Genetics and Cell Biology

Genetics and Cell Biology

Course Details

CAO Code:
Course Type:
NFQ Level:
8 - Please see for further information
Delivery Modes
Minimum Points
Four Years
+353 (0) 1
700 5708

Do you want to work at the forefront of genetic research and medical treatment?


Overview Icon

Unprecedented advances in genetic diagnostics and therapeutics are saving lives around the world. By studying on this programme, you can come to understand the genetic basis for life and how this information can be used to investigate, diagnose and treat diseases. 

Gaining an unmatched skill set

Not only will you get an excellent grounding in theoretical genetics and cell biology, but you’ll also gain practical laboratory skills, as well as skills in communications, critical thinking and problem-solving. Furthermore, you’ll gain skills in computational biology, which uses high-tech data analysis and modelling to help harness genetic and biological insights. That means you’ll gain a unique skill set that is highly sought after by employers.

 You’ll learn in exciting and innovative ways, including active learning and a mix of pre-recorded, live on-line and face-to-face lectures. In third year, you’ll do a nine-month INTRA work placement, while in your final year, you’ll choose to take either the biopharmaceutical industry stream or the research stream. 

As a graduate, you’ll be ready for a wide range of employment opportunities across medical therapeutics and diagnostics, the biopharmaceutical industry and healthcare device production.

DCU People

Profile picture of Conor Archbold
Conor Archbold

“You will leave DCU with the ability to walk in a job,” says Conor Archbold who has graduated with a  BSc in Genetics and Cell Biology.

Read more about Conor Archbold
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Amy Duffy

I chose to study Genetics and Cell Biology at DCU because it was unusual in allowing me to study Genetics from first year.

Read more about Amy Duffy

Careers & Further Options

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The expansion in the industrial healthcare sector means that there is a huge demand for a workforce that is equipped with scientific knowledge, particularly in molecular and cellular biology. Your skills in research and development and your ability to undertake management and operational roles in the production of healthcare products will be invaluable to employers.

You will find employment in the many Irish industries that produce medical therapeutics, diagnostics and healthcare devices. Moreover, in recent years there has been significant growth in the production of medical and veterinary diagnostics and vaccines as well as the manufacture of medical devices.

Advances in genetics and cell biology have the potential to transform medical science and to make a significant contribution to improving the quality of life. This degree is the perfect starting point for a career in this area.



DCU graduates are highly sought after by employers. Our Graduates work in environments ranging from large multinationals to SMEs, family businesses and start-ups across every sector.

DCU Careers Service has a number of learning and development initiatives in place for our students, giving them the skills they need for a successful career path.

Go to our Careers site to find out more about career planning, our mentorship programme, skills development and online resources for students when working on CVs and making applications.


Molecular and cellular biology
Medical Therapeutics
Healthcare Device Production
Veterinary Diagnostics
Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
Research and Development

Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements Icon

In addition to the general entry requirements for admission to the university the following entry requirements apply:

Minimum of O3 or H6 in Mathematics and minimum of O3 or H5 in one of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Physics with Chemistry, Agricultural Science or Computer Science

In addition to the general entry requirements for admission to the university the following entry requirements apply

GCE A Level D or GCE AS Level C or GCSE B Mathematics and GCE A Level D or GCE AS Level C or GCSE B in one of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Physics with Chemistry or Agricultural Science

Please visit our Admissions webpage for details on course requirements or how to apply to DCU.


Please visit our QQI FET webpage for details on DCU courses, open days, campus tours or school visits.


To apply to DCU, please visit

Applicants that have completed at least one year of study at NFQ Level 6, 7 or 8 at another institution may apply to continue their studies on a similar programme at DCU. There should be substantial overlap in content between the two programmes to be considered for a transfer. Results and other supporting documentation must be submitted to CAO by the closing date of 1st July. This is a competitive application process for a small quota of advanced entry places. Offers are made on a rolling basis until all places are filled. Early application is advised. Please note: Applicants should also consider applying through the appropriate route for first year entry to the programme they are interested in. This application process is only for advanced entry.

Direct entry into third year is possible for well-motivated students holding a first class honours or equivalent at NFQ level 6, 7 or 8.

International candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to those outlined above. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. For further information on international applications click here.

Course Structure

Course Structure Icon
  • Chemistry, Biology and Physics Laboratories 
  • Biostatistics 
  • Bioinformatics 
  • Chemistry 
  • Interdisciplinary Science 
  • Physics 
  • Cell Biology and Biochemistry 
  • Microbiology and Genetics
  • Biomolecules and Metabolism 
  • Introduction to Cell Biology 
  • Cell Structure and Function 
  • Organic Chemistry 
  • Scientific Literature 
  • Microbiology and Genetics 
  • Pharmaceutical and Biological Chemistry 
  • Computational Biology 
  • Statistics 
  • Practical Biochemistry 
  • Practical Microbiology 

Practical Genetics

  • Gene Cloning and Gene Expression 
  • Advanced Cell Biology 
  • Cell Biology, Recombinant DNA Cloning and Bioinformatics 
  • Downstream Processing 
  • Bioreactors and Primary Separations 
  • Bioprocess Engineering Laboratory 
  • INTRA 

Year 4 - Genetics and Life Sciences Pathway 

  • Industrial Bioprocessing 
  • Proteins, Proteomics and Biopharma 
  • Genetics and Cell Biology 
  • Immunology and Immunoanalysis 
  • Animal Cell Biotechnology 
  • Literature Review 
  • Research Project 
  • Human Inheritance and Population Genetics 
  • Commercial Biotechnology and Biopharma


Year 4 - Biopharma Pathway

  • Industrial Bioprocessing 
  • Proteins, Proteomics and Biopharma 
  • Genetics and Cell Biology 
  • Immunology and Immunoanalysis 
  • Animal Cell Biotechnology 
  • Literature Review 
  • Bioprocessing Laboratory 
  • Advanced Bioanalysis Laboratory 
  • Biopharmaceutical Industry Regulation and Management 
  • Biopharmaceutical Facility Design and Operation 
  • Formulation and Delivery of Biopharmaceuticals

For more information on the course structure click here

Fees and Funding

Fees Icon


Student Contribution.
€3,043 per annum
EU Status Fee
€6,679 per annum
Non EU Fee.
€16,000 per annum

How To Apply

How To Apply Icon

Applicants presenting EU School Leaving/FETAC Level 5 examinations: Apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1st February or 1st May

To apply for this programme:
Candidates should apply directly here. Here's a quick step by step guide if you need help with your application.

Please provide 

  • Academic Transcripts for each and every year of study with English translation, if applicable.
  • If applicable, provide evidence of competence in the English language as per DCU entry requirements.  Please see link

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis up to 1st July. All Non-EU candidates are advised to apply early, as places are limited.

All mature applicants apply through the CAO by 1st February. For further information and for special application procedures for mature students, please click here

Applications are made via the CAO Advanced Entry route which will open on the 06th November to the 1st July.

Candidates required to apply through the CAO can apply online at

Life On Campus

Life on Campus
DCU Campus Glasnevin

DCU Glasnevin Campus


FAQ Icon

What is the ratio of lab-based activities to lecture-based learning?

Each BT student will complete eight or nine laboratory modules. The remaining modules are quite diverse and range from traditional lecture modules to modules in which learning is much more active and hands-on. Some of these modules involve group work.