BSc. in Bioprocessing

What is Bioprocessing?

Bioprocessing is at the heart of the biopharmaceutical and related industries. It involves the integrated application of biological sciences and bioprocess engineering principles to the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, enzymes, food, and related products, on a commercial scale. This programme will develop your understanding of the fundamental biological principles and methods involved in the development of new drugs and related products.

You will also come to understand the problems posed by the demands of large-scale production, and you will develop the bioprocess and biomolecular engineering knowledge and skills to solve those problems.

As a budding bioprocessing specialist, you’ll have a unique appreciation of the integrated nature of bioprocessing and you’ll be able to combine your knowledge of biochemistry, microbiology and genetics with your expertise in bioprocess control, data analysis and process modelling and simulation.

Your strong knowledge of both biology and bioprocess engineering, and your ability to integrate these disciplines, will place you in the perfect position to work, research and innovate in the rapidly changing bioprocessing sector.

Bioprocessing's Influence on Industry

The atypical bioprocess is based on the growth of a microorganism under conditions which encourage the production of a product that can be recovered at an economically viable yield and in a format which permits its use. With global demand for diagnostics, biochemicals, biotherapeutics and vaccines ever-increasing, there is a demand for improved speeds, times, and costs in the processes responsible for the production of such. These sectors must be staffed by trained bioprocess engineers who not only understand the key principles unpinning engineering, but are also versed in the methodologies and problem-solving associated with such.

At Dublin City University, the School of Biotechnology hosts a number of academic staff who are specialised in various aspects in the study of bioprocessing, from computational biology to practical design and development of functional bioreactor setups. The degree program places a major emphasis on practical work and on developing a wide range of analytical and manipulative skills, including data analytics and practical laboratory skills appropriate to the bioprocess engineer. Graduates will be in an ideal position to exploit the opportunities for bioprocess engineers in Ireland, in established or developing companies.  

Why Study Bioprocessing at DCU?

The course encompasses biological and genetics aspects

  • Emphasis on challenge-based learning and group work
  • Extensive laboratory training through team work and partnership projects
  • Nine-month paid work experience placement (INTRA) in Ireland or abroad
  • Integration of biology and bioprocess engineering
  • Specialised courses in bioprocess engineering and industry-focused challenges

How You Fit The Programme

On your path to becoming a bioprocess engineer, you’ll focus on how the fundamental biochemistry underlying biological systems works in an innovative, challenge-based approach to learning in key areas such as validation, bioreactor design, and genetic engineering. To appreciate how solutions translate to commercial industrial scale, you’ll also need a good understanding of the core physical and chemical engineering principles pertaining to living cells. DCU’s BSc in Bioprocessing will impart to you the science and engineering fundamentals needed to succeed in the ever-growing biopharma sector. The technologies in this industry have made a real impact on humanity, and you will learn the laboratory methodologies and practical skills that are the bedrock for the creation and manufacture of products that help society today.

Programme Structure

The BSc in Bioprocessing is part of the DCU Futures initiative. You will take part in numerous team-based projects and challenges throughout the four years. These will range from addressing global challenges like vaccination during a pandemic, design-and-build projects, challenges related to sustainability, and product innovation.

Your first year of the course is taken in common with other Science courses, studying biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and data analytics. No prior knowledge of subjects other than mathematics is assumed.

In Year 2 you will develop a deeper understanding of the fundamentals of both biology and bioprocessing, putting in place the foundations to be able to integrate these disciplines.

In the first semester of Year 3 you will begin to focus on real-world bioprocessing problems. With this knowledge you will be well prepared for your 9-month work experience placement (INTRA).

In the final year you will continue to develop your ability to integrate biology and bioprocess engineering. You'll complete an industry-focused research project and take part in a team-based product innovation challenge. You will also contribute to a research-focused journal club with your fellow students and lecturers. 

Industrial Placement (INTRA)

  • INTRA is paid.
  • INTRA is relevant full-time work experience.
  • INTRA takes place in Year 3.
  • INTRA is arranged by DCU (in almost all cases).
  • Through INTRA, gain understanding of the practical world of industry.
  • INTRA helps you to make realistic career decisions.

Career Prospects

Acquisition of knowledge and development of skills in data analytics, process analytical technologies, and process automation and control will ensure you are fully equipped to address the processing challenges that arise across bio- and non-bio sectors. There is a huge demand for graduates with these skills in career areas such as:

  • Biopharma
  • Food and Beverage Industry
  • Industrial Enzymology
  • Microbial Biotechnology
  • Chemical Processing
  • Environmental Management
  • Sustainability Sectors


For more information on the BSc. in Bioprocessing at Dublin City University, click here