Course Overview

Toxicology is the study of poisons, drawing heavily on life and physical sciences, as well as being an applied practically-based subject. It is designed to acquaint students with the breadth of Toxicology, with a considerable emphasis on its practical application. The first semester consists of a foundation in Pharmacology and Toxicology and their applications. Workshops provide students with a theoretical basis in data handling and interpretation.

The second semester consists of lectures in advanced topics such as Risk Assessment, Target Organ Toxicity, Reproductive and Regulatory Toxicology. In addition there is more emphasis on laboratory mini-projects (in vivo, in vitro & molecular projects) that introduce students to the practical elements of toxicity testing and data interpretation. There are also a number of written projects on toxicity testing used in the drug industry as well as recent advances in toxicity assays which involve self-directed learning.

In the third semester, there is a 3-month research project to investigate an aspect of toxicology and deliver a seminar on this area. This involves the student preparing a research proposal, carrying out the lab-based project and preparing a thesis on the findings.

Programme outcomes include:

  • Demonstrating a detailed knowledge of the principles and concepts of toxicology and pharmacology
  • Demonstrating an in-depth knowledge of the recent developments and applications in the field of toxicology
  • Demonstrating a high skill level in a wide range of laboratory skills for toxicological investigations
  • Communicating experimental findings in toxicology effectively, using a variety of verbal, written and visual means.
  • Designing, conducting, analysing and presenting their original laboratory‐based research.

Scholarships Available
Find out about our Postgraduate Scholarships here.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications System. Selection is based on the candidate's undergraduate marks, as well as their aptitude for the programme following interview.

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

A variety of different assessment strategies are used, including written examinations, laboratory practicals and mini-project reports, assignments, data-handling computer exercises, experimental reasoning, essays, posters, oral presentations and a research project thesis.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Successful students will normally hold at least a Second Class Honours Level 8 degree, or equivalent international qualification, from a diversity of undergraduate disciplines. Students are also considered who have a Level 7 degree, or equivalent international qualification, and three years’ relevant postgraduate full-time work experience. IELTS score of 6.5 (with not less than 5.5 in any one component).

Additional Requirements


1 year, full-time

Next start date

September 2021

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date

 Please refer to review/closing dates website.

NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting




Course code


Course Outline

Programme content (subject to change)

The programme is divided into three trimesters (each of 30 ECTS) in the following manner:

Trimester One

  • Introduction to Toxicology: 5 ECTS
  • Applied Toxicology: 5 ECTS
  • Fundamental Concepts in Pharmacology: 5 ECTS
  • Applied Concepts in Pharmacology: 5 ECTS
  • Experimental Methods in Pharmacology: 10 ECTS

Trimester Two

  • Experimental Toxicology: 15 ECTS
  • Current Topics in Toxicology: 10 ECTS
  • Advanced Toxicology: 5 ECTS

Trimester Three

  • Toxicology Research Project: 30 ECTS


Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Previous graduates of this programme have either found employment in toxicological testing and product quality testing within industry or government agencies or in the field of regulatory toxicology within governmental and international regulatory bodies. Graduates have also enrolled in PhD programmes and further academic studies in related disciplines.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€7,606 p.a. 2021/22

Fees: Tuition

€7,466 p.a. 2021/22

Fees: Student levy

€140 p.a. 2021/22

Fees: Non EU

€23,666 p.a. 2021/22

 For further information on postgraduate funding & scholarship opportunities please see here.

Find out More

Dr. Howard Fearnhead
T: +353 91 495 240


  • Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2021

    Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2021 PDF (11.3MB)