Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Biomedical Science

  • NFQ Level 8
  • Points Required 315*
  • Course Code AU969
  • Award Honours Degree Abinitio
  • Duration 4

Course Summary


Biomedical Science is the study and application of biological systems for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.  Did you ever wonder how diseases are diagnosed in hospital labs or where insulin comes from that diabetics use? Did you know that many modern day drugs for the likes of cancer and rheumatoid arthritis are produced using biological systems? Biomedical Science is a revolutionary industry that has had a major impact on the production of drugs, hormones and diagnostics over the last twenty years.

PROGRAMME OVERVIEW 

This degree gives students access to the latest industry innovations and advancements, teaching them skills needed to gain employment in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, diagnostics and medical device industries in Ireland and abroad.

Innovative teaching methods are used on the programme, including the use of social networking, game-based learning, industrial workshops and visits to target industries and employers. We also recognise the importance of transferable skills such as data presentation, information-sourcing and scientific-technical writing which enhances employability, and expands students knowldege and understanding of the sector.

YEAR 1

Year 1 focuses on developing student’s core scientific skills and building a foundation of knowledge in biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics. Students are also introduced to the basics of medical biotechnology and its uses.

YEAR 2

Students’ knowledge and technical skills in the biological field are developed as the programme progresses and they are introduced to areas such as molecular biology, microbiology and medical devices.

YEAR 3

Students study cell culture and the medical device industry. There is also a work placement in either an industrial or a research setting at the end of Year 3.

YEAR 4

In Year 4, focus moves to the biopharmaceutical industry and its role today. Students also complete a research project on a specific area of interest.

WORK PLACEMENT 

There is a work placement available in the summer of Year 3 in an industrial or research setting.

NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR BIOPROCESSING AND TRAINING (NIBRT)

In Year 4, students gain training experience at the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) in Blackrock in Dublin. This is an expert training centre for Biopharmaceutical Companies in Ireland and worldwide. Students undertake a training course that gives hands-on experience of what it's like to work in a Biopharmaceutical facility, enhancing their employability with pharmaceutical companies.

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for CAO courses at ATU Sligo are available for download below:

Career Opportunities

Graduates work across many bio-based industries including biopharmaceutical, diagnostics, and medical devices. They gain roles as technologists, instrumentation scientists, process technicians, cell culture scientists, and protein and drug analysts.

Employability is extremely high from this degree. Graduates gain employment with companies such as Abbott Diagnostics, Allergan, Coca Cola, Charles River Laboratories, Hollister, Abbvie and Pfizer. While many enter the industry as basic grade scientists, it is noted that many gain promotion within a very short space of time.

Ireland’s life sciences sector has a global reputation for operational and innovational excellence. More than 85 pharmaceutical companies operate in Ireland. Leading industry names including Abbott,  AbbVie, Janssen, Pfizer, Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline, MSD, Bristol Myers Squibb and Takeda have significant operations here. Our students and graduates have a strong track history of securing both work placement and permanent employment with the leading companies.

Ireland is the world’s third largest exporter of pharmaceuticals, according to the UN International Trade Statistics database. This accounts for €80+ billion in annual exports or 39% of annual exports from Ireland.

Further Study

Graduates can pursue an MSc in Bioprocessing in ATU Sligo. This can be studied fulltime or online.

MSc in Bioprocessing Science (fulltime)

MSc in Bioprocessing Science (online)

Graduates can also pursue a range of Level 9 Masters of Science or Level 10 PhD doctorates in research at ATU Sligo or in other higher education institutions.

Postgraduate options at ATU Sligo

Testimonials

"My favourite module was Immunodiagnostics. What was covered in class was covered again in the labs. It was so interesting learning about antibodies, antigens and the application of immunodiagnostics. In this subject, my lab skills were put to the test as the quantities of these reagents were very small so there was a high degree of accuracy and attention to detail needed. I also developed skills such as communication, teamwork and technical writing. These are skills employers want.

I completed my work placement in the summer of Year 3. I was lucky enough to be kept on part-time during my final year of study. When I finished the degree in May of 2019, I worked full-time with the company I am currently working for. I have been upskilled since the beginning of my employment, by completing the IQC Lead Auditor Course in ISO 13485. I have worked my way up to my current role as a Quality Engineer. My job is very broad and I am lucky enough to work with medical device companies manufacturing products of Class I to Class III, and also working with diagnostic companies developing markers for cancer."

Savannah Moriarty, BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Science graduate and now employed as a Quality Engineer

Did you know?

We also offer this degree at Level 7 - AU858 BSc in Biomedical Science

In Year 4, students gain training experience at the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) in Blackrock in Dublin. This is an expert training centre for Biopharmaceutical Companies in Ireland and worldwide. Students undertake a training course that gives hands-on experience of what it's like to work in a BIopharmaceutical facility, enhancing their employability with pharmaceutical companies.

Our degrees have a strong lab and practical element which allows students to build their competencies and skills. Lab skills which students develop include microbiology, molecular biology and DNA analysis, cell culturing and medical diagnostics.

There is a work placement available in the summer of Year 3 in an industrial or research setting.

In Year 4, students complete a research project on a specific area of interest.

Ireland’s life sciences sector has a global reputation for operational and innovational excellence. More than 85 pharmaceutical companies operate in Ireland.

Ireland is the world’s third largest exporter of pharmaceuticals, according to the UN International Trade Statistics database. This accounts for €80+ billion in annual exports or 39% of annual exports from Ireland.

Alumni

"The hands-on approach to learning at ATU Sligo in something I loved. I gained experience with real-life equipment in the industry. Not only was it interesting, but it was extremely relevant to the job I wished to pursue. In this degree, students are given equipment used in industry and become familiar with the software which is similarly used. I found the relevance of the Covid-19 pandemic quite interesting, whilst studying methods to test, prevent and treat an infection. The degree is also very relevant degree to the manufacturing of medication and medical devices.

Since graduating, I secured a job as a graduate scientist with Pfizer in Dublin. I work in the Technical Services department for the production of drugs using large-scale bioreactors. My role is to give technical and scientific support to production, troubleshoot any issues which may arise, and follow up on any issues with a thorough investigation. It’s a very rewarding job as I’m learning something new every day, and no two days are the same."

David Donohoe, BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Science graduate and now employed as a Graduate Scientist with Pfizer in Dublin

"I loved the bountiful time we spent in the labs during my four years at ATU Sligo, which we were so fortunate to be able to avail of in small groups, or even individually. We always had a lot of lab time throughout each week, where we participated in very hands-on procedures. With my experience from the labs at ATU Sligo, I’d feel very confident and competent if I ever find myself in a lab-based role in future.

My current role is Operations PDP with Third Party Manufacturing (TPM) with Abbott Nutrition Supply Chain. We manage our global third parties, from an operational perspective, who manufacture Abbott nutritional products on behalf of Abbott. In my role specifically, I manage a small UK-based TPM and support packaging projects and other operational activity for other large TPMs. The role has very much taken me far outside of my comfort zone and is always presenting me with new opportunities to better myself as a future leader with Abbott."

Lauren O'Sullivan, BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Science graduate and now employed as Operations PDP with Third Party Manufacturing (TPM) in Abbott Nutrition