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 was established in 2018 as Ireland’s first postgraduate course in precision medicine. It was also one of the first courses worldwide to deliver 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 2024.
Closing date for EU applicants is 31st July 2024.
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.

Application Queries
For EU applicant queries, please visit https://www.dcu.ie/registry/eu-postgraduate-taught-admissions or email postgraduateadmissions@dcu.ie

For non EU applicant queries, please visit https://www.dcu.ie/registry/international-admissions-undergraduate-and-postgraduate or email internationaladmissions@dcu.ie


Full Time 1 Year
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.

Enrolment dates

The programme commences in September 2024

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,Blended

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    Course provider