Diagnostics & Precision Medicine

MSc in Diagnostics and Precision Medicine
Recent advances in the understanding of normal and diseased states has led to revolutionary new treatments for conditions such as cancer, inflammatory diseases and inherited diseases. Furthermore, advances in science and technology have resulted in the development of new biomedical assays to (a) diagnose diseases and conditions more accurately (b) classify disease more precisely (c) approach treatment more individually and (d) identify who is at risk of developing a disease or condition.

Such advances in diagnostics and therapeutics have ushered in an exciting new era known as Precision Medicine, which refers to prevention and treatment strategies that takes patient variability into account (people's genes, environment and lifestyles) by providing the right patient with the right medicine at the right time. As an example, the treatment of several cancers have shifted away from the "One-Size-Fits-All" approach of treatment (e.g. chemotherapy) to a more focused and tailored strategy where targeted therapies are matched according to the molecular profile of a patient's tumour. In this situation, variations in the sequence, structure or expression of that person's DNA, RNA or protein (i.e. biomarkers) are analysed using clinically-validated diagnostic assays (commonly referred to as Companion Diagnostics) and used to stratify patients so that those who are likely to benefit from these therapies are identified and treated, while who are unlikely to benefit (and may experience unnecessary side effects) can receive alternative treatments. Similarly, molecular diagnostic assays are increasing used to predict the outcome of a patient's disease (prognosis), and therefore medical treatments can be tailored accordingly.

The MSc in Diagnostics and Precision Medicine provides structured module-based training at postgraduate level on the latest advances in diagnostics and therapeutics and their relevance for Precision Medicine.

The programme is aimed at:
• Life scientists (including newly qualified graduates)

• Professionals from the diagnostics, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical and healthcare industries

• Medical Practitioners (including General Practitioners and clinicians-in-training)

Who wish to:
• Develop and broaden their knowledge of how new therapies including targeted therapeutics, cell-based therapies and gene modulation technologies are revolutionising the treatment of diseases such as cancer, inflammatory diseases and inherited diseases

• Understand how the integration of diagnostics and therapeutics are changing the landscape of healthcare and medicine through Precision Medicine

• Pursue a career in the biomedical diagnostics, biomedical science and biopharmaceutical industries

• Develop/consolidate their research skills with a view to undertaking further research (e.g. PhD or MD)

• Develop their critical analysis skills and enhance their professional development.

The programme is delivered via a hybrid approach of face-to-face teaching and online delivery of modules, together with hands-on experience in a research laboratory.

This approach was designed to:
• Enable students to study at a time and place that suits them (students can come to class to attend lectures in DCU if they are delivered from the classroom or students can attend remotely online).
• Enable students to revise their curriculum by having access to their recorded lectures/tutorials and slides at any time.
• Enable industry, medical and healthcare professionals to attend the programme remotely while continuing to work in full-time employment. Professionals working in full-time employment may also be able to undertake their research project in their place of work if working in a relevant industry (subject to terms and conditions).

Entry requirements

• For admission to the MSc in Diagnostics and Precision Medicine candidates must have a primary degree that equates to an NFQ Level 8 Second-Class Honours, Grade 1 Award (H2.1) in a Life Science, Pharmaceutical, Medical or Chemical discipline.
• In addition, candidates who hold a primary degree (NFQ Level 8), with a Second-Class Honours, Grade 2 Award (H2.2) in one of the relevant degrees and with industrial experience will be considered.
• International candidates who are non-native speakers of English must satisfy the University of their competency in the English language.

Application dates

Application Deadlines
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the programme is full or until:

• Closing date for non EU applicants is 1st July 2023.
• Closing date for EU applicants is 31st July 2023.

Note applicants who require a study visa for the purposes of studying at DCU are advised to apply as early as possible.

All entry requirements should be met before the commencement of the programme.

Queries from EU applicants should be directed to postgraduateadmissions@dcu.ie

Queries from non EU applicants should be directed to internationalapplications@dcu.ie

To apply for this programme:

• All Applicants must apply through DCU's Student Application Portal.

• Provide Academic Transcripts for each and every year of study with English translation if applicable.

• Please upload a CV, with details of relevant experience, under the "Supplemental Items & Documents" section.

• A brief Personal Statement outlining your background and motivation for applying to this programme.

• If applicable, provide evidence of competence in the English language as per DCU entry requirements.

Please see link http://www.dcu.ie/registry/english.shtml

Please note if you are a non EU student and require a study visa, you are not eligible to apply for part-time programmes as study visas are only granted for full-time programmes.


DC739: Full Time 1 Year
DC740: Part Time 2 Years

The programme is delivered via a hybrid approach of face-to-face teaching and online delivery of modules, together with hands-on experience in a research laboratory.
• All taught components from the classroom in DCU including lectures, tutorials and workshops are recorded and made available through DCU's online platform Loop to enable flexible learning (44.2% of the programme content).
• Three modules on the programme are delivered online by our colleagues at Arizona State University (ASU) and are supported at DCU with tutorials (22.5% of the programme content), culminating in 66.7% of the programme available online.
• The remaining 33.3% of the course is dedicated to the research project which consists of a 12-week laboratory-based project (Option 1) or Masterclasses in Precision Medicine (Option 2). The laboratory-based masterclasses run over 2-3 days per week over a 3-week period and also include computational approaches and online activities.

Enrolment dates

Commencement of Programme
The programme commences in September 2022.

Post Course Info

Graduates will find employment in industry, clinical, healthcare and academic environments. This includes the diagnostics and biopharmaceutical industries, life science and clinical trials companies, as well as academic research centres.

In addition, our graduates have also gone on to pursue further research (e.g. a PhD) as well as gaining entry to Graduate Medicine programmes.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider