Master of Science in BioIndustry 4.0

  • NFQ Level 9
  • Credits 90*
  • Course Code SG_SBIOI_M09
  • Award Masters (Taught)
  • Duration 2 years

Course Summary

Programme Code: SG_SBIOI_M09  Masters in Science in BioIndustry 4.0

Delivery: Online

This programme is a joint initiative by ATU Sligo and NIBRT who have enjoyed a long-standing working relationship with the shared vision of offering targeted training aligned to and directly addressing the skills requirements of the Biopharma/Pharmachem sector, identified in the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs report on the Future Skills Needs of the Biopharma Industry in Ireland.

This Masters programme in Science in Validation and Digitalisation Technologies aims to provide students with a comprehensive grounding in biopharma related aspects of Industry 4.0 (BioIndustry 4.0), with specific focus on cutting edge technologies.

The programme is aimed at manufacturing, quality, engineering and site management personnel who are looking to increase their understanding and application of the latest digital trends and technologies in the validation and digitalisation fields and who already hold a Level 8 qualification in science or engineering disciplines.

It will provide a postgraduate qualification in the area of digitalisation that will form both an introduction for new or proposed entrants to the area and additional skills and knowledge to those working in the area. 

Key modules include:

  • Introduction to BioIndustry 4.0     
  • Biologics Manufacturing: Current and Future       
  • Regulation, Risk and Compliance (Elective)     
  • Research Methods Biopharma (Elective)     
  • Bio Industry 4.0 Theory and Practice      
  • Bio Industry Data & Digital Technologies
  • BioProcesssing Thesis

The biopharmaceutical industry is among Ireland’s most significant investors. There are 84,000 highly skilled people directly and indirectly employed in the sector and the expectation is that this will increase by up to 10,000 jobs over the next 5 years, (NIBRT Annual Report, 2022).


Key Course Information

Course Attendance: Lectures will be delivered online, with all the practical/laboratory work taking place in NIBRT's state of the art facilities.  

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

Study Hours: It is recommended that students allow for 6hrs on average per week per 5 ECTS module. This includes contact time (lectures) and self directed study, along with time for completion of assignments. 

Examinations & Assessments
100% continuous assessment. Some or all of the following assessment modes may apply: examinations, practical work, projects, essays, vivas, seminars, and various forms of assignment.

Recommended Reading
Ireland’s Industry 4.0 Strategy 2020-2025
Kelly, D., Validation of Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Processes., American Chemical Society, 2003

Application Closing Date : 16th August 2024

Entry Requirements

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

The entry requirements will encompass recognition of prior accredited learning in other third level institutions, in accordance with ATU procedures.

Career Opportunities

Students will graduate with the following skills and attributes to work in the Industry:

•    Comprehensive grounding in biopharma related aspects of Industry 4.0 (BioIndustry 4.0), with specific knowledge of digital technologies.
•    Skills to be employed in technical, manufacturing and quality roles within the growing biopharmaceutical industry.
•    Proficiency to work and communicate with autonomy and effectively through various media.
•    Skill to use a range of problem solving skills, tools and techniques of enquiry relevant to digitisation.



Did you know?

The ability to have the trained workforce necessary to efficiently manufacture highly complex advanced therapeutics in a cost-effective manner will be a key determinant of Irish biopharma’s future success. According to the NIBRT Annual Report 2020, “the biopharmaceutical market is now ≥30% of the world’s total pharmaceutical market including >40% of pharmaceuticals in development now being biopharmaceuticals. In parallel, the Irish biopharma industry rose to the challenge of the pandemic demonstrating its resilience in global supply chains. New foreign direct investment from Pfizer, MSD, Regeneron and others and the growth of the indigenous sector were welcomed throughout the year”.

The success of Irish biopharma and NIBRT has been noted by other jurisdictions now making significant investments in rival biopharma research and training infrastructure.

Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT), as part of the Biopharma 4.0 (B4.0) Alliance, have launched the world’s first Innovation Centre fully dedicated to Biopharma Operations.

The Innovation Centre showcases the latest Industry 4.0 (I4.0) technologies in Biopharma manufacturing, quality control and training excellence. These technologies are integrated with core operating processes to enable proof-of-concept use cases on new innovations and new ways of working, situated in a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) simulated environment.

Programme Fees

Academic Year 2024/25 Fees
Total Programme Fee: €8,496
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.