Biology - Molecular Cell Biology with Bioinnovation

Course Outline

The MSc in Molecular Cell Biology with Bioinnovation is a unique course aimed at highly-motivated students with an interest in biomedical research in the areas of cancer biology, infection/immunity or molecular neuroscience and entrepreneurial thinking. The course will provide you with a truly interdisciplinary educational experience by combining advanced discipline-specific training with core scientific research, technical expertise and business skills.

The course will consist of lectures, tutorials, hands-on workshops and a research dissertation based on individual research.

Why Choose This Course

A distinctive feature of the MSc in Molecular Cell Biology with Bioinnovation is that you will receive formal innovation and technology commercialisation training through modules from the College of Business and Law at UCC.

With three primary research themes – cancer biology, infection/immunity and molecular neuroscience, you will select projects with internationally-renowned research groups from the Schools of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Department of Anatomy/Neuroscience, following the completion of discipline-specific modules.

You will not only possess excellent research and technical skills on graduation but also the necessary business development and commercialisation skills for life science innovation.

Entry requirements

Applicants must possess an honours primary degree (minimum 2H1 honours or equivalent) in the biological sciences, medicine or pharmaceutical sciences. Graduates with a Second Class Honours Grade II degree will be considered on a case-by-case basis provided there is substantial and relevant experience and subject to the approval of the Director of the MSc Programme in Molecular Cell Biology with Bioinnovation.

Decisions on selection to the programme will be made on the basis of your performance in your primary degree, your personal statement and possibly an interview with the following criteria considered:

• academic qualifications (in a relevant academic discipline)

• research experience and focus

• quality of the personal statement

• recommendation letters from two academic referees.

English Language Requirements

Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university approved English language requirements available at

International/non-EU applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure please 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.

Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.

For more information please contact the International Office.


1 year full-time.

Discipline-specific lectures mostly take place on Monday to Wednesday and are designed to fit in with lectures offered by the College of Business and Law. You are expected to attend seminars in the Schools of Biochemistry and Microbiology and Department of Anatomy/Neuroscience as advertised. The six-month research project is full-time starting in April.

Careers or further progression

Skills and Careers Information

You will be ideally positioned to enter into a PhD after graduation, but could also pursue a number of career paths including: technology transfer officer within higher education institutions and national agencies, R&D project manager, commercialisation manager within a life science start-up, or development manager within the pharmaceutical sector. The course will also equip you with the skills required to develop your own start-up venture.

A first destination survery of our inaugural class of 2012-13 has revealed that 100% of graduates are in employment or further education within one-year of completing the MSc in Molecular Cell Biology with Bioinnovation.

Further enquiries

Contact details for this course

Dr Kellie Dean

+ 353 21 420 5421

Subjects taught

Core scientific modules (25 credits):

• Cell and Molecular Biology

• Human Molecular Genetics and Genetic Engineering Techniques

• Biological and Clinical Perspectives of Human Disease

Scientific skills-development modules (10 credits):

• Biotechniques

• Scientific Communication of Current Topics in Molecular Cell Biology

Core business modules (10 credits):

• Marketing for High Technology Entrepreneurs

• Technology and Business Planning

Elective modules (select one of the following 5 credit modules):

• Creativity and Opportunity Recognition

• Innovation Finance

• Intellectual Property Law for High-Tech Entrepreneurs

Research Project (40 credits):

You will select a project offered by internationally-renowned research groups from the Schools of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Microbiology and Anatomy/Neuroscience. With three primary research themes – cancer biology, infection/immunity and molecular neuroscience, you will complete a six-month project based on individual research in one of these themes and compile the results into an MSc dissertation on completion.

You will gain invaluable hands-on, practical experience in experimental design, implementation and data interpretation and develop a wide array of transferable skills, including written and verbal communication; data recording, analysis and presentation; critical evaluation of published material; learning to work collaboratively and independently as well as project and time-management. Further details on the content and modules are available on the Postgraduate College Calendar.


The programme team consists of:

• Prof Rosemary O'Connor, School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

• Dr John Morrissey, School of Microbiology and

• Dr Aideen Sullivan, Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience.

• Dr Kellie Dean, School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, coordinates the overall course, modules, assessments and research projects.

Research projects are offered by over 20 participating investigators in the Schools of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Microbiology and the Department of Anatomy/Neuroscience.

Student Awards

At Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneurs 2015 competition in the 'Best New Idea' category, UCC student Blaine Doyle won the top prize of a €20,000 investment for GlowDX, a company that is setting out to diagnose neglected tropical diseases like Dengue fever in developing countries. Blaine co-founded GlowDX with Yensi Flores Bueso, both students in the MSc in Molecular Cell Biology with Bioinnovation at UCC.

There was over 1,400 applications to Local Enterprise Offices for this year's competition, 24 finalists from 17 counties competed for the overall title, and nine of those made a live pitch to the judging panel in the final round.

Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur Competition was supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the network of Local Enterprise Offices, Enterprise Ireland and Google.

Assessment method

Taught modules are examined by formal written examination and continuous assessment. The research dissertation for the six-month research project must be submitted by the end of the first academic year of registration for examination by internal and external examiners.

Application date

Applications for academic year 2020/2021 are open.

EU Applicants: UCC operates a rounds closing date system for the majority of postgraduate taught courses, which means offers are made four times a year on a rolling basis. Some courses have one specific closing date, please check your course prospectus page for this information.

The UCC rounds closing dates for postgraduate taught courses are below. Applicants are advised to apply as soon as possible.

Deadline for receipt of full applications:

For all completed applications received by January 10th 2020

Offers will be made by January 24th 2020

For all completed applications received by March 2nd 2020

Offers will be made by March 16th 2020

For all completed applications received by May 1st 2020

Offers will be made by May 15th 2020

For all completed applications received by July 1st 2020

Offer will be made by July 15th 2020

Late applications may be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for any courses that have remaining capacity.

Non-EU Closing Date: 15 June

Non-EU Applicants: Information for Non-EU applicants may be found on the International Office Website

Enrolment and start dates

Start Date: 7 September 2020

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