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Pharmaceutical Biotechnology (BSc Honours) (Level 8)

  • Course Code

    CR 325

  • Field of Study

    Biological Sciences,Pharmaceutical,Biotechnology

  • Type of Course:

    Honours Degree

  • Type of Qualification:

    BSc (Honours)

  • Type of Study:

    Full time

  • Application Closing Date:

Course duration:

4 years (8 semesters)

Admission Requirements:

For admission to a programme, standard applicants must

  • score the necessary CAO points and
  • meet the minimum entry requirements

Leaving Certificate examination in six subjects i.e. H5 in two subjects, and O6/H7 in four other subjects. The six subjects must include Mathematics, and either English or Irish.

Info re CIT Mathematics Exam only:
Some students who apply to CIT courses may not achieve the required entry standard in Mathematics through the Leaving Certificate. For such applicants, CIT offers a second chance to reach the required entry standard through a CIT Mathematics Exam. This second chance facility allows applicants (depending on their results in the CIT Mathematics Examination) to gain entry to courses with an Ordinary Leaving Certificate Mathematics entry standard, and (with a higher level of performance) courses with a Higher Leaving Certificate entry standard.

Please click here for more information.

Work Placement

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.

Course summary

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. 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.

Further studies

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.


Biological Sciences



8th November
National Maritime College of Ireland, Ringaskiddy County Cork

16th November 
CIT Bishopstown Campus, Bishopstown, Cork
CIT Crawford College of Art & Design, Sharman Crawford Street, Cork
17th November
CIT Cork School of Music, Union Quay, Cork
CIT Crawford College of Art & Design, Sharman Crawford Street, Cork

For more information, please click here

For information on Fees/Student Grants/Scholarships and Financial Assistance, please click here.

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.



Work Placement

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.

Further Studies

For details, see

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.

Question Time

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.

Graduate Profile

Colm O'Shea
Quality Control Analyst

“I completed a BSc (Honours) in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology at CIT. The course content and quality of lecturing were of a high scientific standard and I was much sought after by many of the multinationals here in Ireland.

The work placement aspect of this course was invaluable in preparing me for the real working environment and provided a useful practical knowledge base. With the support, and the quality of the lectures at CIT, I was well equipped with the scientific knowledge and technical ability for a successful career.

Shortly after graduating, I secured employment as a Cell Culture Scientist at Pfizer Biotechnology facility in Dublin. I have since moved to Janssen Biologics where I have a full-time position as a Quality Control Analyst in the Pharmaceutical Development and Manufacturing Science Department.”

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.

Full details of the modules on this programme of study are available by clicking the following link:

Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology

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

  • Quality Control Analyst
  • Microbiologist
  • Bio-assay Specialist
  • Research and Development

Application for this course are processed by the
Central Applications Office (CAO)



EU Applicants must apply via the CAO - please click on the link above.
Non-EU Applicants - please click here for how to apply.

CAO 1st Round:


CAO Cut off:

CAO Average:

Dr Rosemary Rea
021 4335295