Constant progress in genetic engineering has given rise to a number of promising areas of research that facilitated the expansion of industrial biotechnology. The field of metabolic engineering, which utilizes genetic tools to manipulate microbial metabolism to enhance the production of compounds of interest, has had a particularly strong impact by providing new platforms for chemical production. Recent developments in synthetic biology promise to expand the metabolic engineering toolbox further by creating novel biological components for pathway design. The present review addresses some of the recent advances in synthetic biology and how these have the potential to affect metabolic engineering in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. While S. cerevisiae for years has been a robust industrial organism and the target of multiple metabolic engineering trials, its potential for synthetic biology has remained relatively unexplored and further research in this field could strongly contribute to industrial biotechnology. This review also addresses are general considerations for pathway design, ranging from individual components to regulatory systems, overall pathway considerations and whole-organism engineering, with an emphasis on potential contributions of synthetic biology to these areas. Some examples of applications for yeast synthetic biology and metabolic engineering are also discussed.