UCC Postgraduate courses

Biochemistry and Biosciences (MRes)

Course Fact File
Duration12 Months Full-time; 24 Months Part-time
Teaching ModeFull-time, Part-Time
NFQ LevelLevel 9
FeesSee Fees and Costs for full details.
Start DateSeptember 2024

Course Outline

Our Master of Research (MRes) degree in Biochemistry and Biosciences (formerly named MRes Biochemistry and Cell Biology) is the first scientific, research-intensive MRes course of its kind in Ireland. If you are a highly-motivated, enthusiastic student with an interest in research, this is the ideal platform for you to explore your interests, alongside our team of internationally-recognised researchers in the School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology at University College Cork.

MRes Course Details 

The MRes course combines a 12-month full-time (24-month part-time) research project with select taught modules to enhance each student’s skill set.

The subject of your research project can be drawn from several areas in the field of biochemistry and biosciences including bioanalysis, bioinformatics, proteomics, cancer biology, cell signalling, gene expression, trafficking, molecular genetics, neurobiology, RNA, translational control, or synthetic biology.

We place a strong focus on the development of your presentation and writing skills since these are necessary for a successful research career. Our emphasis includes research proposal writing; general and transferable skills in laboratory techniques and safety; research ethics and integrity; information literacy; and science communication skills.

The MRes in Biochemistry and Biosciences comprises an orientation and induction week; four modules (two core modules and two electives); attendance at seminars; and a research project and dissertation. 

Modules (20 credits)

ML6002 Biological and Clinical Perspectives of Human Disease 10
ML6003 Scientific Communication of Current Topics in Molecular Cell Biology 5
ML6004 Cell and Molecular Biology 10
ML6005 Molecular Techniques in the Life Sciences 5
ML6006 Human Molecular Genetics and Genetic Engineering Techniques 5
BC6004 Scientific Research Planning and Proposals 5
PG6001 STEPS - Scientific Training for Enhanced PG Studies 5
PG6009 Graduate Information Literacy Skills  
PG6015 An Introduction to Research Integrity, Ethics and Open Science 
ST6013 Statistics and Data Analysis for PG Research Students 10
BC5005  SkillsBET-BioPharma - Skills-Based Education and Training in Biopharmaceutical Sciences 5
BC5006  Technical and Professional Skills Training for Employment in the BioPharma Workplace 15
BC6001  Cell and Molecular Biology 5
PG6014   Scientific Outreach and Communication 5
PG6020  Business Research Skills 10
PG6021  English for PG Studies - Upper-Intermediate: B2+ 5
PG6022 English for PG Studies - Lower Advanced: C1 5
PG6024 Qualitative Research Inquiry 5
PG6027 Going Public: Publishing Research in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 5
PG6029  Skills in Public Engagement of Science 5
PG6030  Reproducible Research Practices (using R) 5
PG7014  Creativity and Innovation for Research Students 5

See the University Calendar (MRes) for more information.

Course Practicalities

Orientation and Induction

Students participate in a university-wide research induction event, complete a laboratory health and safety training session, and meet with the MRes coordinator to discuss their research student learning plan, including a selection of modules.

Research Project and Dissertation

The largest component of the MRes degree is the research project and you will select or design a project, together with your supervisor, and begin your research in Week 2. This project work will comprise the foundations of your MRes dissertation. 

School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology Seminar Series

Our students attend the School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology Seminar Series. Presented by both external and internal speakers, you will hear about the latest research developments from experts in their fields.

Why Choose This Course

I have learned many new lab skills and enjoyed the flexibility in lab work which allowed me to manage my own time... I really recommend this MRes programme ...

Ms Kelsey Fletcher, MRes Graduate

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This course provided me with an opportunity to learn research & technical skills from world-class facilities available within UCC...

Dr Anirudh Jaisimha, MRes Graduate

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Research in the School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology is directed by Principal Investigator’s (PIs) and spans the biomedical, biotechnological, and environmental science areas. We use all of the modern tools of molecular/cellular biology, protein biochemistry, molecular genetics, signal transduction, immunology, bioinformatics, and analytical biochemistry to address fundamental and applied research questions in these challenging areas. 

The School prides itself on its high-quality publication record, high level of innovation and commercialization, and its central role in interfacing with a variety of other basic science and clinical Schools within the University and the scientific and biotechnological community worldwide. Our research laboratories are located in modern purpose-built accommodation with state-of-the-art facilities in the Western Gateway Building, Biosciences Research Institute, and the Analytical & Biological Chemistry Research Facility at the School of Pharmacy.

Connected Curriculum

Our learning approach reflects our commitment to the Connected Curriculum where we emphasise the connection between students, learning, research and leadership through our vision for a Connected University. Our staff are at the forefront of this integrative approach to learning and will support you in making meaningful connections within and between disciplines such as biology, bioscience, chemistry, medicine, biotechniques, and statistics.

Skills and Careers Information

The MRes in Biochemistry and Biosciences is designed to give our students a research-intensive experience but at a degree level lower than a PhD. Taught modules are focused on generic and transferable research skills, rather than discipline-specific knowledge. There is an emphasis on data analysis, interpretation, problem-solving, and time- and project management. You will also develop skills in presenting and writing science, posing a research question, and developing a research proposal. Students completing this MRes programmme will be competitive to secure funding, obtain a PhD position or enter directly into employment within the biotechnology or pharmaceutical sectors.

Our students also have the opportunity to collaborate with selected research groups within the School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology. Ultimately the MRes programme at UCC is designed to give you the best start for your scientific research career. 


Applicants must have a Second Class Honours (minimum Grade 2.1) in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) in the following relevant subject areas: biological sciences, medicine or pharmaceutical sciences.

You must be approved by the MRes coordinator and programme team, including the Head of the School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology.

The number of places is limited and decisions on entry to the programme will be made on the basis of the candidate’s performance in their primary degree and interview according to the following criteria: academic qualifications, research experience and focus, scientific understanding, personal statement and strong recommendations from two academic referees.

Industry-based applicants

Applicants based in industry can apply to undertake a 2-year part-time MRes. The decision on entry to the programme will be assessed by the programme director and the Head of School, on a case-by-case basis. The decision on entry will include the proposed project compatibility, the candidate’s performance in their primary degree and an interview according to the following criteria: academic qualifications, research experience and focus, scientific understanding, personal statement and strong recommendations from two academic referees.

English language requirements

Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. See our Postgraduate English Language Entry Requirements page for more information.

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. See our Qualification Comparison by Country page for more information.

International/non-EU applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure, visit the international student's information page.

For more information contact the International Office.

Fees and Costs

See our PG EU and International Fee Schedule page for tuition fees.

Available Scholarships

We support our postgraduate community by offering a limited number of scholarships and bursaries to prospective and current students. Please see the Science, Engineering and Food Sciences scholarships page for more information.

How To Apply

See our How to Apply page for more information.

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact