Course Overview

WINNER Postgraduate Science Course of the Year Award 2016 #HEAwards


‌This MSc aims to provide you with the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue a successful career in biotechnology. Through tutorials, lectures, assignments and a research project, the course focuses on the development and application of biological processes in research, commercial and industrial settings. The programme is suitable for applicants who have a primary degree in Biological Sciences and wish to develop a career in a sector of high employment.

Scholarships available
Find out about our Postgraduate Scholarships here.

You may also be interested in one of our other Life and Biomedical Sciences postgraduate programmes.



Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the University of Galway Postgraduate Applications System

Selection is based on academic record, previous relevant experience and a personal statement. Shortlisted candidates may be invited for interview.

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

A variety of different assessment types are included, such as continuous assessment assignments, written examinations, essays and a research project thesis.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Candidates must hold at least a Second Class Honours, Level 8 (or equivalent international qualification) primary degree in Science or a related subject, with a strong background in Biological Sciences. For applicants whose native language is not English, an IELTS score of 6.5 is required, with no less than 6.5 in Writing and no less than 6.0 in any other band.

Additional Requirements


1 year, full-time

Next start date

September 2023

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date

4 May 2023

NFQ level


Mode of study

ECTS weighting




Course code


Course Outline

Key features of this course include:
  • Emphasis on developing biotechnology and business skills
  • Choice of industrial or research focussed streams
  • Small group tutorials
  • Five-month laboratory project providing the opportunity to build research and development expertise while being a member of a scientific research team
Core modules:
  • MSc Biotechnology research and/or work experience: Five-month research project.
  • Frontiers in Biotechnology: Tutorials introducing transferable skills and recent advances in biotechnology.
  • Introduction to Business: Concepts of marketing, management and accountancy including student development of a biotechnology business plan.
  • Fundamental Concepts in Pharmacology: Understanding the dynamics and kinetics of drug interactions in the body.
  • Protein Technology: Includes industrial scale-up of protein production, proteomics and glycobiology.
  • Diagnostic Biotechnology: A comprehensive overview of immunological and molecular diagnostics.
Optional modules (choose three):
  • Advanced Industrial Processes: This module is designed to develop an awareness of microbial technologies and their applications to biotechnology.
  • Applied Concepts in Pharmacology: This module introduces students to autonomic pharmacology and drug discovery and development.
  • Scientific Writing: This module aims to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the process of scientific publication (writing and reviewing articles).
  • Immunology: This module is delivered with emphasis on the clinical value of manipulating the immune system as well as the clinical implications of immunological dysfunction.
  • Quality Management Systems for Biotechnology: Quality management systems essential for the efficient and safe running of commercial and industrial biotechnology enterprises are taught in this module.
  • Cell & Molecular Biology: Advanced Technologies: This module outlines the fundamentals of cell & molecular biology.

*Please note that the curriculum information is subject to change from year to year.


Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

A wide range of career options exist for graduates of this programme, such as employment in pharmaceutical industries, diagnostic services and academic research. Furthermore, this programme is a springboard to PhD research opportunities. Our recent graduates have found employment with Abbott, Allergan, ICON Clinical Research, Norbrook Laboratories, Regeneron and Pfizer. They are pursuing careers in manufacturing, quality assurance, product development and research, as well as in the broader sectors of sales, marketing and regulatory affairs.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Transferable Skills Employers Value

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€8,040 p.a. 2023/24

Fees: Tuition

€7,900 p.a. 2023/24

Fees: Student levy

€140 p.a. 2023/24

Fees: Non EU

€25,090 p.a. 2023/24

Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant – please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €4,000 towards your tuition (2023/24).  You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee.  An F5 grant is where SUSI will pay tuition up to a maximum of €6,270. SUSI will not cover the student levy of €140.

Postgraduate fee breakdown = Tuition (EU or NON EU) + Student levy as outlined above.

Note to non-EU students: learn about the 24-month Stayback Visa here

Find out More

Dr Mary Ní Fhlathartaigh
T: +353 91 495 323

What Our Students Say


Liam Higgins |   Microbiology Technician at Aqualab

The MSc. in Biotechnology at NUI Galway gave me the opportunity and confidence needed to move ahead in my career. I completed the course in 2013 and gained employment within one month; working as a microbiology technician. A beautiful and atmospheric campus setting, along with classmates from different academic backgrounds and very helpful and approachable lecturers make this programme a stimulating and worthwhile experience. For my research project I was based in the Genetics and Biotechnology Lab, which allowed me the opportunity to learn from and work with passionate scientists whose encouragement and dedication inspired me greatly. The theoretical knowledge coupled with the practical skills acquired from this programme allowed for the comfortable transition from academia to industry. Completing the MSc. in Biotechnology will open a range of career opportunities and I highly recommended it.
Mr John

Mr John Kilmartin |   Senior Regulatory Affairs Director in Medtronic

We have had a number of visits from the MSc Biotechnology programme here in Medtronic, all of the participants have been really engaged and one of the graduates has joined my team in the Regulatory affairs dept. We are delighted with her progress and contribution to the company.

Gráinne O'Connor |   MSc Biotechnology Graduate

I decided to do the MSc Biotechnology at NUI Galway after completing my BSc in Microbiology. I wanted to learn more about the Biotech Industry and gain skills that I could apply in future employment. I knew from experience that the facilities and staff at NUI Galway are first-class. I am very happy with my decision to continue my studies here, I really enjoyed the year that I spent undertaking the MSc. Modules were taught by lecturers who were experts in their field, meaning that the material was up-to-date and included cutting-edge research. Alongside lectures, the programme helped me refine my presentation and scientific communication skills. The small class size made for an interactive learning environment and encouraged discussion between lecturers and students. Students were from diverse scientific backgrounds, leading to interesting scientific conversations and opinions that I previously may not have thought of. Highlights of the year included industry visits and setting up our own brewery. I left me feeling prepared for industry or further research and I believe that it has given me scientific and communication skills that I will use for the rest of my scientific career.


  • MSc Biotechnology Brochure

    MSc Biotechnology Brochure PDF (2.5 MB)

  • Biotechnology Student Experience

    Biotechnology Student Experience PDF (1 MB)

  • Postgraduate Prospectus 2023

    Postgraduate Prospectus 2023 PDF (20.6MB)