BSc in Biopharmaceutical Chemistry



The Bachelor in Biopharmaceutical Chemistry (GY318) GY318 Biopharmaceutical Chemistry is a four year course that involves the study of biomolecules (such as DNA, proteins and carbohydrates) and their applications as therapeutics. Numerous diseases and medical conditions are caused by the improper function or the absence of a particular biomolecule.

For example, some forms of diabetes result from a lack of insulin. The role of the Biopharmaceutical Chemist is to design and synthesize molecules that can substitute for the missing protein. The replacement molecule is often a modified protein, prepared using chemical and biotechnological methods. As such, Biopharmaceutical Chemistry is a multidisciplinary subject combining specific areas of Chemistry and Biology.

The Biopharmaceutical Chemistry is run by the school of Chemistry in NUI Galway and involves attending lectures, tutorials and laboratory practical classes. This course has a limited intake of students. A 6 month work placement in Industry is accommodated byt he School, who are strongly committed to placing all students in Industry to gain key work experience.

Course Outline

  • Year 1: students get a broad education in general sciences – Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Mathematics.
  • Year 2: students chose core modules in Chemistry and Biochemistry. They also enrol in two additional modules as well as Computers in Chemical Research and Pharmacology Fundamentals.
  • Year 3: students specifically study chemistry and aspects of biochemistry. Additional modules include Drug Design and Discovery. BPC students will have the opportunity to apply for an Industrial Placement for up to 6 months as part of the programme. This will be taken at the end of year 3 and into year 4.
  • Year 4: students further specialize their study of Chemistry and will take topics in advanced chemistry & biochemistry as well as courses that incorporate protein engineering / protein-based therapeutics / drug delivery / glycoconjugates (the chemistry and biology of carbohydrates) / Biotechnology / Mammalian cell growth and Bioprocess Monitoring. Students will also complete a module on their work placement and a research dissertation in Biopharmaceutical Chemistry. For students who do not go on work placement, they will be able to take an On-Campus-Project as part of their final year.

Career Opportunities

The Biopharmaceutical Industry is an increasingly-important player in the Irish economy. Biopharmaceutical companies located in Ireland include Abbott, Amgen, Centocor, Elan, Eli Lilly, Genemedix, Genzyme, Merck and Wyeth. These companies need graduates who are trained in Chemistry and aspects of biotechnology. The Biopharmaceutical Chemistry degree is tailored to meet the needs of this industry.

In addition to careers in industry, honours graduates will be qualified to pursue higher degrees (e.g. MSc or  Ph.D. research) in a wide range of related disciplines.

For further information


Dr. Peter Crowley
School of Chemistry 
Tel: + 353 91 492480