MSc Biological and Biomolecular Science

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

The MSc in Biological and Biomolecular Science by Negotiated Learning will broaden your understanding of biological and biomolecular science against a backdrop of learning core technical, methodological and innovation skills relevant to industry and academia. Taught modules from several innovative specialisations are available from the UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science and the UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science. The programme provides students with an exciting prospect of studying and researching in the interdisciplinary fields of genetics, cell biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, microbiology and biodata analysis. Guidance from expert faculty is provided to tailor a programme that will meet the anticipated requirements of the student’s objectives and career goals. 

Negotiated Learning: student and academic discuss goals, and tailor suitable programme

Download the UCD Science Graduate Taught Courses brochure (pdf)

  • Genetics & Cell Biology: investigates cellular signalling, architecture, imaging, trafficking and transport, genetic basis of disease, model organisms, epigenetics, etc.
  • Microbiology & Infection Biology: investigates mechanisms of pathogenic micro organisms, host response to infection, immunopathologies, host-pathogen interactions, development of diagnostics, applied microbiology, etc.
  • Biochemistry & Synthetic Biology:investigates metabolism and disease, protein-protein interactions, cell signalling, protein structure and analysis.

Careers & Employability

This programme will enable you to choose from a wide range of careers and areas of postgraduate study. This multi-disciplinary course provides a solid grounding for careers in industry, health and research, such as Quality Assurance, Quality Control, Microbiology, Process Control, Technical Transfer, Research and Development, and Regulatory Affairs, Scientific Editor or Writer, Lab Technician or Analyst roles.

An academic staff member will advise you on a specialisation and module choices based on the opportunities you hope to unlock. 

Curricular information is subject to change

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

This programme is suited for students who require flexibility to broaden their understanding of biological and biomolecular science.  Several innovative specialisations are available from a carefully chosen range of modules, with guidance provided from expert faculty to tailor a programme that will meet the student's requirements.


This unique course offers a flexible programme of study that is designed to provide excellent research and training opportunities that are tailored to each individual student. This course combines developing a range of core, biologically relevant practical skills with the opportunity to undertake a specialised area of taught study negotiated by the student. In completing this course, all students obtain substantial experience in practical laboratory skills, research teamwork, data management, quantitative data analysis and scientific communication. Potential areas for specialized, negotiated study are cell biology & genetics, microbiology & infection biology, and biochemistry & synthetic biology. Multiple teaching approaches from our dedicated, expert academic staff facilitate student development throughout this one-year course. After successfully completing this programme, students are well qualified to face challenging opportunities in any area of biomolecular, biological and pharmaceutical science and have a wide range of career options.

  • Ability to both manage and quantitatively analyse all data obtained from various modern biological research techniques.
  • Ability to collaborate with other scientists and engage in activities as part of a research team.
  • Ability to design and conduct biological experiments, critically interpret data and professionally report on findings.
  • Ability to perform a wide range of biologically relevant practical laboratory techniques to a high degree of proficiency.
  • Understanding of how to effectively communicate your own research findings to scientific and non-scientific audiences.
  • Understanding the key principles of biomolecular and biological science at an advanced level.

No Modules to display for this Course

Negotiated Learning is a process where a student and academic discuss the components of a qualification required to meet the student's stated goals. In the context of this MSc programme, students will discuss which 40 credits of taught components are appropriate, relating to their current strengths and weaknesses, and their future career goals in industry or academia. The MSc in Biological and Biomolecular Science is the first of its kind offered in Ireland by Negotiated Learning.

Core Laboratory Research Skills (30 credits across three semesters): including techniques such as RT-PCR, Western Blotting, and imaging studies. Research skills modules will be conducted in a dedicated Research Skills lab in the UCD Conway Institute and the new facilities in the O'Brien Centre for Science.

Core (taught) Professional Skills Modules (20 credits)

  • BIOL40540 Data Management and Interpretation
  • BMOL40150 Career Development Scientists
  • BIOL40550 Science Writing and communication Skills
  • BIOL40390 Quantitative Tools for the Life Sciences

Optional Taught modules (40 credits)

  • involves selecting one of the following specialisations and selecting specific modules within these that meet the student's learning objectives (indicative module list is not exhaustive, and is subject to change)

Genetics & Cell Biology

  • GENE30010 Genetics and Recombinant DNA
  • CELB30130 Cell Biology of Disease
  • CELB40190 Advanced Cancer Cell Biology and Genetics
  • ZOOL40300 Epithelial Transport in Animal Physiology
  • CELB30090 Advanced Cell Biology
  • CELB30100 Developmental Biology
  • CELB40030 Programmed Cell Death in Plants
  • CELB40180 Cell Biology & Genetics of Ageing
  • CELB40200 The RNA World
  • GENE30020 Genome Structure and Evolution
  • GENE30030 Genetic Basis of Disease
  • GENE40040 Model organism genetics: a modern experimental approach
  • GENE40050 Human Genetics & Disease

Microbiology & Infection Biology

  • MICR30030 Microbial Physiology
  • MICR30040 Microbial Diversity and Growth
  • MICR30070 Skills in Microbiology
  • MICR40050 Microbiology of Foodborne Pathogens
  • MICR40150 Host Pathogen Interaction (online)
  • MICR30020 Microbial Cell Factory
  • MICR30060 Pharmaceutical and Food Microbiology
  • MICR40040 Microbial Pathogenicity
  • MICR40060 Microbial and Mammalian Cell Bioprocessing
  • ENVB40480 Applied Microbial Ecology

Biochemistry & Synthetic Biology

  • BIOC30010 Metabolism and Disease
  • BIOC30090 Proteins and Enzymes
  • BIOC40070 Protein Structure and Analysis
  • BIOC40080 Biochemical Research Strategies and Problem Solving
  • BIOC30030 Biochemist’s Toolkit
  • BIOC40160 Drug Development & Clinical Trials
  • BIOC40220 Hot topics in Biochemistry
  • MICR40070 Enzyme Technology and Protein Engineering


  • BIOL40560 Biological Imaging
  • GENE30040 Introduction to Programming for Biologists
  • CELB40160 HCS Microscopy
  • MICR40080 Microbial Natural Product Biosynthesis
  • BIOL40840 Applied Bioinformatics

MSc Biological and Biomolecular Science (F104) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 8920
nonEU    fee per year - € 27720

***Fees are subject to change

Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships.

This programme is intended for applicants who have at least an Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) degree, or the international equivalent, in a life science or chemical science.  Examples of an appropriate BSc subject include, but are not restricted to, Biochemistry, Biology, Biotechnology, Genetics, Microbiology, Neuroscience, Pharmacology, Immunology, Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry.

If English is not your native language, unless you have done your primary degree through English in an English speaking country, applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element), or equivalent.

Students meeting the programme’s academic entry requirements but not the  English language requirements, may enter the programme upon  successful completion of UCD’s Pre-Sessional or International Pre-Master’s Pathway programmes. Please see the following link for further information 

These are the minimum entry requirements – additional criteria may be requested for some programmes 

Faculty Profile

Dr Joanna Kacprzyk
Lecturer in Cell Biology & Genetics, UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science

My research is focused on the mechanisms governing cell fate decisions between programmed cell death and survival pathways. Using both plant and mammalian cell culture systems I use fluorescence microscopy, enzymatic assays and RT-PCR to characterise the cellular responses to stress stimuli.

The following entry routes are available:

MSc Biological & Biomolecular Science (Negotiated Learn) FT (F104)
1 Years
Full Time

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised