HND Industrial Biotechnology Females Measuring using Agilent 2
Langside Campus
SCQF Level
Start Date
23 Aug 2021
Qualification Type
Course Type
2 Years (August to June)

Industrial Biotechnology is a science which uses living organisms and systems to turn "waste" into a wide range of products. For example:

• whisky waste into biofuels
• vegetable peelings into concrete, plastics, and carbon-fibre skateboards
• stale bread into penicillin

By redesigning and improving nature’s enzymes, Industrial Biotechnology carries out manufacturing sustainably: reducing pollution and conserving precious resources such as oil.

What will I learn?

Industrial Biotechnology growth in Scotland requires an increasingly large pool of people with the right skills and training. HND Industrial Biotechnology has therefore been designed by universities and industrial biotech companies to provide that training. It covers a wide spectrum of subjects to equip you with a broad understanding of biology, chemistry and process engineering in an industrial biotechnology context.

Successful completion of this HND will prepare you for employment as a Science Laboratory Technician, Research Scientist, Process Operator and Production Scientist. It will also enable for progression onto related university courses such as Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Applied Bioscience, Biomedical science and Chemistry.

Year 1 includes:

  • Biotechnology: an introduction
  • Microbiology
  • DNA and genetics
  • Chemical engineering principles
  • Chemistry
  • Laboratory skills

Year 2 includes:

  • Your own (supervised) laboratory research
  • Aromatic chemistry
  • Animal and plant cell culture
  • Base-catalysed and organometallic chemistry
  • Protein structure and function
  • Microbiological techniques

Please note that due to the impact of COVID-19, this course will be delivered via a blended learning approach - which may include limited face-to-face learning on campus combined with remote learning off-campus and digital learning approaches. If and when delivery is taking place on-campus, there will be reduced student numbers and physical distancing measures in place. If you require any support in learning digitally please inform the Course Leader or Student Support team.

Entry requirements (minimum)

  • NQ/NC (Level 6) science course, or
  • Two Highers, or equivalent, in Biology or Human Biology AND Higher Chemistry at grade C or above, and National 5, or equivalent with passes at A or B in Maths and English
  • A Foundation Apprenticeship in science will also be considered alongside these entry requirements
  • A suitable reference
  • We will also consider your application if you have relevant experience but no formal qualifications
  • We will consider your application for direct entry on to the second year of this course if you have a relevant 15-credit HNC, please provide details of your HNC including a list of the completed units in your application.

Entry requirement equivalency table

  • If you do not meet the entry criteria for your chosen course, you may be offered an alternative course in the same subject area.

Employer and industry links

This course has been designed collaboratively by research companies (including GSK, Ingenza, Diageo) and IBioIC (Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre). Guest lecturers from industry, laboratory visits, and opportunities to meet with and discuss career options with future employers are therefore integral to, and are an important feature of, this course.

There are opportunities to complete the 2nd year of the course as part of a Technical Apprenticeship while carrying out paid work in industry.

All HND Industrial Biotechnology students have enjoyed the opportunity to attend the UKs largest Industrial Biotechnology Annual conference, hear about the latest research, and meet with industry employers.

HND Industrial Biotechnology visit Ingenza and Flexbio

Articulation Routes

For successful students formal agreements are in place for entry into the 3rd year for the following degrees at Strathclyde university:

  • BSc(Hons) Biochemistry and Microbiology
  • BSc(Hons) Immunology and Microbiology
  • BSc(Hons) Pharmacology and Microbiology
  • BSc(Hons) Microbiology

As well as 3rd year entry at Robert Gordon University:

  • BSc(Hons) Applied Forensic and Analytical Science

Formal agreements for entry into 2nd/3rd year degree programmes at Glasgow Caledonian University are in the process of being developed.

Jobs and further study

You will have the potential to move directly into employment in the industrial biotechnology sector in careers such as a science laboratory technician, research scientist, process operator and fermentation scientist.

In addition, second or third-year entry to relevant university degree programmes such as biotechnology, immunology, biochemistry, microbiology, applied bioscience, biomedical science and chemistry are also possible.

Making an application

For courses starting in August, you can make up to two applications.

Applications are made to a course and a first choice of campus. If the course is oversubscribed at your first choice you will be automatically considered for alternative sites and may be made an offer without a further application.

I've applied — what happens next?

When you apply:

You will receive an automated email confirming that we have received your application and we will be in contact as per the following stages:

  • You will be sent a link to complete an entry test
  • Once you have completed the entry test, you will be invited to attend an interview online using Microsoft Teams. Please have your qualifications, and photographic identification to show at the interview
  • Interviews will take place from March through to June.


You will be informed of the outcome by email within 10 working days after the interview. There are four possible outcomes:

  1. Unconditional offer: you have met all the entry requirements and your place is guaranteed
  2. Conditional offer: your place is secured, pending meeting the entry requirements
  3. Waiting list: you have met all entry requirements, however, the course is full. If any spaces become available you may be contacted.
  4. Unsuccessful: you have not met the entry criteria or did not meet the necessary level at the skills test. You can call the Student Advice Centre to discuss alternative options.

Once an offer is received, you must reply within 10 working days or risk losing your place.

If a place is unavailable at your first choice of campus, you may be offered a place at one of our other campuses and you must respond to this within 10 working days.

Once you have accepted your offer, you will be sent further details such as start date, joining instruction, induction date and funding information.

More questions? Contact us about this course

0141 272 3776