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About NUI Galway
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At NUI Galway, we believe that the best learning takes place when you apply what you learn in a real world context. That's why many of our courses include work placements or community projects.
Bachelor of Science (Genetics and Genomics)
** NEW IN SEPTEMBER 2020 **
Genetics and Genomics is an exciting area of science involving the study and use of DNA based data in the life sciences. Genetics is the study of how DNA is the blueprint for functionality in every cell and is also the code that passes information from one generation to the next. New sequencing technologies can now generate vast quantities of data from DNA. Genomics is the study of these data to make important discoveries in areas such as medicine, agriculture, evolution, the environment and biotechnology.
This new programme - beginning in 2020 – aims to provide students with a unique inter-disciplinary educational experience that combines biology with mathematics and data science.
1st Year: Students will receive a foundational scientific understanding of principles that govern the complex nature of living systems through studying biology, chemistry, mathematics and computer science. In parallel, students will be introduced to key concepts that underpin genetics and genomics, as well as developing scientific research and communication skills.
2nd Year: Students will learn about the biology of living cells and organisms, including their evolutionary origin. Students will be introduced to the techniques that allow us to study humans, animals, plants and microbes at a genetic level. This extends to understanding how genetics underpins and drives innovation in areas such as medicine, agriculture and the environment. Students will learn about data analysis and computer programming and how these are important for interpretation of genetic data. Students will continue to develop their teamwork and communication skills while learning about latest biomedical research.
3rd Year: Within core modules, students will learn about molecular genetic processes that control cell cycle, DNA replication and gene expression. Students will learn about the application of genomic tools to study bacteria and viruses. Students will extend their knowledge of evolutionary biology. Students will develop a deeper understanding of human, plant and agricultural genetics. Students will receive practical training in molecular biology techniques and in the analysis of genetics and genomics data. Elective modules will give students the opportunity to gain specific knowledge and further develop skills in areas such as cell biology, developmental biology, immunology, microbiology, statistics, computer programming or the application of mathematical methods in genomic analysis.
4th Year: A large portion of the students’ efforts will be dedicated to an independent research project supervised by an academic member of staff, usually as part of a research team. A student-driven literature review project carried out with guidance and direction of an academic member of staff will also be completed. In parallel, students will further develop their skills in genetics and genomics and chose elective pathways (e.g. plant genetics, computer and data science, molecular and cell biology or microbial genetics) to deepen their knowledge and understanding in these specific areas.
Graduate Attributes for the Programme
Graduates of the BSc (Genetics and Genomics) will have the following attributes:
- Academic excellence and expertise in biological processes, systems and mechanisms, with in-depth understanding of specific areas in human health and disease.
- Creative, problem-solving abilities, working either independently or collaboratively as part of a team using a suite of approaches and techniques.
- Critical and objective thinking skills, demonstrating curiosity and independence of thought with an ability to synthesise, summarise and analyse data.
- Written and oral communication skills, using various media effective for different purposes, and a variety of audiences.
- Effective leadership and project management skills to solve new challenges.
- Professional awareness of scientific integrity and associated ethical implications of scientific activities.
- Competitiveness for postgraduate education and career opportunities in the global public, private, and academic sectors.
- Theoretical and technical laboratory skills in biosciences, combined with computational and analytical skills enabling a unique skillset for multiple careers.
Applications and Selections
Who Teaches this Course
Requirements and Assessment
Minimum Grade H5 in two subjects and passes in four additional subjects at O6/H7 level in the Leaving Certificate, including Irish, English, a laboratory science subject (i.e. Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Physics with Chemistry (joint),Computer Science or Agricultural Science) and any two other subjects recognised for entry purposes.
Next start date
A Level Grades (2020)
Mode of study
Graduates will be uniquely trained to integrate knowledge and skills from the biological sciences with mathematical, computational and data analytic skills. This multi-disciplinary course covers a range of biological, mathematical and computer science topics:
- Medicine: the genetic basis of rare and common human diseases and how genomics uncovers genes that contribute to illness.
- Agri-bioscience: the genetic and biological origins of agriculture; food security and sustainable development.
- Microbiology: microbial genetics and key medical and environmental impacts of microorganisms.
