Postgraduate Certificate in Biopharmaceutical Science (Online)

  • NFQ Level 9
  • Credits 30*
  • Course Code SG_SBIOP_E09
  • Award Certificate
  • Duration 1 year

Course Summary

Programme Code: SG_SBIOP_E09

Delivery: Online

NIBRT and ATU Sligo have aligned to provide certificate programmes that are short, accredited programmes designed in association with industry partners. These programmes focus on upskilling students on the key competencies required for biopharmaceutical manufacturing. These part-time programmes are 
delivered via a blend of online learning with ATU Sligo, and practical modules in the NIBRT facility.

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:  
•    Exams: 100% Continuous assessment, no attendance required for exams
•    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

About this programme:

The aim of this postgraduate certificate is to provide individuals with the knowledge and skills required to become part of the Biopharmaceutical and Biotechnology workforce.  This has been achieved by designing a programme in conjunction with the (bio)pharma industry, with whom NIBRT is closely aligned. Subjects including cell culture, protein purification, bioprocess scale up and technology transfer, regulatory affairs and research methods are included in this programme to provide students with the requisite knowledge, skills and professional competencies required to be part of the pharma, biopharma and biotechnology workforce. 

This course is particularly suited to individuals who are looking to enter the (bio)pharmaceutical manufacturing sector. Biopharmaceutical processing is a rapidly growing sector within the life-sciences industry, with immense opportunities for graduates. Global manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals has increased significantly over the last decade. 

Award title/ level: Certificate in Science in BioPharmaceutical Science- Level 9

Students are required to complete a total of 30 credits for the full award.

Key Course Information

Course Attendance:
Lectures will be delivered online.  However students must choose 1 elective module (either the Upstream Processing Lab. module or the Formulation and Delivery Module) which requires a 2 day block attendance at the NIBRT facility in Dublin, during their 2nd semester.

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

  • 100% Continuous assessment, no attendance required for exam
  • Workshops/Practical Classes: Approximately 2 days attendance in NIBRT, per semester, depending on the elective module you study. You will receive notification of the dates from your lecturer for each specific subject requirement. 

Contact Details: 
Course Co-ordinator NIBRT: Melissa Hoare

Course Co-ordinator ATU Sligo: Mary Butler

Online and Part time Admissions
tel: 071 9318511

Award: Certificate in Science in Biopharmaceutical Science – Level 9.

Students are required to complete a total of 30 credits for the full award.

Application Closing Date : 16th August 2024

Entry Requirements

The programme is open to students who have obtained an honours degree (Level 8) or its equivalent in an appropriate discipline (i.e. Engineering or Life Sciences). Other candidates with alternative honours degrees and relevant experience in the BioProcessing industry (typically 5 years duration in a GMP environment) may apply for consideration through the ATU Sligo RPL (Recognised Prior Learning) process.

Applicants with other qualifications and with relevant work experience may also be considered through ATU Sligo’s Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) process.

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

This programme will provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the principal scientific and engineering challenges in the manufacturing of biopharmaceutical products. As a result, graduates can look forward to a wide range of career opportunities in a large and growing industry. Upon completion of the programme students will have achieved an internationally recognised qualification which is highly relevant to the biopharma and biotechnology industry.

Further Study

Upon successful completion of this programme students can progress onto the L9 Post-graduate Diploma in Biopharmaceutical Science (60 credits) and further onto the L9 MSc. in Biopharmaceutical Science (90 credits).

Programme Fees

Academic Year 2024/25 Fees

Total Programme Fee: €6,000

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