New course helps life science graduates prepare for employment
The University of the Highlands and Islands has announced a new masters-level course to help life science graduates and those already employed in the life science sector improve their practical and laboratory skills to better meet the needs of employers conducting research in an industrial environment.
While science graduates have the theoretical knowledge required and fundamental laboratory skills, current degree provision often doesn’t provide those most important to industry and commercial research, notably hands-on laboratory training and the concepts of quality control, regulation and intellectual property. The university has been working with local employers Accunostics and LifeScan Scotland on the new one year postgraduate MSc in applied science skills for industry.
University of the Highlands and Islands programme leader, Dr Mary Doherty said: “While the course has been developed with the backing of local companies, we hope that it will gain recognition by companies worldwide, given that the issues that have been identified regarding undergraduate provision are not specific to the UK”.
Professor Ian Megson, head of the Division of Health Research at the university, added: “We constantly strive to offer new and exciting courses that will improve the employment prospects of students and we believe that this course is perfect to meet our ambitions. That’s why we’ve been working with leading local employers, Accunostics and LifeScan Scotland on this new course.”
The programme, open to life science graduates, will start in September 2014 and will be based at the Centre for Health Science in Inverness with a view to offering it at further locations across the Highlands and Islands in future years.
Dr Steve Setford, director of development, LifeScan Scotland commented: “We are delighted to see this programme come into being. LifeScan Scotland has been involved in the development since inception and we intend to offer projects in our R&D division to ensure students benefit from hands-on experience in a large multinational company.”
Giles Hamilton, CEO at local medical device company, AccuNostics added: "We are delighted with the development of this new programme at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We believe that it will deliver graduates with the precise skills that AccuNostics and similar life science companies in the region require. We look forward to working with students and continuing our involvement with an annual prize for the best student and the offer of dissertation placements."
Ruaraidh MacNeil, Inverness Campus project Director welcomed the news, “This is an excellent example of the university and industry working collaboratively to benefit of the region’s escalating life science sector and underpinning the Enterprise area status the adjacent campus has for the sector.”