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About University of Galway
About University of Galway
Since 1845, University of Galway has been sharing the highest quality teaching and research with Ireland and the world. Find out what makes our University so special – from our distinguished history to the latest news and campus developments.
Colleges & Schools
Colleges & Schools
University of Galway has earned international recognition as a research-led university with a commitment to top quality teaching across a range of key areas of expertise.
- Research & Innovation
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Guiding Breakthrough Research at University of Galway
We explore and facilitate commercial opportunities for the research community at University of Galway, as well as facilitating industry partnership.
- Alumni & Friends
At University of Galway, we believe that the best learning takes place when you apply what you learn in a real world context. That's why many of our courses include work placements or community projects.
Bachelor of Science (Biotechnology)
Biotechnology is the application of biology for the benefit of humanity and the environment. It harnesses living organisms to provide foods and medicines, and for tasks such as cleaning toxic waste or detecting harmful substances. Biotechnology has roots in food and agriculture, using yeast to make beer and bread, and lactic acid bacteria to make cheese. Modern technologies such as genetic engineering make biotechnology a major part of Ireland’s economic future in biopharmaceuticals, biomedicine, agriculture, the food industry and the environment.
Our BSc Biotechnology is a science-focused and closely mentored course with strong career opportunities and an international outlook. Alongside core knowledge of modern biology, the BSc Biotechnology degree provides tailored training in communications, business and languages skills. Students complete individual projects in research laboratories on campus in their fourth year, and have the opportunity to undertake placements in industry in Ireland, or research laboratories across Europe.
Applications and Selections
Who Teaches this Course
Requirements and Assessment
Minimum Grade H5 in two subjects and passes in four other subjects at O6/H7 level in the Leaving Certificate, including Irish, English, a third anguage, Mathematics, a laboratory science subject (i.e, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Physics with Chemistry (joint), Computer Science or Agricultural Science) and any one other subject recognised for entry purposes.
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
Next start date
A Level Grades (2023)
QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes
Mode of study
The BSc Biotechnology combines a strong foundation in science with a broad awareness of how this can be applied and skills to translate this knowledge.
In first year students study core biology, chemistry and maths principles alongside unique biotechnology and language modules with an emphasis on practical activities.
In second year students study molecular cell biology, microbiology and chemistry while continuing to develop their biotechnology and language skills.
In third year students continue with molecular cell biology and microbiology plus pharmacology and their language. In semester 2 there is an opportunity for a 3-6 month placement in Irish industry or a research laboratory in continental Europe. An on-campus alternative course emphasising genetics and biochemistry is also available.
In final year students take modules in biochemistry, a business course including business development project, as well as completing semester-long individually mentored literature review and research project.
• Biotechnology Concepts and Labs
• Data Science
• Employability Skills in Biotechnology
• Language (French or German)
• Biotechnology Innovations
• Language (French or German)
• Biotechnology Skills
• Language (French or German)
• Placement and on-campus option
• Advanced research project
• Topical scientific literature review
• Molecular Cell Biology
• Elective: Bioprocessing or Plant and AgriBiotechnologies
• Introduction to Business with business plan pitch
• Modern Biotechnologies
Curriculum InformationCurriculum 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'.
Year 1 (60 Credits)Optional FR137: French for Biotechnology I - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional GR150: German for Biotechnology I - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Required CH130: Chemistry: The World of the Molecule - 15 Credits - Semester 1
Required BO101: Biology - 15 Credits - Semester 1
Required BG111: Biotechnology Skills with French/German - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Required BG110: Biotechnology I - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Required BG1101: Employability for Biotechnology - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Required ST2001: Statistics for Data Science 1 - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Required ST2002: Statistics for Data Science 2 - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Year 2 (60 Credits)Optional GR241: German for Biotechnology II - 5 Credits - Semester 3
Optional FR216: French for Biotechnology II - 5 Credits - Semester 3
Required BI208: Protein Structure and Function - 5 Credits - Semester 3
Required BO201: Molecular and Cellular Biology - 5 Credits - Semester 3
Required BG204: Biotechnology Skills with French/German II - 5 Credits - Semester 3
Required MI202: Laboratory Skills in Microbiology I - 5 Credits - Semester 3
Required CH203: Physical Chemistry - 5 Credits - Semester 3
Required BI206: Gene Technologies and Molecular Medicine - 5 Credits - Semester 4
Required BI207: Metabolism and Cell Signalling - 5 Credits - Semester 4
Required MI203: Laboratory Skills in Microbiology II - 5 Credits - Semester 4
Required MI204: Microbes and the Environment - 5 Credits - Semester 4
Required CH202: Organic Chemistry - 5 Credits - Semester 4
Required CH205: Analytical & Environmental Chemistry - 5 Credits - Semester 4
Biotechnology graduates who want to further strengthen their knowledge frequently pursue advanced Masters training at universities in Ireland and UK, in areas including biochemistry, immunology, pharmacology, genomics and environmental science.
Graduates also opt for more diverse postgraduate options such as medicine, dietetics, physiology, teaching or commerce, or choose to and to study for a Masters in continental Europe.
Graduates with strong results in our programme regularly progress to PhD programmes in NUI Galway, other Irish universities, and prestigious locations such as University of Cambridge and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory. Their research topics range from basic biochemistry and molecular cell biology to biomedicine and applications of biotechnology.
Why Choose This Course?
Our graduates are equipped with a wide range of capabilities and practical experience, including business and language skills to complement their knowledge of biology.
Biotechnologists find rewarding careers across Ireland’s ‘smart economy’ including biopharmaceuticals, diagnostics, healthcare, and the environment, as well as in academic and industry research. Their science knowledge and skills also opens doors to areas such as management, education, medicine and marketing.
Biotechnology students on placement in Amsterdam
The combination of international placements, language training and rubbing shoulders with international classmates means Biotechnology graduates have a unique international perspective and set of skills on their CV.
Focus on Skills and Mentoring
The BSc Biotechnology course emphasises activities and experiences that allow students to apply knowledge and develop skills throughout their degree.
Our programme prides itself in being one of NUI Galway’s best mentored, with individual support and attention given to every students from first year orientation to graduation day.
Who’s Suited to This Course
Transferable Skills Employers Value
Related Student Organisations
Fees: Student Contribution
Fees: Student levy
Fees: Non EU
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 Stephen Rea
BSc Biotechnology Programme Director
School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
International students are warmly invited to apply, and we welcome students to Biotechnology each year from USA, Asia, Europe and beyond.
- Please see our International Office web page for information and requirements.
- To hear what it is like to be a student of Biotechnology please listen to this podcast by clicking here.
- Click Here to view the 2021 taster day video of Biotechnology by Andew Flaus. It is a good example of a typical early lecture in the Biotechnology programme, and gives a nice overview of what Biotechnology involves and why it is important
What our Students Say
Eileen Reidy | BSc (Biotechnology)
"A special feature of the course was the research and industry-based placements during 3rd year. Alongside the opportunity to learn a language and carry out a business module, this gave us a unique CV that stood out from other science graduates.
Josh Taylor | BSc (Biotechnology)
Biotech has small classes so we get to know each other very quickly, and we also get to interact more with our lecturers. I like the variety of subjects, and having a language makes us stand out compared with other science graduates. The placement gives us a great opportunity for getting experience.