Colm Manley- PG Dip in Biopharmaceutical Science (Online)

1. Can you tell us your name, job title and the course you studied at ATU Sligo?

Name: Colm Manley

Job Title: Process Technician MSD Brinny

Courses studied:

Level 6 Higher Certificate in Science in Good Manufacturing Practice
Level 7 BSc in Biopharmaceutical Science
Level 8 BSc Hons in Biopharmaceutical Science
Level 9 Post Graduate Diploma in Biopharmaceutical Science

Duration and Delivery Type:

Level 9 Post Graduate Diploma in Biopharmaceutical Science is a part-time online course which lasts 1 year.

2. Can you share your career path to date?

I have worked in the Biopharmaceutical Industry in Upstream, Downstream and Vaccine manufacture at MSD Brinny in Cork.

3. What does your current role involve?

Working as part of the Vaccine IPT team as part of the PPQ and commercialisation of a new pneumococcal vaccine.

4. What motivated you to start studying?

I wanted to develop my knowledge of skills that are used everyday in the Biopharmaceutical industry and enhance my knowledge and understanding of my current skills.

5. Why did you choose this course from ATU Sligo?

The blended approach to learning with Online and Practical lectures in NIBRT really appealed to me as I work full time. I was able to study at a time that suited me and at home. The Biopharmaceutical courses offered at ATU Sligo appealed to me as they covered a broad range including Upstream, Downstream, Sterile Fill Finish along with Laboratory activities and industry regulations.

6. How did you find the process of studying online? What elements did you find helpful? Were there elements you found challenging?

I really enjoyed studying online as it was very flexible. You can study at a time that suits you and it worked really well with working fulltime. The lecturers were really helpful and interacted with students really well. You are able to participate in the class the same as a full time course and ask questions when you need to. Overall I found it a great experience.

7. In terms of your employer, were they supportive of your decision to study? Were there elements of the course that were particularly relevant to your current employer?

Yes at MSD Brinny life-long learning is promoted and I felt the courses really helped me with my understanding of my role in the Biopharmaceutical industry.

8. What advice would you have for anyone considering studying online?

The courses are really good and provide all the skills and information you need in whatever discipline you work in. I would say you get out of the course what you put in.

9. In what way has studying online with ATU Sligo benefitted your career?

I feel it has given me a greater and broader knowledge of how to study and also on how to get the most out of a course. I feel I have a greater confidence in my ability to work as part of a team and to make the right decisions.

10. Did this course provide any unexpected benefits to your career?

This course has provided me with knowledge and skills that I feel I can bring with me throughout my career in the Biopharmaceutical industry.

11. Did you find that the elements you were studying had practical relevance in your day-to-day role?

The NIBRT practical’s were very beneficial when I was working in Upstream and Downstream processing and they gave me a great insight into why tasks are performed in a particular manner along with a good insight into all aspects of the Biopharmaceutical industry including the regulations.

12. What were the key skills you took away from your time studying at ATU Sligo?

I gained the ability to learn new skills and to learn independently. I feel I have gained the confidence to take on new tasks and also the ability to prioritise better and organise my studies better.