Our MSc Biotechnology is a one-year programme designed to provide you with the theoretical and practical skills for employment in the industries of biomedical research, biopharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, and biotechnology. The curriculum has been developed with input from staff in local biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industries, to provide you with the necessary skills required by employers.
This MSc Biotechnology programme consists of eight modules, set practical sessions, career service workshops, an industry lecture series, and a six-month research project. You have the choice to complete your six-month research project in a national or international industry or university environment.
The curriculum consists of approximately 250 contact hours over two academic terms (October to December and January to March), consisting of eight course modules, set practical sessions, career service workshops and an industry lecture series.
The course will:
introduce you to the theory and practice of bioanalytical chemistry;
introduce you to molecular biotechnology, eukaryotic-, prokaryotic- and plant-biotechnologies, recombinant DNA technologies and their
application in the biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industries;
introduce you to the principles of process and biochemical engineering;
introduce you to the role of process validation and quality assurance in the pharmaceutical industry, and give you an awareness of the latest trends in good manufacturing, laboratory, and validation practices;
introduce you to the principles of food and industrial microbiology;
and provide you with the opportunity to conduct and complete a body of independent research in a biotechnology-related area and present your research findings in a minor dissertation.
During the third academic term (April to September), students complete their six-month research project on a topic related to biotechnology, biopharmaceutical or biomedical research. Industry-based projects in these areas are managed by a dedicated placement officer who facilitates career workshops during which you prepare for and are interviewed by staff from companies interested in hosting students. For students interested in a career in biomedical research or PhD, projects are offered in a broad range of research areas utilising modern research techniques. All research projects are undertaken in consultation with an academic supervisor and examiner.
This innovative, interdisciplinary course draws its faculty and course content from across the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science (SEFS) including our Biochemistry, Microbiology, Chemistry, Pharmacy, Plant Science, and Process Engineering departments. Additional lectures are provided by staff from local biotechnology and biopharmaceutical companies.
Why Choose This Course
This is the most established MSc in Biotechnology course in Ireland and one of the most popular MSc courses in UCC. The international success of this course is attributed to the industry-led curriculum offered to students and the opportunity to complete a six-month placement in industry or an academic research lab. The global recognition of the course is also evident from our international alumni and receipt of several industry-sponsored scholarships available to students entering and on completion of the course.
Placement or Study Abroad Information
During the third academic term (April to September), students complete a six-month research project on a topic related to biotechnology, biopharmaceutical or biomedical research. Industry-based projects in these areas are managed by a dedicated placement officer who facilitates career workshops during which students prepare for and are interviewed by staff from companies interested in hosting students. For students interested in a career in biomedical research or PhD, projects are offered in a broad range of research areas utilising modern research techniques. All research projects are undertaken in consultation with an academic supervisor and examiner.
Students complete a research project and study the following eight modules:
MB6004 Advanced Molecular Microbial Biotechnology
PF6301 Biopharmaceuticals: formulation design, secondary processing and regulatory compliance
PE6008 Bioprocess Engineering
BC6001 Cell and Molecular Biology
MB6003 Functional Foods for Health
BT6001 Genetic Engineering
CM6011 Modern Methods in Analytical Chemistry
PS6001 Plant Genetic Engineering
Consult the Academic Calendar (MSc Biotechnology) for further course content.
Research Project and Industry Placement
You will be required to complete a six-month research project based on your individual research and development in a selected field of modern science. You carry out your research in UCC’s laboratories or at an approved academic or industrial partner.
Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our Book of Modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.
You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.
Candidates must have obtained at least a Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) or equivalent in a subject(s) related to that of the MSc programme.
Graduates with a Second Class Honours Grade II in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Graduates with equivalent qualifications in related areas of science and technology, or with proven and relevant industrial experience can be considered under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for places following interview and assessment by the Director of the MSc (Biotechnology) Programme.
Candidates must be approved by the MSc (Biotechnology) course team and/or the Director of the MSc (Biotechnology) Programme. The number of places is limited and selection will be made on the basis of the candidate's performance in his/her primary degree or interview.
English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Please visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.
For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.
For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.
In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.
The closing date for non-EU applications is 30 June 2023
How Do I Apply
1. Check Dates: Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.
For Irish and EU applicants we operate a rounds system and you can check the rounds closing dates here.
Note that not all our programmes are subject to the rounds system so check the opening and closing dates for your specific programme in the fact file boxes above.
2. Gather Documents: Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:
Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.
3. Apply Online: Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.
Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.
Additional Requirements (All Applicants): Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:
You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.
Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.
Deposit: Please note that successful EU applicants will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of €500 on acceptance of their place.
EU applicants please note: EU applicants should expect to hear of a decision on their application 2 weeks after the EU closing date has passed.
The MSc in Biotechnology is awarded after passing written examinations across taught course units, the continuous assessment of practical work and completion of a six-month research project, which has to be written up in the form of a dissertation and approved by an external examiner. All students must complete written examinations (typically held over a two week period in March) and submit a research project.
1 year full-time.
Start Date: 11 September 2023.
Post Course Info
Skills and Careers Information
The course is suitable for students wishing to extend their specific undergraduate degree knowledge in biotechnology, and for those wishing to bridge their undergraduate degree and gain more specialised knowledge and training in biotechnology. It allows you to follow a number of career pathways. Each year, over 70 percent of our students gain employment while approximately 20 percent of graduates progress to international PhD opportunities.
Students who secure employment upon graduation fit into the organisation and contribute productively much sooner than other graduates. For students with an interest in biomedical research and future careers as PhD researchers, research projects are offered across a broad range of topics including but not limited to; cancer biology, neuroscience, immunology, microbiology, and plant biotechnology.