Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology

Bachelor of Science Biotechnology

Course Overview

  • 3


  • 7


  • 206


  • AL730

    CAO Course Code

Why take this course?

Biotechnology explores biological systems (cells and organisms) to discover new ways to benefit mankind and the environment. Biotechnologists use their knowledge of biology to create products and processes within areas such as food, agriculture, the environment and medicine. The concept of biotechnology has been around for a long time; bread, alcohol and cheese making, for example, all involve microbial fermentation to make desirable products. However in the last 20 years, with the emergence of genetic engineering, genome mapping and a much better understanding of how DNA, RNA and proteins function together, biotechnology has revealed new and better approaches to solving many of the problems that face humanity. Biotechnologists have already discovered new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent disease, repair and replace damaged organs, create biofuels and bioplastics, grow crops with better yields, drought and pest resistance, and remove toxic environmental contaminants. Biotechnology is a dynamic and evolving area with many opportunities and challenges, which is making significant contributions to the ‘smart economy’ in areas such as healthcare, agri- business, the food industry and the environment. As a scientific discipline Biotechnology is a blend of Genetics, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Nanotechnology, with a strong component of Computer Technology - all of these disciplines are explored as part of this programme.

What will I experience?

The degree in biotechnology at AIT is designed to provide students with the necessary foundation of scientific knowledge, understanding and skill to build a career as a biotechnologist. The student experience will include the following:

  • Lectures, tutorials and practical classes delivered in modern well-equipped teaching rooms and laboratories.
  • Highly qualified lecturers with a broad range of research, teaching and industrial experience.
  • A comprehensive hands-on training in basic and advanced laboratory skills, and in the operation of scientific equipment.
  • Opportunities to develop soft skills in oral and written communication, teamwork, problem solving, time and project management, numeracy skills and computer literacy

What opportunities might it lead to?

Further Studies:

Graduates of the Level 7 programme AL730 can progress to the Level 8 programme AL838.

Level 8 graduates can thereafter progress to postgraduate studies including Level 9 Master’s degree (taught or by research), Level 10 PhD degree or Higher Diploma in Education (2nd level teaching - science and biology).


Typical areas of employment include biopharmaceutical and medical technology industries, research organisations (academic and industrial), food and drinks manufacturing. Roles for biotechnology graduates include quality assurance and quality control technician, manufacturing technologist, biochemist, analytical scientist, microbiologist and process engineer.

Additional Information

There are two entry routes to pursue the Level 7 Biotechnology degree at AIT.

  • Level 6 – Higher Certificate in Science (Bioscience/Chemistry) ( see AL632)
  • Level 7 – BSc in Biotechnology (AL730)

After completing level 6 (AL632) you can progress to year 3 of AL730.

(After completing AL730, you can progress to year 4 of BSc (Honours) Biotechnology (AL838)).

​For further information about this programme, please contact

Dr Nuala Commins

Head of Department of Life & Physical Sciences,

Athlone Institute of Technology.
Tel: +353 (0)90 6468081

Course Details

Course Duration:
3 Years
CAO Course Code:
Cut Off CAO Points:
Median CAO Points:
Course Award:
Bachelor of Science
Course NFQ Level:
Level 7
Dept of Life & Physical Sciences
Minimum Entry Requirements:

A minimum grade of O6 in five subjects in the Leaving Certificate examination. Two of these subjects must include Mathematics and a language (English or Irish).

QQI: Any major QQI award with three distinctions and a pass in C20139 or 5N1833 or C20174 or C2017 or Leaving Certificate Maths at O6/H7.

Course Structure

Year 1

Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Mathematics for Scientists, Learning and Development for Higher Education, Information Technology for Scientists, Scientific Computing, Current Scientific Issues through Enquiry Based Learning.

Year 2

Mathematics and Statistics, Biochemistry, Gene Technology, Microbiology, Organic Chemistry, Analytical Techniques, Physical and Inorganic Chemistry.

Year 3

Molecular Biology, Environmental Biotechnology, Advanced Cell Biology, Genetic Engineering, Forensic Science, Quality Control and Experimental Design, Bioethics, Occupational Regulatory Affairs.

Careers & Opportunities

Career Prospects

The ERSI recently identified a skill shortage for the role of biotechnologist, and the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs reported that a further 8,400 new jobs will open up in the Biopharma Industry before 2020.

Sectors where biotechnologists can seek employment include:

  • Industry (food and drink, biopharmaceutical, diagnostics, medical devices)
  • Research and Development in Academic and Industrial settings
  • Sales/Marketing
  • Second Level Teaching

Further Study

Following completion of this course you can pursue a Level 8 Honours degree in Biotechnology or related discipline.

Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Biotechnology

Bachelor of Science (Honours)

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