Biological & Biomolecular Science

The MSc in Biological and Biomolecular Science by Negotiated Learning will broaden your understanding of biological and biomolecular science against a backdrop of learning core technical, methodological and innovation skills relevant to industry and academia. Taught modules from several innovative specialisations are available from the UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science and the UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science. The programme provides students with an exciting prospect of studying and researching in the interdisciplinary fields of genetics, cell biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, microbiology, bioinformatics and biodata analysis. Guidance from expert faculty is provided to tailor a programme that will meet the anticipated requirements of the student’s objectives and career goals.

Negotiated Learning: student and academic discuss goals, and tailor a suitable programme for the student.

Genetics & Cell Biology: investigates cellular signalling, architecture, imaging, trafficking and transport, genetic basis of disease, model organisms, epigenetics, etc.
Microbiology & Infection Biology: investigates mechanisms of pathogenic micro organisms, host response to infection, immunopathologies, host-pathogen interactions, development of diagnostics, applied microbiology, etc.
Biochemistry & Synthetic Biology: investigates metabolism and disease, protein-protein interactions, cell signalling, protein structure and analysis.
Applied Bioinformatics*: Introduces the basic principles and practical applications of computational tools for the analysis and interpretation of data from a wide range of biological and biomolecular disciplines

*A new Specialisation was added on 5 December 2023

Subjects taught

Negotiated Learning is a process where a student and academic discuss the components of a qualification required to meet the student's stated goals. In the context of this MSc programme, students will discuss which 40 credits of taught components are appropriate, relating to their current strengths and weaknesses, and their future career goals in industry or academia. The MSc in Biological and Biomolecular Science is the first of its kind offered in Ireland by Negotiated Learning.

Core Laboratory Research Skills (30 credits across three semesters): including techniques such as RT-PCR, Western Blotting, and imaging studies. Research skills modules will be conducted in a dedicated Research Skills lab in the UCD Conway Institute and the new facilities in the O'Brien Centre for Science.

Core (taught) Professional Skills Modules (20 credits)
BIOL40540 Data Management and Interpretation
BMOL40150 Career Development Scientists
BIOL40550 Science Writing and communication Skills
BIOL40390 Quantitative Tools for the Life Sciences

Optional Taught modules (40 credits)

involves selecting one of the following specialisations and selecting specific modules within these that meet the student's learning objectives (indicative module list is not exhaustive, and is subject to change)
Genetics & Cell Biology

CELB 30090 Advanced Cell Biology
CELB 30100 Developmental Biology
CELB 30130 Cell Biology of Disease
CELB 40030 Programmed Cell Death in Plants
CELB 40190 Advanced Cancer Cell Biology and Genetics
CELB 40200 The RNA World
GENE 30010 Genetics and Recombinant DNA
GENE 30020 Genomic Structure and Evolution
GENE 30030 Genetic Basis of Disease
GENE 40040 Model organism genetics: a modern experimental approach
GENE 40050 Human Genetics & Disease
ZOOL 40300 Epithelial Transport in Animal Physiology

Microbiology & Infection Biology
ENVB 40480 Applied Microbial Ecology
MICR 30020 Microbial Cell Factory
MICR 30030 Microbial Physiology
MICR 30040 Microbial Diversity and Growth
MICR 30060 Pharmaceutical and Food Microbiology
MICR 30070 Skills in Microbiology
MICR 40040 Microbial Pathogenicity
MICR 40050 Microbiology of Foodborne Pathogens
MICR 40060 Microbial and Mammalian Cell Bioprocessing
MICR 40150 Host Pathogen Interaction (online)

Biochemistry & Synthetic Biology
BIOC 30010 Metabolism and Disease
BIOC 30030 Biochemist’s Toolkit
BIOC 30090 Proteins and Enzymes
BIOC 40070 Protein Structure and Analysis
BIOC 40080 Biochemical Research Strategies and Problem Solving
BIOC 40160 Drug Development & Clinical Trials
BIOC 40220 Hot topics in Biochemistry
MICR 40070 Enzyme Technology and Protein Engineering

BIOL 40560 Biological Imaging
BIOL 40760 Biomedical Diagnostics
BIOL 40840 Applied Bioinformatics
BMOL 30030 Regulation of Gene Expression
BMOL 30050 Genomics and Proteomics
CELB 40160 HCS Microscopy
GENE 30040 Introduction to Programming for Biologists
GENE 40030 Advanced Mechanisms of Gene Regulation
MICR 40080 Microbial Natural Product Biosynthesis

Entry requirements

This programme is intended for applicants who have at least an Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) degree, or the international equivalent, in a life science or chemical science. Examples of an appropriate BSc subject include, but are not restricted to, Biochemistry, Biology, Biotechnology, Genetics, Microbiology, Neuroscience, Pharmacology, Immunology, Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry.

If English is not your native language, unless you have done your primary degree through English in an English speaking country, applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element), or equivalent.

Students meeting the programme’s academic entry requirements but not the English language requirements, may enter the programme upon successful completion of UCD’s Pre-Sessional or International Pre-Master’s Pathway programmes. Please see the following link for further information

These are the minimum entry requirements – additional criteria may be requested for some programmes.

Application dates

How to apply?
The following entry routes are available:

MSc Biological & Biomolecular Science (Negotiated Learn) FT (F104)
Duration 1 Years
Attend Full Time
Deadline Rolling*

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised


1 year full-time.

Enrolment dates

NEXT INTAKE: 2024/2025 September.

Post Course Info

Careers & Employability
This programme will enable you to choose from a wide range of careers and areas of postgraduate study, including pursuing a PhD degree and a career in academia. This multidisciplinary course provides a solid grounding for careers in industry, health and research, such as Quality Assurance, Quality Control, Microbiology, Process Control, Technical Transfer, Research and Development, and Regulatory Affairs, Scientific Editor or Writer, Lab Technician or Analyst roles. An academic staff member will advise you on a specialisation and module choices based on the opportunities you hope to unlock. Examples of employers are Eurofins BioPharma (Bioanalyst), Boston Scientific (Microbiologist), Takeda (Quality Control Analyst), Frontiers (Research Integrity Specialist), Megazyme (Biomedical QC Analyst), Novartis (Client Service Manager), Roche (Data Science Analyst) and Systems Biology Ireland (Research Assistants).

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

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    Course provider