MSc Biotechnology & Business

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

Biotechnology encompasses all aspects of the industrial application of living organisms and/or biological techniques. Ireland has an enviable biotechnology sector and is home to the world’s top 10 global biopharmaceutical companies. The MSc Biotechnology & Business is an exciting programme designed for non-business graduates who want to become managers or entrepreneurs in complex business environments in technology and science-based fields.
The MSc Biotechnology & Business provides you with a solid grounding in the science underpinning biotechnology coupled with a comprehensive business education. The programme is the result of a close collaboration between the UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science and the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, which is Ireland’s leading business school.

Download the UCD Science Graduate Taught Courses brochure (pdf)

  • Biotechnology and Management focus
  • Suitable for life-science and chemistry graduates with non-business backgrounds
  • Excellent career prospects

Careers & Employability

This graduate degree in Biotechnology & Business has been developed in consultation with employers and therefore will be recognised and valued by them. A key feature is the opportunity to carry out a business development plan which will allow graduates to develop connections with prospective employers such as Abbott, Allergan, Alpha Technologies, Amgen, Avonmore Foods, Baxter Healthcare, Beckman Coulter, Biotrin International Ltd., Boston Scientific, Elan Corporation, Eli Lilly and Co., Celltech, GSK, Icon Clinical Research, ImmunoGen Inc., Janssen Pharmaceutical Ltd., Johnson & Johnson Ltd., Kerry Group Plc., Medtronic, MSD, Olympus Diagnostica, Quintiles, Quest International, Sandoz., Seroba Life Sciences, Serology Ltd.

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 UCD MSc Biotechnology and Business programme is designed for life-science and chemistry graduates who want to pursue a career in management/entrepreneurship in technology and science-based fields, whether seeking a first job in a biotechnology/biopharmaceutical company, starting your own small business or creating new opportunities in larger companies.


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. 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 world 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 and Business is an exciting programme designed for non-business graduates who want to become managers or entrepreneurs in complex business environments in technology and science-based fields. The MSc in Biotechnology and Business provides you with a solid knowledge of techniques used in modern biotechnology including hands-on experience of bioprocessing. You will also receive a comprehensive business education. You will learn to identify and solve business problems in local and international settings, enhance your communication and leadership skills, and improve your ability for independent thinking and developing creative solutions.

The MSc programme in Biotechnology and Business is designed for life science/chemistry graduates interested in management, product development or entrepreneurship within the biotech sector.  The graduates of this programme are well positioned to bridge the knowledge gap between science and business.  We aim to enhance the students’ awareness of the challenges of bringing biotechnological research from the laboratory to the market, and also the range and relevance of that research available for commercialisation.  There is a particular emphasis on preparing the graduates for working in a business environment and developing their leadership attributes.  We uniquely provide a blended programme in conjunction with the UCD Michael Smurfit School of Business, in which students are encouraged to develop creative thinking by applying business principles coupled with scientific understanding using exercises that challenge the students individually and within teams.  Experts from within the university, industry and the business community are involved in providing content and supervision.  The delivery of the curriculum uses a variety of teaching approaches and assessment strategies, which includes classical written examination, oral assessments, case studies and presentation of a business plan.

  • Students will be able to analyse, evaluate and communicate biotechnology research
  • Students will be able to apply their knowledge to overcome problems with commercialisation of biotechnology research
  • Students will be able to conduct feasibility studies and develop effective business plans
  • Students will be able to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of business principles as they relate to the biotechnology industry
  • Students will be able to engage with potential employers in a professional manner
  • Students will be able to work alongside scientists and entrepreneurs to develop and commercialise novel biotechnological solutions

MSc Biotechnology & Business (X447) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 16000
nonEU    fee per year - € 29100

***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 with a degree in Biology or Chemistry related discipline. An upper second class honours or international equivalent is required.

  • 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
Jennifer McKeever, Senior Analyst at Seroba Life Sciences

During the MSc in Biotechnology & Business, I broadened my knowledge in key modules including medical devices, diagnostics and regulatory affairs, while also developing core business skills in finance, marketing and management. The highlight was developing a business plan for a UCD Nova start-up company, which was an invaluable and pragmatic learning experience. I am currently working as an Investment Analyst in a life sciences venture capital firm. The masters provided me with a skillset that is in high demand. During the masters I was introduced to many industry contacts who played an instrumental role in shaping my career.

MSc Biotechnology and Business Graduates, Julie Carty and Darragh McGrath describe why they chose the course, the subjects covered and the skills they learned and developed.

Professor Jan Rosier, ELAN Chair of the Business of Biotechnology

Professor Rosier holds both a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences (Ghent University, Belgium) and a PhD in Management (Cranfield School of Management, UK). He was a Fulbright Scholar at the Harvard School of Public Health and was awarded a NATO research fellowship for research at MIT. As vice president pharmaceutical drug development at Johnson & Johnson he was instrumental in the development of TIBOZOLE®, LIVOSTIN®, PREPULSID®, SPORANOX®, RISPERDAL® and ERGAMISOL® and was awarded the Johnson & Johnson Leadership Award for outstanding and exceptional contribution to the development of PREZISTA® and INTELENCE® for the treatment of AIDS. In 2009, he became Chief Executive Officer of FORMAC Pharmaceuticals NV, a high technology drug delivery spin-off from the University of Leuven that uses silica based technology to increase the performance of drugs. Jan has extensive experience in attracting venture capital for high-risk academic spin-off biotech firms. His career has continuously taken place at the interface between university and industry. During his stay in industry he was engaged in academic biomedical research which resulted in scientific papers published in e.g. the International Journal of Pharmaceutics, European Journal of Biopharmaceutics, Electrophoresis, Journal of Chromatography Biomedical Applications, Nature etc. Since 2008, he teaches new drug development at the University of Leuven as a visiting professor. He also researches innovation in biotech firms as a Visiting Fellow at the Cranfield School of Management (UK). Jan is author of 'Global New Drug Development - An Introduction' (Wiley-Blackwell) and is currently writing his new book on the business of biotechnology. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of Incentives for Global Health's Health Impact Fund (


The following entry routes are available:

MSc Biotechnology & Business FT (X447)
1 Years
Full Time

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