ME Biosystems & Food Engineering

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 120)

Hear what our programme director has to say about this programme  
Dr Ronald Halim ME Biosystems and Food Engineering - YouTube

This master’s will provide graduates from an engineering background with the opportunity to deepen their engineering, mathematical and science knowledge in the design and application of biological systems, particularly in:

  • food process engineering
  • agriculture system
  • wastewater management
  • sustainable bioenergy
  • environmental protection
  • circular bioeconomy

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 focusing on the production and processing of food and other feedstocks, environmental protection, waste recycling, sustainable energy, and green technologies.

This programme is delivered by a highly research-intensive School with state-of-the-art infrastructure in

  1. thermal and non-thermal food processing system and analysis,
  2. microalgae biotechnology and biorefinery,
  3. spectroscopy and hyperspectral imaging.

This programme also provides 6-8 months’ professional work experience as an embedded element of the programme.

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.

Our graduates can find employment in:

  • Bioprocess, food and beverage companies
  • Environmental protection and waste recycling companies
  • Sustainable energy and green technology companies
  • Consultancy firms operating in the above areas

Some of these include Glanbia, Sanofi, Royal Oak Distillery, Diageo/Guinness, Abbott, PM Group, Rowan Engineering Consultants, Green Generation, Maria Lucia Bakes, and Takeda Ireland.

There are also opportunities to pursue PhD research at UCD and internationally in relevant areas in circular bioeconomy.

View All Modules Here

This section links to general module information, for a more detailed description including module selection rules click here.

ME Biosystems & Food Engineering (T299) Full Time
EU          Year 1 - € 9300
nonEU    Year 1 - € 29100
EU          Year 2 - € 8830 aa
nonEU    Year 2 - € 27720 aa

aaSecond Year Fee applies to Students in 2nd Year in 2024 and who were a 1st Year Student on the programme in 2023/24
***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 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 - Yuchen Li, UCD PhD Student

"I chose to pursue the ME Biosystems and Food Engineering in UCD, because the programme places strong emphasis in developing not only specialist knowledge in food technology but also professional and research skills.  I was able to deepen my knowledge in agri-food systems and biorefinery, food processing engineering, environmental engineering, and waste management. Moreover, there were a lot of practical sessions integrated in these modules. The professors were very encouraging and prompt in taking care of student needs. I completed  8-month an professional work  at experience Teagasc Food Research Centre, where I developed a novel method for agar extraction from seaweed, the results for which were later published in ‘Food Hydrocolloids’, a top journal in food biotechnology. This experience consolidated my decision to pursue a research career. At the end of the ME degree, I secured a scholarship offer from the prestigious China Scholarship Council to continue with a PhD at UCD."

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