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Masters in Management of Bioeconomy, Innovation and Governance (MSc BIG)

Structure and Courses

Through the course we investigate, through recent and relevant case studies and examples, the systemic character of discoveries in the life sciences, developments in medical and information technology, advances in areas such as agro-bio, bio-fuels and bio-materials, and how these changes are reshaping the bioeconomy in critical fields such as healthcare, agriculture and ‘green economy’. Emphasis is placed on the analysis of specific contemporary matters such as structural change in pharmaceutical drug R&D, the emergence of new methods of knowledge and technology translation in the medical arena, and the variety of ways in which risk capital supports bio-related innovation.

Summary

The goal of the MSc in Management of Bioeconomy, Innovation and Governance (MSc BIG) is to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to be competitive in the growing bioeconomy workforce. Our courses will also be relevant to those who wish to pursue further research and academic study.

The programme focuses on bringing students up to date with current life science and biotechnology and will introduce them to state-of-the-art research on innovation systems and science and technology policy, regulation and governance, knowledge management and intellectual property.

Course Structure

The MSc BIG Programme is organised into 10 and 20 credit courses. Students will take 80 credits of core courses, plus 40 credits of optional courses. They will also be required to write a 15,000 word dissertation which is worth 60 credits.

Core Courses

Introduction to Risk, Regulation and Governance (10 credits)
This course introduces students to the key concepts of risk, regulation and governance as they apply to a range of industries, technological sectors, and socio-economic issues. The course also equips students with the knowledge and skill to begin characterising and critiquing different formal models of risk governance and manage emerging and complex risks.

Regulation and Governance of the Life Sciences (10 credits)
This course provides in-depth knowledge and understanding, through rich case studies, of how regulation and risk-governance processes have impacted on life science-based innovations; particularly in health and agricultural sectors. It explores how regulation and governance has been adpated for advanced therapies and agricultural technologies; how public stakeholders and users of technology help shape innovation and governance; and the important role of intellectual property.

Analysis and Shaping of the Bioeconomy (10 credits)
This course provides an introduction to the origins of the bioeconomy, its conceptual foundations, and the new science and technology that is driving it. Topics include definitions of the bioeconomy, the evolution of the life science industries, the economic impacts on countries and regions, and the role of public stakeholders. The course draws on Innogens unique approach to the study of life sciences from a systemic perspective; drawing on the concept of an innovation ecosystem (which comprises multiple business models, value chains and external enablers and constraints).

Innovation Systems: Theory and Practice (10 credits)
This course provides an introduction to the theory of innovation ecosystems, using a range of case examples from the bioeconomy, and explores how they are evolving from a systemic perspective. The course also provides students with the necessary knowledge, skills and undersanding to critque and apply methods of foresight and scenario analysis.

Innovation in Sustainable Food Systems (20 credits)
Ensuring food supplies in a sustainable and equitable manner in the face of climate change driven events is one of the key challenges facing societies in the 21st Century. While often posed as a production led innovation challenge, at least as important are the societal contexts, including changing patterns of consumption. This course considers sustainable food systems and food security from a wide range of perspectives, examining farming as a social practice, as commercial food production, as a contribution and challenge to environmental policy and as an integral part of sustainable and healthy consumption. Innovation is examined in both its scientific and social aspects.

Biobusiness (20 credits)
This course provides students with a comprehensive overview of and the ability to assess how innovation in the life sciences is changing production methods, industrial structures, market dynamics and strategic decision making.

Through the course we investigate, through recent and relevant case studies and examples, the systemic character of discoveries in the life sciences, developments in medical and information technology, advances in areas such as agro-bio, bio-fuels and bio-materials, and how these changes are reshaping the bioeconomy in critical fields such as healthcare, agriculture and ‘green economy’. Emphasis is placed on the analysis of specific contemporary matters such as structural change in pharmaceutical drug R&D, the emergence of new methods of knowledge and technology translation in the medical arena, and the variety of ways in which risk capital supports bio-related innovation.

Optional Courses

Please consult the degree programme table (DPT) for an overview of available optional courses. Note that the records will be updated by the end of August for each academic year. Some courses might not run some years due to staff availability.

Faculty

MSc BIG is delivered by the Science, Technology and Innovation Studies (STIS) subject group within the University of Edinburgh's School of Social and Political Science, allowing students to take full advantage of the vibrant community at one of Europe's leading centres for social science research.

The programme benefits from its strong association with the Innogen Institute - a research institute renowned for its interdiciplinary study of the life sciences, proximity to world-leading science and medicine, government, and key policymakers; and long-standing collaborations with commercial and not-for-profit sectors within the bioeconomy.

"Innogen enjoys an outstanding reputation for the quality of its work in a wide range of disciplines and for the interdisciplinarity of its approach." Alastair Kent, Director, Genetic Alliance UK

Core teaching and development team

Dr Farah Huzair

Prof Joyce Tait