School of Biotechnology Genetics and Cell Biology

BSc. in Genetics and Cell Biology

What is Genetics & Cell Biology?

Advances in Genetics & Cell Biology have opened up a new era in our understanding, both of ourselves and of the world around us. Science is progressing at an extraordinary and unprecedented pace. This is especially true of Genetics & Cell Biology. With our ever-increasing knowledge of genetics we can better understand what controls and contributes to our development and individuality. Combined with our understanding of cell biology we can explore exciting scientific applications that will benefit all of society. Our improved understanding of the genetic basis for life has opened up new approaches for the investigation, diagnosis and treatment of disease. As a consequence, a new era in the development and production of medical diagnostics, therapies and therapeutics is upon us.

The course has been developed to incorporate the theoretical and practical aspects of molecular and cellular biology, providing you with the knowledge and expertise you’ll need for a career in the healthcare industry. You will have the opportunity to develop your interest in biology, learn the laboratory skills that are the basis for major modern scientific breakthroughs, and gain a full appreciation of how the improved knowledge of genetics and cell biology impacts on society.

Genetics' Influence on Industry

Almost every living cell holds a vast amount of information encoded in genes which controls essentially all functional aspects of that cell. The study, and subsequent artificial manipulation of one more genes in order to modify said functionality embodies genetic engineering. The ability to effectively tailor and produce genetic combinations has had resounding impact on industry sectors such as science, medicine and agriculture, with significant advancements made in vaccine production, diagnostics, and gene therapies. These sectors must be staffed by trained geneticists who not only understand the key principles unpinning genetics, but are also versed in the methodologies and relevant ethics 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 genetics, from computational biology approaches to practical manipulations of such in living systems. 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 geneticist. Graduates will be in an ideal position to exploit the opportunities for geneticists in Ireland, in established or developing companies.  

Why Study Genetics and Cell Biology at DCU?

The course encompasses biological and genetics aspects

  • Emphasis on investigative science
  • Extensive laboratory training through team work and partnership projects
  • Nine-month paid work experience placement (INTRA) in Ireland or abroad
  • Integration of molecular and cell biology
  • Specialised courses in cell systems and genome science

How You Fit The Programme

Discoveries in genetics and cell biology are opening up a new era of understanding, both of ourselves and of the world around us. Genetics give us insight into what contributes to our development and individuality, and when this knowledge is combined with cell biology, we can explore exciting scientific applications benefiting all of society. Our improved understanding of the genetic basis for life has opened up approaches to the investigation, diagnosis and treatment of disease. As a consequence, we’re making unprecedented advances in the creation of medical diagnostics, therapies and therapeutics. The Genetics and Cell Biology course provides you with the theoretical and practical resources for a career as a cell biologist and geneticist or in related areas. You’ll enhance your biology expertise and learn the laboratory skills that are the foundation for major, modern scientific breakthroughs that affect society.

Programme Structure

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

In Year 2 you will develop a deeper understanding of genetics, biochemistry of the cell and microbiology. You will also be introduced to pharmacology and instrumentation.

In the first semester of Year 3 you will gain the practical skills and techniques that are the basis for cell and gene technologies. These include gene cloning and bioinformatics - the application of computing in genetic analysis. With this knowledge you will be well prepared for your 9-month work experience placement (INTRA).

In the final year you will explore the advances arising from research in genetics and cell biology, and medical products and the healthcare industry. A significant laboratory-based research project must also be completed.

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

Understanding how cells work underpins many areas, and so there is huge demand for a workforce with scientific knowledge, particularly in molecular and cellular biology. Your skills in research and development and your ability to undertake management and operational roles will be an added asset in careers such as:

  • Medical Therapeutics
  • Diagnostics
  • Healthcare Device Production
  • Veterinary Diagnostics Production
  • Pharmaceutical and Vaccine Manufacturing
  • Clinical Scientist
  • Molecular Biologist
  • Genetics Research
  • Biomedical Scientist


'Whether you want to work in industry or research, in a lab or at a computer, this course teaches all of the relevant skills with plenty of practical work and a placement in third year giving you a competitive advantage going into the working world. DCU provided all of the facilities I could want, both academically and socially, leading to four of the most enjoyable years of my life!'

Eoin Corcoran, BSc. in Genetics and Cell Biology


For more information on the BSc. in Genetics and Cell Biology at Dublin City University, click here