MSc (Toxicology)

College of Science

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.

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).

Duration: 1 year, full-time

Next start date: September 2016

ECTS weighting: 90

Average intake: 10

Closing date:  Please refer to review/closing dates website.

Mode of study: Taught

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

Applications and selections

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

Selection is based on the candidate's undergraduate marks, as well as their aptitude for the programme following interview.

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.

Find out more

Dr Declan McKernan
T: + 353 91 493 826

PAC code


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

Toxicology student
Laura Quinn

"I chose the MSc in Toxicology programme because I had studied some Toxicology modules on my undergraduate Forensic Science degree and found it really interesting. I realised that this was where I wanted to specialise and chose the programme at NUI Galway because it offered everything I was looking for. I am really enjoying the course, it’s fascinating to learn about the different toxins and their affect on the body. The amount of toxins in the environment that we are all exposed to on a daily basis is really surprising—even some diet fizzy drinks have toxins that can be harmful! I would definitely recommend this course to others because the wide range of topics covered gives you a broader spectrum of understanding of the whole subject area. I feel that having the Masters in Toxicology will leave me in a much stronger position as I enter the job market.”

Graduate profile

Michael Mungoma
Michael Mungoma
Masters, Toxicology

"I made the decision to study at postgraduate level, because I wanted to improve my career prospects and explore new areas. I read up on this course and found that it had many quality lecturers with high-standard academic qualifications. This Masters programme is unique to the area I wish to pursue, which is consumer protection. NUI Galway has a vibrant postgraduate community and social networks. Resources are excellent including the library and sports gym."

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