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UCC Adult courses

An Introduction to BioPharmaceuticals and Advanced Personalised Therapies - Certificate in Continuing Professional Development - Cert

Course Fact File
Duration8 weeks
Teaching ModePart-Time
NFQ LevelLevel 8
NFQ Award TitleCertificate in Continuing Professional Development
Fees€1250 See Fees and Costs for full details.
Closing Date31 August 2024
Next IntakeSeptember 2024
Course Delivery MethodOnline


Start DateSeptember 2024

Course Outline

Micro Cred and Bio Pharma Chem Skillnet 

This programme aims to provide students with an introduction to the molecular and cellular basis of disease and how this informs the design and manufacture of biological therapies. There will be a focus on protein and vaccine based therapeutic approaches, as well as emerging gene and cell therapies, and the personalized treatment of disease.

The course will provide a basic understanding of how our bodies work, and how this can change in disease. It will then consider the rationale behind the development of biotherapeutics and the design of biological drugs - with an emphasis on the processes and management involved in the largescale manufacture of protein drugs and vaccines. Participants will be introduced to the concepts associated with the personalisation of medicines, and novel applications associated with cell and gene therapies. Through a flexible online delivery, learners will benefit from pre-recorded and live webinars which facilitate an engaged learning environment while also supporting self-directed study.


BC5007 Introduction to BioPharmaceuticals and Advanced Personalised Therapies

Course Practicalities

This course is delivered part-time through a combination of blended learning approaches that involve recorded introductions to course topics, discussion boards and evening webinar tutorials (held weekly). Students are expected to undertake self-directed study in advance of workshops and webinars, and continuous assessment related assignments.

Live webinars will be delivered online on Tuesdays 4-6pm on 21, 28 November; 5, 12 December; 9, 16, 23,30 January.

Why Choose This Course

This course has been developed collaboratively between Staff at the School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology at UCC, and BioPharmaChem Skillnet. Both have considerable expertise in the delivery of post graduate BioTech/ BioPharma courses at Levels 8 and 9, and the targeted provision of upskilling opportunities to meet existing knowledge and skill shortages. The course is tailored to provide foundational knowledge to those looking to achieve a basic understanding of existing and emerging therapies in the BioPharma and Life Sciences sector and will be delivered by experienced University lecturers and invited industrial speakers.

Skills and Careers Information

This course was developed in response to a skills need identified by the Biopharmachem Skillnet in consultation with key employers across the sector. As is referenced in recent EGFSN reports, the BioPharma industry continues to grow, with companies experiencing difficulties in sourcing individuals with relevant experience. An introductory course such as proposed here will therefore support upskilling and reskilling across many industrial positions including, but not limited to technical, operator, quality, and management roles.


This NFQ Level 8 Certificate in Continuing Professional Development: An Introduction to BioPharmaceuticals and Advanced Personalised Therapies is designed for graduates who hold a NFQ Level 8 qualification and who wish to receive an introduction to the biopharmaceutical and advanced therapy sectors. Provision will also be made for candidates who hold sufficient previous educational/professional experience.

Applicants should hold a level 8 degree or equivalent with a second class honours grade II.

A quota will be allocated to applicants who do not meet these entry requirements, but who have sufficient equivalent professional qualifications and significant industrial experience.

These applicants will be considered under RPL and assessed on the following factors:

  • Academic achievement
  • Prior Work Experience
  • Letter of Reference
  • Personal Statement

All applicants whose first language is not English are expected to have a minimum IELTS score of 6.5, with no individual section lower than 6.5, as per UCC requirements outlined at the following link:

Fees and Costs

€1250 Partial funding is available from the Biopharmachem Skillnet to eligible candidates

  • Skillnet Funding can only be applied where the employer pays the course fees on behalf of the student. 
  • Self-employed applicants can avail of the subsidy.
  • BioPharmaChem Skillnet will issue the invoice directly to you or your organisation. 
  • Public-sector and companies outside of the Republic of Ireland are not eligible for the subsidy but can still apply directly to UCC to participate in the course
  • Applicants who are not eligible for the BPC subsidy will be invoiced directly by UCC.

Fee subsidies for eligible candidates may be available through the Biopharmachem Skillnet. Click the Apply button below for further information. 

For further information on fees and financial supports please click here

How To Apply

Applicants need to be aware of the IT student checklist below before applying:

  • You will need access to a laptop or desktop computer running a modern supported operating system with all software updates.
  • Some of UCC’s services (e.g. the Canvas Virtual Learning Environment) link to an external site and also have mobile apps for iOS and Android Devices that you may wish to use as part of your studies.  However, we recommend using your desktop web browser for submission of assessments.
  • You should always use the most current version of your preferred browser. In general, we recommend the Chrome Web browser (Important Note: Internet Explorer will not work with Canvas).
  • We recommend a reliable broadband connection with at least 2Mbps or more.
  • You will require an Office suite of software (Microsoft Office or equivalent) and a PDF reader. You should always use the latest version of this software.  All UCC students will have access to Office 365 which includes software such as Word/Excel/PowerPoint etc. once registered.

During your online application you will be required to upload the following documents:

  • Application Statement
  • Birth Cert or Passport
  • Passport Photograph 
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • English Language Test Report [if applicable]
  • Transcripts [if applicable]



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