Engineering - Pharmaceutical & Biopharmaceutical Engineering

University College Cork

Engineering - Pharmaceutical & Biopharmaceutical Engineering

Course Outline
The MEngSc in Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Engineering is a full-time programme running for 12 months from the date of first registration for the programme. It may also be taken as a part-time programme running for a minimum of 24 months (maximum 60 months) from the date of first registration for the programme.

This course provides the opportunity to gain a formal qualification in areas of particular relevance to the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry; to upskill your competence for these important industrial sectors, including topics such as product containment, powder/particle technology, design of API and secondary production facilities, current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP), design of classified facilities, aseptic processing facility design, utilities, and services, data analysis and process validation.

Course Practicalities
This programme can be taken full-time over 12 months or part-time running over 2 years (24 months) with the option to exit with either with a Postgraduate Diploma or a Masters in Engineering Sciences.

This programme is principally organised to accommodate part-time students who are working in industry by holding lectures and tutorials in full-day sessions every 3-4 weeks, mostly on a Saturday. Full-time students will follow the same lecturing regime but do the full complement of necessary modules and research activity within 1 year, whereas part-time students will do their modules and research typically over 2 years.

Start-up sessions over two days (half a day per 5 credit module) (four contact hours per 5 credit module) (Fridays and Saturdays at the end of August/start September and start January).
Followed up by tutorial sessions (every two to three weeks on Saturdays) on respective modules throughout term. Tutorial sessions involve six contact hours.

Why Choose This Course?
The aim of this course is to fill a need for the continuing professional development (CPD) and postgraduate education of engineers working in the pharmaceutical industry. This course covers issues of particular concern to the pharmaceutical industry such as product containment, powder/particle technology, design of API and secondary production facilities, current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP), design of classified facilities, aseptic processing facility design, validation, etc.

Subjects taught

Programme Structure
The programme comprises 60 credits of taught modules, which after completion students may select to finish their studies and graduate with a PG Diploma.

Students who choose to do the MEngSc will in addition to the 60 credits of taught modules, also complete a dissertation in Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Engineering (30 credits).

Part I (Choose 60 credits)

PE6004 Biopharmaceutical Support Systems (5 credits)
PE6010 Pharmaceutical Engineering (5 credits)
PE6011 Biopharmaceutical Engineering (5 credits)
PE6012 Pharmaceutical Process Equipment, Materials and Mechanical Design (5 credits)
PE6013 Powder and Particle Technology and Unit Operations (5 credits)
PE6019 Process Analytical Technology (5 credits)
PE6023 Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Utilities (5 credits)
PE6027 Advanced Biopharmaceutical Engineering (5 credits)
CM6010 Introductory Pharmaceutical Chemistry (5 credits)
PE6016 Pharmaceutical Industry; Manufacturing and Optimisation (5 credits)
PE6018 Pharmaceutical Process Validation and Quality (5 credits)
PE6022 Aseptic Manufacturing Design (5 credits)
PE6024 Advanced Process Design & Safety Engineering (5 credits)
PE6026 Project Engineering - From Concept to Completion (5 credits)

Part II (30 credits)
PE6021 Dissertation in Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Engineering

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.

University Calendar

You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.

Entry requirements

Candidates must have a BE (Hons) or BEng (Hons) Degree or equivalent engineering qualification, with a minimum Second Class Honours Grade II, or a level 8 BSc degree, with a minimum grade Second Class Honours Grade II, where the BSc graduate has a recognised qualification in Process or Chemical Engineering (e.g. the Diploma in Process and Chemical Engineering at UCC or equivalent).

However, candidates with equivalent academic qualifications and suitable experience may be accepted subject to the approval of the Programme Director under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). In all cases, the course of study for each candidate must be approved by the Programme Director.

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.

International/Non-EU Applicants
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.

Application dates

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.

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.

Please upload your CV.

Assessment Info

Assessment is by continuous assessment and end of period exams.


Full-time 12 months; Part-time minimum of 24 months, maximum of 60 months.

Enrolment dates

Start Date September 2020

Post Course Info

Skills and Careers Information
The course offers graduates working in the pharmaceutical industry the opportunity to further develop their skill set and employability across a wider range of roles in the industry through enhanced continuing professional development.

Through the opportunities provided by participation in the programme, you are provided with opportunities to enable greater cohesion and understanding among inter-and multi-disciplinary teams while earning a formal qualification in engineering.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

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

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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    Course provider