Bachelor of Science (Honours) BSc(Hons) in Biotechnology

BSc(Hons) in Biotechnology

Course Overview

  • 4


  • 8


  • 308


  • US861

    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 TUS Midlands 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.

Y4 students of the programme also have the opportunity to participate in one of the annual regional conferences of the Science Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Network.

What will I experience?

The degree in biotechnology at TUS Midlands 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.

CAO Hub AIT Decoded
Podcast with Dr. Donal Eardly, Lecturer on the BSc in Biotechnology programmes (Level 7 and 8) at TUS.

In this podcast Dr. Eardly, Programme Coordinator, discusses the Levels 7 and 8 Biotechnology courses at TUS Midlands in terms of their structure, modules and exciting career prospects.

What opportunities might it lead to?

Further Studies:

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 a Professional Master of 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.

Additional Information

For additional information about this Level 8 undergraduate programme, please contact:

Head of Department: Dr. Carmel Kealey, Head of Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Biotechnology, Tel. +353 (0)906468081; e-mail:

Programme Coordinator: Dr. Donal Eardly, Tel. +353 (0)90 6468075 e-mail:

How to Progress to Achieve a Degree in Biotechnology:

There are three different entry routes to pursue a Biotechnology degree at TUS:

  • Level 6 - Higher Certificate in Applied Science (AL632)

    After completing Level 6 you can progress to Year 3 of AL730.

  • Level 7 - BSc in Biotechnology (AL730)

    After completing Level 7, for Year 4 you can progress to the Honours degree in Biotechnology (AL838).

  • Level 8 - BSc(Hons) in Biotechnology (AL838)

All three options can lead to a Level 8 Honours degree. If you choose the Level 6 or 7 options you can graduate at the respective level after two or three years’ study and enter the workplace at that stage with a qualification. Alternatively, if you choose to continue your studies, you can pursue a Level 8 in Biotechnology.

Course Details

Course Duration:
4 Years
CAO Course Code:
Cut Off 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.

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Course Prospectus


Student Testimonial

 Profile Image

Hayley Gannon, BSc PPD, Athlone (Graduated 2014)

“I am working as an associate QA Specialist. This programme prepared me for work in a lab as well as tasks outside the lab. Year 4 introduced me to validation, regulatory and quality assurance which are fundamental to success in industry.”

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.

Year 4

Bioprocess Technology, Project Theory & Practice, Analytical Biotechnology, Validation, Good Manufacturing Practice, Bioinformatics, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Regulatory Affairs and Legislation.

Careers & Opportunities

Career Prospects

Typical employers for Biotechnology graduates include:

• Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical companies.

• Medical technology and medical device 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.

Further Study

A BSc(Hons) degree in Biotechnology can lead to a Level 9 Master’s degree (taught or by research),a Professional Master of Education (PME) or a a Level 10 PhD degree.

MSc/PgDip Biopharmaceutical Technology

Master of Science/Post Graduate Diploma

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