- Evolution: evolutionary biology, including natural selection and the genetic mechanisms that shape evolution.
- Informatics: computer programming and mathematical and algorithmic methods to solve problems in molecular genetics.
The final year project will allow students to apply their knowledge in a research laboratory.
Students will benefit from group learning in a small class size, and will graduate with a broad range of skills including communication, teamwork, critical thinking and problem solving. These skills are called transferable because they will transfer and be useful in a broad range of careers post-graduation.
Your Course Year by Year
- Chemistry: Molecular Science
- Mathematics (Honours level)
- Computer Science
- Introduction to Genetics & Genomics
- Biomedical Genomics: Research and Communication
- Genetics, Medicine & Disease
- Molecular & Cellular Biology
- Protein Structure & Function
- Plant and Agri-Biosciences
- Mathematics (Mathematical Molecular Biology, Statistics in Data Science)
- Biomedical Genomics: Seminars and Essays
- Molecular & Cellular Biology
- Microbial Genomics
- Evolutionary Biology
- Human Genetics
- Plant and Agricultural Genetics
- Genomic Analysis
- Research & Career Development Skills
- Plus Electives: Developmental Biology, Applied Statistics, Programming, Mathematical Molecular Biology
- Research Project
- Literature Review
- Advanced Chromosome Biology
- Molecular & Cellular Biology
- Plant Genetics & Systems Biology
- Current Topics in Biosciences
- Medical Genomics & Bioethics
- Plus Electives: Machine Learning and Data Mining, Information Management, Probabilistic Models for Molecular Biology, Microbial Gene Regulation
Graduates can pursue a higher degree (MSc/PhD) at NUI Galway or in other national or international universities. Example Masters courses at NUI Galway would include:
- MSc in Biomedical/Computational Genomics
- MSc in Biomedical Science
- MSc in Biotechnology
- MSc in Cancer Research
- MSc in Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security
- MSc in Neuropharmacology/Toxicology
- MSc in Clinical Neuroscience
Top graduates may progress directly to PhD studies in diverse areas such as biomedical science, agri-bioscience, microbiology, evolution, informatics and data science where genetics and genomics is an important component of the research project. Other graduates may study for professional qualifications in areas such as Medicine or Education.
Why Choose This Course?
There is growing demand for individuals that have both an in-depth understanding of genetics and the numerical and computer skills required to investigate and interpret genomic data. This will offer our graduates opportunities in genomic and life science companies, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, forensics and clinical diagnostics, biomedical devices and therapeutics, public health and epidemiology, agricultural and environmental sectors, as well as the information technology sector.
Who’s Suited to This Course
Students have the opportunity to apply for summer research studentships (e.g., from the Wellcome Trust and Health Research Board) to support eight week paid internships in university-based research laboratories in the summer between 3rd and 4th Year. This is an excellent opportunity for students to experience a research environment and learn new skills that will be useful when completing their final year research project.
Students have the opportunity to apply to spend one semester of 3rd Year in the United States (e.g., University of California) or in Asia (e.g., Hong Kong University of Science and Technology). At these universities, students will be able to study a range of subjects related to Genetics and Genomics as a well as experiencing student life in a different environment and culture.
Related Student Organisations
Fees: Student levy
Fees: Non EU
EU Fees 2020/21:
Tuition: may be paid by the Irish Government on your behalf if you qualify for free tuition fees see - free fee initiative.
Student Contribution: €3,000 - payable by all students but may by paid by SUSI if you apply and are deemed eligible for a means tested SUSI grant.
Student Levy: €224 - payable by all students and is not covered by SUSI.
What Employers Say
Dr Anthony Ryan | Principal Scientist at Genuity Science Ireland
Graduates from this programme will be attractive to employers in several areas including biomedical genomics, diagnostics, agri-biotech and biopharma. Recent advances have made this a particularly exciting field to be involved in and there are many emerging opportunities in Ireland and abroad for scientists that have a combination of bioscience and data science knowledge and skills.
What our Students Say
Siobhan O’Riordan | BSC (Genetics and Genomics)
I have been introduced to primary concepts of genetics and genomics while simultaneously studying other areas of science. With a small class size, it was easy to make friends and there is frequent contact with our lecturers who offer great support and guidance.