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14+6 Science Majors

Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology


About the Major

Recent advancements in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology have not only cracked important and fundamental problems in life sciences, but also emerged as a mainstay of science and technologies of the 21st century. Innovations from advances in these fields have substantially transformed our daily lives, society and environment.

This Major offers specialised training in state-of-the-art molecular and cell biology, and in the translation of basic knowledge into modern industrial and medical applications. Students will be able to gain an understanding of cutting edge biotechnological applications, ranging from exploitation of bioactive substances, biofuels as alternative energy sources, bioremediation for cleaning up contaminated environments, waste and wastewater treatment, and genetic engineering for agriculture production, fisheries and aquaculture, biomedical research and pharmaceutical purposes. Built upon a sound theoretical foundation, students will further develop various essential skills in molecular biology and biotechnology through hands-on laboratory trainings and experimental based projects.


The Molecular Biology & Biotechnology Major is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology (RSB), UK, for the purpose of meeting in part the academic and experience requirement for the Membership and Chartered Biologist (CBiol) after an independent and rigorous assessment. Graduates will receive one year of guest membership of RSB at Associate level. This will help them to stay up to date with what is happening across the life sciences, gain additional recognition for their skills and experience, develop their professional network and demonstrate their support for the future of biology. Enhancement of this Major will be reflected in the curriculum starting from September 2018, and the intake of cohort 2018-19 will be able to apply for the accredited options of this Major.

Career Prospects

  • Paves way to a career in many businesses and research facilities that make up the modern biotechnology;
  • Career opportunities include government departments such as Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, Environmental Protection Department and Hospital Authority;
  • Positions in the commercial biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries include Research & Development scientist, medical sales representatives, product consultants, business and management analysts, research assistants, medical technologists, and scientific officers;
  • Graduates can pursue further education in healthcare professional programmes (MSc) or a higher degree (MPhil or PhD) in specialised areas of molecular biology and biotechnology.


Student Sharing 

Xia Wei liang

XIA Weiliang William

2002 BSc graduate (major in Biotechnology)
Summer internship at University of Western Ontario 2001
2006 PhD (Biological Sciences) graduate
2006-08 Postdoctoral Fellow at University of California, San Francisco
William is currently an Associate Professor in Jiao Tong University, Shanghai


"I was among the first batch of Mainland undergraduates enrolled in HKU. The academic training and cultural exposure during my study helped my growth in many ways. I was able to acquaint myself with biotechnology and its applications in plant, animal and microbial systems. Also, I benefited a good deal from conducting laboratory research, both at HKU and at the University of Western Ontario in Canada as a summer internship in Year 2. Hall life at HKU is another invaluable experience to mention. I enjoyed the three years at Simon Lee Hall. I could even speak fluent Cantonese no difference from a local student when I graduated.”