Entry Points (2023)

Course Overview

Genetics and Genomics is an exciting area of science involving the study and use of DNA based data in the life sciences. Genetics is the study of how DNA is the blueprint for functionality in every cell and is also the code that passes information from one generation to the next. New sequencing technologies can now generate vast quantities of data from DNA. Genomics is the study of these data to make important discoveries in areas such as medicine, agriculture, evolution, the environment and biotechnology.

This new programme  aims to provide students with a unique inter-disciplinary educational experience that combines biology with mathematics and data science.

Graduates from this programme will have the following attributes:

- Academic excellence and expertise in biological processes, systems and mechanisms, with in-depth understanding of specific areas in human and animal health and disease. 
- Theoretical and practical laboratory skills in genetics and genomics, combined with computational and analytical skills enabling a unique skillset for multiple careers.
- Creative problem-solving abilities, either working independently or collaboratively as part of a team using a suite of approaches and techniques.
- Critical and objective thinking skills, demonstrating curiosity and independence of thought with an ability to synthesise, summarise and analyse data.
- Written and oral communication skills, using various media effective for different purposes, and a variety of audiences.
- Professional awareness of scientific integrity and associated ethical implications of scientific activities.
- Effective leadership and project management skills to solve new challenges
- Competitiveness for postgraduate education and career opportunities in the global public, private, and academic sectors.


Applications and Selections

Who Teaches this Course

This course is taught by academic staff from the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences and the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences.


Programme Director: Dr. Derek Morris

Deputy Programme Director: Dr. Elaine Dunleavy


Requirements and Assessment

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Minimum Grade H5 in two subjects and passes in four additional subjects at O6/H7 level in the Leaving Certificate, including Irish, English, a laboratory science subject (i.e. Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Physics with Chemistry (joint),Computer Science or Agricultural Science) and any two other subjects recognised for entry purposes.

Additional Requirements

Minimum grade H5 or O1 in Mathematics.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)


4 years

Next start date

September 2024

A Level Grades (2023)


Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

4 (More Info)

Closing Date
NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting




Course code

Course Outline

Graduates will be uniquely trained to integrate knowledge and skills from the biological sciences with mathematical, computational and data analytic skills. This multi-disciplinary course covers a range of biological, mathematical and computer science topics:

  • Medicine: the genetic basis of rare and common human diseases and how genomics uncovers genes that contribute to illness.
  • Agri-bioscience: the genetic and biological origins of agriculture; food security and sustainable development.
  • Microbiology: microbial genetics and key medical and environmental impacts of microorganisms.
  • Evolution: evolutionary biology, including natural selection and the genetic mechanisms that shape evolution.
  • Informatics:  computer programming and mathematical and algorithmic methods to solve problems in molecular genetics.

The final year project will allow students to apply their knowledge in a research laboratory.

Students will benefit from group learning in a small class size, and will graduate with a broad range of skills including communication, teamwork, critical thinking and problem solving. These skills are called transferable because they will transfer and be useful in a broad range of careers post-graduation.


Your Course Year by Year

Year One

  • Biology
  • Chemistry: Molecular Science
  • Mathematics (Honours)
  • Introduction to Genetics & Genomics
  • Computer Science
  • Biomedical Genomics: Research and Communication


Year Two

  • Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Protein Structure and Function
  • Evolution and the Tree of Life
  • Laboratory Skills in Microbiology I
  • Statistics in Data Science I
  • Mathematical Molecular Biology I
  • Genetics and Genomics II
  • Gene Technologies and Molecular Medicine
  • Microbes and the Environment
  • AgriBiosciences
  • Statistics in Data Science II
  • Genetics and Genomics: Seminars and Essays


Year Three

  • Molecular Biology
  • Microbial Genomics
  • Cell Biology
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Genomics Data Analysis I
  • Career Development and Employability Skills
  • Human Molecular Genetics
  • Introduction to Bioinformatics
  • The Dynamic Genome
  • Genomics Data Analysis II
  • Electives (optional modules) in: Developmental Biology, Applied Statistics I, Programming for Science and Finance, Microbial Metabolic and Molecular Systems, Plant and Agricultural Genetics, Immunology and Recombinant Techniques, Mathematical Molecular Biology II, Applied Statistics II


Year Four

  • Research Project
  • Literature Review and Presentation
  • Modern Biotechnologies
  • Medical Genomics I (rare and complex disease genomics)
  • Medical Genomics II (cancer genomics)
  • Advanced Chromosome Biology
  • Current Topics in Bioscience
  • Deep Learning for Genomics
  • Probabilistic Models for Molecular Biology

Curriculum Information

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Glossary of Terms

You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
An examinable portion of a subject or course, for which you attend lectures and/or tutorials and carry out assignments. E.g. Algebra and Calculus could be modules within the subject Mathematics. Each module has a unique module code eg. MA140.
Some courses allow you to choose subjects, where related modules are grouped together. Subjects have their own required number of credits, so you must take all that subject's required modules and may also need to obtain the remainder of the subject's total credits by choosing from its available optional modules.
A module you may choose to study.
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Required Core Subject
A subject you must study because it's integral to that course.
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year, so a three-year course will have six semesters in total. For clarity, this page will refer to the first semester of year 2 as 'Semester 3'.

Further Education

Graduates can pursue a higher degree (MSc/PhD) at University of Galway or in other national or international universities. Example Masters courses at University of Galway would include:

MSc in Biomedical/Computational Genomics

MSc in Biomedical Science

MSc in Biotechnology

MSc in Cancer Research

MSc in Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security

MSc in Neuropharmacology/Toxicology

MSc in Clinical Neuroscience


Top graduates may progress directly to PhD studies in diverse areas such as biomedical science, agri-bioscience, microbiology, evolution, informatics and data science where genetics and genomics is an important component of the research project. Other graduates may study for professional qualifications in areas such as Medicine or Education.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

There is growing demand for individuals that have both an in-depth understanding of genetics and the numerical and computer skills required to investigate and interpret genomic data. This will offer our graduates opportunities in genomic and life science companies, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, forensics and clinical diagnostics, biomedical devices and therapeutics, public health and epidemiology, agricultural and environmental sectors, as well as the information technology sector.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Transferable Skills Employers Value

Work Placement

Students have the opportunity to apply for summer research studentships (e.g., from the Wellcome Trust and Health Research Board) to support eight week paid internships in university-based research laboratories in the summer between 3rd and 4th Year. This is an excellent opportunity for students to experience a research environment and learn new skills that will be useful when completing their final year research project.


Study Abroad

Students have the opportunity to apply to spend one semester of 3rd Year in the United States (e.g., University of California) or in Asia (e.g., Hong Kong University of Science and Technology). At these universities, students will be able to study a range of subjects related to Genetics and Genomics as a well as experiencing student life in a different environment and culture.

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€7,268 p.a. (€7,408 p.a. including levy) 2024/25

Fees: Tuition

€4,268 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Student Contribution

€3,000 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Student levy

€140 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Non EU

€26,000 p.a. (€26,140 p.a. including levy) 2024/25

EU Fees are comprised of Tuition + Student Contribution Charge + Student Levy** €140.  **Payable by all students and is not covered by SUSI.  Further detail here.

Find out More

Dr Derek Morris
Programme Director
E: derek.morris@universityofgalway.ie
T:+353 91 494439

Dr Elaine Dunleavy
Deputy Programme Director
E: elaine.dunleavy@universityofgalway.ie
T:+353 91 404046


What Employers Say

Dr Anthony

Dr Anthony Ryan |   Principal Scientist at Genuity Science Ireland

Graduates from this programme will be attractive to employers in several areas including biomedical genomics, diagnostics, agri-biotech and biopharma. Recent advances have made this a particularly exciting field to be involved in and there are many emerging opportunities in Ireland and abroad for scientists that have a combination of bioscience and data science knowledge and skills.

What our Students Say


Siobhan O’Riordan |   BSC (Genetics and Genomics)

I have been introduced to primary concepts of genetics and genomics while simultaneously studying other areas of science. With a small class size, it was easy to make friends and there is frequent contact with our lecturers who offer great support and guidance.