MSc Biotechnology

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

The MSc in Biotechnology is taught by leading academics in the UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science and focuses on broadening your knowledge and understanding of the current technologies and processes in the biotechnology industry, including approaches being applied to further advance the discovery and design of new and highly innovative biotech and pharmaceutical products and technologies. 

Download the UCD Science Graduate Taught Courses brochure (pdf)

  • Modules on food and environmental biotechnology,
  • Industrially relevant expertise in facility design and bioprocess technology, regulatory affairs and clinical trials
  • Academic or industry lab project of significant benefit to previous programme graduates

Careers & Employability

This advanced graduate degree in Biotechnology has been developed in consultation with employers and therefore is recognised and valued by them.
A key feature is the opportunity to carry out a project in industry which will allow graduates to develop connections with prospective employers, thereby enhancing chances of employment on graduation. You will also have the opportunity to become part of a network of alumni in the field of Biotechnology.

Prospective employers include:

Abbott; Allergan; Amgen; Baxter Healthcare; Beckman Coulter; Biotrin International Ltd.; Boston Scientific; Elan Corporation; Eli Lilly and Co.; Celltech; Glaxo SmithKline; Icon Clinical Research; Johnson & Johnson Ltd.; Kerry Group Plc.; Merck Sharp & Dohme; Quintiles; Sandoz; Serology Ltd.

View our video 'Questions and Answers' with the course director

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

Biotechnology encompasses all aspects of the industrial application of living organisms and/ or biological techniques. It is a collection of technologies that capitalise on the attributes of cells and biological molecules, such as DNA, to work for us. The primary biotechnology activity carried out in Ireland is research and development. Ireland has experienced massive growth across the biotechnology sector including food, environmental and pharmaceutical industries in the last decade. Ireland is home to nine of the top 10 global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, such as GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Merck, BristolMyers Squibb and Genzyme, with seven of the 10 world blockbuster pharmaceuticals made here. The MSc in Biotechnology is taught by leading academics in the UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science and focuses on broadening your knowledge and understanding of the current technologies and processes in the biotechnology industry, including approaches being applied to further advance the discovery and design of new and highly innovative biotech and pharmaceutical products and technologies. It also provides modules on food and environmental biotechnology, as well as industrially relevant expertise in facility design, bioprocess technology, regulatory affairs and clinical trials. 

The MSc programme in Biotechnology is designed for life science/chemistry graduates and aims to develop the students’ specific knowledge and skills in biotechnology, positioning them for employment in bio-based industries or PhD research.  The graduates of the MSc Biotechnology programme will be very well informed on a range of biotechnology-related topics and the problems encountered within a commercial biotechnology environment.  We aim to produce highly motivated, independent thinkers with well-developed problem-solving ability and capable of working effectively in a professional environment either alone or in teams.  There is a particular emphasis on career development and introducing the students to professionals from private biotechnology companies.  We provide a scholarly environment within which students’ interest in biotechnology is advanced through lectures by experts from academia and industry.  Their creativity and problem solving skills are enhanced through group projects and computer-based learning tools.  The students develop practical biotechnology skills in a research project that is conducted either in the university’s research laboratories or as an internship in a relevant biotechnology/biotherapeutic industry.   The different teaching approaches employed in the delivery of the curriculum is reflected in the variety of assessment, which includes classical written examination, posters, oral assessments, collaborative presentations, case studies and a final thesis based on the research project.

  • Students will be able to analyse, evaluate and communicate biotechnology research
  • Students will be able to comprehend the challenges of scaling bioprocesses and apply their knowledge to overcome these
  • Students will be able to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the principles and applications of biotechnology
  • Students will be able to develop solutions to a range of challenges in the breadth of sectors to which biotechnology is relevant (health, agriculture, fine chemicals, waste etc.)
  • Students will be able to engage with potential employers in a professional manner
  • Students will be able to work safely and effectively in a biotechnology laboratory, both independently and as part of a team

MSc Biotechnology (X439) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 8780
nonEU    fee per year - € 26400

***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.

Candidates are expected to have an upper second class honours grade or international equivalent in a Biology or Chemistry primary degree. This includes a degree in Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Genetics, Neuroscience, Pharmacology, Physiology, Medicinal Chemistry or an equivalent qualification.

  • Graduates with equivalent qualifications in related areas of science and technology or with proven relevant industrial experience will be considered for places.
  • 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
Qinxi Ma, China,

PhD student, UCD
I am an international student from China and I am doing my PhD in Genetics, having completed my MSc Biotechnology degree at UCD. A focus on emerging issues and technologies in this programme really helped my study, while enhancing my knowledge and understanding of the biotechnology area helped me to build up an academic career path. It was a great opportunity for me to combine academic learning and practical skills. I enjoyed working with classmates from many different backgrounds. Overall, it was a fantastic, fulfilling and memorable year as a masters student in UCD.

The UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science is closely linked to the UCD Conway institute of Biomedical and Biomolecular research which provides cutting edge core technologies including the premier Mass Spectrometry Resource in the country, NMR spectroscopy, real time PCR, electron microscopy, light microscopy, digital pathology and flow cytometry

The following entry routes are available:

MSc Biotechnology FT (X439)
1 Years
Full Time

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