UCC Postgraduate courses

Biology - Molecular Cell Biology with Bioinnovation

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Biology - Molecular Cell Biology with Bioinnovation

  • Code


  • College

    Science, Engineering and Food Science

  • Duration

    1 year Full-time

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications


  • EU Fees 2021

    See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Non-EU Fees 2021


  • Entry Requirements

    Applicants must possess a Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) or equivalent in the biological sciences, medicine or pharmaceutical sciences. See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    Currently open for late EU applications

  • Non-EU Closing Date

    Extended until 31 July 2021

  • Start Date

    13 September 2021

Course Outline

The MSc in Molecular Cell Biology with Bioinnovation is a unique course aimed at highly-motivated students with an interest in biomedical research in the areas of cancer biology, infection/immunity or molecular neuroscience and entrepreneurial thinking. The course will provide you with a truly interdisciplinary educational experience by combining advanced discipline-specific training with core scientific research, technical expertise and business skills.

The course will consist of lectures, tutorials, hands-on workshops and a research dissertation based on individual research.

Core scientific modules (25 credits):

  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Human Molecular Genetics and Genetic Engineering Techniques
  • Biological and Clinical Perspectives of Human Disease

Scientific skills-development modules (10 credits): 

  • Biotechniques
  • Scientific Communication of Current Topics in Molecular Cell Biology 

Core business modules (10 credits)

  • Marketing for High Technology Entrepreneurs
  • Technology and Business Planning

Elective modules (select one of the following 5 credit modules): 

  • Creativity and Opportunity Recognition
  • Innovation Finance
  • Intellectual Property Law for High-Tech Entrepreneurs

Research Project (40 credits):

You will select a project offered by internationally-renowned research groups from the Schools of Biochemistry and Cell BiologyMicrobiology and Anatomy/Neuroscience. With three primary research themes – cancer biology, infection/immunity and molecular neuroscience, you will complete a six-month project based on individual research in one of these themes and compile the results into an MSc dissertation on completion.

You will gain invaluable hands-on, practical experience in experimental design, implementation and data interpretation and develop a wide array of transferable skills, including written and verbal communication; data recording, analysis and presentation; critical evaluation of published material; learning to work collaboratively and independently as well as project and time-management. Further details on the content and modules are available on the Postgraduate College Calendar


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

Discipline-specific lectures mostly take place on Monday to Wednesday and are designed to fit in with lectures offered by the College of Business and Law. You are expected to attend seminars in the Schools of Biochemistry and Microbiology and Department of Anatomy/Neuroscience as advertised. The six-month research project is full-time starting in April.

Taught modules are examined by formal written examination and continuous assessment. The research dissertation for the six-month research project must be submitted by the end of the first academic year of registration for examination by internal and external examiners.

The programme team consists of: 

  • Prof Rosemary O’Connor, School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
  • Dr John Morrissey, School of Microbiology and
  • Dr Aideen Sullivan, Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience.
  • Dr Kellie Dean, School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, coordinates the overall course, modules, assessments and research projects.

Research projects are offered by over 20 participating investigators in the Schools of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Microbiology and the Department of Anatomy/Neuroscience.

Why Choose This Course

The blend of molecular biology & business allowed me to see both sides of the coin, both technical & commercial aspects becoming one.


Masters Student

Find Out More

A distinctive feature of the MSc in Molecular Cell Biology with Bioinnovation is that you will receive formal innovation and technology commercialisation training through modules from the College of Business and Law at UCC.

With three primary research themes – cancer biology, infection/immunity and molecular neuroscience, you will select projects with internationally-renowned research groups from the Schools of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Department of Anatomy/Neuroscience, following the completion of discipline-specific modules.

You will not only possess excellent research and technical skills on graduation but also the necessary business development and commercialisation skills for life science innovation.


At Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneurs 2015 competition in the ‘Best New Idea’ category, UCC student Blaine Doyle won the top prize of a €20,000 investment for GlowDX, a company that is setting out to diagnose neglected tropical diseases like Dengue fever in developing countries. Blaine co-founded GlowDX with Yensi Flores Bueso, both students in the MSc in Molecular Cell Biology with Bioinnovation at UCC. 

There was over 1,400 applications to Local Enterprise Offices for this year’s competition, 24 finalists from 17 counties competed for the overall title, and nine of those made a live pitch to the judging panel in the final round.

Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur Competition was supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the network of Local Enterprise Offices, Enterprise Ireland and Google.

Skills and Careers Information

You will be ideally positioned to enter into a PhD after graduation, but could also pursue a number of career paths including technology transfer officer within higher education institutions and national agencies, R&D project manager, commercialisation manager within a life science start-up, or development manager within the pharmaceutical sector. The course will also equip you with the skills required to develop your own start-up venture.

A first destination survey of our inaugural class of 2012-13 has revealed that 100% of graduates are in employment or further education within one year of completing the MSc in Molecular Cell Biology with Bioinnovation.


Applicants must possess a Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) or equivalent in the biological sciences, medicine or pharmaceutical sciences. Graduates with a Second Class Honours Grade II in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) will be considered under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) on a case-by-case basis provided there is substantial and relevant experience and subject to the approval of the Director of the MSc Programme in Molecular Cell Biology with Bioinnovation.

Decisions on selection to the programme will be made on the basis of your performance in your primary degree, your personal statement and possibly an interview with the following criteria considered:

  • academic qualifications (in a relevant academic discipline)
  • research experience and focus
  • quality of the personal statement
  • recommendation letters from two academic referees.

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 €7,130.

The Non-EU fee for this course is €22,130.


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 .

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 detail your research interest(s).
  • Please upload a detailed CV.
  • Please add the name and email address of 2 academic referees.


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

The closing date for non-EU applications is Extended until 31 July 2021

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact