Bachelor of Science (Honours) Biotechnology
CAO Course Code
Why take this course?
Biotechnology is the manipulation of living organisms, cells, genes or molecules to develop services and products that benefit mankind and have commercial value. Biotechnology is a dynamic and evolving area, which is making significant contributions to the ‘smart economy’ in areas such as healthcare, agri- business, the food industry and the environment. 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. These advancements are based on relatively recent discoveries in the areas of genetic engineering, genome sequencing and molecular biology in general.
It is estimated that approximately half of all medicines produced worldwide now originate in biotechnology, making them cheaper and more widely available. Ireland is a leading location for biopharmaceutical production with a mix of start-ups, high growth SMEs and large multinationals located here. The Irish Government has identified the biopharmaceutical/diagnostics sector as one of the country’s best options for our economic future. Currently 9 out of the 10 largest pharmaceutical companies in the world are located in Ireland while 7 out of the 10 best-selling medicines in the world are produced here. The BSc (Honours) degree in Biotechnology in AIT is designed to train graduates to pursue careers in this dynamic sector of the economy, and/or to pursue further education to post-graduate level in highly specialised areas within biotechnology.
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
- Final year business and research project modules where students work independently to develop and pursue commercial ideas and novel research topics under the guidance of experienced mentors
- Exposure to to various biopharmaceutical and industrial environments through frequent site visits.
What opportunities might it lead to?
Graduates of the Level 8 BSc (Honours) in Biotechnology (AL838) can 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, process engineer.
There are three different entry routes to pursue a biotechnology degree at AIT.
- Level 6 – Higher Certificate in Science (Bioscience/Chemistry) ( see AL632)
- Level 7 – BSc in Biotechnology (AL730)
- Level 8 – BSc (Hons) in Biotechnology (AL838)
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) in Biotechnology (AL838).
The Level 8 Biotechnology degree (AL838) is approved by the Teaching Council of Ireland to allow graduates to pursue a Higher Diploma in Education to teach Biology to Leaving Certificate and Science to Junior Certificate at secondary level.
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 Duration:
- 4 Years
- CAO Course Code:
- Cut Off CAO Points:
- Median CAO Points:
- Course Award:
- Bachelor of Science (Honours)
- Course NFQ Level:
- Level 8
- Dept of Life & Physical Sciences
- Minimum Entry Requirements:
A minimum grade H5 in two higher level subjects, plus a minimum of grade 06 in four ordinary level subjects in the Leaving Certificate examination. Two of these subjects must be 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.
Careers & Opportunities
Typical employers for Biotechnology graduates include:
- Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical companies
- Medical technology and medical devise companies
- Research institutions (Universities, Institutes of Technology, Contract research organisations, State-run research institutions)
- Agriculture and crop production companies
- Industries working in areas such as biodegradable plastics, biofuels, environmental monitoring and clean-up