Center of Excellence in Higher Education
The First Private University in Bangladesh

MS in Biotechnology

Program : MS in Biotechnology



Biotechnology is a rapidly expanding cutting-edge scientific discipline with new discoveries and often life-saving products at a breathtaking pace. This industry, a merger of science and business, demands a multi-disciplinary workforce skilled in basic-research, product development, regulatory affairs and commercialization.

The Biotechnology industry harnesses advances in molecular biology, genomics, and proteomics to move discoveries and ideas out of the laboratory and into the product development pipeline. Students in the Master of Science in Biotechnology program learn to advance their careers by broadening their skill base and understanding of this dynamic field.

The Master of Science in Biotechnology is grounded in Biochemistry and Cell Biology. With this foundation in science, students continue with studies in the areas of pure science, applied science, lab science, regulatory affairs and biotechnology business. The curriculum is designed so that graduates can participate fully in research; lead lab teams, help to make development and planning decisions, create and apply research modalities to larger schemes set in large research projects. Also, managers and marketers, lawyers and liaisons, all are able to bridge the worlds between their roles and the scientists in their organization, allowing for effective communications and decision making. 

The Master of Science in Biotechnology courses and curriculum, presented here, has been developed in consultation with the present courses and curriculum of similar programs at Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University and Vanderbilt University, USA.

In Brief

Course information

Credentials and Prerequisite Courses 

An undergraduate degree in the natural sciences or in engineering with at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (professional interests and relevant work experience are also considered); applicants with degrees in other disciplines may be able to enroll if their undergraduate work included the prerequisite courses which follow.

• Two semesters (at least 8 credits) of college chemistry, preferably with laboratories.

•The admissions committee reserves the right to request additional information from applicants, if needed, to assess their candidacy for admission.   


Course Requirements

• Foundation courses:                        12 credits
• Core courses:                                  12 credits
• Elective courses:                              12 credits                                                             
                                           Total         36 credits 


Thesis and Non-thesis

Students taking course BBT701 (6 credits), Research in Biotechnology will be on thesis group; others not taking BBT701 will be on non-thesis group. The Non-thesis group graduate students have to take two more theory courses (3+3=6 credits).

Foundation Courses

Foundation Courses

Foundation Courses: (12 Credits)

Course ID



 BBT 601



 BBT 608

 Advanced Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


 BBT 615

 Advanced Cell Biology


 BBT 622




BBT601:  Biochemistry  (3 Credits)

This course explores the roles of essential biological molecules including proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates, with an introduction to nucleic acids. Students examine the structure of proteins, their function, the methodologies for the purification and characterization of proteins, and the alteration of protein function through protein engineering. Enzymes and their kinetics and mechanisms are covered in detail. This course provides the linkage between the inanimate world of chemistry and the living world of biology. 


BBT608: Advanced Biochemistry and Molecular Biology  (3 Credits)                         

This course focuses on intermediary metabolism and the role carbohydrates and lipids play in cell function. In addition, students examine nucleic acid structure and function and investigate the tools used in recombinant DNA technology. Specific topics include glycolysis, Kreb’s cycle, oxidative phosphorylation; and DNA replication, transcription, translation, gene regulation, targeted expression of desired genes in plants and animals and post-transcriptional gene silencing like RNA interference (RNAi). Prerequisite: BBT 601 Biochemistry.


BBT615:  Advanced Cell Biology (3 Credits)                                                                   

This course covers cell organization and subcellular structure. Students examine the evolution of the cell, chromosome and plasma membrane structures and behaviours, mechanics of cell division, sites of macromolecular synthesis and processing, transport across cell membranes, cell dynamics, organelle biogenesis, and cell specialization. Students also are introduced to the experimental techniques used in cell biology to study cell growth, manipulation, and evaluation. Prerequisite: BBT 601 Biochemistry.


