Industrial Pharmaceutical Sciences Operations & Management

University College Cork

Industrial Pharmaceutical Sciences Operations & Management

Course Outline
The MSc in Industrial Pharmaceutical Sciences, Operations and Management is a unique postgraduate qualification designed to maximise graduate employability in the biopharma and pharma industries. The programme is designed by industry for industry to ensure graduate success in the marketplace and will be delivered by the School of Pharmacy and Cork University Business School. The programme covers the technical, regulatory, operations and management aspects required in the biopharma & pharma industry. In addition, we cover digital transformation, the Pharma 4.0 operating model and lean six sigma, thereby future-proofing students for the factory of the future.

We place a major focus on experiential learning through an 8-month paid industry placement (from January to August) and the use of state-of-the-art pilot scale biopharma & pharma manufacturing facilities in the School of Pharmacy and digital simulation facilities in the UCC Assert Centre, as well as the Cork Enterprise Training Board Life Sciences Facility in Carrigaline.

You will learn the fundamentals through extensive simulation in practical laboratory work and workshops using real-world equipment and scenarios. There will be a significant element of learning through the use of case studies, with industry-based guest lectures delivering content across many modules. In addition, core technical, regulatory and operations modules will be delivered by lecturers with significant industry experience.

Placement or Study Abroad Information
All our MSc students will undergo an 8-month industrial placement* with a major pharma or biopharma industry partner or in an academic research setting. The majority of placements will be based in Ireland and the Munster region. Some placements may be international in nature. A dedicated placement coordinator and the programme team will manage the securing of placements and preparing students for interviews and entering the workplace on placement. In exceptional circumstances, it may be required for students to conduct their placement and project on campus, which may not be paid.

*Note for International Applicants: This is subject to visa requirements. Currently, international students can take placements for up to six months.

Subjects taught

On this programme, you will undertake a total workload equivalent to 90 credits over the 12-month programme as follows:

Core Modules (50 credits)
• PF6026 Pharmaceutical Technology & Unit Operations (5 credits)
• PF6027 Pharmaceutical GxP & Regulatory Science (5 credits)
• PF6028 Process Control & Validation for Pharmaceutical Processes (5 credits)
• PF6032 Bioprocessing Unit Operations (5 credits)
• PF6033 Pharmaceutical Analysis & Analytics (5 credits)
• PF6034 Pharmaceutical Operations (5 credits)
• BU6514 Business Case for Analytics (5 credits)
• MG6024 Developing Management & Leadership Skills for Organisational Effectiveness (10 credits)
• MG6025 Project Management (5 credits)

Elective Modules (10 credits)
• PF6035 Lean Six Sigma for Biopharma (10 credits) or
• PF6037 Digital Transformation & Novel Products in the (Bio)Pharma Industry (10 credits)

Project (30 credits)
• PF6036 Industry-based Dissertation & Placement (30 credits)

Entry requirements

Applicants must have at least Second Class Honours Grade 2 in a primary honours’ degree (NFQ, Level 8) in any of the following relevant subject areas: chemistry, biology, biochemistry, physiology, pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences or science, healthcare science, technology, or process engineering. Eligible applicants may also be invited for an interview.

Selection from among eligible applicants will be made according to the following criteria:
• Performance in their primary degree
• Personal statement

Consideration under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) may also be given to applicants who do not meet the above entry requirements but who have relevant professional experience in a suitable field.

To demonstrate relevant professional experience, applicants will be assessed on the following criteria and an interview may also be required.
• Academic achievement
• Relevant industry experience
• Personal statement
• Reference

Application dates

Closing Date
Open until all places have been filled or no later than 30 June. Early application is advised.


12 months full-time.

Enrolment dates

Start Date: 2 September 2024

Post Course Info

Skills and Careers Information
Due to the unique and broad nature of the programme, our graduates will have a wide range of roles open to them both in the short-term post-graduation and also in the longer term. Industrial Pharmaceutical Sciences, Operations & Management graduates will have the technical knowledge to work both in large (biopharma) and small molecule (pharma) manufacturing environments. Graduates will also have the competencies to embark on a management career pathway in the longer term with the programme focus on management and transversal skills.

Potential roles open to our graduates include:
• Analytical development scientist
• BioPharma project/programme management
• BioPharma supervisory/management
• Manufacturing scientist
• Operations/production staff
• Pharmaceutical engineer
• Process scientist
• Process support scientists/engineer
• QC technical support
• Quality assurance/quality systems specialist
• Regulatory affairs scientist/officer
• Tech Transfer
• Technical operations
• Validation scientist/engineer

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

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    Course provider