MSc (Biotechnology)—full-time and part-time

College of Science

Course overview

The MSc Biotechnology programme aims to provide participants with the skills, knowledge and experience that are needed to pursue a successful career in biotechnology. The course focuses on the adaptation and application of biological processes for commercial and industrial use. This course would be suitable for graduates with a primary degree in the Biological Sciences who wish to extend their knowledge and skills for a career in the biotechnology sector.

Key facts

Entry requirements

Candidates must hold at least a Second Class Honours, Level 8 (or equivalent international qualification) primary degree in Science or a related subject, with a strong background in Biological Sciences. Candidates with a suitable primary degree without honours and three years relevant and appropriate practical experience may also be considered. For applicants whose native language is not English, an IELTS score of at least 6.0 is required, with not less than 5.5 in any one component.

Duration: 1 year, full-time
2 years, part-time

Next start date: September 2015

ECTS weighting: 90

Average intake: 8 (full-time) 1–2 (part-time)

Closing date: 5 June 2015

NFQ level: 9

Mode of study: Taught

Course outline

Core Modules

Research Project: A 5-month laboratory project within an academic research team on a subject related to biotechnology.

Frontiers in Biotechnology: This is an interactive tutorial-based module that will develop students’ transferable skills and knowledge of recent advances in biotechnology.

Current Methodologies in Biotechnology: Experts will teach methodologies fundamental to biotechnological research and applications. Skills taught in this module will be further developed during the research project.

Introduction to Business: This module outlines the concepts of marketing, management, accountancy and their application in Irish and international business situations. Teams of students develop a business plan for a start-up biotechnology enterprise.

Fundamental Concepts in Pharmacology: This module introduces students to fundamental pharmacological concepts of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of drug interactions in the body.

Protein Technology: Topics include industrial scale-up of protein production, proteomics and glycobiology.

Diagnostic Biotechnology: A comprehensive overview of immunological and molecular diagnostics applied in current biotechnological applications.

Optional modules (Choose 2):

Advanced Industrial Processes: This module is designed to develop an awareness of microbial technologies and their applications to biotechnology.

Applied Concepts in Pharmacology: This module introduces students to autonomic pharmacology and drug discovery and development.

Scientific Writing: This module aims to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the process of scientific publication (writing and reviewing articles).

Immunology: This module is delivered with emphasis on the clinical value of manipulating the immune system as well as the clinical implications of immunological dysfunction.

Quality Management Systems: Quality management systems essential for the efficient and safe running of commercial and industrial biotechnology enterprises are taught in this module.

*Please note that the curriculum information is subject to change from year to year.

Applications and selections

Applications are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Relevant PAC application code(s) above.

Selection of candidates is based on examination record, previous relevant experience, personal statement and performance at interview. Short-listed candidates are invited for interview in June/July.


Requirements and assessment

Assessment is a combination of continuous assessment, written exams, and research project thesis.

Find out more

Dr Mary Ní Fhlathartaigh
T +353 91 495 323

PAC code

GYS04, full-time
GYS05, part-time

Fees for this course

EU (Total): €6,815 p.a. 2015/16
 - Tuition: €6,591 p.a. 2015/16
 - Student levy: €224 p.a. 2015/16
Non-EU (Total): €13,750 p.a. 2015/16

Current students

John Brouwer

MSc in Biotechnology student with a BSc Plant Biotechnology, UCC

"Bill Gates the founder of Microsoft is famous in saying:“Two technologies will profoundly alter our world views as we move into the 21st century – computers and biotechnology.” - The Seattle Times, June 20, 1993.

This quote and my passion for biology have inspired me to choose the biotechnology path of studying.

As a graduate of biological sciences, the MSc in Biotechnology at NUIG stood out for many reasons. The course is focused on the career in which you want to pursue. This is done through your elective modules, offering Quality Management Systems and Advanced Industrial Processing for students that wish to pursue an industrial profession or modules such as Scientific Writing to enter a research background or PhD.

The MSc is unique to others; you have a business module in which you need to complete a group project in creating a biotechnology company. This is appealing to biotechnology companies as it bridges the gap between research and development and creating products for market.

Since I began the MSc I have not only learned through my modules but have had the privilege to gain insight into the diverse backgrounds of the other students chosen for the MSc. All staff and course coordinators are very approachable and are they are interested in your opinion and feedback throughout the year.

I would highly recommend the course to anybody with a biological background and would like to broaden their knowledge and career options in the biotechnology."

Graduate profile

Liam Higgins

MSc Biotechnology Graduate
Microbiology Technician at Aqualab, Killybegs, Co. Donegal

"The MSc in Biotechnology at NUI Galway opens up doors for anyone who does not know how they would like to apply their scientific knowledge in the workforce. I completed the course in 2010 and it was one of the most enjoyable and rewarding years of my college life. I got more from the course than I ever expected. You get a taste of everything, from lectures in immunology to marketing, so each day I was learning something new. Although it was a taught masters, it was very much group work orientated with lots of student-lecturer interaction. For my 4 month lab-based research project I was working with nanoparticles, a next generation technology that is at the forefront of modern biotechnology. I worked with microbiologists, physicists, and molecular biologists and met the most helpful and enthusiastic people that clearly have a love for science. Everyone in the department from the lab technicians to the lectures to the course co-ordinators are very approachable and there is a very good relationship between the masters students and the staff. The knowledge and experience I have gained doing the programme at NUI Galway has enabled me to work anywhere in the world. I am currently working in a research lab in Madrid, experiencing a new culture while doing what I love in the lab!” 

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