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UCC Adult courses

(Bio) Pharma Processing - PG Dip

Course Fact File
Duration12 months
Teaching ModePart-Time
QualificationsPG Dip
NFQ LevelLevel 9
NFQ Award TitleMajor
Fees€6,000 See Fees and Costs for full details.
Closing Date26 July 2024 Subject to place demand and availability for Springboard 31 August 2024 Non Springboard
Next IntakeSeptember 2024


Start DateSeptember 2024

Course Outline

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The Postgraduate Diploma in (Bio) Pharma Processing is designed to facilitate science or engineering graduates who hold sufficient educational or professional experience to transition into the BioPharma and PharmaChem sector nationally. Development and delivery of this level 9 course in the Munster area, where comparatively high numbers of BioPharma and PharmaChem companies are situated, will provide participants with experience in the manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients (both small organic molecule and biopharmaceuticals) and their formulations. The programme has a key focus on   upstream/ downstream processing; sterile working environment; practical training; industrial standards and regulation; collection and analysis of data; validation; novel and personalized therapies; formulation and delivery of biological drugs. This combination of modules, which spans both the drug development and drug manufacturing processes, and has been designed to meet the existing and projected needs of the industry, will help produce confident graduates that are technically competent for employment in the BioPharma and PharmaChem sectors. It will improve the skillsets of those already employed in the industry, and provide a much needed increase in the talent pool available for employment.


Students will complete 60 credits as follows:

  • PF6603 Introduction to the Principles of Formulation and Dosage Form Design (5 credits)
  • PF6605 Microbiology and Sterile (Bio) Pharmaceutical Processes (5 credits)
  • PF6607 Pharmaceutical Process Design and Verification (5 credits)           
  • PF6609 GxP - Regulatory and Best Practice Standards in the (Bio) Pharmaceutical Industry (5 credits)
  • PF6610 BioPharmaceutical Technology and Processes (10 credits) PF6612 Research Methods in (Bio) Pharma Processes and in the Development of Novel BioTherapeutics (10 credits)
  • PF6611 Biologics: Formulation and Dosage Form Design (5 credits)
  • PF6612 Research Methods in (Bio) Pharma Processes and in the Development of Novel BioTherapeutics (10 credits)
  • PF6613 Introductory Statistics for the (Bio) Pharma Industry (5 credits)
  • PF6614 Advanced (Bio) Pharma Technology and Data Analysis (10 credits)

Optional Module: PF6615 Transitioning into the Workplace and Placement (5 credits)

This optional module will be offered to students (subject to approval of the programme director) looking to transition into the workplace (i.e. those classified as jobseekers or returners). PF6615 is assessed on a pass/fail basis and is not counted toward the final award. The result obtained in PF6615 will be recorded on the student’s transcript.

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Course Queries

For Academic Queries and Course Content Queries please contact the Programme Coordinators Lorna Moloney at or Dr Eoin Fleming at 

For Online Application Support please click here. 

If you require further assistance with your online application please contact the Programme Administrator Julie Holland at 

Course Practicalities

Workshops are held every Friday (almost exclusively in the afternoon but see later for on-campus assessments).

In advance of Friday workshops (generally 5-7 days in advance), notes and pre-recorded lectures are made available over the internet (through our Canvas student portal webpage). Students are encouraged to review the material and any directed study in advance of the Friday workshops.

Friday workshops will be held online. Attendance at Friday workshops is NOT compulsory, ALL Friday workshop webinars are recorded, and recorded workshops are made available for those who were unable to attend. HOWEVER, students are STRONGLY recommended to attend the Friday workshops live online if possible.

Advances in AI, and chat-bots like CHAT-GPT, now require that some of our open book written assignments have to be changed to in-class exams that will be completed ON-CAMPUS. In contrast with recent years therefore, where ALL assessment could be completed remotely online, students will need to come on campus to complete some assignments under exam hall conditions.

Current planning suggests that between the 1st of September 2023 and the end of the course in July 2024, the students will need to come on campus on 6 occasions – all on-campus exam dates will be released to the students in advance of starting the course.

On-campus in-class tests will be scheduled to accommodate those needing to travel to Cork.

The optional PF6615 "Transitioning into the workplace and placement" module is assessed on a Pass/ Fail basis. PF6615 is not required for progression and is not counted towards the final award. The result obtained in PF6615 will be recorded on the student's transcript.

Why Choose This Course

This NFQ level 9 part-time course has been developed with input from world-leading companies based in Munster, and has been designed to meet the expected shortage of appropriately skilled employees in the sector in the coming years. It combines flexible on-campus and blended on-line teaching methods to deliver workshops, lectures and practicals to students from a range of disciplines and circumstantial backgrounds. The course features significant engagement with local industry through the provision of site visits, off-campus training opportunities and guest speaker lectures. Students will have the opportunity to avail of Career Services at UCC and take a non-credit bearing module that aims to assist them in transitioning to the workplace and facilitating a placement in a local company.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

Suitable students will be provided with an optional 5 credit module PF6615 focused on  transitioning to the workplace which, where possible, will include a placement in a local company.

Skills and Careers Information

Graduates will develop knowledge and critical skills relating to GMP, aseptic and sterile manufacturing, upstream/downstream processing, cell culture, bioreactors, chromatography, filtration, viral clearance, media and buffer preparation, formulation, validation, bioanalytics, facility management, clean utilities, calibration, automation, equipment maintenance, environmental health and safety, continuous improvement, documentation management, quality person duties, batch release, regulatory filings, new product improvement and modifications. Graduates will be in a position to apply for a variety of positions including, but not limited to, Process Technician, Production Supervisor, Quality Assurance Specialist, Technical Services Scientist, Validation Science, Scientist (BioPharma), BioProcess Engineer and Process Scientist (Manufacturing Support).


A candidate must have obtained at least a Second Class Honours primary degree in a relevant Pharmacy, Science or Engineering discipline (NFQ level 8). Consideration will be given to other applicants with sufficient equivalent professional qualifications and significant industrial experience.

Fees and Costs

€6,000 for full programme
€700 per standalone 5 credit module

A limited number of places on this course are available under the Springboard+ initiative which provides fee subsidies of 90-100% for eligible applicants. For more information on Springboard+ and to apply under this scheme, please go to

For further information on fees and financial supports please click here.


How To Apply

To Apply for this course please follow the steps below:

When you log into the Application Portal:

Click Apply Online

Select Start a new Adult & Continuing Education Application 

On the 2nd tab Academic Level 
Select the following options:
Academic Level: Adult Continuing Education (ACE at UCC)
Course Type:  ACE Part-time Courses
Academic Programme: The course title you are applying for.


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]


Year 1 Modules

Year 2 Modules

Year 3 Modules

Year 4 Modules

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact