MSc Biotherapeutics and Business

Academic Year 2020/2021

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

The MSc in Biotherapeutics and Business educates students on the practical uses of molecular advances in the discovery and of protein and other biomolecular drug candidates and their development into biotherapeutics.

Download the course brochure (pdf)

  • The UCD MSc Biotherapeutics and Business programme has a global, multidisciplinary perspective with contributions from national and international academics and experts.
  • Students share their firsthand practical experience with other MSc students and professionals from a diverse range of countries and backgrounds and this creates a dynamic learning environment.

Careers & Employability

This advanced graduate degree in Biotherapeutics and Business has been developed in consultation with employers and therefore will be recognised and valued by them. A key feature is the opportunity to carry out a business development plan which will allow graduates to develop connections with prospective employers, thereby enhancing chances of employment on graduation.

Prospective employers include: Abbott; Allergan; Amgen; Baxter Healthcare; Eli Lilly and Co.; Dignity Sciences; Glaxo SmithKline; Icon Clinical Research; ImmunoGen Inc.; Janssen Pharmaceutical Ltd.; Johnson & Johnson Ltd.; Merck Sharp & Dohme; Quintiles; Quest International; Sandoz; Seroba Kernel. 

View our video 'Questions and Answers' with the course director

Curricular information is subject to change


Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Suitable for life-science and chemistry graduates with non-business backgrounds

This programme will provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the development of biotherapeutics, beginning with pre-clinical modelling and target identification together with antibody engineering, biochemical and biophysical characterisation and development issues for bioprocessing. Systems biology of biotechnological processes and approaches to the analysis of proteomics based discovery data will be covered in detail together with mathematical modelling, bioinformatics analysis and data integration strategies. Regulatory issues and innovation and commercialisation strategies will also be covered. Mammalian cell culture and bioprocess laboratory structure will be comprehensively covered in addition to novel approaches to therapeutic development. You will also receive a comprehensive business education. You will learn to identify and solve business problems in local and international settings, enhance your communication and leadership skills and improve your ability for independent thinking and developing creative solutions.


The MSc in Biotherapeutics and Business is the result of close collaboration between UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science and UCD Smurfit School of Business.

The MSc programme in Biotherapeutics and Business is designed for life science/chemistry graduates interested in management and the business of developing biotherapeutic drugs.  The graduates of this programme are uniquely positioned to bridge the knowledge gap between science and business in this rapidly developing area (Purposes).  We aim to enhance the students’ awareness of the challenges of bringing biotherapeutics research from the laboratory to the market.  There is a particular emphasis on preparing the graduates for working in a business environment and developing their leadership attributes (Values).  A unique collaboration with the Michael Smurfit School of Business at UCD provides a blended programme in which students are encouraged to develop creative thinking by applying business principles coupled with scientific understanding using exercises that challenge the students individually and within teams.  Experts from within the university,from industry and the business community are involved in providing content and supervision (Nature of the learning environment).  The delivery of the curriculum uses a variety of teaching approaches and assessment strategies, which includes classical written examination, oral assessments, case studies poster presentation and a team based valuation of a candidate drug for market (Teaching, learning and assessment).

    • Students will be able to analyse, evaluate and communicate biotechnology research
    • Students will be able to apply their knowledge to overcome problems with commercialisation of research in a biotherapeutics focus area
    • Students will be able to conduct applied studies on valuation of new drug entities from the biotherapeutics industry
    • Students will be able to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of business principles as they relate to the biotherapeutics industry
    • Students will be able to develop a professional approach to engaging with industry and an applied methodology in preparing for employment opportunities
    • Students will be able to develop effective time management, problem solving and reporting skills as required in a professional workplace
    • Students will be able to work alongside scientists and entrepreneurs to develop and commercialise novel biotechnological solutions

    View All Modules Here

    This is a full-time, one-year programme, divided into three semesters (from early September until the end of August). The programme consists of lectures, tutorials, seminars, workshops and case studies. To complete the MSc in Biotherapeutics and Business you must successfully complete all core modules and your chosen option modules. You must also successfully complete a business plan and biotherapeutics case study.

    MSc Biotherapeutics and Business (F103) Full Time
    EU          fee per year - € 13890
    nonEU    fee per year - € 25600

    ***Fees are subject to change

    Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships.

    Candidates must have obtained at least an upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Grade or equivalent in an honours BSc in Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Genetics, Neuroscience, Physiology, Pharmacology, Medicinal Chemistry or an equivalent qualification.

    If English is not your native language, unless you have done your primary degree through English in an English speaking country, an English language qualification is required for all programmes. English Language qualifications include a minimum score of 550 (213 computer based) for Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or 6.5 (with a score of 6 obtained in each category) for International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Other evidence of proficiency in English may be accepted such as the Cambridge Certificate.  Tests used as evidence of language proficiency must have been completed within the last 12 months.
    2 academic references will be required, at least one to be from a science faculty member.

    Students meeting the programme’s academic entry requirements but not the  English language requirements, may enter the programme upon  successful completion of UCD’s Pre-Sessional or International Pre-Master’s Pathway programmes. Please see the following link for further information http://www.ucd.ie/alc/programmes/pathways/ 

    These are the minimum entry requirements – additional criteria may be requested for some programmes 

    Dr David O’Connell, Lecturer in Biochemistry & Pharmacology and Director of MSc Biotherapeutics programmes


    Dr David O' Connell"‌My core research focus is on the activity of calcium binding proteins involved in homeostatic mechanisms in the cell using an integrated platform of proteomic technologies. I have patented a novel affinity tag platform for improved protein immobilisation for purification, biophysical analysis and detection in multiple biopharmaceutical applications and together with Biopharma companies in the UK, Sweden and Switzerland we are validating this technology in the industrial context and assessing the impact on the biotherapeutics discovery and development pipeline."

    The following entry routes are available:

    MSc Biotherapeutics & Business FT (F103)
    Duration
    1 Years
    Attendance
    Full Time
    Deadline
    Rolling *

    * Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised