What is the difference between biomedical science and biotechnology?
Biomedical science is the study of basic sciences related to medicine
including biochemistry, genetics, microbiology, parasitology, pharmacology, haematology,
immunology, histopathology and cytopathology. Biomedical Science helps students
to gain an understanding of the basic sciences that are related to medicine and
to develop skills in different biomedical areas. Prepare students to work effectively
in healthcare services such as diagnostics, therapeutics, determining the nature
of diseases, quality control, prevention, control and treatment of diseases.
Biotechnology is the application of biological knowledge to the development of products
that can improve various aspects of life such as health, food supply, environment
and general well-being. Examples of biotechnology application in the field of medicine
include diagnosis of genetic diseases, and production of medicinal pharmaceutical
preparations such as vaccines. In additional, biotechnology can also be broadly
applied in non-medical areas such as production of transgenic crops in the agriculture
sector, and DNA fingerprinting for criminal investigation.
The Ninth Malaysian Plan states the Government's intention to make Malaysia
a biotechnology hub. In its quest to be a major biotech player in the region, the
government launched the National Biotechnology Policy (NBP) in April 2005. This
saw the creation of the Malaysia Biotech Corporation (MBC), a dedicated government
agency to develop the industry.
What kind of employment can I obtain with a biotechnology degree? Can I find employment
Biotechnology is not a field that involves merely research on the bench, but runs
the whole gamut from thoughts seeded in research, to realisation in development,
feasibility in commercialisation studies and trials, and finally culminating in
the production of branded products into the marketplace. Hence. holding a degree
in Biotechnology does not mean that you will be just a researcher in a laboratory.
In addition, the Biotechnology technical knowledge that students learned from this
degree is applicable globally in various fields. A biotechnology graduate can be
a research and development (R&D) officer in research institute, universities,
agricultural, clinical and forensic laboratories; quality control and quality assurance
officer of pharmaceutical, health care and other industrial products; clinical research
coordinator in hospitals and pharmaceutical firm; and bioinformatics computational
analyst. They can also be a sales and marketing executive in the field related to
biotechnology or the pharmaceutical industry, manager in the manufacturing industry,
patent agents specialised in Intellectual Property (IP) and patent law, venture
capitalists as well as biotechnology technopreneurs.
What is the state of the Biotechnology industry in Malaysia?
The National Biotechnology Policy envisions that biotechnology will be a new economic
engine for Malaysia, enhancing the nation’s prosperity and well-being.
The Policy is divided into three main phases; Phase I (2005-2010), Phase II (2010-2015),
and Phase III (2016-2020). Phase I will focus on capacity building and the establishment
of the Malaysian Biotech Corporation (MBC), the establishment of advisory and implementation
councils, the education and training of knowledge workers, and the development of
a legal and intellectual property (IP) framework. Phase I also focuses on the creation
of jobs in the areas of agricultural biotechnology, healthcare biotechnology, industrial
biotechnology, and bioinformatics. Phase II will emphasise on the business aspects,
such as developing expertise in drug discovery and the development based on natural
resources, new product development, and technology acquisition and licensing. Phase
III will be based on the results achieved in the first two phases and bringing local
biotech companies to international status.
What facilities does UCSI University provide for Biotechnology programme compare
Biotechnology programme is a multi-disciplinary science based programme which cannot
be run without good laboratory facilities. The specially designed and purpose-built
laboratories at UCSI university include Basic Chemistry and Biology laboratory,
Microbiology laboratory, Physiology and Pharmacology laboratory, Molecular Biology
laboratory, Enzyme Technology laboratory, Fermentation and scale-up laboratory,
and Animal and Plant Cell Culture Laboratory. All these laboratories were built
to ensure that our students were given the best facilities and real hands-on practical
experience in the different fields of Biotechnology which is important for their
future careers. The laboratories are equipped with high-value equipments such as
Bioreactor, High-Performance Liquid Chromatography, Atomic Absorbance Spectrophotometry
and such. All our students will have to carry out a final Research Project at the
end of their third academic year in these laboratories under the supervision of
our highly qualified academic staff. Each student will gain invaluable experience
from their final project as they are given a chance to plan, exhibit and experience
real hands-on laboratory practical work.
Why should I study Biotechnology at UCSI University instead of at other universities?
To differentiate ourselves from other institutions of higher learning offering
the same degree programme, our students are well-equipped for the workforce before
graduation. Our Biotechnology programme is a homegrown B.Sc. degree and is tailored
to incorporate Co-Op training in year 1, 2 and 3 of study. The students have the
opportunity of working for two months at the end of each of the three academic years
on their Co-Operative Placements in a company in the related industries. This means
they would have more than six months of real world working experience before they
graduate. The Co-Op aims to develop not only students’ communications and soft skills,
but also help students to relate theory with practical and working experience in
the Biotechnology industry in Malaysia. It also aims to provide students with technical
and analytical skills to carry out life science research and prepares them to pursue
postgraduate studies in a range of disciplines.
Are UCSI University degrees recognised by foreign universities if I wish to pursue
UCSI B.Sc. Biotechnology (Hons) degree is recognized by our partner universities
in Australia, UK, Canada and USA.
If I pursue a Masters programme overseas, are there any areas of specialisation
recommended? Or should I just continue pursuing a Masters degree in the field of
UCSI graduates can pursue a Master in Science degree by research or course work
in local universities or overseas. They can choose to enrol in a Masters programme
specialising in any of the 5 main fields of Biotechnology, i.e. Industrial Biotechnology,
Medical Biotechnology, Agricultural Biotechnology, Environmental Biotechnology and
Forensic Molecular Biology or in any other specific disciplines such as Biomedical
Sciences, Immunology, Pharmaclogy and many others.
Does the UCSI University degree provide opportunities for me to develop my career
The career opportunities for a biotech graduates range across many industry sectors
due to the wide applications of biotechnology. These include the food and agricultural
sector, medical and bio-pharmaceutical sector, industrial and environmental sector
as well as the animal and aquaculture sectors. UCSI University graduates have gone
on to pursue careers overseas such as in Singapore where they found employment as
researchers, both in private and government research centres.
Can recognition by any Malaysian professional body recognition enhance the degree
of employability for UCSI students?
This programme does not need any professional body recognition but it is accredited
by the Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA).