Systems and Synthetic Biology
  • Postgraduate taught
  • MRes

Systems and Synthetic Biology

Hands-on experience in experimental biology and modelling to understand, predict and redesign biological pathways.

Gain hands-on experience in experimental biology and modelling to understand, predict and redesign biological pathways

Explore emerging ethical, legal and societal issues within the area of systems and synthetic biology

Carry out an extended research project and forge close connections with experts in industry and medicine

Course key facts

  • Qualification

    • MRes

  • Duration

    1 year

  • Start date

    September 2024

  • Study mode


  • Fees

    • £15,150 Home

    • £37,100 Overseas

  • Delivered by

  • Location

    • South Kensington

Minimum entry standard

  • 2:1 in a physical sciences, engineering, mathematical, life or biomedical science based subject

View full entry requirements

Course overview

Learn to work collaboratively on the 'big problems' and applications in synthetic and systems biology on this Master's course.

You'll gain intensive hands-on experience in a combination of experimental biology and modelling in order to understand, predict and redesign biological pathways.

This course also links with the BIOS Centre at King's College to facilitate the integration of this research with emerging ethical, legal and societal issues.

You'll explore a range of topics covering key aspects of experimental systems biology, theoretical systems biology, synthetic biology, and advanced technologies. Teaching is delivered through practicals, case studies, proposal writing and journal clubs.

You'll also apply your skills to an eight-month interdisciplinary research project.

This will be in a study area of your choice and enables you to form close connections to experts working in industry and medicine.


This page is updated regularly to reflect the latest version of the curriculum. However, this information is subject to change.

Find out more about potential course changes.

Please note: it may not always be possible to take specific combinations of modules due to timetabling conflicts. For confirmation, please check with the relevant department.

You'll complete the following core modules.

Core modules

You’ll also apply the knowledge acquired from the course to a research project.

Teaching and assessment

Balance of teaching and learning


  • Lectures and tutorials
  • Independent study

  • 20% Lectures and tutorials
  • 80% Independent study

Teaching and learning methods

  • Computer-based work
  • Formal presentations
  • A group of people interacting
    Group work exercises
  • Individual research project
    Individual research project
  • Laboratory
  • Person at lectern giving speech
  • Blackboard virtual learning environment
    Virtual learning environment
  • Practical classes
  • Person giving seminar
  • Four students sitting in a tutorial
  • Workshops

Balance of assessment


  • Modules and research proposal
  • Research project

  • 40% Modules and research proposal
  • 60% Research project

Assessment methods

  • Person completing coursework
  • Dissertation
  • Essays
  • Project report
  • Person making a presentation
  • Oral assessment

Entry requirements

We consider all applicants on an individual basis, welcoming students from all over the world.

How to apply

Apply online

You can submit one application form per year of entry. You can choose up to two courses.

Application deadlines – Round 4 closes on Friday 24 May 2024

Tuition fees

Home fee

2024 entry


Overseas fee

2024 entry


How will studying at Imperial help my career?

Molecular engineering

Build multidisciplinary skills for career development, or to pursue a career in systems and synthetic biology research.


You'll develop management and communication skills in problem definition, project design, decision processes, and teamwork.

Consultant with a speech bubble

You'll also learn how to communicate effectively across different scientific disciplines.

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Life Sciences graduates from Imperial are highly sought after in a variety of employment sectors.

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These include business and consultancy, health and social work.

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Other potential career options include banking and finance, education, and manufacturing.

Terms and conditions

There are some important pieces of information you should be aware of when applying to Imperial. These include key information about your tuition fees, funding, visas, accommodation and more.

Read our terms and conditions

You can find further information about your course, including degree classifications, regulations, progression and awards in the programme specification for your course.

Programme specifications