Pharma Careers Seminar

7 Nov 2018

Tuesday evening November 6th, saw the UCC Biochemistry and Biotechnology’s sole breakout event of the year – a riveting postgraduate seminar, hosted by our chairs Claire Cronin and Maeve O’ Sullivan.

Chairs of the UCC Biochemistry and Biotechnology Society, Claire Cronin and Maeve O'Sullivan.

Chairs of the UCC Biochemistry and Biotechnology Society, Claire Cronin and Maeve O'Sullivan.

The seminar was based around application to the MSc in Biotechnology course, one which has been successfully co-ordinated by Professor Tommie McCarthy over the past four years. We also heard from one of the alumni from the Biotechnology Masters, Claire Walsh, Senior MPS at Janssen Sciences Ringaskiddy. Claire spoke about her role in Operations and how the Masters programme gave her the skillset to excel in her roles up to this point.

Professor McCarthy delivered an engaging speech, on the many benefits of enrolling in this programme – over 95% employment in placement companies after course cessation, acquiring up-to-date relevant industry skills, as well as building a vast network of contacts as a Biotechnology Masters alumni.

The course has gone from strength to strength in past years, seeing unprecedented demand from students at home and abroad. The demand is seen in part, due to increased foreign investment in the sector – from having 2 multinational biotech companies in 2003 rising to 18 in 2017 (IDA, 2017).

Claire Walsh, Senior MPS, Janssen Ringaskiddy, also provided a strong endorsement of the course. Many relevant core modules, such as Bioprocess Engineering and Advanced Molecular Microbial Biotechnology, provides students with a skillset revelled in the Biopharmaceutical sector.

As Claire mentioned, acquired soft skills – e.g. in demonstrating undergraduate laboratory sessions - allow young professionals to develop effective communication and leadership skills required in their future roles. In addition, the six month industry project placement gives students a strong foothold in the working world, and a distinct advantage in their ongoing professional development.

Many degree outlets were in attendance on the night – Biochemistry, Chemistry of Pharmaceutical Compounds, Genetics and Microbiology, to name a few – for the debut event of the UCC Biochemistry and Biotechnology Society Calendar. More information on this course can be sought from the website itself (, or by emailing Professor McCarthy directly ( Closing date for applications to this course is 15th March 2019, and instructions for applying can be accessed through the PAC (Postgraduate Applications Centre) website.

We would like to thank both speakers again for hosting such an informative seminar, as well as Dr Sinead Kerins for her continued support. Our next outing is a laboratory tour to Eurofins BPT Ireland Laboratories in Dungarvan, Wednesday 14th November. Hope to see some or all or you there!

Ciarán Murphy – 4th Year OCM


UCC Biochemistry and Biotechnology Society 2018

Members of the UCC Biochemistry and Biotechnology Society. Back row: Ciarán Murphy, Caoimhe Broderick, Claire Ryan, Denise Kelleher, Daniel Taylor and Niamh McInerney. Front row: Cliona O'Callaghan, Neil O'Sullivan, Claire Cronin, Maeve O'Sullivan, Sarah Hannan and Jamie Bourke.

School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Scoil na Bithcheimice agus na Cillbhitheolaíochta

University College Cork, Western Road, Cork.