Biotechnology is a technology based on the unique properties of biological molecules, cells and organisms, and provides new ways of diagnosing disease, producing antibiotics, pharmaceuticals and chemical feedstocks for industrial processes, reducing industrial contamination of the environment and improving food safety. The study of biotechnology at Aberdeen involves study of microbiology, biochemistry and genetics. Knowledge of all three subjects is crucial in an area where microorganisms are frequently being genetically engineered to perform novel or enhanced biochemical reactions, and will become increasingly important as synthetic biology is used throughout biotechnological processes. The potential of biotechnology to provide new health products, new fuels such as hydrogen, advances in agriculture and management of the environment (eg. oil spill clean-up) is immense but at present only partly tapped. Biotechnology is well-placed to contribute significantly to future sustainable technology development. In your fourth year you will undertake a year's industrial placement and graduate after five years with an MSci (an undergraduate Masters degree) instead of a BSc. Placements vary considerably but in general terms, you will be placed in an industrial, commercial or research environment where you will obtain a breadth of practical experience to complement your degree programme and enhance your employability.