M.Sc. in Diagnostics and Precision Medicine

What is the M.Sc. in Diagnostics and Precision Medicine?

The MSc in Diagnostics and Precision Medicine is a blended-learning programme that details how diagnostics and therapeutics are revolutionising healthcare and medicine by providing the right person with the right therapy at the right time.

Recent advances in the understanding of normal and diseased states has led to revolutionary new treatments for conditions such as cancer, inflammatory diseases and inherited diseases. Furthermore, advances in science and technology have resulted in the development of new biomedical assays to (a) diagnose diseases and conditions more accurately (b) classify disease more precisely (c) approach treatment more individually and (d) identify who is at risk of developing a disease or condition.

Diagnostics and Precision Medicines' Global Influence

Advances in diagnostics and therapeutics have ushered in an exciting new era known as Precision Medicine, which refers to prevention and treatment strategies that takes patient variability into account (people’s genes, environment and lifestyles) by providing the right patient with the right medicine at the right time. As an example, the treatment of several cancers have shifted away from the “One-Size-Fits-All” approach of treatment (e.g. chemotherapy) to a more focused and tailored strategy where targeted therapies are matched according to the molecular profile of a patient’s tumour. In this situation, variations in the sequence, structure or expression of that person’s DNA, RNA or protein (i.e. biomarkers) are analysed using clinically-validated diagnostic assays (commonly referred to as Companion Diagnostics) and used to stratify patients so that those who are likely to benefit from these therapies are identified and treated, while who are unlikely to benefit (and may experience unnecessary side effects) can receive alternative treatments.  Similarly, molecular diagnostic assays are increasing used to predict the outcome of a patient’s disease (prognosis), and therefore medical treatments can be tailored accordingly.

Why Undertake the M.Sc. in Diagnostics and Precision Medicine at DCU?

The MSc in Diagnostics and Precision Medicine was established in 2018 as Ireland’s first postgraduate course in precision medicine. It was also one of the first courses worldwide to deliver structured module-based training at postgraduate level on the latest advances in diagnostics and therapeutics and their relevance for precision medicine.

How You Fit The Programme

The programme is aimed at:

  • Life scientists (including newly qualified graduates)

  • Professionals from the diagnostics, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical and healthcare industries

  • Medical Practitioners (including General Practitioners and clinicians-in-training) 

Who wish to:

  • Develop and broaden their knowledge of how new therapies including targeted therapeutics, cell-based therapies and gene modulation technologies are revolutionising the treatment of diseases such as cancer, inflammatory diseases and inherited diseases

  • Understand how the integration of diagnostics and therapeutics are changing the landscape of healthcare and medicine through Precision Medicine

  • Pursue a career in the biomedical diagnostics, biomedical science and biopharmaceutical industries

  • Develop/consolidate their research skills with a view to undertaking further research (e.g. PhD or MD)

  • Develop their critical analysis skills and enhance their professional development

Programme Structure

The programme is delivered via a hybrid approach of face-to-face teaching and online delivery of modules, together with hands-on experience in a research laboratory.

  • All taught components from the classroom in DCU including lectures, tutorials and workshops are recorded and made available through DCU's online platform Loop to enable flexible learning (44.2% of the programme content).
  • Three modules on the programme are delivered online by our colleagues at Arizona State University (ASU) and are supported at DCU with tutorials (22.5% of the programme content), culminating in 66.7% of the programme available online.
  • The remaining 33.3% of the course is dedicated to the research project.

This approach was designed to:

  • Enable students to study at a time and place that suits them (students can come to class to attend lectures in DCU if they are delivered from the classroom or students can attend remotely online).
  • Enable students to revise their curriculum by having access to their recorded lectures/tutorials and slides at any time.
  • Enable industry, medical and healthcare professionals to attend the programme remotely while continuing to work in full-time employment. Professionals working in full-time employment may also be able to undertake their research project in their place of work if working in a relevant industry (subject to terms and conditions).

Assessment is through continuous assessment and primarily consists of submission of assignments and short assessments throughout the year. Formal written examinations are not used for assessment of student learning.


'I always wanted to find a programme that connects cancer, auto-immune and genetics-based diseases altogether at once and how individuals differ in their diagnosis as well as in their response to a certain drug. I was really satisfied of the outcome gained after I accomplished the MSc degree in Diagnostics and Precision Medicine and I feel ready to face the coming stages in my scientific journey with high confidence. I highly recommend this course for everyone who wants to pursue a career in precision medicine, diagnostics or biopharma'

'This course is extremely interesting and up-to-date. It includes many different subjects that are in-depth, current and exciting areas in science today. The lecturers were very supportive and available throughout semesters to answer questions and provide all help possible. I really enjoyed this masters and it has been a key stepping stone in my science career'

'The course offers excellent course materials that helped me to grow in related fields of science. The materials mainly involve current technologies and covers latest data, facts and scientific developments. I enjoyed the analytical approach to timetables, assignments design and projects that kept me motivated through out the process'

'I was happy with my choice of the MSc programme of Diagnostics and Precision Medicine, as it helped me to gain deeper understanding in the pharmaceuticals and the field of targeted therapeutics. All the modules were very attractive, great support and communication from all the lecturers. I believe precision medicine will evolve dramatically in the future and will be applied in the majority of the treatments.'


For more information on the M.Sc. in Diagnostics and Precision Medicine at Dublin City University, click here.