Psychology MSc Postgraduate Taught


Click on the links to learn more about the courses and you can contact the departments directly by sending them your enquiry via emails as well.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Good luck on your journey!!


Hi Appy, I’m about to start an MRes in Cancer Sciences this year and I was interested in taking part in an extracurricular sport. What was your timetabling like on Wednesday afternoons? Did you have some flexibility with your research project to allow you to participate in activities during your MRes?


It really all depends on your project and YOUR schedule, which could be different from what I had. Usually, people are quite flexible with their schedule in the lab and unless you have a meeting with your supervisor, you are able to leave for a short bit (say, an hour) and come back and work late, if you like. As long as you get the work done, while you are multitasking, that is all that ultimately matters.

So, in short, yes, you will be able to pursue extracurricular sports, along with the MRes program and practice on, say, Wednesday afternoons. Just make sure you communicate that to your labmates and your supervisor.

Hope this helps!

Good day, I am Stephen a post graduate student of Environmental management in Nigeria and i have applied for a Phd In Environmental Science. What are the source of funding available for a phd program as i am looking forward for a PhD studentship in Birmingham.

Hello Stephen!

I regret to say that Environmental Risk management is not my area of expertise but here is a list of scholarships that may apply to you:

Here is another website that you might find useful:.

You should check with your local government for more PhD funding options as well.

Feel free to email the department directly and ask them about your funding options as an international student.

Best wishes.


Thank you as I received an answer. Please can school permit someone to get him or herself small scale business or work while schooling? If yes, then what is the process of coming over there.

You’re welcome. I am assuming that you’re planning to come to the UK as an international student. If so, I must let you know that all non-EU students come here on a student visa, also known as the tier 4 visa, that in turn, allows you to work part-time (upto 20 hours/week) on or off-campus, while you’re in school and full-time (upto 40 hours/week) during breaks. To answer your other question – you are not allowed to begin your own small scale business, or any business, for that matter, while you’re on a student visa. This permit is strictly meant only for individuals whose primary intention of coming in to the UK is studying and nothing more. Since you have given me no details of where you’re from and what exact course you are interested in, I am going to go ahead and give you a general idea of what the procedure to get into the UK is like. Basically, you’re required to first apply and get officially/unconditionally accepted into your course of your interest and then you’d need to apply for a Tier 4 visa in your home country’s British High Commission. Go to your course’s webpage for the school’s application details. Additionally, here is a link detailing the basics of the student visa application:

Hope this is helpful! Good Luck!

Good day, pls what is the cost of living over there; high or low?

Good Day!

The cost of living in Birmingham is quite moderate relative to other big cities in the UK. The student housing area named Selly Oak, which is within walking distance of the university campus has a lot of inexpensive housing for rent. Also, to get around, trains are very affordable (approx. £3 per round trip to city center, for instance), especially if you have a rail pass and you can get a student discount on all train tickets. Lastly, as a student, you are able to avail a large number of student discounts in shopping, restaurants, food, going out, as well as travel.

The following link gives you a (generous) estimate of living expenses at Birmingham:

Keep in mind that the cost of living here is nearly half that of the living expenses in London, which is quite good for the second city of the U.K. However, I will say that ‘high‘ and ‘low‘ are very relative terms, depending on where you are coming from and what your personal budget is going to be like.

Hope this covers everything. Let me know if you have other questions.


Dear Appy, I would like to ask you about type of assessment in Birmingham University on MSc Molecular Biotechnology. Are these examinations or assignments? Thank you

Hi! The short answer is that you would encounter a mix of both forms of assessments when you start the MSc Molecular Biotechnology course at University of Birmingham.

Here’s a description of the kinds of exercises, right from the course website –


  • Project reports and project talks, oral presentations, extended essays, written reports, practical reports — assignments
  • Class tests on data-handling and data interpretation — examinations
  • Written grant application or business plan — assignments

Hope this answers your question. Let me know if you need any other information.

How will your degree prepare you for what you want to do afterwards?

This degree laid the groundwork for a PhD programme so I can further train as a scientist in the future.

Do you have anything lined up for once you have completed your degree?

Following the completion of my Masters degree, I started a fully-funded PhD program in Molecular and Cellular Biology at State University of New York Medical Center.

Have you joined any clubs or societies, gone on any research trips or done any volunteering?

I have been working part-time during the entire duration of my stay here, in addition to full-time research work, followed by full-time thesis writing currently. I went to an RNA Conference at the University of Exeter along with my lab group a couple of months back.

What, for you, are the best things about the course?

Well, academically, the opportunity to work in two very different labs under two supervisors with very different styles of research and supervision has opened my mind to the scope of research, and given me an invaluable understanding of the research world, that would have never been possible without my experience here.

What has been the highlight of your time at Birmingham?

Outside of study, the cultural exposure to British and non-British values all conglomerating within a small space has really broadened my horizons, helped me push my comfort zone and given me a large number and variety of new friends here in the UK.

Why did you choose the University of Birmingham?

I picked the University of Birmingham because of its location within the second city of the UK and its closeness to London and because of its extremely high international ranking and reputation in Biosciences and research work. Once I was admitted, it was the most obvious choice for me, honestly.

What was your motivation for undertaking postgraduate study?

The reason I applied for postgraduate study was so I’d be able to get into a PhD programme of my choice, within the realm of Molecular Biology. I picked this program because it’s similar to a mini PhD programme and gives students a taste of what it feels like to be full-time research student, and an idea of different projects one could get involved in during their postgraduate study.