Over 150 pharmaceutical companies operate in Ireland, including 13 of the world's top 15. 12 out of the world's top 25 drugs are manufactured here. These courses were developed based on an analysis of the importance of the pharmaceutical and related industries in Ireland and within the South-East region. The content of these programmes specifically addresses major thematic topics in analytical science and quality management that are perceived to offer the best prospects for growth, particularly in an Irish context.
The IDA strategy for the pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and related sectors, taking into account the number of multinationals here already and increased competition from emerging economies, is to encourage companies to 'start earlier and finish later' in their Irish-based activities.
This means expanding research and development and the pre-clinical stages of product development. This focus will increase the requirement for highly trained graduates and postgraduates with research capabilities. This will require up-skilling of graduate staff to postgraduate level in advanced analytical techniques.
Recognising this demand, Waterford Institute of Technology now offers a range of programmes. There is a taught Postgraduate Diploma/MSc in Analytical Science with Quality Management. This programme is made up of number of individual Postgraduate Certificates (10 credits each) which can also be taken singly or as part of the overall Postgraduate Diploma/MSc programme:
1. Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Quality Methodologies (WD580)
2. Postgraduate Certificate in Data Analysis & Research Methodologies (WD581)
3. Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Chromatographic Techniques (WD575)
4. Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Spectroscopic Techniques (WD576)
5. Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Material Characterisation (WD577)
6. Postgraduate Certificate in Process Analytical Technology & Statistics (WD582)
7. Postgraduate Certificate in International Regulatory Affairs (WD583)
8. Postgraduate Certificate in Biopharmaceutical Analysis & Cell Culture (WD584)
9. Postgraduate Certificate in Food Safety & Analytical Microbiology (WD585)
The nine Postgraduate Certificate programmes can also be taken as stand-alone modules worth 10 credits each at level 9, or if the student wishes they can use these credits towards the Postgraduate Diploma/MSc. Students interested in the Postgraduate Diploma in Analytical Science (WD519) will need to complete the 5 mandatory modules (WD580, WD581, WD575, WD576 and WD577), along with one elective module (WD582, WD583, WD584 or WD585). Students interested in progressing to the MSc in Analytical Science (WD520) will need to complete an additional research dissertation worth 30 credits on top of the 5 mandatory and 1 elective modules.
This MSc programme is very closely linked to highly successful research groups active in the Department of Chemical and Life Sciences at WIT. The Department has a very active research culture in areas such as separation science, sensor technology, biotechnology and environmental science. Many of these research projects are in collaboration with pharmaceutical industries in the South-East and are preferably projects relevant to the student's employer.
The program is the only postgraduate course in the South-East region that offers this combination of disciplines. These courses place a strong emphasis on the professional development of the graduate and are aimed at students already working in an industrial environment. Such a qualification will enable and facilitate career progression for graduates in the region.
These courses are seen as critical, not only in increasing the number of graduates from the region with a formal qualification in analytical science and quality management, but in making a valuable contribution to the infrastructure of the region in the context of developing and attracting knowledge-based industry.
This programme was developed following a Scientific Skills Survey which was conducted by Wales Ireland Network for Scientific Skills (WINSS) to address the scientific skills gaps within industries based in Dublin, Meath, Kildare, Waterford, Kilkenny, Wexford, Wicklow, Carlow, South Tipperary, Cork and Kerry.