MSc in Entrepreneurial Synthetic Biology and Biotechnology

MSc in Entrepreneurial Synthetic Biology and Biotechnology

MSc in Entrepreneurial Synthetic Biology and Biotechnology

MSc in Entrepreneurial Synthetic Biology and Biotechnology (MESBB)

Synthetic Biology offers unprecedented opportunities to design, innovate, build and engineer products of commercial value in the biotechnology sector. The Masters in Entrepreneurial Synthetic Biology and Biotechnology (MESBB) is a 1-year research programme providing entrepreneurial students with a unique opportunity in biotechnology, namely to identify an innovative biotechnological product that can be generated using synthetic biology approaches and b) to design and implement a research plan to generate a prototype of the identified product for commercialisation purposes.

The initial phase (months 1-2) of the MESBB will be focused on identifying and developing a potential product idea, carrying out a market feasibility study for the product, designing a synthetic biology approach to develop the product, and assessing the technical feasibility of the technology.

The initial phase will culminate in a pitch to the course board to enable progression to the design and implementation stage using modern synthetic biology methods. The course board will be comprised of senior personnel with advanced expertise in scientific and commercial evaluation of biotechnology products.

The implementation stage (month 2-10) will be aimed at research and development leading to production of a prototype encapsulating the product idea and enabling preliminary testing and / or evaluation. Month 11 will be dedicated to writing a Masters thesis on the research and development of the product. Month 12 will be dedicated to production of an evaluation report on commercial aspects relating to the product and will be incorporated into the thesis. The final stage will be an exit presentation to the course board including a detailed road map for commercialisation of the product.

Students will attend high intensity workshops throughout the course on key areas including:


  • entrepreneurship
  • intellectual property
  • commercialisation
  • partnerships, networks and strategic alliances


Each student will be assigned a scientific and entrepreneurship mentor to facilitate their progression through the programme.

Eligibility: Candidates must have obtained at least a Second Class Honours, Grade 2 degree or equivalent in a subject related to the MSc programme e.g. any degree with a substantial component of/or combinations of biochemistry, biotechnology, cell biology, genetics, microbiology, molecular biology, pharmacology and/or plant science.

PAC Course Code: CKS01. Number of places 5.

Application Process: Candidates must apply via PAC ( for course CKS01. Candidates must independently submit a 500 word personal statement supporting their application for this programme.

(Optional) Candidates also have the option of submitting a 300 word proposal outlining an idea for developing a novel or innovative biotechnological product. (This is not necessarily the product for continuation during the MSc). The personal statement and proposal should be submitted via email to Professor Tommie McCarthy.

Fees: EU students: €10770 (tuition fee €5770, bench fee €5000). International students: €20000 (tuition fee €15000, bench fee €5000).

Programme Team: Dr Mark Tangney (Cork Cancer Research Centre) and Professor Tommie McCarthy (School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology), UCC.

Academic Director: Professor Tommie McCarthy.

Enquiries: Professor Tommie McCarthy (email:, Dr Mark Tangney (email:

Applications: Applications are reviewed quarterly.


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