Biotechnology MSc

Fact File

Course Code: CKR01 Full-time

Course Title: Biotechnology

College: Science, Engineering and Food Science


Duration: 1 year Full-time

Teaching Mode: Full-time

Qualifications: MSc

NFQ Level: Level 9

Costs: 2017/2018 Irish/EU €7,000 (excl. Bench Fee); 2017/2018 Non-EU fee: €22,000 (excl. Bench Fee). A €1,000 Bench Fee is also required, payable directly to the department.

Entry Requirements: See Detailed Entry Requirements

Closing Date: See details in application procedure below

Next Intake: 10th September 2018


The MSc in Biotechnology is a one-year course designed to provide you with the theoretical and practical skills for employment in the industries of biomedical research, biopharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and biotechnology. The course curriculum consists of six months of lectures, laboratory practical sessions, career service workshops, industry-based seminars and a six-month research project. The curriculum has been developed with input from staff in local biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industries, to provide you with the necessary skills required by employers. Students have the choice to complete the six-month research project in a national or international industry or university environment.

Course Details

The MSc in Biotechnology degree course consists of eight course modules, set practical sessions, career service workshops, an industry lecture series and a six-month research project.

Students study the following eight modules and complete a research project:

  • Advanced Molecular Microbial Biotechnology
  • Biopharmaceuticals: formulation design, secondary processing and regulatory compliance
  • Bioprocess Engineering
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Functional Foods for Health
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Modern Methods in Analytical Chemistry
  • Plant Genetic Engineering

Research Project and Industry Placement:

You will be required to complete a six-month research project based on your individual research and development in a selected field of modern science. You carry out your research in UCC’s laboratories or at an approved academic or industrial partner.

When you complete your research dissertation in an industrial setting, it provides the company with an opportunity to assess your skills and abilities and to screen potential future full-time employees.

Students who secure employment upon graduation fit into the organisation and contribute productively much sooner that other graduates. For students with an interest in biomedical research and future careers as PhD researchers, research projects are offered across a broad range of topics including but not limited to; cancer biology, neuroscience, immunology, microbiology and plant biotechnology.

The course will:

  • introduce you to the theory and practice of bioanalytical chemistry?
  • introduce you to molecular biotechnology, eukaryotic-, prokaryotic- and plant-biotechnologies, recombinant DNA technologies and their application in the biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industries
  • introduce you to the principles of process and biochemical engineering?
  • introduce you to the role of process validation and quality assurance in the pharmaceutical industry, and give you an awareness of the latest trends in good manufacturing, laboratory and validation practices
  • introduce you to the principles of food and industrial microbiology
  • provide you with the opportunity to conduct and complete a body of independent research in a biotechnology-related area and present your research findings in a minor dissertation.

Further details on the content and modules are available on  the Postgraduate College Calendar

Detailed Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements - Direct Entry

Candidates must have obtained at least a Second Class Honours, Grade I degree or equivalent in a subject(s) related to that of the MSc programme. Graduates with a Second Class Honours Grade II will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Graduates with equivalent qualifications in related areas of science and technology, or with proven and relevant industrial experience can be considered for places following interview and assessment by the Director of the MSc (Biotechnology) Programme. Candidates must be approved by the MSc (Biotechnology) course team and/or the Director of the MSc (Biotechnology) Programme. The number of places is limited and selection will be made on the basis of the candidate's performance in his/her primary degree or interview.

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please click here to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests. 


Application Procedure

Application for this programme is on-line at Places on this programme are offered in rounds. The closing dates for each round can be found here. For full details of the application procedure click How to Apply.

All required documentation must be either uploaded to your online application, or sent in hard copy to The Postgraduate Applications Centre, 1, Courthouse Square, Galway, immediately after an application is made.

Please note that successful applicants will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of €500 on acceptance of their place.

Course Practicalities

The curriculum consists of approximately 250 contact hours over two academic terms (October to December and January to March), consisting of eight course modules, set practical sessions, career service workshops and an industry lecture series.

During the third academic term (April to September), students complete a six-month research project on a topic related to biotechnology, biopharmaceutical or biomedical research. Industry-based projects in these areas are managed by a dedicated placement officer who facilitates career workshops during which you prepare for and are interviewed by staff from companies interested in hosting students. For students interested in a career in biomedical research or PhD, projects are offered in a broad range of research areas utilising modern research techniques. All research projects are undertaken in consultation with an academic supervisor and examiner.


The MSc in Biotechnology is awarded after passing written examinations across taught course units, the continuous assessment of practical work and completion of a six-month research project, which has to be written up in the form of a dissertation and approved by an external examiner. All students must complete written examinations (typically held over a two week period in March) and submit a research project. Full details and regulations governing examinations for each course will be contained in the Marks and Standards 2013 Book and for each module in the Book of Modules, 2012/2013

Who Teaches This Course

This innovative, interdisciplinary course draws its faculty and course content from UCC’s Biochemistry, Microbiology, Chemistry, Pharmacy, Plant Science and Process Engineering departments. Additional lectures are provided by staff from local biotechnology and biopharmaceutical companies.

Contact us

E: Prof. Tommie McCarthy

P: + 353 21 420 5436
W: Website

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