BSc (Hons) in Biopharmaceutical Science (Online)

  • NFQ Level 8
  • Credits 60*
  • Course Code SG_SBIOP_K08
  • Award Honours Degree Addon
  • Duration 2 years

Course Summary

Programme code: SG_SBIOP_K08

Delivery: Online

About the Programme:

This Programme in Biopharmaceutical Science aims to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the critical aspects of Biopharmaceutical Processing and Support Services, with specific focus on the product lifecycle of Biological products and associated processes. One of the key features of the programme is that it combines cutting-edge skills in Biopharmaceutical Science and Medical Biotechnology with an understanding of the legislative and quality control system framework in which this takes place within the industry. 

This programme is jointly offered by ATU Sligo and NIBRT (National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training).

Biopharmaceutical Science involves study of the discovery, development and processing of modern, medical drugs by artificially growing some or all of the components utilising cell culture technologies. The processes involved are more biological-based as compared to the more chemical-based processes associated with small-molecule pharmaceutical products. The Medical Biotechnology and Biopharmaceutical sectors are among the fastest growing in the Life Sciences area both nationally and internationally.



Key Course Information

Course Attendance:
Lectures will be delivered online. Students are required to travel to NIBRT for specialist laboratory work taking place at their state-of-the-art training facilities in Dublin. Year 2 - two days attendance in NIBRT in Semester 2.

The majority of this course is online utilising ATU Sligo’s online delivery technologies.The course is offered in conjunction with NIBRT, with a practical laboratory module to be taken at their state-of-the-art facility in Dublin, providing unique opportunities for learners to gain first-hand expertise.  (This is usually two days attendance during  Semester 2).

Please note: This programme is jointly offered by ATU Sligo and NIBRT (National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training).

Whether you are studying part-time online, blended or full-time online, it is very important that you allocate enough study time to your online course to stay focused, reduce stress and achieve your goals. For part-time online or blended learning, it is recommended that you should try to allow for 5-6 hours per week per 5 credit module to your studies.  

Most online courses typically involve 3 x 5 credit modules per semester which leads to an average 15 – 18 study hours per week. Our online courses have about 3 hours of live lectures per week (but this can vary per programme). The rest of your study time consists of independent learning, communicating with your lecturers and classmates and carrying out assignments. 

Live lectures normally take place between 6pm and 10pm, Monday to Thursday but this may vary depending on the availability of specific lecturers. If the Live Classroom scheduled times for the live online lectures do not suit you, recordings will be made available through Moodle. Please note, you may be required to take some time off work for the below:    
•    Workshops/Practical Classes 2  days attendance in NIBRT in year 2 , semester 2 . You will receive notification of the dates from your lecturer for each specific subject requirement.

Contact Details: 

Course co-ordinator: Mary Butler

Online and Part time Admissions

Assessment: 100% Continuous assessment with no final exams.

Award Title: Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Biopharmaceutical Science- Level 8 

Application Closing Date : 16th August 2024

Entry Requirements

Candidates will be expected to hold a cognate Level 7 degree, typically in Science or Engineering, with a second class honours grade or higher. Applicants with other qualifications and with relevant work experience may also be considered through ATU Sligo’s RPL (Recognised Prior Learning) process.

Applicants who may not have the aforementioned qualifications but who may have relevant industrial experience may apply for consideration under the RPL (Recognised Prior Learning) process in accordance with the policies of ATU Sligo in this area.

RPL is a process that may allow you to gain admission to a programme or to receive exemptions / credit from some parts of a programme based on demonstrated learning that you may have achieved through another programme of study or through your work and career. Further information is available through which our dedicated RPL portal or by contacting our admissions team at 

English requirement
Applicants whose first language is not English should provide evidence of English language proficiency. For further information on English language requirements click here


Career Opportunities

Graduates from this programme can expect to find employment in the Biopharmaceutical, Biotechnology, Medical Diagnostics, Medical Devices and Pharmaceutical sectors, as well as more broadly in the area of analytical science. In the development of this programme emphasis has been placed on aligning the course content with the skills required by the Biopharmaceutical industry, whilst ensuring that there is sufficient flexibility to allow students to move laterally into associated careers including Research and Development opportunities.

Graduates are typically employed in Scientific, Operations and Quality Assurance / Control positions in the Biopharmaceutical and Biotechnology industry sectors both in Ireland and abroad. Their work may involve the manufacture of novel medicines from living cells, immunodiagnostics, bioanalytics, process validation and process optimisation

Further Study

Student who successfully graduate from this rporrgamme may apply to varuous post graduate programmes available in ATU Sligo.

Did you know?

According to the NIBRT Annual report for 2021, Global sales of biopharmaceuticals are now over $300 billion, with a compound annual growth rate of 12% and with approximately 60% of therapeutics in development being biopharmaceuticals. Ireland has a large biopharmaceutical manufacturing presence, relative to other big sectors and to other similar-sized countries. None of this can be taken for granted. Product life cycles, industry consolidation patterns, the draw of emerging markets, skills readiness and slow speeds of adoption of new medicines in the health services are creating headwinds that could decelerate the pace at which the industry scales into the future in Ireland. (BioPharma Ambition 2020).

Programme Fees

Academic Year 2024/25 Fees

Total Programme Fee: €9,000

To help make the payment of fees more manageable for students who are self-funding their studies, tuition fees can be paid through payment instalment plans at ATU Sligo. For further information on instalment plans, please visit our Fees and Funding webpage

If you apply and are approved for an online course at ATU Sligo, you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of €250 to secure your place. Your deposit will then be credited against the course fees once you are registered as a student. Students at ATU Sligo are also eligible to claim tax relief at the standard rate for tuition fees.

For further information and guidance about Fees and Funding for online and part-time courses at ATU Sligo, click here.

If you are seeking to take your exams online, and you meet the eligibility criteria (overseas students and those with extenuating circumstances), an additional examinations fee will apply. For further information, please visit our Examinations webpage