BBT622:  Microbiology  (3 Credits)

This course is an overview of microorganisms important in clinical diseases and biotechnology. Students are introduced to the general concepts concerning the morphology, genetics, and reproduction of these microbial agents. Lectures focus on individual organisms with emphasis on infectious diseases, biotechnology applications, molecular and biochemical characteristics, and molecular and serological identification methods. Students will also discuss the impact biotechnology, and particularly genomics, will have on the development of antibiotics and vaccines as treatment and preventative measures.

Core Courses

Core Courses

Core Courses: (12 Credits)


Course ID



 BBT 630

 Principles of Immunology


 BBT 638



 BBT 645

 Plant Biotechnology


 BBT 652

 Industrial Microbiology


 BBT 671



 BBT 685



 BBT 695

 Pharmaceutical Biotechnology



BBT630:  Principles of Immunology  (3 Credits)

This course covers molecular and cellular immunology, including antigen and antibody structure and function, effector mechanisms, complement, major histocompatibility complexes, B- and T-cell receptors, antibody formation and immunity, cytotoxic responses, and regulation of the immune response. Students are also introduced to the applied aspects of immunology, which include immunoassay design, various formats and detection methods, and flow cytometry. Special topics include immunomodulation, immunosuppression, immunotherapy, autoimmunity, and vaccination. Prerequisites: BBT 601: Biochemistry; BBT 608: Advanced Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; BBT 615: Cell Biology I.


BBT638:  Virology  (3 Credits)

This series of lectures and discussions emphasizes fundamental principles related to the interaction of animal viruses with host cells. General topics include chemical and physical properties of viruses, virus classification, cultivation and assay of viruses, molecular events during viral replication and morphogenesis, persistent infections, viruses as the cause of neoplasia, and other subjects. Viruses are “entities” studied by some microbiologists.  They are fascinating because although they are acellular and cannot be considered as “true living” organisms, they cannot be considered as “non living” either…or are they?  Some biologist would say that viruses are simply selfish pieces of nucleic acids, which had managed to be propagated by all kinds of organisms.  One thing is true, with their amazing diversity it is not surprising to find that there at least one virus for just about each living organism that inhabits this planet (cockroaches appear to be the exception so far).  In this course with will cover the basics of virus structure, biochemistry, replication, pathogenesis and diversity. Prerequisite: BBT 601: Biochemistry; BBT 608: Advanced Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and BBT 615: Advanced Cell Biology I.


BBT645: Plant Biotechnology  (3 Credits)

In this course, students are introduced to the application of recombinant DNA technology to agriculture. Studied are methods for the introduction of foreign DNA into plant and animal cells and generation of stably transformed plants and animals. Students consider specific examples of the use of transgenic plants and animals in biotechnology, which can provide protection against insects, diseases, and tolerance to specific herbicides. They also investigate how recombinant growth hormones can result in leaner meat, greater milk yield, better feed utilization, how transgenic plants and animals can serve as bioreactors for the production of medicinal or protein pharmaceuticals, methods of introducing foreign genes to plants, inducible control of gene expression, and use of different/suitable promoters for tissue specific expression. Because recombinant agricultural products are released into the environment or consumed as foods, students also need to become familiar with environmental safety issues. Prerequisites: BBT 601: Biochemistry; BBT 608: Advanced Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; BBT 615: Advanced Cell Biology I


BBT652:  Industrial Microbiology  (3 Credits)

Industrial microbiology is primarily associated with the commercial exploitation of microorganisms, and involves processes and products that are of major economic, environmental and social importance throughout the world. One of the major aspects of industrial microbiology is related to production of valuable microbial products via fermentation processes. These include traditional fermented foods and beverages, such as bread, beer, cheese and wine, which have been produced for thousands of years. In addition, over the last hundred years or so, microorganisms have been further employed in the production of numerous chemical feedstocks, energy sources, enzymes, food ingredients and pharmaceuticals. This course is intended to be an introduction to industrial microbiology to masters students on a range of applied biology, microbiology, biochemistry, biotechnology, food science and chemical engineering courses. This course will provide an overview of industrial microbiology/biotechnology as an applied biological science. At the end of this subject, students will appreciate the breadth of industrial microbiology, and be able to discuss broadly the use of microorganisms in these areas. They should be able to discuss how different types of industry may obtain, handle, and maintain microorganisms. Fermenters will be considered as a major part of this subject. Students will be able to utilise the basic principles behind the operation of batch and continuous fermenters; discuss the differences between industrial processes that are purely chemical processes and those that are microbiological, and discuss the different uses of batch and continuous fermentation for different industrial purposes. They will be aware of the different methods of genetic improvement that have been used to modify microorganisms for different fermentations. They will learn examples of the modification of chemical compounds in microbial processes.  Prerequisites: BBT 601: Biochemistry; BBT 608: Advanced Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; BBT 615: Advanced Cell Biology I.


BBT671:  Bioinformatics  (3 Credits)

Retrieval and analysis of electronic information are essential in today's research environment. This course explores the theory and practice of biological database searching and analysis. In particular, students are introduced to integrated systems where a variety of data sources are connected through worldwide web access. Information retrieval as well as interpretation is discussed and many practical examples in a computer laboratory setting enable students to improve their data mining skills. Methods included in the course are searching the biomedical literature, sequence homology searching and multiple alignments, protein sequence motif analysis, and several genome analytical methods. Classes are held in a computer laboratory. Acquaintance with computers is required. Prerequisites: BBT 601: Biochemistry; BBT 608: Advanced Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.


BBT685: Biostatistics  (3 Credits)

This course introduces statistical concepts and analytical methods as applied to data encountered in biotechnology and biomedical sciences. It emphasizes the basic concepts of experimental design, quantitative analysis of data, and statistical inferences. Topics include probability theory and distributions; population parameters and their sample estimates; descriptive statistics for central tendency and dispersion; hypothesis testing and confidence intervals for means, variances, and proportions; the chi-square statistic; categorical data analysis; linear correlation and regression model; analysis of variance; and nonparametric methods. The course provides students a foundation to evaluate information critically to support research objectives and product claims and a better understanding of statistical design of experimental trials for biological products/devices. Prerequisites: Basic mathematics (algebra); scientific calculator.


BBT695: Pharmaceutical Biotechnology   (3 Credits)

Pharmaceutical Biotechnology has a long tradition and is rooted in the last century, first exemplified by penicillin and streptomycin as low molecular weight biosynthetic compounds. Today, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology still has its fundamentals in fermentation and bioprocessing, but the paradigmatic change affected by biotechnology and pharmaceutical sciences has led to an updated definition. The biopharmaceutical industry has changed dramatically since the first recombinant protein (Humulin) was approved for marketing in 1982. The range of resources required for the pharmaceutical industry has expanded from its traditional fields. Advances in the field of recombinant genetics allows scientists to routinely clone genes and create genetically modified organisms that can be used in industrial production processes. Also, specific therapeutic proteins can be synthesized in nonbiological ways, and recombinant proteins can be isolated from complex mixtures in commercially viable processes. Therapeutic proteins and the recently approved antisense oligonucleotides and recombinants antibodies represent new and innovative biotech drugs that are different from classical drugs in the development and production process. In this area, pharmaceutical companies are confronted with new challenges to develop new products and to apply new technologies. In this course, you will find updated facts and figures about the Biopharmaceuticals, and discussions of how biotechnology is applied in human and animal health care, and in industrial and environmental processes. Pharmaceutical Microbiology course consists of Ten Chapters: (1) Pharmaceuticals, Biologics and Biopharmaceuticals; (2) Antimicrobial Compounds; (3) Recombinant and Synthetic Vaccines; (4) Enzyme Therapeutics; (5) Recombinant Pharmaceuticals; (6) Monoclonal Antibodies and Recombinant Antibodies; and (7) Nucleic Acids as Therapeutic Agents. The text material essentially embodies not only an ample emphasis on the vivid coverage of fundamental principles of microbiology as a scientific discipline but also maintains a manageable length for the apprehension of brilliant students.


