UCC Postgraduate courses

Biology - Molecular Cell Biology with Bioinnovation

Course Fact File
Duration1 Year Full-time
Teaching ModeFull-time
NFQ LevelLevel 9
Closing DateNot running in 2024/25
Non-EU Closing DateNot running in 2024/25
Start DateNot running in 2024/25

Course Outline

Our MSc Molecular Cell Biology with Bioinnovation (MSc MCB) programme is a unique multidisciplinary master’s programme aimed at highly motivated students with an interest in biomedical research and its applications. This course considers, amongst other areas, the nature of cancer biology; genetics; infection and immunity; molecular neuroscience; biotechnology; and entrepreneurial thinking.

We will provide you with a truly interdisciplinary educational experience by combining advanced discipline-specific training with core scientific research, technical expertise, and business skills.

Programme Details

This MSc Molecular Cell Biology with Bioinnovation programme is a full-time programme that runs for 12 months from the date of first registration. The course consists of lectures, tutorials, hands-on workshops and a research dissertation based on individual research.

Students take 90 credits in total: 45 credits from the core module list together with a 5-credit elective module. The remaining 40 credits are attached to the Molecular Cell Biology Research Dissertation (ML6001).

Core Modules

  • IS6306 Technology and Business Planning (5 credits)
  • MG6705 Marketing for Technology Entrepreneurs (5 credits)
  • ML6002 Biological and Clinical Perspectives of Human Disease (10 credits)
  • ML6003 Scientific Communication of Current Topics in Molecular Cell Biology (5 credits)
  • ML6004 Cell and Molecular Biology (10 credits)
  • ML6005 Molecular Techniques in the Life Sciences (5 credits)
  • ML6006 Human Molecular Genetics and Genetic Engineering Techniques (5 credits)

Elective Modules (choose one module)

  • IS6032 Venture Capital and Private Equity - Evaluating Early Stage Investments (5 credits)
  • IS6307 Creativity and Opportunity Recognition (5 credits)
  • LW6104 Principles of Intellectual Property Law (5 credits)

Research Module

  • ML6001 Molecular Cell Biology Research Dissertation (40 credits)

Project details

The theme of your project is chosen in conjunction with internationally-renowned research groups from the Schools of Biochemistry and Cell BiologyMicrobiology, and the Department of Anatomy & Neuroscience. Research fields include cancer biology; infection and immunity; and molecular neuroscience. These themes will inform your six-month project based on individual research and the results will contribute to your dissertation.

The project allows you to gain invaluable hands-on, practical experience in experimental design together with implementation and data interpretation. You will develop a wide array of transferable skills, including written and verbal communication skills; data recording practice; analysis and presentation skills; and critical evaluation skills of published material. In addition, you will learn to project-manage and work collaboratively and independently.

Course Practicalities

Discipline-specific lectures mostly take place from 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 Cell Biology and the 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.

Who teaches MSc Molecular Cell Biology with Bioinnovation?

The programme team includes: 

Why Choose This Course

Hear how Yasong navigated her time on this programme...

Yasong, MSc Molecular Cell Biology student

Find Out More
Listen to Paola's testimonial...

Paola Cioppi, MSc Molecular Cell Biology graduate

Find Out More

A distinctive feature of the MSc in Molecular Cell Biology with Bioinnovation programme is that, as well as the science-based modules, you will receive formal innovation and technology commercialisation training through modules from the College of Business and Law at UCC. Consequently, you will acquire not only excellent research and technical skills but also valuable business development and commercialisation skills for life science innovation projects.

Connected Curriculum

Our learning approach reflects our commitment to the Connected Curriculum where we emphasise the connection between students, learning, research and leadership through our vision for a Connected University. Our staff are at the forefront of this integrative approach to learning and will support you in making meaningful connections within and between disciplines such as biology, chemistry, medicine, technology, biotechnology, law, and business.

Available Scholarships

We support our postgraduate community by offering scholarships and bursaries to prospective and current students. Please see the SEFS Scholarships and Funding PG page for more information.


At Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneurs Programme (IBYE) competition in 2015 one of our students, Blaine Doyle, won the Best Business Idea category and invested the prize money into GlowDX, an Irish diagnostics start-up company that diagnoses neglected tropical diseases like Dengue fever in developing countries. Blaine co-founded GlowDX with Yensi Flores Bueso, also a student from this Molecular Cell Biology with Bioinnovation programme. The company recently raised more than €1 million in funding towards its goal of making at-home testing more easily accessible to consumers across the globe, especially in Latin America.

The MSc in Molecular Biology with Bioinnovation at UCC was the inflection point I needed on my journey to starting my business, GlowDX. The blend of molecular biology and business allowed me to see both sides of the coin, both technical & commercial aspects becoming one. This Masters allowed me to see the opportunities that scientific technologies can bring, while also seeing the execution required to bring them to fruition.

Blaine Doyle - GlowDX

Skills and Careers Information

Our graduates work in a wide array of fields, and recent positions include technology transfer officer within higher education institutions and national agencies; R&D project manager; commercialisation manager within a life science start-up; and development manager within the pharmaceutical sector. The course also equips students with the skills required to develop a start-up venture. You are also ideally positioned to enter into a PhD programme at UCC or internationally.


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.

Fees and Costs

How To Apply

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. We strongly encourage you to complete these sections as this information will support your application.

Additional information required will include the following:

  • Please enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held.
  • Please detail your research interest(s).
  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.
  • Please upload a detailed CV.
  • Please add the name and email address of two 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 Not running in 2024/25

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact