MSc Biological and Biomolecular Science

Academic Year 2020/2021

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

Negotiated Learning: student and academic discuss goals, and tailor suitable programme

MSc Biological & Biomolecular Science (Negotiated Learning) offers a unique opportunity to gain core technical, methodological and innovation skills. It is a flexible offering where an academic staff member will advise you on the taught module choices based on your objectives and career goals.

A range of taught modules is currently available from the following specializations:

Download the course brochure (pdf)

  • Genetics & Cell Biology: investigates cellular signalling, architecture, imaging, trafficking and transport, genetic basis of disease, model organisms, epigenetics, etc.
  • Microbiology & Infection Biology: investigates mechanisms of pathogenic micro organisms, host response to infection, immunopathologies, host-pathogen interactions, development of diagnostics, applied microbiology, etc.
  • Biochemistry & Synthetic Biology:investigates metabolism and disease, protein-protein interactions, cell signalling, protein structure and analysis.

Careers & Employability

This programme will enable you to choose from a wide range of careers and areas of postgraduate study.  This multi-disciplinary course provides a solid grounding for careers in industry, health and research, such as Quality Assurance, Quality Control, Microbiology, Process Control, Technical Transfer, Research and Development, and Regulatory Affairs, Scientific Editor or Writer, Lab Technician or Analyst roles.

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

This programme is suited for students who require flexibility to broaden their understanding of biological and biomolecular science.  Several innovative specialisations are available from a carefully chosen range of modules, with guidance provided from expert faculty to tailor a programme that will meet the student's requirements.


This unique course offers a flexible programme of study that is designed to provide excellent research and training opportunities that are tailored to each individual student. This course combines developing a range of core, biologically relevant practical skills with the opportunity to undertake a specialised area of taught study negotiated by the student. In completing this course, all students obtain substantial experience in practical laboratory skills, research teamwork, data management, quantitative data analysis and scientific communication. Potential areas for specialized, negotiated study are cell biology & genetics, microbiology & infection biology, and biochemistry & synthetic biology. Multiple teaching approaches from our dedicated, expert academic staff facilitate student development throughout this one-year course. After successfully completing this programme, students are well qualified to face challenging opportunities in any area of biomolecular, biological and pharmaceutical science and have a wide range of career options.

    • Ability to both manage and quantitatively analyse all data obtained from various modern biological research techniques.
    • Ability to collaborate with other scientists and engage in activities as part of a research team.
    • Ability to design and conduct biological experiments, critically interpret data and professionally report on findings.
    • Ability to perform a wide range of biologically relevant practical laboratory techniques to a high degree of proficiency.
    • Understanding of how to effectively communicate your own research findings to scientific and non-scientific audiences.
    • Understanding the key principles of biomolecular and biological science at an advanced level.

    No Modules to display for this Course

    Negotiated Learning is a process where a student and academic discuss the components of a qualification required to meet the student's stated goals. In the context of this MSc programme, students will discuss which 40 credits of taught components are appropriate, relating to their current strengths and weaknesses, and their future career goals in industry or academia. The MSc in Biological and Biomolecular Science is the first of its kind offered in Ireland by Negotiated Learning.

    Core Laboratory Research Skills (30 credits across three semesters): including techniques such as RT-PCR, Western Blotting, and imaging studies. Research skills modules will be conducted in a dedicated Research Skills lab in the UCD Conway Institute and the new facilities in the O'Brien Centre for Science

    Core (taught) Professional Skills Modules (20 credits):

    • Data Management and Interpretation
    • Professional Career Development
    • Science Writing and communication Skills
    • Quantitative Tools for the Life Sciences

    Optional Taught modules (40 credits)

    • involves selecting one of the following specialisations and selecting specific modules within these that meet the student's learning objectives. (indicative module list is not exhaustive, and is subject to change)

    Genetics & Cell Biology

    • Regulation of Gene Expression
    • Cellular Architecture
    • Animal Development
    • Genetic Basis of Disease
    • Programmed Cell Death in Plants
    • Epigenetics
    • Genomics and Proteomics
    • Model Organism Genetics
    • Advanced Cell Biology
    • Genetics, Disease & Behaviour
    • Cell Signalling in Plants
    • Genetic Basis of Behaviour
    • Development Plant Genetics
    • Molecular Phylogenetics
    • Membrane Trafficking 
    • Epithelial Transport in Animal Physiology


    Microbiology & Infection Biology

    • Ecological and Environmental Microbiology
    • Microbial Cell Factory
    • Microbial Physiology
    • Microbial Diversity and Growth
    • Applied Microbiology
    • Skills in Microbiology
    • Microbial Pathogeneticity
    • Foodborne Pathogens 
    • Bioprocessing 
    • Enzyme Technology and Protein Engineering 
    • Natural Product Synthesis

    Biochemistry & Synthetic Biology

    • Metabolism and Disease
    • Biochemist's Toolkit
    • Proteins and Enzymes
    • Advanced Cell Signalling
    • Biological NMR
    • Protein Structure and Analysis
    • Biochemical Research Strategies
    • Regulation of Gene Expression 
    • Genomics and Proteomics
    • Enzyme Technology and Protein Engineering 
    • Natural Product Synthesis


    MSc Biological and Biomolecular Science (F104) Full Time
    EU          fee per year - € 8170
    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.

    This programme is intended for applicants who have at least an Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) degree, or the international equivalent, in a life science or chemical science.  Examples of an appropriate BSc subject include, but are not restricted to, Biochemistry, Biology, Biotechnology, Genetics, Microbiology, Neuroscience, Pharmacology, Immunology, Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry.

    If English is not your native language, unless you have done your primary degree through English in an English speaking country, applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element), or equivalent.

    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 

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

    Dr. Gavin Stewart, Lecturer in Comparative Physiology, University College Dublin

    Associate Director, Genetics & Cell Biology stream

    “My research investigates epithelial membrane transporters that play a key role in the symbiotic relationship between mammals and their intestinal bacterial. I have extensive experience in utilising specific antibodies, western blotting and various imaging techniques to study these transporters at the protein level. External funders of this research include Science Foundation Ireland, The Wellcome Trust and The Kuwaiti Government. I passionately believe in combining cutting-edge biological research with the latest teaching developments to enhance student experience and development.”

    The following entry routes are available:

    MSc Biological & Biomolecular Science (Negotiated Learn) FT (F104)
    1 Years
    Full Time
    Rolling *

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