Pharmaceutical Biotechnology (BSc Honours)
Field of Study
Type of Course:
Type of Qualification:
Type of Study:
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Full-time course duration:
4 years (8 semesters)
At least two Leaving Certificate subjects at Grade C3 minimum (Higher Level), together with a further four subjects at Grade D3 minimum (Ordinary or Higher Level). The six subjects must include Mathematics and English or Irish.
Work placement is a mandatory part of this course. In year 3, students will spend a minimum of 16 weeks in a local, national or internationally approved work environment.
Leaving Cert Subjects:
Helpful subjects are Biology and Chemistry.
The course is delivered over 4 full academic years, with 2 semesters per year. Semester 1 modules are completed between September and January, and Semester 2 modules between February and May.
This course is an excellent platform for further studies, both in terms of short add on courses, and more structured post graduate degrees such as Master of Science and PhD programmes.
What is Pharmaceutical Biotechnology?
Many modern medicines such as vaccines, hormones, anticancer drugs are now made using biological cells. Insulin for example, which is used by diabetic patients worldwide is made using living cells as opposed to more traditional chemical synthesis based methods. This means there is a strong demand for biologists who can design innovative new medicines using biological approaches, and who have the skills to work with cells and the bio-active compounds they produce. This biotechnology course will teach students how to grow and engineer biological cells in order to make safe and effective medicines using the most up-to-date information and technologies available.
About the Course
The course content is specifically designed to meet the needs of the many relevant employers both nationally and internationally, and contains topical, cutting edge, industry specific material. The lectures are supplemented with in depth analysis of relevant case studies, projects, assignments, interactive videos, web tools and site visits. At least 50% of the contact time is spent in the laboratory gaining practical experience.
Work Placement is a mandatory part of this course. In Year 3, students will spend a minimum of 16 weeks in a local, national or internationally approved work environment.
This course is an excellent platform for further studies, both in terms of short add-on courses, and more structured postgraduate degrees such as Master of Science and PhD programmes.
Does this course qualify me as a Pharmacist?
No. It trains you to work in the biotechnology industry where modern bio-medicines are discovered and made such as vaccines, hormones, antibodies and therapeutic enzymes.
What personal skills are most suited to the course and subsequent careers?
Good organisational skills, technical ability, team-working and ability to work to deadlines.
Is the biotechnology industry secure?
Pharmaceutical exports from Ireland typically exceed €24 billion per year. Approximately 25% of all US biotechnology based imports come from Ireland. Despite the current economic situation, biotechnology is still very vibrant and remains one of the biggest national employers.
CIT has developed a website which gives full details of all modules for all courses. The website also has information on recommended textbooks, average weekly workload, assessments and exams.
Many of the world’s top Biotechnology Companies have a strong presence in Southern Ireland. In general, the industry is moving towards a more “bio – based” approach to pharmaceutical manufacture. Consequently, there is a greater need to produce highly trained graduates who possess Pharmaceutical Biotechnology related skills.
This course is very broad and is specifically designed to train students in all aspects of modern biotechnology. Graduates from this course are qualified to work in a number of areas within the biotechnology industry with many attaining employment immediately after graduating.
Potential Areas of Employment
- QC Analyst
- Bio-assay Specialist
- Research and Development
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