Elective courses


Elective Courses: (12 Credits)

Course ID



 BBT 659

 Genes and Disease


 BBT 678

 Practical Computer Concepts for Bioinformatics


 BBT 701

 Research in Biotechnology


 BBT 708

 Economic Aspects of Biotechnology


 BBT 713

 Managing Biotechnology Professionals


 BBT 721

 Marketing Aspects of Biotechnology


 BBT 731

 Managerial Finance for Biotechnology


 BBT 741

 Introduction to CGMP Compliance 


 BBT 751

 QA/QC for the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Industries


 BBT 760

 Ethical, Legal, and Regulatory Aspects of the Biotechnology Enterprise


 BBT 773

 Biology of HIV and AIDS


 BBT 781

 Protein Bioinformatics


 BBT 785

 Methods in Proteomics


 BBT 791




BBT659:  Genes and Disease   (3 Credits)

Because of recent advances, powerful diagnostic tests now detect genetic diseases, and there is promise of gene replacement therapy. In this course students cover general genetic principles, DNA tools for genetic analysis, cytogenetics, gene mapping, the molecular basis of genetic diseases, animal models, immunogenetics, genetics of development, genetics of cancer, and treatment of genetic diseases. Molecular methods of analysis are emphasized.

Prerequisites: All four-core courses.


BBT678:  Practical Computer Concepts for Bioinformatics  (3 Credits)

This course introduces students with a background in the life sciences to the basic computing concepts of the UNIX operating system, relational databases, structured programming, object-oriented programming, and the Internet. Included is an introduction to SQL and the Perl scripting language. The course emphasizes relevance to molecular biology and bio-informatics. It is intended for students with no computer programming background, but with a solid knowledge of molecular biology.

Prerequisites: BBT 601: Biochemistry. BBT 608: Advanced Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.


BBT701:  Research in Biotechnology (For thesis student) (6 Credits)

Students in the biotechnology program have the opportunity to enrol in an independent research course. This elective course is an option after a student has completed at least eight graduate-level courses and has compiled a strong academic record. Prior to proposing a project, interested students must have identified a research topic and a mentor who is familiar with their prospective inquiry and who is willing to provide guidance and oversee the project. The research project must be independent of current work related responsibilities as determined by the project mentor. The mentor may be a faculty member teaching in the biotechnology program, a supervisor from the student's place of work, or any expert with appropriate credentials. Prerequisites: All   foundation courses and two core courses.


BBT708: Economic Aspects of Biotechnology  (3 Credits)

This course examines the economic, business, and financial forces that define and shape the biotechnology industry, with special focus on early stage and growing companies. A major focus is on decision making under uncertainty, which includes how to interpret and screen various input types in the decision process and how to balance the empirical and intuitive approaches to analyzing problems arising from the nature of the biotechnology business. The course will permit the student to prepare an analytic approach to complex problems, identify and assess risks and payoffs, evaluate risks and payoffs in monetary and non-monetary terms, develop a structure for strategy and tactics, and understand how and why people make the decisions they make. Topics include defining and distinguishing the biotechnology industry, competitive forces and impact on strategy, regulation of genetic products, planning under uncertainty, system thinking and system failure, the economic environment, estimating costs and benefits, strategic components, marketing and sales, research and development, and valuing a company.


BBT713:  Managing Biotechnology Professionals  (3 Credits)

The roles of managers and leaders within biotechnology companies undergo constant change. Biotechnology managers must engage in new and innovative problem-solving strategies; lead a diverse and global workforce; develop partnerships with other businesses, customers, and competitors; manage horizontally and across teams; and utilize technology as a competitive advantage. The student is able to address current challenges in his/her own organization and learn methods of implementing change, such as negotiation techniques and motivation. The course includes in-depth discussions of leadership skills, communication, conflict resolution, and goal integration. Students research a biotechnology organization and analyze what is working and not working within the management systems and suggest alternatives.


BBT721:  Marketing Aspects of Biotechnology (3 Credits)

This course introduces students to the strategic and tactical approaches used in the marketing of biotechnological products and services. Students gain a thorough understanding of the research and planning necessary to develop a marketing plan, the relationship between the marketing and sales functions, the difference between marketing a scientific product and a scientific service, pricing strategies, distribution alternatives, communications, promotion, and the importance of perception. Knowledge of marketing terminology and techniques prove helpful to anyone in the industry. 


