Jordan Hughes - MEngSc Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Engineering

I started the MEng in Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Engineering in September having spent a lot of time deciding whether I would be able to manage the workload along with maintaining my work performance and personal life. Initially I had certainly underestimated the workload going into the course but gradually have learned to manage my time better. When trying to manage all of this it is necessary to curtail my perfectionist nature and assess when I’m hitting a point of diminishing returns on assignments and study.

There is a big adjustment for anyone undertaking a part-time masters course but I would suggest that it is possible once you get used to it and plan your time well. I’ve still managed to keep up my hobbys of regularly going to watch Arsenal in London and Munster – so I can’t complain too much!

Most of the campus is the same as it was during my undergraduate but it’s different atmosphere around campus when lectures are on weekends. Its great to see construction work going on at the Windle building which seems to be making huge progress every time I am on campus. Good to see investment and development on campus at UCC is continuing as in the rest of Cork City.

In my first semester, I’ve found the modules very interesting. The Quality Validation and the Project Engineering module have been most applicable to my work. I’ve hugely increased my appreciation for quality throughout this course, particularly when learning about historical lapses of quality systems in the pharmaceutical industry. This has made me think even more of the importance of what I do in work every day to the patients who receive the innovative products that BioMarin develops and manufactures.

Check out the online prospectus page for the MEng in Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Engineering

Emirates Stadium

Jordon Hughes - MEngSc Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Engineering

Blog Post 2

I decided to undertake this course at UCC because my previous studies didn’t exactly match the biopharmaceutical industry that I’ve decided to work within. I felt the Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Engineering Masters at UCC would complement my day to day work and support future career progression.

My first semester back at UCC was both interesting and challenging. Having completed my undergrad in Energy Engineering at UCC already, I was very familiar with the campus and even some of the lecturers in my course.

Unlike my undergraduate degree, I am completing this course on a part-time basis while working full time within industry. This has huge benefits from a learning perspective, allowing me to see industry examples while studying theory in my course, but also has its challenges from a work-college-life balance perspective. Time management for study and assignments becomes critical unlike in full time education where more time is available for college work (and a few hours binging on Netflix is almost acceptable).

My time on campus is limited to five days per semester plus exams so most of the work is done in my own time. I am fortunate to be able to use my workplace at BioMarin in Shanbally to do my study on evenings and weekends. There are a number of colleagues that have completed this course or are doing it at the same time as myself, which allows for discussion on the course content, which is helpful. Lectures have also been very responsive with any queries I’ve had which is essential when the direct contact time on campus is minimal.

I’m hoping that in Semester two I will be able to manage my time even better to reduce the amount of time on weekends that I must spend doing college work. I will try to do that by doing assignments and study in the evenings after work, which should give me back most weekends. I am also beginning to look out for some potential dissertation ideas at work that I could begin looking at over the summer months.

Check our online prospectus page for MEngSc Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Engineering

Jordan Hughes - MEngSc Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Engineering

Blog Post 3

So first of two years in the Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Engineering masters done! Going to really make the most of the summer off having finished my exams. Luckily I do not have to begin working on my dissertation project this summer as I will start that after next years exams.

Being around campus and the Boole library at exam time was very familiar to me from my undergraduate days. It’s nice that now that I’m working, I can afford to go to the New Bar for the chicken curry at lunch time rather than the sandwiches that was the staple diet back then. Definitely would recommend lunch in the New Bar for anyone new to campus. Fortunately, I managed to resist the temptation to grab a pint as a means to de-stress prior to my exam.

I was very lucky to be given time off for studying by my employer BioMarin. There is also a huge amount of knowledge and experienced personnel on site that are always willing to support if I have any questions related to my studies. Without that support, as well as being able to use my desk at work for studying on weekends, I would certainly have struggled more throughout the year.

For anyone starting the MEng Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Engineering next year, I would advise you to get to know your classmates. The classmates that were there the previous year can be helpful at advising which modules you should do the following year. There is a huge amount of experience in the class also which can be useful for discussing assignments during tutorial sessions.

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