UCC Postgraduate courses

Engineering - Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Engineering

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Engineering - Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Engineering

  • Code


  • College

    Science, Engineering and Food Science

  • Duration

    2 years Part-time

  • Teaching Mode

    Part-Time. See Additional Teaching Mode Information for more info.

  • Qualifications

    PG Dip

  • EU Fees 2021

    Year 1 (part 1: 30 credits) €4,630; Year 2 (part 1: 30 credits) €4,500
    See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    Currently open for late EU applications

  • Start Date

    10th and 11th September 2021

Course Outline

The Postgraduate Diploma in Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Engineering is a part-time modular degree which can be taken over 24 months to 60 months. You will have the opportunity to gain a formal qualification in areas of particular concern to the bio/pharmaceutical industry that you may not have benefited from before, including issues such as product containment, powder/particle technology, design of API and secondary production facilities, current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP), design of classified facilities, aseptic processing facility design and validation.

The PG Dip involves taking 12 modules to the value of ECTS 60 credits. Taught modules are offered on a cyclical basis. Six modules are taken per annum over a two year period if you opt for full registration, although the course can be taken over a maximum of five years. The choice of modules is subject to the approval of the course coordinator. Candidates who achieve an average of 50% in all taught modules may apply for entry to the MEngSc to complete a thesis.

The modules currently offered are:

Part I:

Students take 60 credits from the following:

Offered in 2018/19

  • PE6016 Pharmaceutical Industry; Manufacturing and Optimisation (5 credits) 
  • PE6018 Pharmaceutical Process Validation and Quality (5 credits) 
  • PE6022 Aseptic Manufacturing Design (5 credits)
  • PE6024 Advanced Process Design and Safety Engineering (5 credits)
  • PE6025 Advanced Health & Safety Management (5 credits)
  • PE6026 Project Management - From Concept to Completion (5 credits)
  • CM6010 Introductory Pharmaceutical Chemistry (5 credits)
  • PF6302 Introduction to Pharmaceutics: Formulation Science (5 credits)

Offered in 2019/20

  • PE6010 Pharmaceutical Engineering (5 credits)
  • PE6011 Biopharmaceutical Engineering (5 credits)
  • PE6012 Pharmaceutical Process Equipment, Materials and Mechanical Design (5 credits)
  • PE6013 Powder and Particle Technology and Unit Operations (5 credits)
  • PE6015 Environmental Engineering in the Pharmaceutical Sector (5 credits) 
  • PE6019 Process Analytical Technology (5 credits) 
  • PE6023 Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Utilities (5 credits)
  • PE6027 Advanced Biopharmaceutical Engineering (5 credits) 

Part II (MEngSc only):

  • PE6021 Dissertation in Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Engineering (30 credits)

These are subject to change. Module Semester Information may be found here. Module Descriptions may be found here. For full course information see programme website. Further details on the content and modules are available on the Postgraduate College Calendar.

Additional Teaching Mode Information

This programme will be taught during weekends.


Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our book of modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.

University Calendar

You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.

Course Practicalities

  • Start-up sessions over two days (half a day per 5 credit module) (four contact hours per 5 credit module) (Fridays and Saturdays at end August/start September and start January) 
  • Followed up by tutorial sessions (every two to three weeks on Saturdays) on respective modules throughout term. Tutorial sessions involve six contact hours
  • Complemented by regular feedback available weekly on each module during teaching period. For full programme (including timetable) information see programme website.


Assessment is by continuous assessment and end of period exams.

Who teaches this course

Staff from the Department of Process and Chemical Engineering, Department of Chemistry, School of Pharmacy and a number of guest lecturers from industry.

Why Choose This Course

This course has an excellent structure allowing participants to carry out further education whilst still working full-time....

Recent Graduate

Comments from recent graduates of the programme, provided as part of the formal feedback process for the programme

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Overall, enjoyed the course, found it relevant to my work in the pharm industry. Would recommend to colleagues.

Recent Graduate

Prior to the job I am in now, my background was in production management in various other industries. I chose this course as I felt I needed a formal pharmaceutical based qualification...

Recent Graduate

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I have recommended this course to colleagues and friends – I hold this course and its content in high regard.

Recent Graduate

The thesis element of the course I found the most satisfying as I chose a subject closely related to my work...

Recent Graduate

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Many graduates working in the pharmaceutical industries with a scientific background find themselves working in areas which increasingly overlap with engineers and engineering. Many would like to develop an engineering-based understanding of processes and production in a formal manner. This course offers you the opportunity to do this, developing your skills set and employability across a wider range of roles.

The course also presents the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry with an opportunity to enable greater cohesion and understanding among inter- and multi-disciplinary teams as graduates with science backgrounds receive a formal qualification in engineering.

Skills and Careers Information

The course offers graduates working in the pharmaceutical industry the opportunity to further develop your skills set and employability across a wider range of roles in the industry through enhanced continuing professional development.

Through the opportunities provided by participation on the programme, you are provided with opportunities to enable greater cohesion and understanding among inter-and multi-disciplinary teams while earning a formal qualification in engineering.


  • Candidates must have achieved a Pass in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) in engineering or equivalent.
  • Or a Pass in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) or equivalent, ideally with some relevant industrial experience.
  • In all cases, the course of study for each candidate must be approved by the course coordinator.

English Language Requirements

Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university approved English language requirements available here.

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, please find our grades comparison by country here

International/non-EU applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.

Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.

For more information please contact the International Office.

Fees and Costs

The EU fee for this course is Year 1 (part 1: 30 credits) €4,630; Year 2 (part 1: 30 credits) €4,500.


If your course required a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second semester fee payment in January.

EU student fee payment:

Fees for EU students are payable in two equal instalments. First payment at registration in August and the second in January.

International student fee payment:

Fees for Non-EU Students are payable in one instalment in August.

How can I pay?

By Credit/Debit card online or by credit transfer.


If you have any questions on fee payment please email our Fees Office at fees@ucc.ie .

2017/2018 Non-EU €18,000

Non-EU Fees

The fee schedule for 2019/2020 is available here.

How Do I Apply

1. Choose Course

Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to two courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.

2. Apply Online

Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the online application portal. Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a non-refundable €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.

Applicants for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health Nursing must apply on the PAC website when the programme opens for applications.

3. Gather Supporting Documents

Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to the online application portal in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
  • Any supplementary items requested for your course.

Please log into the online application portal for more details.

4. Application processing timeline

Our online application portal opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details. 

5. Rounds

For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates here.

Questions on how to apply?

Please use our web enquiry form to contact us.

‌Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:

  • You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.

  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.

  • Please upload your CV.


Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact