Applied Biology is a scientific discipline at the forefront of research and technological developments in the life sciences. The application of biological knowledge to practical problems underpins advances in a wide variety of services and products provided by governmental and advisory bodies, as well as private industries, including entities specialised in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, aquaculture, fisheries, and environmental management, amongst others.
During the course, students will gain knowledge and practical experience on state-of-the-art developments in a variety of biology disciplines, including: techniques in molecular biology, biotechnology, maintenance of natural living resources, terrestrial and aquatic food production, applied biochemistry, ecosystems and biodiversity, ecotoxicology and pollution studies, applied bioinformatics, and ecosystem goods and services. A dedicated module on research methods in applied biology and completion of a scientific research project will provide students with hands-on experience in both traditional and modern biological research techniques.
The programme of studies is designed to provide students with theoretical and practical skills in applied biology, and therefore prepares graduates for professional careers in the wide variety of sectors where biological knowledge and practices are used.
Info for applicants with international qualifications
UM currently hosts over 1,000 full-time international students and over 450 visiting students. The ever-increasing international students coming from various countries, in recent years, have transformed this 400-year old institution into an international campus.
Our international students generally describe Malta as a safe place, enjoying excellent weather and an all-year varied cultural programme. Malta is considered as the ideal place for students to study.
The International Office at UM provides information about admission, English language requirements, and comparability of qualifications. Dedicated personnel assist international students with visas, health tests, accommodation and other related issues.
The overall learning outcomes are:
Subject knowledge and understanding
On completing the programme of studies, students will hold knowledge and understanding of key concepts relating to:
- applied techniques and procedures used in biochemistry and molecular biology;
- techniques and procedures used in bioinformatics;
- techniques and procedures used in biotechnology, including ones used in industry and the food production sectors;
- tools and procedures used in assessing, monitoring and maintaining natural living resources;
- tools, techniques and procedures used in collecting, processing and interpreting biological and environmental data;
- Concepts and procedures used to assess the influence of climate change on natural living resources, and to mitigate the resultant adverse effects;
- concepts and procedures underlying international conventions, EU directives, and national legislation concerning the protection, conservation and maintenance of natural resources and the environment;
- principles and procedures used for sustainable exploitation of ecosystem goods and services;
- principles, tools and procedures used in habitat restoration and enhancement;
- applied biology techniques and procedures used in research and development, and in pure scientific research.
The proposed programme is aimed at equipping the student with the intellectual capability necessary to identify techniques and procedures within applied biology, and to help him/her adopt these in practical situations (including a laboratory or field setting), including in:
- industrial processes, including ones concerning biochemistry, molecular biology, biotechnology and food production;
- research and development within industry;
- analytical procedures and investigations undertaken in governmental and private laboratories;
- assessment of natural living resources;
- formulating management plans and implementing procedures to safeguard biological resources;
- proposing and implementing procedures to ensure the sustainable exploitation of ecosystem goods and services, and to assess and mitigate potential adverse effects of climate change on natural living resources;
- pure scientific research within biochemistry, molecular biology, bioinformatics, biotechnology and environmental biology;
Key transferable skills
On completing the programme of studies, students will be able to:
- apply practical and theoretical knowledge to techniques and procedures within applied biology to identify data gaps, undertake assessments and investigations;
- be capable of advising planners, managers and policy makers on actions that are necessary to analyse data, interpret and appraise findings, and make recommendations for necessary actions;
- undertake research, using applied biology techniques and procedures, assess processes and problems in real-case scenarios, provide explanations and potential solutions;
- plan and execute biological research studies to address specific questions and problems, and interpret the findings from such studies;
- apply knowledge of biology to develop and design biotechnological processes, techniques and installations;
- apply knowledge of biology to assess biological resources, and develop and implement management and conservation measures for same;- apply knowledge of biology to assess biodiversity, and to develop and implement management and conservation measures for same;
- apply techniques, procedures and tools used in the study of environmental biology.
Career opportunities and access to further studies
This programme of studies is designed to impart the necessary knowledge and skills to enable eventual holders of the degree to take up investigative, managerial, consultative and executive positions in industry, and with governmental/non-governmental specialist service providers and scientific research institutions that utilise knowledge of applied biology.
On completion of the programme of studies, the candidate will possess the necessary knowledge and skills to enable him/her continue with academic development at PhD level, or to take up other specialised postgraduate programmes of training in specific areas of applied biology.
It is envisaged that holders of this degree will be capable of contributing to: industry, private environmental consultancies, governmental departments and authorities that deal with aspects of the environment, and scientific research and academic institutions.
The Course shall be open to applicants in possession of one of the following qualifications:
- the degree of Bachelor of Science with at least Second Class Honours in an area of study deemed by the Board to be relevant to the proposed area of study and obtained in the 10 years previous to registration for the Course or
- the Bachelor of Science with Third Class Honours in an area of study deemed by the Board to be relevant to the proposed area of study and obtained in the 10 years previous to registration for the Course, provided that the applicants have obtained other qualifications, including relevant experience, following their first cycle degree. The Board may, at its discretion, require such applicants to follow a preparatory programme as specified below.
The Board, at its discretion, may also recommend the admission of applicants in possession of a Bachelor of Science with at least Category II in an area of study deemed by the Board to be relevant to the proposed area of study and obtained in the 10 years previous to registration for the Course, provided that the admission of such applicants shall be made conditional on the result of an interview and in such cases they shall be required to follow a preparatory programme as specified below.
The Board, at its discretion, may also recommend the admission of applicants with a first cycle degree deemed by the Board to be relevant to the proposed area of study and obtained in the 10 years previous to registration for the Course, provided that the admission of such applicants may be conditional on the result of an interview and in such cases they may be required to follow a preparatory programme as specified below.
Applicants whose first degree was obtained more than 10 years previous to registration for the Course may also be admitted following an interview to ascertain their capability to follow the Course. The Board may, at its discretion, require such applicants to follow a preparatory programme as specified below.