ME Biosystems & Food Engineering

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 120)

This Masters will provide graduates from an engineering or mathematical based science background the opportunity to specialise in the application of engineering science and design to biological materials and systems, especially in:

  • Food process engineering
  • Sustainable energy
  • Environmental protection

Module Information: 

Under the "What modules can I take?" section below you will see general module information, for a more detailed description including module selection rules click here.

Biosystems Engineers are at the forefront of the search for practical solutions to global problems and this specialisation will lead graduates to a wide variety of employment opportunities with companies focussing on processing of food and other biological materials, environmental protection, waste recycling, sustainable energy and green technologies.

This programme is delivered by a highly research-intensive School comprising a European Research Council Fellow and six Marie Curie Fellowships. Professors Sun and O’Donnell are in the world’s top one percent of the most cited scientists in their field. The UCD School of Biosystems & Food Engineering also consistently wins up to €3 million in annual research funding.

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

The ME Biosystems and Food Engineering programme is aimed at Engineering (BE) and Engineering Science (BSc) graduates who wish to pursue a career as a professional engineer in agricultural, food, environmental or related industries. The programme focuses on the engineering, scientific and technological aspects of the agrifood industry through advanced numeracy, design, critical thinking and leadership skills developed in a dynamic learning environment where all students can work individually and in teams. The programme combines a range of modules delivered by internationally recognised research-active academic staff through lectures, practicals, technical site visits and problem-based learning. A broad range of assessments including examinations, reports, projects, group work, case studies and peer evaluation are used. A period of professional work experience is integrated into the programme to provide the student with an opportunity to practice as an engineer. The programme can lead to research or professional engineering career opportunities.

  • an understanding of their profession responsibilities and the importance of high ethical standards.
  • knowledge and understanding of the mathematics, sciences, engineering sciences and technologies underpinning Biosystems and Food Engineering.
  • the ability to communicate effectively with their professional community.
  • the ability to design and conduct an experiment and to apply a range of standard and specialised research tools and techniques.
  • the ability to design components, systems or processes for applications in Biosystems and Food Engineering.
  • the ability to interpret, apply and use scientific, mathematical, and engineering principles, data and models to evaluate and solve problems.
  • the ability to work effectively as an individual, in teams and in multi-disciplinary settings, together with the capacity to undertake self-directed lifelong learning.

This is one of Ireland's most important industries and our graduates have excellent prospects finding employment in:
• Bioprocess and food companies
• Environmental protection and waste recycling companies
• Sustainable energy and green technology companies

There are also opportunities to pursue PhD research in UCD and worldwide.

ME Biosystems & Food Engineering (T299) Full Time
EU          Year 1 - € 8830
nonEU    Year 1 - € 27720
EU          Year 2 - € 8410 aa
nonEU    Year 2 - € 26400 aa

aaSecond Year Fee applies to Students in 2nd Year in 2023 and who were a 1st Year Student on the programme in 2022/23
***Fees are subject to change

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

The College of Engineering & Architecture also offer scholarships for non-EU students, for more information see:

The Professional Work Experience (PWE) module is incorporated into the two-year Master of Engineering Programme and is designed to integrate a student’s academic and career interests with practical work experience for a 6-8-month period. 

The module provides students with the perfect opportunity to gain increased experience and understanding of their chosen field, assess where their strengths and weaknesses lie and maximise their knowledge of the available career possibilities. The practical skills acquired during this placement will give graduates a competitive advantage when applying for positions upon graduation.

  • An honours undergraduate degree (NFQ Level 8) with minimum upper second class honours or international equivalence in an engineering degree programme 
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must also 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 

Graduate Profile - Nandhini Sabesan, Abbott

I chose to pursue the ME Biosystems and Food Engineering in UCD (2016 -2018), because the programme placed equal emphasis in developing the subject knowledge as well as the professional skills required by the industry. The programme offered flexibility to pick a range of modules in varying disciplines such as bioprocess, food, and environmental engineering. The professors were very encouraging and prompt in taking care of student needs. The industrial visits to a beef processing factory, milk factory and biogas plant were very informative and full of fun. I also undertook many informative sessions offered by UCD Library to enhance my writing and presentation skills. The UCD Careers Network was very supportive too and it helped equip me to secure an internship (part of the curriculum) with Irish Water for a period of 8 months. The internship was vital for me to understand workplace requirements and cultivate the requisite professional skills accordingly.

The School of Biosystems and Food Engineering has recently invested in excess of €600,000 in state-of-the-art facilities in spectroscopy, hyperspectral chemical imaging and chemometrics.

The following entry routes are available:

ME Biosystems & Food Engineering FT (T299)
2 Years
Full Time

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