MSc in Biopharmaceutical Science (Online)

  • NFQ Level 9
  • Credits 90*
  • Course Code SG_SBIOP_M09
  • Award Masters (Taught)
  • Duration 2.5 years

Course Summary

Programme Code : SG_SBIOP_M09

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.

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

Download MSc. Brochure


Online and Part time Admissions
tel: 071 9318511

Key Course Information

Students must choose 1 elective module per semester (Practical Lab. modules typically require a ca. 2 day block attendance at the NIBRT facility, Dublin). Elective choices need to be made upon commencement of the programme to allow for module planning. Students are required to complete 90 credits for the full award.

Award: MSc in Biopharmaceutical Science – Level 9

Application Closing Date : 16th August 2024

Entry Requirements

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

START DATE: Annually in September subject to numbers.

Career Opportunities

Graduates from this programme can expect to find employment in the Biopharmaceutical, Biotechnology, Medical Diagnostics, Medical Devices and Pharmaceutical sectors, at the appropriate level. 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 managerial positions in Scientific, Operations and Quality Assurance / Control positions in the Biopharmaceutical and Biotechnology industry sectors both in Ireland and abroad.


'I have just completed the on-line MSc in Biopharmaceutical Science with ATU Sligo, in conjunction with NIBRT. I am so glad I made the decision to carry out this further study for both myself and my career. While doing the course is challenging, I found it to be very rewarding. I found the standards of lectures, notes and support from ATU Sligo to be extremely high and the practical work in NIBRT to be invaluable and also very enjoyable.

The online aspect to the course worked very well for me - I was able to access the lectures and notes at a time that suited me and I never experienced any technical issues. Overall, it was very convenient. I would recommend to anyone interested in pursuing further studies in Biopharmaceutical Sciences to consider doing this course.

Finally, doing this course has helped me a lot in my work as a trainer and in my understanding of the industry.'

Denise McDonald - Cork Training Centre

I completed my undergrad course in 2014 and began my career in diagnostics. In 2018 I heard about springboard and I checked what sort of courses were available; The L9 certificate in biopharmaceutical science in ATU Sligo was completely online which suited me perfectly as it allowed me to continue my career while furthering my learning, so I signed up right away.

It was unbelievably rewarding doing an online course after being out of education for a few years.  I found I had a renewed thirst for learning. After 1 year I hadn’t had enough, so I signed up for the L9 diploma, and in the autumn of this year I hope to graduate with a masters in biopharmaceutical science.
For anyone thinking 1, 2 or 3 years is too long, the best advise I got was “the time passes by anyway whether you are doing the course or not”. And for anyone thinking: Online is not for me… The lectures are so interactive, if you mail lectures or other students in your course, they are more than willing to help out. I have a whole community of support, most of whom I  have never met!!

Since starting this course I moved job and am now working within the biopharma sector in the north west of Ireland. I put the things I learned in theory into practice and have fresh perspective on things that I learned during my undergraduate.

For anyone thinking about it, I say go for it!! You will never regret backing yourself or investing in yourself.

Frances Doherty, MSc in Biopharmaceutical Science  - current student 

Programme Fees

Academic Year 2024/25 Fees

Total Programme Fee: €12,000

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