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UCC Postgraduate courses

Engineering - Pharmaceutical & Biopharmaceutical Engineering

Course Fact File
DurationFull-time 12 months; Part-time minimum of 24 months, maximum of 60 months
Teaching ModeFull-time, Part-Time
NFQ LevelLevel 9
Closing DateClosed for applications
Non-EU Closing DateClosed for applications
Start Date6 September 2024

Course Outline

The MEngSc in Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Engineering is a part-time course running for a minimum of 24 months (maximum 60 months) from the date of first registration for the programme. It is also offered as a full-time course running for 12 months from the date of first registration.

This course is principally organised to accommodate part-time students who are working in industry by holding lectures and tutorials in full-day sessions every 3-4 weeks, mostly on a Saturday. Full-time students will follow the same lecturing regime but do the full complement of necessary modules and research activity within one year, whereas part-time students will do their modules and research typically over two years.

This course provides the opportunity to gain a formal qualification in areas of particular relevance to the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry; to upskill your competence for these important industrial sectors, including topics 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, utilities, and services, data analysis and process validation.

Programme Structure

The course comprises 60 credits of taught modules, which after completion students may select to finish their studies and graduate with a PG Diploma.

Students who choose to do the MEngSc will in addition to the 60 credits of taught modules, also complete a dissertation in Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Engineering (30 credits). Note that only non-EU students can apply to register for the Full-Time MEngSc track.

Part I (Choose 60 credits)

  • PE6004 Biopharmaceutical Support Systems (5 credits)
  • 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)
  • PE6019 Process Analytical Technology (5 credits)
  • PE6023 Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Utilities (5 credits)
  • PE6027 Advanced Biopharmaceutical Engineering (5 credits)
  • CM6010 Introductory Pharmaceutical Chemistry (5 credits)
  • 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 & Safety Engineering (5 credits)
  • PE6026 Project Engineering - From Concept to Completion (5 credits)

Part II (30 credits)

  • PE6021 Dissertation in Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Engineering

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue where you can search for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year to year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

This course can be taken full-time over 12 months (non-EU students only) or part-time running over two years (24 months). Part-time students have the option to exit with either a Postgraduate Diploma or a Masters in Engineering Sciences.

This programme is principally organised to accommodate part-time students who are working in industry by holding lectures and tutorials in full-day sessions every 3-4 weeks, mostly on a Saturday.

  • Start-up sessions over two days (half a day per 5 credit module) (four contact hours per 5 credit module) (Fridays and Saturdays at the end of August/start September and start January).
  • Followed up by tutorial sessions (every two to three weeks on Saturdays) on respective modules throughout the term. Tutorial sessions involve six contact hours.

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 several guest lecturers from industry.

Why Choose This Course

This course aims to fill a need for the continuing professional development (CPD) and postgraduate education of engineers working in the pharmaceutical industry. This course covers issues of particular concern to the pharmaceutical industry 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, validation, etc.

Skills and Careers Information

The course offers graduates working in the pharmaceutical/biopharmaceutical industry as well as students and professionals with basic engineering backgrounds/experience the opportunity to further develop their skill set and employability across a wider range of roles in the industry through enhanced continuing professional development.

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


  • Applicants must have a BE (Hons) or BEng (Hons) Degree or equivalent engineering qualification, with a minimum Second Class Honours Grade II, or a level 8 BSc degree, with a minimum grade Second Class Honours Grade II, where the BSc graduate has a recognised qualification in Process or Chemical Engineering (e.g. the Diploma in Process and Chemical Engineering at UCC or equivalent).
  • However, applicants with equivalent academic qualifications and suitable experience may be accepted subject to the approval of the Programme Director under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). In all cases, the course of study for each applicant must be approved by the Programme Director.

For Applicants with Qualifications Completed Outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.

International/Non-EU Applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure 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.
  • Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.
English Language Requirements

Applicants who are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

Fees and Costs

Postgraduate EU and International Fees 2024/2025

See our Postgraduate EU and Non-EU (International) Fee Schedule for the latest information.


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

Fee payment 

Fees are payable in two equal instalments. First payment is at registration and the balance usually by the end of January.

How can I pay? 

See different options on our How Do I Pay My Fees? page.

Any questions? See the 'Contact Us' section on the Fees Office page.

How To Apply

1. Check dates

Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.

2. Gather documents

Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:

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

3. Apply online

Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.

Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.

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:

  • 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. 

The closing date for non-EU applications is Closed for applications

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact