About This Course
Pharmaceutical Technology and Quality Systems
2 years Part-time
Part-Time, Distance Learning. See Additional Teaching Mode Information for more info.
EU Fees 2020
€9,500 (Year 1); €9,500 (Year 2)
See Fees and Costs for full details.
Non-EU Fees 2020
See Requirements for full details.
12 June 2020
Non-EU Closing Date
Course Delivery Method
7 September 2020
This two-year distance learning course is aimed at graduates who currently work within the pharmaceutical industry who wish to fulfil the EU educational requirements for Qualified Person (QP) status. Graduates who complete this course and have the relevant work experience are eligible to apply to the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) or EU regulatory authority to register as a QP.
The course is not limited to aspiring QPs. It is designed to broaden your professional development and provide up-to-date assessments of the latest trends in the areas of pharmaceutical/ biopharmaceutical development, manufacturing and quality. The individual modules provide knowledge and experience of benefit to all technical, quality, regulatory and managerial staff in the pharmaceutical industry.
Course Requirements (Pathway 1)
In Part I, you will take taught modules to the value of 60 credits, run over a minimum of 18 months. The taught modules incorporate a combination of self-instructional printed materials (i.e. printed module workbooks), teleconferences, web-based seminars and online assessments. Students must also attend the two three-day workshops on campus each year, involving lectures, practical sessions, tutorials and industrial site visits.
In Part II, you complete a research project module to the value of 30 credits. If you want to pursue the course, you must be able to carry out your research project in your place of employment.
Modules (90 credits):
- PF6200 Pharmaceutical Chemistry (10 credits)
- PF6201 Pharmaceutical Dosage Form Design (5 credits)
- PT6401 Pharmacology (5 credits)
- PF6202 Pharmaceutical Manufacturing - API to Finished Product (5 credits)
- PF6203 Pharmaceutical Microbiology and Sterile Manufacturing (5 credits)
- PF6204 Biopharmaceutical Development of Investigational Medicinal Products (5 credits)
- PF6205 Pharmaceutical Biotechnology (5 credits)
- PF6206 Pharmaceutical Statistics and Process Control (5 credits)
- PF6207 Pharmaceutical Plant and Process: From Design through Validation (5 credits)
- PF6208 Quality Management Systems and Regulatory Affairs (5 credits)
- PF6209 Role and Professional Duties of the Qualified Person (5 credits)
- PF6210 Research Project — Pharmaceutical Technology and Quality Systems (30 credits)
The research project will be centred in an industrial pharmaceutical setting. Consideration will be given to your chosen project area but all project titles must be approved in advance by the course committee and supervised by a member of academic staff at UCC.
Note: Taught modules will be offered on a cyclical basis over alternative years.
Course Requirements (Pathway 2) - Students take 30 credits as follows:
- PF6210 Research Project — Pharmaceutical Technology and Quality Systems (30 credits)
Further details on the content and modules are available on the Postgraduate College Calendar
Additional Teaching Mode Information
This programme will be taught online.
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.
You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.
Consisting of taught modules by distance learning running from September to April each year. In second year, the research project runs from April to October/November.
The taught modules incorporate printed module workbooks, teleconferences, web-based seminars and online assessments. Each module runs for approximately four weeks. The average amount of directed study that you are advised to undertake per module is about 10-15 hours per week.
Teleconferences and webinars are held regularly throughout the year. Students must attend a three day workshop held in UCC at the end of each semester, usually in December and February. Exams are held in UCC in April. In some cases, arrangements can be made to sit the exams at a different university.
Assessment consists of a mixture of continuous assessment and end-of-year written exams. Exams take place in April each year, with repeats in autumn if required.
Continuous assessments form part of each taught module and can be in various formats such as online MCQs, essays and interactive exercises on Canvas. The value of the continuous assessments varies for each module but can count for 20-50% of the overall mark.
Why Choose This Course
The MSc in Pharmaceutical Technology and Quality systems has been approved by the HPRA in meeting the educational requirements for QP status as stated in directive 2001/83/EC. Students who have completed this course and have the relevant work experience are eligible to apply to an EU regulatory authority to register as a QP.
Skills and Careers Information
Although the course meets the educational requirements for registering as a QP, it is not only aspiring QPs who complete the course. Many of our graduates use the skills obtained in the course to develop their careers within other areas of the pharmaceutical industry.
Students from the EU can use this qualification to apply to your regulatory authority to register as a QP. Last year, a number of students from Malta graduated from this course and registered as QPs in Malta.
Entry Requirements (Pathway 1)
All candidates must be approved by the programme committee within the School of Pharmacy. Applicants may be short listed for interview.
- a candidate must have obtained at least a Second Class Honours primary degree in a relevant science discipline (NFQ level 8) which has been approved by the programme committee (e.g. pharmacy, chemistry or the biological sciences);
- candidates must be currently employed in a relevant pharmaceutical sector (ideally greater than two years experience) and for the duration of the programme;
- consideration may be given to other applicants with suitable equivalent professional qualifications and significant industrial experience (greater than 5 years relevant experience in the pharmaceutical industry).
*Note: Candidates who successfully complete this programme and wish to become a QP must apply to the HPRA to become registered as a QP and should also note the following:
- they must also have an appropriate primary degree that is considered by the HPRA to meet the specific requirements for primary qualifications listed in article 49 of 2001/83/EC (e.g. chemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry and technology, biology);
- they must provide evidence to the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) that they ‘have acquired practical experience over at least two years, in one or more undertakings which are authorized to manufacture medicinal products, in the activities of qualitative analysis of medicinal products, of quantitative analysis of active substances and of testing and checking necessary to ensure the quality of medicinal products’.
Entry Requirements (Pathway 2)
In addition to the above:
- The Programme Management Committee may permit graduates holding a Postgraduate Diploma (equivalent to NFQ Level 9 award) in Pharmaceutical Technology and Quality Systems from an appropriately accredited School of Pharmacy to enter a one year programme. To be considered for entry to this programme, candidates must have completed their Postgraduate Diploma no later than five years prior to the date of registration for this programme. All candidates must be approved by the programme committee within the School of Pharmacy. Applicants may be short listed for interview.
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.
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 €9,500 (Year 1); €9,500 (Year 2).
The Non-EU fee for this course is €15,000.
If your course is offered full time and part time, normally the fee for the part-time course is half the full-time fee per year, please check the fact file for confirmation.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org .
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 three 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 Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a €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.
3. Gather Supporting Documents
Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to PAC 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 forms requested for your course.
Please log into PAC for more details.
4. Application processing timeline
Our online application system PAC opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details.
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.
Please note that you will be asked to upload a supplementary document as part of the application process for this programme. The supplementary information required is available to view here SupplementaryQuestionsCKX05 (13kB).
Please be advised that all applications will be reviewed after the closing date of the 12th June 2020 has passed regardless of the initial date of application.
The closing date for non-EU applications is 10 AprilApply Now