Job Focused Degree addresses Top Hiring Trend in Ireland for 2017 & Midlands skill shortage in the Biopharma and Medtech Sector

After two years in planning and development, AIT has launched an innovative and pioneering BSc (Hons) Degree in Microbiology which is the only designated Microbiology course offered on the CAO system. The unique programme addresses a substantial skills shortage in the region and has been backed by industry.

Ms. Lorraine Danaher, Regional Skills Manager when speaking at the launch of the course emphasised that “the jobs focused nature of the course aligns excellently with the top hiring trends in Ireland for 2017 which include medtech, bioinformatics, pharmachem and environmental regulation. This exciting new course in Microbiology addresses regional job skill shortage needs and will provide graduates with the requisite skill sets for employment in the existing and planned biopharma and medtech cluster located in the midlands”.

Dr. Don Faller, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Health stated that he was particularly pleased to announce this new course which was two years in the planning and development phase. When speaking at the launch he added, “This course like all of the academic programmes offered in the Faculty is designed to maximise employment and career progression opportunities for the graduate scientists. The new BSc (Hons) degree in Microbiology will commence in September 2017 and currently is open for offers via the CAO system. This new course harnesses the extensive expertise of the lecturers who were involved in the course design.”

AIT staff have the expertise and authority to educate students from BSc (Hons) to doctoral level in the discipline of microbiology as it is one of the four
research disciplines that AIT has been granted Delegated Authority to award PhDs in. Many of the staff lecturing on this courses are actively involved in research in different areas of microbiology, so are up to date with current trends in microbiology research.

Dr. Andy Fogarty, course coordinator outlined the considerable strengths of this unique course which includes an integrated microbiological placement and
industry focused modules such as Principles of Sterilisation, Good Manufacturing Practices, Bioinformatics (which involves the use of data analytics in a biological context), Industrial Bioprocessing and Food & Brewing Microbiology.

The overarching theme of this programme is to provide microbiology graduates with an in-depth knowledge of practical microbiology with particular emphasis on asepsis thus enabling graduates to readily gain employment in indigenous and multi-national companies. A routine search of Irish Jobs websites using the term “Microbiology” will typically show upwards of 50 plus jobs for Microbiology degree holders. The study of microbiology unlocks a vast range of career opportunities across several sectors including biopharma, medtech, food and brewing, agri-businesses, water treatment, pollution control as well as manufacturing facilities that require clean room facilities.

Another innovative features of this course is the teaching of microbiology through problem and enquiry based learning. Dr. Carol O Donnell, Head of Life and Physical Science commented that the course will provide graduates with competencies in a wide range of essential transferable skills including communications, statistical analysis, data analytics, problem-solving, decision making, project and time management, team work, entrepreneurship and business acumen.

For course details see: https://www.ait.ie/courses/bsc-hons-in-microbiology

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