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School of Biotechnology

MSc in Biotherapeutics

Course Code:
DC776 (Full Time) / DC777 (Part Time)
Course Type:
NFQ Level
9 - Please see for further information
Delivery Mode:
1 year full-time | 2 year part-time
call programme contact
+353 (0) 1
700 5286

Multidisciplinary in nature, this programme will appeal to a wide range of candidates from across sectors who work with and/or are planning to work with biomedical therapeutics, including but not limited to life scientists, professionals from the Biopharma and BioPharmaceutical, Biotechnology, Diagnostics and/or Healthcare industries, and medical practitioners (including GPs, clinicians-in-training, and specialist nurses). Graduates will be well placed to provide practice, professional leadership, innovation and scholarship expertise to a vast array of organisations to make a difference in the development and application of biotherapeutics.

  • Students will initially gain a thorough understanding of fundamental subjects such as cell biology and the manipulation of cells to produce functional products, including therapeutic medicines, in the module entitled ‘Introduction to Cell Biology and Biotechnology’

  • They will subsequently learn how biological drugs produced by the Biotechnology industry can be manipulated for enhanced therapeutic purposes in the module entitled ‘Recombinant DNA Technology’

  • In the module ‘Immuno- and Onco-Therapeutics’, students will understand how targeted therapeutics have revolutionised medical practice by delivering the right medicine to the right patient at the right time for diseases including cancer, inflammatory diseases and inherited diseases. 

  • The aim of the module ‘Introduction to Bioprocess Engineering’ is to introduce the students to the Biopharmaceutical and other related industries and their associated processing principles and techniques. 

  • In the module ‘Animal Cell Culture Technology’ students will gain an understanding of the role of cell culture in bioprocessing engineering and how cells are used to produce biotherapeutics. 

  • The module ‘Biotherapeutic Pipeline’ will provide students with the knowledge how to design biotherapeutic agents and how to analyse their mode of action using bioinformatics tools. Industry experts will be involved in teaching this module. 

  • The aim of the module ‘Regulatory Affairs Sc. for Biotech Products’ is to introduce the regulatory context in which biotherapeutics products are developed and made available to patients. The module sets out to explain the licensing/regulatory environment which controls medicines with a particular emphasis on issues related to establishment of quality standards for biotechnology-derived products. Legal aspects in regard to international licensing, e.g. under the United States Food and Drug Administration, and local, EU and Irish, legislation will be covered by industry professionals. 

  • The module ‘Bioseparations’ is intended to provide a detailed understanding of the theory and practical techniques involved in developing a purification process for biotherapeutics such as monoclonal antibodies. 

  • Students will gain a thorough understanding of the pathophysiology of nervous and cardiovascular system diseases and will be introduced to novel biotherapeutics treatment options in the module ‘Neuro & Cardiovascular Therapeutics’

  • The module ‘Case Studies in Biotherapeutic Development’ will provide students with a first-hand practical experience of how biotherapeutic products are produced in a laboratory setting using the existing bioprocess engineering pilot plant, the pre-GMP facility and the state-of-the-art facilities in NIBRT. 

  • The ‘Professional Skills for Scientists’ module will develop many of the soft-skills to enhance professional development, including Science Communication, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Ethics, Research Integrity, Networking and Career Development. 

  • In the module entitled ‘Practical on Laboratory Techniques’ students will learn hands-on about key laboratory techniques used in fundamental cellular assays employed to monitor therapeutic drugs. 

  • Finally, students will have the option to undertake a 12-week research or design project in DCU on a novel research topic related to biomedical science in the module ‘Research Design and Methodology Project’ (30 ECTS credits). Alternatively, if the student is currently employed in a relevant industry (e.g. BioPharmaceutical, Biotechnology, Diagnostics and Healthcare industry), a 12-week research or design project in the person’s place of work may be permitted, subject to agreement by the programme management team at DCU and the student’s employers. Research and Design projects in the student’s place of work are successfully run on the two other MSc programmes within the School of Biotechnology – MSc in Bioprocess Engineering and MSc in Diagnostics & Precision Medicine. In addition to wet lab-based research projects, computational design projects will be offered for interested students. 

  • Instead of a project, students can also opt for a MasterClass in Biotherapeutics. Here students will complete a bespoke set of experiments relating to the design, purification and validity testing of a biotherapeutic such as a monoclonal antibody in addition to writing a grant proposal. 

Students of the MSc in Biotherapeutics will be taught fully face-to-face except for BE527 which uses a mixture of pre-recorded lectures and in-person tutorials. All recordings will be made available to the students through the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Loop.



Graduates of this programme will be well placed to provide practice, professional leadership, innovation and scholarship expertise to a vast array of organisations to make a difference in the development and application of biotherapeutics; such as in academia, health care, and industry settings, and many more. The programme is designed to enhance postgraduate students’ employability and promotional aspects through the improvement of skills and knowledge of the pathophysiology of disease and the development of next generation of biologics therapies. Lastly, graduates of this programme would be ideal candidates for the structured PhD research programme (BioTranslate) within the School.



  • To qualify for the MSc in Biotherapeutics programme students will be expected to have a Second Class Honours degree (2.1) or equivalent in a life science, pharmaceutical or chemistry discipline. Medical graduates must have a MB, BCh, BAO or equivalent from a recognised medical school.
  • Applicants with equivalent qualifications in related areas of science and technology, or with proven and relevant industrial experience from the Healthcare/Medical/Therapeutics industry may be considered for places following interview and assessment by the programme management team, in line with standard DCU policies.
  • International candidates who are non-native speakers of English must satisfy the University of their competency in the English language.  More information about DCU's English language requirements can be found here.


Full time

EU Status Fee
Non EU Fee


EU Status Fee
5 Credit module fee €480 - 30 credit module €2880
Non EU Fee
5 credit module fee €976 - 30 credit module €5875

Next Steps

To apply for this programme:

All Applicants must apply through DCU's Student Application Portal which is available here. Here's a quick step by step guide if you need help with your application.

Provide Academic Transcripts for each and every year of study with English translation if applicable. Please upload a CV, with details of relevant experience, under the "Supplemental Items & Documents" section. A brief Personal Statement outlining your background and motivation for applying to this programme.

If applicable, provide evidence of competence in the English language as per DCU entry requirements. Please see link

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:

Applications closed for Non-EU Applicants.

Closing date for EU applicants is 25th August 2023.

Note applicants who require a study visa for the purposes of studying at DCU are advised to apply as early as possible. All entry requirements should be met before the commencement of the programme.



Queries from EU applicants should be directed to

Queries from non EU applicants should be directed to


Commencement of Programme

The programme commences in September 2023.