Diploma in Biotechnology (T31)

2017 Planned Intake: 75 JAE 2017 Last Aggregate Score: 11

Genes, molecular biology, cloning, immunology, therapeutics, diagnostics, forensics, health and diseases – do these terms excite you? Are you fascinated about how living systems work? Do you want a career that involves new biological discoveries and novel applications of knowledge? If so, this course is for you!

This course trains you to be a research technologist supporting the growing life science industry. The Singapore Government has targeted the life science industry to be our fourth pillar of economic growth, and has invested heavily to make Singapore the regional life sciences hub. As a result, research technologists are increasingly in demand in disease biology, diagnostics and therapeutics.

At the same time, more manpower is also needed for research activities on economically important plants and animals so as to increase our food yield.

In your first year, you will develop a solid foundation in basic biology and chemistry.  The second year trains you in the diploma-specialisation subjects through a well-integrated sequence of modules on cellular and molecular biotechnology.  A hands-on approach forms the core basis of training, during which you will acquire  a repertoire of research skills in the areas of molecular biology, biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, genomics, proteomics, plant biotechnology, immunology and other key supporting technology essential for biomedical and scientific research.  The elective subjects that you will take in the third year will allow you greater specialisation in your selected field, especially in the areas of translational biomedical research or forensics and bioanalytics.  You will eventually develop a solid broad-based foundation in life sciences that will maximise your career and future educational options. 

To further hone your technical skills, you will undergo a five-month attachment either locally or overseas in the biotechnology and biomedical industries. 

 I am impressed by the diligence and inquisitive nature of students from Temasek Polytechnic’s Diploma in Biotechnology and would gladly accept them without qualms for any suitable projects in future.
—  Dr. Yang Yuansheng
     Research Scientist
     Bioprocess Technology Institute, A*STAR
Biotechnologists are in the thick of the action


What you will learn

  • Delve into the Fascinating World of Biotechnology

    Delve into the Fascinating World of Biotechnology

    What can possibly go wrong in a cell that gives rise to diseases like cancer? How do we grow healthy tissues to replace damaged ones? How can we use biotechnology to prevent food shortages, obtain clean water and clean up the environment? Find out when you join this course.The world of Biotechnology will fascinate you and stretch your imagination to the fullest!
  • Detectives in the Lab: Forensics Toxicology

    Detectives in the Lab: Forensics Toxicology

    How do we detect poisoning? The Forensics Toxicology elective will immerse you in a ‘CSI’ environment, where you will learn about the detection of toxic compounds. Another forensic elective, namely Forensic Biological, Chemical and Physical Analysis will take you through the analysis of fingerprints, body fluids (eg. blood) and other crime scene evidences.
  • Research, Discover, Develop

    Research, Discover, Develop

    Begin your journey as a Research Technologist – and future Scientist - here! Be trained in ways to discover new biological knowledge, how to combine it with existing know-how and utilise it for the good of mankind and the world we live in. Our graduates have gone on to become Scientists!

Notable Features

  • Reputable and well established (since 1996) with extensive industry endorsement
  • Acquire a solid broad-based foundation in human, plant, animal and microbial biology - allowing for greater flexibility in employment and further education
  • The only polytechnic biotechnology diploma course to offer forensic bioscience, Translational Biomedical Research
  • Biotechnology skills and knowledge are applicable worldwide

Academic Architecture

The Academic Architecture of the School of Applied Science emphasises the following:

  • Building a strong foundation core among first year students
  • Strengthening key concepts and skills in the diploma-specialised content among second year students
  • Enhancing applied learning for final year students

The Academic Architecture also aims to develop collaborative and self-directed learning skills for our students to be life-long learners through more real-life and applied learning experiences.  One notable outcome of this is the smooth transition of student interns into companies as employees.  

Elective Cluster Subjects

Students will be required to read an Elective Cluster offered by the School. The Elective Clusters to be offered by this course, and the subjects under these clusters, are summarised below:




Translational Biomedical Research

  • Molecular Diagnostic Development
  • OMICs and Recombinant Technology      
  • Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering

Forensics and Bioanalytics

  • Forensic Biological, Chemical and Physical Analysis
  • Forensic Toxicology
  • Biosafety            


  • BioEnterprise Communications
  • Contemporary Issues in BioEnterprise Operation
  • Life Science Industry Funding and Regulations        


  • Sequence Analysis
  • Structural Bioinformatics
  • Scripting in Bioinformatics           

Career Prospects

Agrotechnology (eg. plant and aquaculture parks)

  • Laboratory Technologist
  • R&D Technologist
  • Technical Support Officer

Biomedical Research

  • Laboratory Biologist
  • R&D Technologist
  • Scientific Officer
  • Sales & Marketing Executive

Further Education

Graduates from Temasek Applied Science School (ASc) are able to gain entry into various degree courses offered by United Kingdom, Australian and local universities. Most of the top overseas universities offer advanced standing to our Diploma graduates. See Tables below for examples of such universities. This could typically mean one to two years’ exemption from their bachelor degree programmes, depending on their overall grades for their three years of the diploma course and the field of study chosen at the university.

Our graduates may also apply for admission to NUS, NTU and SMU. Please refer to their respective websites for more information. For NUS Level 1 subjects, diploma graduates may apply for subject placement tests. Exemptions from Level 1 subjects would be granted only if students pass the relevant subject placement tests.

Entry Requirements

Minimum Entry Requirements

English Language (EL1)* Grades 1-7
Mathematics (E or A) Grades 1-6
One of the following Science subjects: Grades 1-6
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Combined Science
  • Engineering Science
  • Physical Science
  • Physics, Science (Chemistry, Biology)
  • Science (Physics, Biology)
  • Science (Physics, Chemistry)
Any two other subjects, excluding CCA  

* Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM)/ Unified Examination Chinese (UEC) holders must have a minimum of grade 6 for the relevant English Language subject (e.g. Bahasa Inggeris).

See also the minimum entry requirements for:

Course Structure

TP Core Subjects

Subject code Subject LevelCredit Units

This subject is intended to prepare students to communicate effectively and persuasively in the workplace. They will acquire skills to manage their communication for cohesive interpersonal and work-related relationships, and learn how to deliver effective presentations. The topics include interpersonal and team skills, meeting skills, and oral presentation skills.


This subject is intended to prepare students to communicate scientific information through writing. The topics include information literacy and research, proposal/report writing, and poster production.


This subject focuses on self-leadership and personal effectiveness. It provides a platform for students to discover and understand themselves in terms of their personalities, values and mission and to build their ‘Logical Quotient’. It lays the foundation for students to make leadership decisions based on the ‘Golden End’ and ‘Consequential Thinking’. It helps the students to listen to the inner self and to express their personal thoughts and ideas.


This subject focuses on team-leadership, followership and team effectiveness. It provides a platform for students to build their ‘Emotional Quotient’, relate to peers and manage team conflicts. It lays the foundation for students to make leadership decisions based on a ‘Win-Win Attitude”. It helps students to make meaningful conversations and to articulate their vision.


This subject focuses on service to others. It provides a platform for students to understand themselves better and to make responsible choices in life and to build their ‘Community Quotient’. It lays the foundation for students to make leadership decisions based on ‘Ethical Judgement’ and ‘Moral Courage’. It helps students to build trust and credibility in their communication with others and in the community.


This subject is intended to prepare students with effective job search skills such as writing resumes and cover letters, grooming and deportment and interview techniques. It also includes relevant business correspondence skills in the context of the applied science workplace.


This programme involves attachment at industries related to your course of study. You are expected to undertake various activities discussed with and assigned by the participating host organisations. The programme enables you to apply knowledge and skills acquired in the course of your study to solve practical problems in the real workplace. Emphasis is also placed on training of transferable skills such as teamwork, interpersonal, written and oral communication skills.


Diploma Subjects - Core Subjects

Subject code Subject LevelCredit Units

This subject covers the biology of cells of higher organisms: structure-function relationships of cellular membranes and internal organelles, cell cycle and cell division; transport mechanisms and cell communication, cell motility and the cytoskeleton and cell death. You will also acquire basic laboratory skills.


This subject investigates the properties of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins, and their significance in biological systems. It aims to provide an overview of metabolism and emphasises the relationship between anabolism and catabolism, and their role in maintaining life.


This subject provides you with a basic understanding of human anatomy and physiology. Topics include anatomy of human organs and organ systems and their functions.


This subject provides the basic concepts in organic chemistry which correlate the structure of organic molecules with their properties of the functional groups. Topics covered are classification of organic compounds, structure and properties of alkanes, alkenes, alcohols, aldehydes and ketones, carboxylic acids, amines and stereochemistry. Emphasis will be on the applications of organic compounds and their derivatives, and their impact on the chemical related industries.


This subject provides the basic theory and practical knowledge of inorganic and physical chemistry. Topics include fundamentals of chemistry, gas laws, atomic structure, chemical bonding, periodic table and periodicity, nomenclature, stoichiometry and equilibria concepts of a chemical reaction.


This subject equips you with the basic mathematical techniques that are essential for your course of study. Algebra, differentiation, integration, linear regression and their applications are some topics that are covered.


This subject provides you with the basic statistical techniques that are essential for your course of study. Topics covered include basic probability and distributions, basic statistics, sampling distribution, hypothesis testing, analysis of variance and chi-square testing.


This subject covers the knowledge of human physiology. It introduces common terms, concepts, fundamental procedures and applications used in physiology. Topics include circulatory, respiratory, hepatic, renal and endocrine physiology, and neurophysiology.


This subject investigates the importance of basic microbiology and its relevance to the food and biotechnology industries. Topics covered include the microbial world, procaryotes and eucaryotes, cultivation and growth of microorganisms, nutritional requirements and microbiological media and control of microorganisms.


This subject covers the basics of biostatistics to apply statistics into clinical practice by converting clinical and laboratory experiences into quantitative statements. The topics covered include statistical tools to summarize data, test for differences between test groups, analyse rates and proportions, establish or validate confidence intervals, and test for trends. It also covers the application of biostatistics into different clinical cases.


This subject focuses on the principles of Biochemistry by building on concepts learnt from Organic Chemistry 1 and Biomolecules. You will be introduced to the basics of bioenergetics before progressing to studying energy metabolism pathways and their regulation. The individual pathways will then be integrated together to give you a holistic view of energy metabolism.


The subject covers the basic concepts of immunology from components of the immune system to specific and non-specific immune responses to infections as well as aberrant immune activities like autoimmunity and hypersensitivity. It also deals with the use of immune cells and mediators for prophylaxis and treatment of diseases, as well as immunological techniques that are used for diagnosis of diseases and research.


This subject focuses on the applications of analytical and biochemical techniques in the field of biotechnology. Topics covered include sample pre-treatment, separation techniques, spectrometry, chromatography, and the use of fluorochromes and radioisotopes in biochemical analysis.


This subject teaches both the theoretical knowledge and practical techniques of molecular genetics using the E. coli system as a model. Topics covered include DNA structure, replication, transcription, translation, mutations, and regulation of gene expression in prokaryotes.


This subject covers the theoretical and practical aspects of plant cell technology. Topics covered include micropropagation techniques, callus induction, organogenesis, somatic embryogenesis, protoplast isolation and secondary metabolites production.


This subject provides you with the basic theoretical and practical knowledge of Molecular Biology. Topics include the molecular biology techniques, gene regulation in eukaryotes, eukaryotic viruses, genetics and cancer.


This subject focuses on the principles of Biochemistry by building on concepts learnt from Organic Chemistry I and Biomolecules. You will be introduced to the basics of bioenergetics before progressing to studying energy metabolism pathways and their regulation. The individual pathways will then be integrated together to give you a holistic view of energy metabolism.


This subject provides basic theoretical and practical knowledge of mammalian cell culture. Topics covered include cell culture techniques, prevention and contamination control, isolation of primary cell from tissue, working in a tissue culture laboratory and applications of animal cell culture in biotechnology such as hybridoma generation.


This subject has a theoretical and practical focus that allows you to apply your knowledge acquired in Basic Microbiology to the fields of food, industry, medicine and environment.


This subject provides a framework for you to solve practical problems, conduct research work and/or develop studies, through a self-managed project. The scope of the subject includes project proposal, investigative studies, analysis, interpretation of results, written report and presentation.


Diploma Subjects – Elective Cluster Subjects

Elective Cluster Subjects

Students will be required to read an Elective Cluster offered by the School. The Elective Cluster/s to be offered by the course, and the subjects under the cluster/s, are summarised below:

Translational Biomedical Research

Subject code Subject LevelCredit Units

This subject provides students with knowledge and skills required for the development of molecular diagnostic assays.  The lessons will cover diagnostic platforms, techniques and instrumentation as well as assay development, assay criteria (eg. sensitivity, specificity, limits of detection etc) and assay validation.  Students will also learn about the regulatory requirements for diagnostic assays and the pathways to commercialisation. An introduction to GMP will also be included.


This subject covers both theory and practice of recombinant DNA techniques as well as the techniques for global analysis and evaluation of the states/levels of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), ribonucleic acid (RNA) and protein in biological systems. It includes studies on the applications, potentials, present and future trends in genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics as well as an introduction to the application of bioinformatics.


This subject covers the principles and methods of stem cells technology and tissue engineering. You will be taught the importance of knowledge integration in life sciences and engineering so as to enhance their understanding of structural-function relationships in normal and pathological mammalian tissues. The isolation and use of stems cells, as well as the development of biological substitutes that restore, maintain or improve tissue function will also be discussed.


Forensics and Bioanalytics

Subject code Subject LevelCredit Units

This subject covers the application of bioanalytical, chemical and physical analytical techniques in forensics investigation. Topics include the evaluation of evidences, biological fluids, biomolecules produced by the body and skeletal remains with an emphasis in DNA profiling, fingerprinting and blood, semen and saliva stains analysis. It also focuses on the use of instrumental techniques such as optical microscopy, microspectroscopy molecular spectroscopy, chromatography, mass spectrometry and capillary electrophoresis in the analysis of alcohols, illicit drugs and poisons, glass, paints, fibres, explosions and firearms.


This subject aims to develop the students’ understanding of the practice of the application of toxicology from a legal perspective. It will teach students to carry out analytical toxicology tests on biological and non-biological samples. The subject will also cover the pathological observations associated with different drug toxicities, and the common analytical techniques available in the field of forensic toxicology. Students will learn how to interpret the data acquired and formulate informed conclusions to appropriate case studies.


This subject covers the principles and practices of biosafety in the biopharmaceutical industry, hospitals, research and clinical laboratories.  Students will learn good biosafety practices, and the management of hazards, risks, and threats associated with the handling of infected and non-infected organisms, microbes, biological materials and their derivatives.



Subject code Subject LevelCredit Units

This subject covers how biological functions are assigned to genes and gene products, such as RNA and proteins, based on similarities shared between the compared sequences. Methodologies of sequence alignment and searches against biological databases will also be reviewed.


This subject covers the use of computational tools to analyse and mine protein sequences to help elucidate its structure, function and biological interactions.


This subject introduces scripting techniques and uses a scripting language to obtain information from bioinformatics databases and analyse large amounts of biological data. Data privacy acts and IT policies at the workplace will also be covered.



Subject code Subject LevelCredit Units

This subject covers inter-personal communication and behavioural skills used in enhancing people-to-people relationship in a multi-disciplinary, bioenterprise environment. Topics include professional personality profiling, fostering strong partnership with stakeholders, dealing with difficult people and team motivation.


This subject addresses the day-to-day challenges in a BioEnterprise. Topics include technoprepreneurship, challenges in start-up companies, overview of exit strategies, and understanding biotech product life cycles.


The subject covers biotech product regulations and the management of life science industry funding. Topics include funding schemes and sources, regulations on pharmaceuticals, health supplements and medical devices.


Free Electives

Subject code Subject LevelCredit Units

This subject covers the basic principles and knowledge of pharmacology. Topics include an introduction to pharmacology, pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics and pharmacology of classes of drugs.


This subject introduces a comprehensive overview of drug development and clinical trials. It covers different approaches to drug design and development such as computer-aided drug design and combinatorial chemistry. Different stages of a clinical trial and the role of good clinical practices will also be covered. It also provides useful examples of good clinical practice in trials and promotes the quality and safety of testing procedures.


Graduation Requirements

Cumulative Grade Point Average min 1.0
TP Core Subjects 25 credit units
Diploma Subjects
- Core Subjects
- Elective Subjects

87 credit units
min 9 credit units
Cross-Disciplinary Subjects min 9 credit units
Total Credit Units Completed min 130 credit units

Cross-Disciplinary Subjects

Students are required to obtain a minimum of 9 credit units from the list of Cross-Disciplinary Subjects.

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Contact Us

For general enquiries, please contact:

School of Applied Science

  (65) 6788 2000
  (65) 6782 5498


ASC EVENTS   | All School Events

TP Openhouse 2018

Temasek Polytechnic
04 - 06 Jan 18

Beyond 'O' Level Seminar 2018

Temasek Polytechnic
06 Jan 18