BBT731:  Managerial Finance for Biotechnology (3 Credits)

This course integrates the tools of financial analysis with real-world problems in the technology industries. Topics include modelling, costs and benefits, and ratio and break-even analysis. Students will read, prepare, and analyze financial statements. The difference between management financial and tax financial statements will also be covered.


BBT741:  Introduction to cGMP Compliance  (3 Credits)

This course will introduce students to the cGMP model for quality systems. Compliance to current Good Manufacturing Practices is required in the production of biotechnology as well as drug products. After an introduction to the history of cGMP and the current regulations as they exist today, participants in this course will learn to develop quality systems that will ensure compliance Topics will include cGMP history, to the applicable regulations, comparison of other Regulatory models, Quality Assurance/Quality Control, Document Management and Systems Implementation.


BBT751: QA/QC for the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Industries (3 Credits)

There are many new quality initiatives for drugs, biotech products and medical devices that have been recently introduced. These include risk based, science based and systems based assessments. Students will be presented with a comprehensive overview of the current best practices in quality assurance and quality control. Students will also be exposed to the most recent theories and expectations from the Food and Drug Administration. 


BBT760: Ethical, Legal, and Regulatory Aspects of the Biotechnology Enterprise (3 Credits)

This course provides an overview of the important ethical, legal, and regulatory issues that are critical to the biotechnology industry. The course is divided into the three sections of ethics, legal issues, and regulations, each section taught by a faculty member who specializes in the area. The three sections are organized to provide basic material in a way that allows for an appreciation of how each influences the others. The section on ethics introduces students to core ethical values that guide the practice of science in the biotechnology industry. The section on legal issues focuses on key legal concepts, such as protecting inventions and intellectual property, and licensing. The section on regulation addresses the range of regulatory oversight mechanisms with which the biotech industry must comply and strategies for doing so.


BBT773:  Biology of HIV and AIDS (3 Credits)

This course includes an overview of the biology and life cycle of the immunodeficiency virus, including the simian viruses (SIVs). Specific areas of HIV immunolopathogenisis are emphasized, to include HIV diagnosis, HIV-induced immune dysfunction, and therapeutic breakthroughs in the treatment of HIV-1 disease. Students become familiarized with current methods in biotechnology that have advanced our understanding of the biology of retroviruses. Special topics include international genetic variation (subtypes and clades). HIV vaccine development and global economic impact.

Prerequisites: BBT 601: Biochemistry; .BBT 602: Advanced Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; BBT 603:Advanced Cell Biology I


BBT781: Protein Bioinformatics  (3 Credits)

Because the gap between the number of protein sequences and the number of protein crystal structures continues to expand, protein structural predictions are increasingly more important. This course provides a working knowledge of various computer-based tools available for predicting the structure and function of proteins. Topics include protein database searching, protein physicochemical properties, secondary structure prediction, and statistical verification. Also covered are graphic visualization of the different types of three-dimensional folds and predicting 3-D structures by homology. Computer laboratories complement material presented in lectures.

Prerequisites: BBT 601: Biochemistry; BBT 602: Advanced Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; BBT 610: Bioinformatics


BBT785:  Methods in Proteomics  (3 Credits)

This course covers the analytical methods used to separate and characterize pharmaceutical compounds (predominantly proteins) derived through biotechnology. While emphasis is placed on the general principles and applicability of the methods, current protocols are discussed, and problem sets representing realistic developmental challenges are assigned. Topics include chromatography (HPLC, SEC, IEC), electrophoretic techniques (2-D gel electrophoresis), spectroscopic methods (UV/Vis, fluorescence, CD), analytical ultracentrifugation, microarrays, mass spectroscopy, amino acid analysis, sequencing, and methods to measure protein-protein interactions.

Prerequisites: BBT 601: Biochemistry; BBT 608: Advanced Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 


BBT791: Genomics   (3 Credits)

The completion of the human genome sequence is just the latest achievement in genome sequencing. Armed with the complete genome sequence, scientists need to identify the genes encoded within, to assign functions to the genes, and to put these into functional and metabolic pathways. This course will provide an overview of the laboratory and computational techniques beginning with genome sequencing and annotation, extending to bioinformatics analysis and comparative genomics and including functional genomics.

Prerequisites: BBT 601: Biochemistry; BBT 602: Advanced Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; BBT 671: Bioinformatics


Career in Biotechnology


What is Biotechnology?

Biotechonology, the application of biochemistry to industry, is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the global economy. Growth in biochemical science and biotechnology is creating opportunities for university graduates in research institutes and the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.


Where does Biotechnologist work and with whom?

Biochemists and Biotechnologists often have the opportunity to work in teams on research projects (where they report to a supervisor), or they are assigned individual tasks in modern, well-equipped labs. The work schedule is generally regular with occasional opportunities for overtime when a project deadline is approaching. Biochemists, who opt for the teaching route, whether at the high school, college or university level, put in hours outside the classroom to be well prepared for their students.

There are plenty of job openings for Biochemists and Biotechnologists interested in carrying out applied research for private companies in health, nutra- & beauty care, chemical manufacturing, food and drink production, medical instruments and pharmaceutical development. Even those without advanced degrees should also be able to find employment in these sectors.

The government funds many biochemical research projects through the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institutes of Health. Positions for biochemists within these agencies will depend on levels of federal funding. Other settings in which biochemists will find employment include hospitals, public health laboratories, cancer research institutes, environmental pollution control and public health offices.


What kinds of career paths are there?

A degree in biotechnology is not a one way ticket into a lab coat. An education in biotechnology can set you up for a wide variety of careers including management, marketing, and of course, laboratory science. Below you will find a comprehensive view of some career potential of a biochemistry and biotechnology undergraduate.

  • Bioinformatician
  • Biomedical Engineer
  • Biotechnology Laboratory Assistant
  • Biotechnology Research Associate
  • Clinical Research Associate
  • Forensic Lab Scientists
  • Quality Control Analyst
  • Quality Control Engineer
  • Senior Research Scientist
  • Validation Scientist
  • Biotechnology / Pharmaceutical Marketing


How the programme in North South University can help to build your career?

Biochemistry of Biotechnology undergraduate programme of the North South University are highly regarded among renowned universities and employers in both Bangladesh and abroad. A Biochemistry and Biotechnology degree from NSU is an excellent qualification for securing your future career in a diverse range of industries and employment sectors. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a NSU degree, our Careers and Employability Service consultation by the department faculties can help you to achieve your goal.

Advances in the biosciences are having a profound impact on our daily lives in areas from human health to conservation. Biotechnology, biological pharmaceuticals, and personalised medicine are key growth areas in the health sector. Environmental remediation, climate change and related themes pose multi-faceted challenges for the coming decades. Expert knowledge in the life sciences will be in high demand for the foreseeable future, with bright prospects for exciting and rewarding careers in research, teaching, industry, the government health service and the public sector.

A substantial part of our undergraduates choose to take a further degree, a Masters in NSU or PhD in abroad from prestigious international institutes. For many career paths, a further degree is an essential stepping-stone, including (but not limited to) careers in research. Our undergraduates and are highly sought after by universities around the world, many stay in Bangladesh and join in different prestigious research groups in ICDDR, B, BCSIR and so on.

In order to help you build an attractive CV, undergraduates project and graduate thesis from the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology can help to accommodate an internship in a research (departmental or external) laboratory or in a company.

The University and the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology provide a range of services to support you in finding a career and to build a CV that stands out from the crowd. The faculty advisers hold drop-in sessions, discussing with you how to prepare a CV and cover letters, the graduate application process and how to explore possible career paths. Furthermore, the School of Life Sciences is planning to hold an annual Biosciences Careers Fair, brings employers from life sciences sector to our NSU for networking and discussions.