Clinical Chemistry

Trinity College Dublin

Clinical Chemistry

Course Overview
This advanced taught Masters programme in Clinical Chemistry is offered on a part-time basis over two years and is delivered by a panel of national and international medical and scientific experts in the discipline. The Clinical Biochemistry Unit at Trinity is part of the School of Medicine and is Ireland’s only such facility. It is supported by the largest clinical biochemistry service in the country, with state-of-the-art clinical laboratories at Tallaght University Hospital, St. James’s Hospital, and Naas General Hospital.

Clinical Biochemistry is the discipline of pathology (or laboratory medicine) concerned with the detection and measurement of biochemical changes in disease. Clinical chemistry laboratories carry out a range of biochemical investigations in a complex automated working environment. In addition to routine diagnostic work, personnel are also frequently involved in clinical trials, audit and research and so require a detailed knowledge of the effects of disease on biochemical measurements.

This course provides in-depth training in the medical, scientific, and research aspects of clinical chemistry, as well as a unique training opportunity. Classes are small (usually not more than 12-15 students) so that individual attention is possible.

Is This Course For Me?
Most of our students are medical scientists, clinical biochemists or medical doctors who already have some knowledge of laboratory or clinical medicine and wish to develop a special interest in Clinical Chemistry. All students must either have a concurrent appointment in a clinical laboratory or a suitable laboratory placement for the duration of the course.

Course Structure
The course runs every Friday during term times over two years (5 terms) at the Trinity Centre for Health Sciences complex at Tallaght University Hospital, Dublin 24. In addition, some selected lecture blocks take place in St. James’s Hospital, Dublin 8 and in the Children’s Health Ireland at Temple Street, Dublin 1.

The course is assessed by a written and OSPE examination at the end of each module. Students must also submit a series of six marked assignments, a logbook of eight cases, and a research dissertation conducted in the students own base laboratory. A viva voce examination is held at the end of the course. Further details can be found in the Course Information Manual. It is possible to obtain a Diploma in Clinical Chemistry instread of an M.Sc. by completing all taught modules and examinations/assessments except the research dissertataion, however, the vast majority of students prefer to obtain the full M.Sc.

Subjects taught

Students take five taught modules: Clinical Chemistry I and II; Endocrinology and Metabolism I and II; and Quality Assurance and Laboratory Management. Students also complete a research dissertation. Six workplace assignments and a logbook of eight cases must also be submitted during the course.

Each module includes techniques workshops which focus on developing practical skills through demonstrations and assignments in the candidates’ base laboratory and presentations in class. A series of clinical laboratory interface workshops also promote clinical reasoning and data presentation skills.

Our course offers a combination of taught modules combined with practical workplace assignments that teach vital skills needed in everyday laboratory practice (such as business case development, method evaluation, evaluation of point of care testing devices, a clinical audit, and review of a journal article). Our students can then subsequently apply the tools and techniques learned in their workplace. Our course also has a very high degree of student-tutor interaction in a friendly learning environment.

Entry requirements

Admission Requirements
Applications must have:

1. An Honours degree (at first, 2.1, or 2.2 level) in a health sciences or biomedical discipline, or a medical, dental or nursing degree; OR
2. Membership or eligibility for membership of the Academy of Clinical Science and Laboratory Medicine; OR
3. Have two years current or previous work experience in clinical biochemist or medical scientist posts.

Applicants applying under Point (2) should provide documentary evidence, such as a letter from the Academy of Clinical Science and Laboratory Medicine, confirming their membership or eligibility for membership.

Applicants applying under Point (2) should provide full details of their current and previous experience with their application.

Applicants meeting these criteria will be required to attend an interview assessing knowledge and aptitude.

Application dates

Closing Date: 28th June 2024

Assessment Info

The course is assessed at the end of each module by a written examination and a practical assessment which includes short cases and laboratory data to interpret. Students are also continuously assessed on a logbook of eight clinical cases and six course assignments submitted throughout the course. The writing of a dissertation based on a research project is also a requirement for the MSc.


2 years part-time.

Enrolment dates

Next Intake: September 2024

Post Course Info

Career Opportunities
The course has been running since 2005, and many of our past students have gone on to complete higher specialist medical training in chemical pathology or reach senior scientific positions in laboratory medicine. Graduates will also advance their career prospects both in terms of promotion eligibility and post-graduate training, as well as open the doors to further academic research, including a Ph.D. programme.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ),Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time

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    Course provider