The Master of Science (MSc) and Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Bioprocessing have been developed by the Institute of Technology Sligo (IT Sligo) to meet the growing needs of the Biopharmaceutical Industry.
Biopharmaceuticals, also known as biologic(al) medical products, or biologics, are any pharmaceutical drug product manufactured in, extracted from, or synthesised from biological sources. The Medical Biotechnology and Biopharmaceutical sectors are among the fastest growing in the Life Sciences area both nationally and internationally.
IT Sligo together with the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research & Training (NIBRT)* have been delivering a part-time online MSc and PGD in Biopharmaceutical Science since 2008 (www.nibrt.ie/masters). These courses (designed in extensive collaboration with industry) are aimed at Science and Engineering graduates with industrial experience who wish to up-skill or cross-skill for a career in biopharmaceuticals and normally take 2.5 years to complete. The courses have been shown to be extremely successful at up-skilling and cross-skilling individuals either working or hoping to transition into the Biopharmaceutical sector. There still however remains a skills gap in the Bioprocessing area which means that additional graduates from Industry focussed programmes are needed. In a recent 2016 "Trends in Biopharma" Survey, recruitment and development of talent has emerged as a key threat to the future growth of the sector (1).
Following on from the success of our industry-led part-time online MSc in Biopharmaceutical Science we have developed a one-year full time MSc and PGD. These new programmes are intended to increase the skills and knowledge base of those with an interest in the Biopharmaceutical Industry and to increase the pool of such people available to the industry. The courses are designed to provide candidates with a comprehensive understanding of the principal scientific and engineering challenges in the manufacturing of biopharmaceutical products, thereby making them highly employable within the Biotechnology, Biopharmaceutical and Medical Biotechnology Industries.
The new MSc and PGD in Bioprocessing will provide a postgraduate qualification that will form both an introduction for new or proposed entrants to the area, and additional skills and knowledge to those who have already completed a Level 8 qualification in a cognate area. Upon successful completion of the programme, participants receive either an MSc or PGD award at NFQ Level 9.
* NIBRT is a global centre of excellence for training and research in bioprocessing. This world class facility located in Dublin is purpose built to closely replicate a modern bioprocessing plant with state of the art equipment for research and training. IT Sligo is one of the founding partners in NIBRT and is the major provider of education and training to NIBRT.
1) To update and upgrade the knowledge, understanding and skills of graduates who are interested in pursuing a career in the Biopharmaceutical industry.
2) To retrain graduates working in related disciplines, by providing advanced level modules in the theory, analysis design and practical methodology of the rapidly evolving subjects that are associated with this sector.
3) Explore and encourage participants to develop the competencies and key skills to be employed in technical/managerial roles within the growing biopharmaceutical industry.
4) Develop participant's skills to work and communicate with autonomy and effectively through various media.
• To produce graduates with the essential breadth and kind of knowledge, skills set and competences, required to function in the Biopharmaceutical and Biotechnology Industries.
• To equip the participant with the appropriate skill range and skill selectivity in applied methods used in Bioprocessing and more broadly the Biotechnology Industry.
• To ensure that participants have sufficient skills and knowledge to employ appropriate advanced data analysing, sythesising, summarising and research skills in a scientific environment.
• To ensure that participants can effectively present and defend scientific data and findings in a variety of forms to specialists and non-specialists.
• To ensure participants have the skills and ability to function within, and adapt to, a changing technical work environment.
• To ensure the participants can work safely, efficiently and effectively in the modern bioprocessing work environment.
The programme consists of a one year full-time Level 9 MSc in Bioprocessing (90 credits). The programme shall be made available using on site classroom based delivery plus online delivery modes and laboratory scale plus pilot scale experiments in IT Sligo and NIBRT for an overall blended learning approach. The full suite of modules (60 credits) and the research dissertation (30 credits) leading to the MSc degree, will normally take one full year (September to September) to complete. The research dissertation will commence in Semester 2 of the programme alongside module delivery. Participants may also take the full suite of modules minus the research dissertation, over two academic semesters and will be eligible to be awarded a Level 9 Postgraduate Diploma (60 credits).