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HND Industrial Biotechnology Females Measuring using Agilent 2
Langside Campus
SCQF Level
Start Date
28 Aug 2023
Qualification Type
Course Type
2 Years (August to June)

Applications Closed

It is a great time to be part of the HND Industrial Biotechnology course. Industrial Biotechnology is a rapidly growing industry in the Central Belt, which is focused on sustainability. It uses living organisms and systems to turn "waste" into a wide range of products. For example:

• breakdown plastic waste using bacteria to create vanillin - a highly valuable molecule
• 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 course 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. This inspirational HND builds upon your knowledge of Higher biology and chemistry, developing deep scientific knowledge and practical skills so that you can confidently move on to degree study or directly into employment.

Year 1 includes:

  • Biotechnology: an introduction
  • Microbiology
  • DNA and genetics
  • Chemistry
  • Laboratory skills for science industries

Year 2 includes:

  • Your own (supervised) laboratory research
  • Aromatic chemistry
  • Animal and plant cell culture
  • Base-catalysed and organometallic chemistry
  • Chemical engineering principles
  • Protein structure and function
  • DNA molecular techniques

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Entry requirements (minimum)

  • Minimum one Higher (Grade C) in either Chemistry or Biology/Human Biology plus Nat 5 (Grade A/B in Maths and English 
  • Foundation Apprenticeship in Science Technologies will also be considered in place of Higher Chemistry
  • NQ/NC (Level 6) science course
  • SWAP Access to Biological and Chemical Sciences 
  • SWAP Access to Health and Biological Sciences 
  • Higher ESOL (Grade A/B) will be required for any applicants whose first language is not English 
  • A suitable reference may be requested but will not be required as standard
  • We will also consider your application if you have relevant laboratory experience but no formal qualifications 
  • We will consider your application for direct entry into 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 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 UK's largest Industrial Biotechnology Annual conference, hear about the latest research, and meet with industry employers.

HND Industrial Biotechnology visit Ingenza and Flexbio

Articulation Routes

Glasgow Clyde College science department has formal articulation agreements with the following universities which allow you to progress directly into 3rd year of the degrees listed upon successful completion of the HND Biological Science. 

Glasgow Caledonian University - Glasgow 

  • BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science 
  • BSc (Hons Biomedical Science P/T 
  • BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences  
  • BSc (Hons) Food Science  
  • BSc (Hons) Pharmacology 


University of Strathclyde - Glasgow 

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


University of the West of Scotland 

  • BSc (Hons) Applied Bioscience 
  • BSc (Hons) Applied Bioscience with Forensic Investigation 
  • BSc (Hons) Applied Bioscience and Zoology 


Robert Gordon University – Aberdeen 

  • BSc (Hons) Applied Bioscience 
  • BSc (Hons) Forensic and Analytical Science 


Certain progression criteria apply and these will be shared with students when applying to university. 

Students are not limited to only applying for the university courses listed above – students successfully completing the HND in Industrial Biotechnology have articulated into 3rd year of a variety of other degrees, including 3rd year of BSc at Glasgow Caledonian University in Biological Sciences and 3rd year BSC Biomedical Science at Strathclyde university. 

Formal second year entry is available in many other university life science courses. 

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. Previous and current Industrial Biotechnology students are now employed by companies such as GSK, Antibody Analytics and Merck.

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. 

Some students are currently completing the HND while in paid employment in biotechnology companies as part of a Technical Apprenticeship in scientific technologies.

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 3267