ProfCert Manufacturing of Cell & Gene Therapies & Vaccines

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 15)

The first intake for this course will be September 2023/2024. Applications will open October 1st 2022

Ireland has a strong reputation as a Centre of Excellence for biopharmaceutical production.  All of the top 10 global pharmaceutical companies have a presence in Ireland and the sector as a whole employs over 30,000 people and contributes €54 billion in exports.  There has been significant, sustained investment in recent years and this is set to continue due to the benefits which companies see in our highly skilled workforce, proven track record and the supportive ecosystem. 

Vaccines and cell and gene therapies (CGTs) are an emerging and rapidly growing area of interest and Ireland is poised to continue expansion of manufacturing into this exciting area.  This programme will provide students with an appreciation of the science and challenges associated with CGT and vaccine manufacture as part of their continuing professional development (CPD) and support them to pursue a successful career in the field.

The programme and its academic faculty are closely linked with the National Institute for Bioprocess Research and Training (NIBRT) which is a global centre of excellence for training and research in biomanufacturing. Content will be delivered by a blend of industrial leaders and academic experts using a hybrid approach ensuring a high quality, relevant curriculum accessible both in person and remotely. 

The modules will be delivered in a hybrid format with the option to attend in-person lectures on the UCD campus or to study remotely. Lectures will take place on Friday evenings from 2 - 6 pm over the Autumn trimester (12 weeks, Sep - Dec).


Curricular information is subject to change

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

The Professional Certificate in Manufacturing of Cell and Gene Therapies and Vaccines provides training in the requisite knowledge for professional engineers and scientists seeking to work in the manufacture of cell and gene therapies and vaccines or related sectors.  The programme covers the scientific, technical and regulatory issues associated with this emerging and rapidly growing field.

The programmes teaching methods are varied including lectures, case studies and facility tours.  Material is delivered by a range of academic leaders and industry experts active in this field in a hybrid manner to allow both face to face and remote study.  Student assessment is primarily achieved through continuous assessment. 

It is anticipated that graduates of this programme will play an important role in the development, design and operation of processes capable of manufacturing cell and gene therapies and vaccines, the number of which will increase rapidly in the coming years.

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the unique considerations, challenges and innovations involved in the manufacture of cell and gene therapies and vaccines.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of what cell and gene therapies and vaccines are.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the unit operations and steps involved in both upstream and downstream cell and gene therapy and vaccine processes.
  • Understand the scientific principles that must be applied to the design and development of cell and gene therapy and vaccine processes.
  • Demonstrate an integrated knowledge of GMP and the regulatory issues involved in cell and gene therapy and vaccine production.

The Professional Certificate is suitable for Science and Engineering graduates currently working in the biopharmaceutical industry or looking to move into the sector, who wish to expand their skill set to take advantage of the growth in the vaccine, and cell and gene therapies space.  The number of companies active in this area is currently growing with Pfizer, Takeda, WuXi, MeiraGTx, VLE, Avectas, Onk and Orbsen Therapeutics leading the way.

Further Study
The credits gained can be used toward further postgraduate qualifications offered by UCD should participants wish to pursue a higher qualification  e.g. Graduate Certificate (30 credits) / Graduate Diploma (60 credits)/ MEngSc in Biopharmaceutical Engineering (90 credits).

No Modules to display for this Course

The modules will be delivered in a hybrid format with the option to attend in-person lectures on the UCD campus or to study remotely.  Lectures will take place on Friday evenings from 2 - 6 pm over the Autumn trimester (12 weeks, Sep - Dec). 

Modules offered: 

  • Cell Therapy Technologies and Processing
  • Gene Therapy and Vaccine Technologies and Processing
  • GMP Manufacturing of Advanced Therapeutics

ProfCert Manufacturing of Cell & Gene Therapies and Vaccines (T373) Part Time
EU          fee per year - € 3500
nonEU    fee per year - € 7000

***Fees are subject to change

  • An honours undergraduate degree (NFQ level 8) with a minimum  second class honours or international equivalence in a relevant Engineering, Science or Technology programme. However, all applicants will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and relevant or extensive work experience will be taken into account.
  • 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.


Employer Profile

David Connolly, Head of MS&T, MSD Dunboyne
"Industry will need strong technical capabilities, and in-depth good manufacturing practice (GMP) know-how, to be ready for advanced therapeutics manufacturing within the next 3-5 years.  Having a stackable approach to building the skills required, will benefit many experts and leaders currently working in biopharma.  The offerings in cell therapy technology, gene therapy, vaccine technology and advanced manufacturing platforms have come at the right time to accelerate upskilling in this exciting area."

Teaching will take place in parallel in-person on the UCD campus and online. Students will have an opportunity to tour the NIBRT facility which is a purpose-built, multi-functional building replicating the most modern industrial bioprocessing facility. The total building area is approximately 6,500 m² over two floors.