New biotech course for college

Some of the facilities students would be using on the new course.

New biotech course for college

Forth Valley College are one of only two colleges in Scotland to offer an exciting new course in biotechnology.

The HND Industrial Biotechnology qualification has been developed in partnership with the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) in response to demand from industry to address a skills gap within the biotechnology sector.

Glasgow Kelvin and Forth Valley Colleges are the only two further education establishments set to teach the course and FVC will be offering 20 places to enthusiastic students in this the first year of the course.

The HND Industrial Biotechnology at SCQF level 8 is intended for those wishing to find employment in the industrial biotechnology industry or to progress to further (degree level) study. The course may also be attractive for sector employers wishing to send staff to the college as part of a Modern Apprenticeship.

It is a wide-ranging course that develops relevant knowledge and skills in the theoretical and practical aspects of industrial biotechnology, and learners will be exposed to each of the main branches of industrial biotechnology: chemistry, biology and process engineering.

It is hoped learners will also develop a wide range of practical laboratory skills and good laboratory practice in the state-of the art FVC science department based at the Falkirk Campus. This qualification will prepare learners for employment in research and industrial laboratories in sectors such as chemicals, biofuels, environmental, pharmaceuticals, and food and agriculture production.

Mhairi Hay a Curriculum Manager in the Electrical, Instrumentation and Chemical Engineering Department and Fiona Jackson a Curriculum Manager in the Applied Science, Maths and Mechanical Engineering, Department, have been the main driving forces behind the course. They are pictured here showing current students the mini-rigs which would be used in the new course.

Mhairi, said:

“This new course in Industrial Biotechnology is certainly ahead of the game as far as the industry is concerned and has been designed with great collaboration between the College’s Applied Science, Maths and Mechanical Engineering and the Electrical, Instrumentation and Chemical Engineering Departments. It covers a huge range of skills that the sector is looking for from graduates and it is very practical and lab skills based, which is what companies need from day one.

“We also have articulation paths to Strathclyde University in place where students can go on to complete their degree or even their Masters, so there is definitely a clear route ahead for those who want to study full-time."

Dean Williams, Head of FVC’s Electrical, Instrumentation and Chemical Engineering Department, said: “We are delighted to be one of the first colleges in Scotland to offer this innovative new course. Forth Valley College are looking forward to hearing from potential students who want to take the first step into this exciting sector which Scotland plays a leading global role in.”

For more information on the course and how to apply please contact Mhairi on 01324 403154 or e-mail


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