Faculty of Science and Health

MSc in Diagnostics and Precision Medicine

MSc in Diagnostics and Precision Medicine

  • PAC CodeDC739 (Full Time) / DC740 (Part Time)
  • Course Type Postgraduate
  • NFQ Level 9
  • Delivery Modes Full-Time, Part-Time
  • Duration Full Time 1 Year, Part Time 2 Years

Course Fees

  • Student Contribution€0
  • EU Status Fee€6,812
  • Non EU Fees€13,000
About fees & requirements

The MSc in Diagnostics and Precision Medicine is a new 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.

Such 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.    

The MSc in Diagnostics and Precision Medicine provides structured module-based training at postgraduate level on the latest advances in diagnostics and therapeutics and their relevance for Precision Medicine.

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

Student Voice

The MSc in Diagnostics and Precision Medicine is a thoroughly enjoyable course that provides students with up-to-date knowledge on current targeted therapies used in cancer and inflammatory diseases. This course expands on fundamental principles of biology while also exploring novel targeted therapies. This course provided me with the requisite knowledge to pursue a PhD in inflammatory disease, directly relating to the research project which I undertook as part of this course. Participating in this program was the best decision I have ever made. 10/10 would do again!

Having completed the inaugural M.Sc. in Diagnostics and Precision Medicine, I feel I have gained invaluable skills that will allow me to take my career to new heights. This programme gave me the opportunity to advance my knowledge and expertise across a spectrum of scientific and statistical topics, opening up a wider range of career options in both academia and industry. I would highly recommend this course to anyone considering it!


The programme has been designed with flexibility in mind by enabling students to:

  • Access course material at a time and a place that is convenient to them;
  • Register Full-time or Part-time (Part-time students must complete all modules within a maximum period of four years);
  • Tailor their education and training by offering exit routes at MSc (90 ECTS credits), Diploma (60 ECTS credits) and Certificate (30 ECTS credits).

The programme is delivered through blended learning which is comprised of:

  • Online (recorded) lectures;
  • Face-to- face tutorials at DCU (tutorials will also be recorded for those who would like to attend remotely);
  • A 12-week research project (May – July).

In addition, several modules on the programme will be delivered by our partners at Arizona State University as part of the International School
of Biomedical Diagnostics.  Assessment is through continuous assessment and primarily consists of submission of online assignments throughout the year. Formal written examinations are not used for assessment of student learning.


View the current course structure →



Graduates will find employment in industry, clinical, healthcare and academic environments. This includes the diagnostics and biopharmaceutical industries, life science and clinical trials companies, as well as academic research centres.

In these areas


General Entry Requirements

  • For admission to the M.Sc. in Diagnostics and Precision Medicine candidates must have a primary degree that equates to an NFQ Level 8 Second-Class Honours, Grade 1 Award (H2.1) in a Life Science, Pharmaceutical, Medical or Chemical discipline.   
  • In addition, candidates who hold a primary degree (NFQ Level 8), with a Second-Class Honours, Grade 2 Award (H2.2) in one of the relevant degrees and with industrial experience will be considered. 
  • International candidates who are non-native speakers of English must satisfy the University of their competancy in the English language.  More information about DCU's English language requirements can be found here.

How to Apply and Closing Dates

Make an Application

  • All applicants should apply through www.pac.ie
  • Search for course code DC739 for Full-Time or DC740 for Part-Time.
  • Academic Transcripts for each and every year of study with English translation if applicable.
  • Please include your CV and details of relevant experience.
  • Where relevant, evidence of competence in the English language as per DCU entry requirements.  Please see link http://www.dcu.ie/registry/english.shtml.

 Please note if you are a non EU student and require a study visa, you are not eligible to apply for part-time programmes as study visas are only granted for full-time programmes.

Application Deadlines

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the programme is full or until:

  • Closing date for non EU applicants is 17th July 2020.
  • Closing date for EU applicants is 14th August 2020.

Note applicants who require a study visa for the purposes of studying at DCU, are advised to apply as early as possible.


Queries from EU applicants should be directed to registry@dcu.ie

Queries from non EU applicants should be directed to international.office@dcu.ie

Commencement of Programme

The programme commences in October 2020.


Fees & Payments

For information about payment methods & Schedules, download the DCU fees booklet.

Register/Pay Online

MSc in Diagnostics and Precision Medicine Course Fees

Course Student Contribution EU Status Fee Non EU Fees
Full Time €0 €6,812 €13,000