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Bachelor of Science in Industrial Biochemistry

Entry Route

Biological and Chemical Sciences (Common Entry) - LM123

Course Details

Course code:
NFQ Level 8 major Award Honours Bachelor Degree
4 Years
Course leader:
Dr. Tewfik Soulimane
Email: Tel:
00 353 61 234133



Tel: 00 353 61 202015
Queries: www.ul.ie/admissions-askus


About You

Are you interested in biological sciences and wish to delve deeper? Would you like to understand how living things work, evolve and function at the molecular level? Do you want to prepare for a future where molecular biology will be at the coalface of human endeavour? Then this course might be for you.

Why Study Industrial Biochemistry at UL?

The B.Sc. In Industrial Biochemistry is a degree programme in biotechnology. It focuses upon the study of living cells (or components of living cells) and the medical/industrial applications of such substances. It is designed to prepare you for a career in biotechnology and allied industries and has a very strong employment record.

Examples of traditional biotechnological processes include the use of microorganisms to produce alcohol or antibiotics. Examples of more modern biotechnological processes include the use of genetic engineering to produce protein-based drugs (e.g. Interferons), engineered plants, which are drought or pesticide resistant or transgenic animals displaying some novel characteristic, such as faster growth.

The core subjects studied include:

  • Biochemistry (study of the structure and biological function of cellular molecules such as proteins and DNA, and how these molecules interact to form living cells)
  • Industrial biochemistry (study of the applications of biological molecules for medical, industrial, environmental, agricultural or analytical purposes)
  • Microbial technology (study of the biology and uses of bacteria, fungi, yeast and viruses)
  • Genetic engineering (identification, isolation, engineering and expression of genes in order to gain new insights into gene function or for the generation of gene-mediated industrial/medical products)
  • Bioprocess technology (aspects of industrial-scale biotechnology manufacturing/processing)
  • Analytical science (methods and techniques used to detect and quantify biological molecules/chemicals in samples, for example, measurement of hormone levels in blood or pesticide levels in water)

In addition to these, a number of other relevant subjects are also undertaken, including computing, chemistry, maths and bioinformatics.

The programme is of four years duration.The first year provides you with the required academic foundation in:

  • Biology
  • Introductory industrial biochemistry
  • Computing
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Introductory physics

The second year builds upon these fundamentals, introducing you to courses in:

  • Biochemistry
  • Microbial technology
  • Bioprocess technology
  • Analytical sciences

During the third and fourth years you will undertake additional modules in biochemistry, genetic engineering, microbial technology, diagnostics, applied immunology and bioinformatics. In the final year a stream of elective modules allows the student to specialise in topics such as Biomaterials (new materials in the medical device industry), entrepreneurship and other business options. A project, which is undertaken throughout the final year, allows a problem to be analysed in depth and, if you're interested in postgraduate research, gives you the opportunity to carry out an exploratory investigation of a potential research topic.

During the spring semester of year 3 and the subsequent summer, a period of Cooperative Education (student placement in industry) provides experience of the practice and application of industrial biochemistry in a working environment. Such relevant industrial experience, gained either at home or abroad, has proven particularly beneficial to students seeking employment in industry after completing their studies.

By the end of this course

You will have a deep knowledge of the concepts, facts and technologies that underpin industrial biochemistry. These areas include biochemistry, microbiology, genetic engineering, biotechnology and biochemical engineering. From here you will be very well placed to gain employment directly in industry, or go on to further studies, either within Ireland or internationally.


Year 1 Semester 1 Credits   Semester 2 Credits  

Years 2 - 4

Year 2 Semester 3   Semester 4 Vacation
BC4803 Microbial Technology 1A BC4705 Industrial Biochemistry 1  
BC4903 Biomolecules PT4004 Introduction to Quality Management  
CH4103 Organic Chemistry 2A (1) BC4904 Proteins and DNA  
CH4303 Analytical Chemistry 1A CH4304 Analytical Chemistry 2A  
MA4603 Science Maths 3 MA4604 Science Maths 4  


Year 3 Semester 5   Semester 6 Vacation
CG4003 Bioprocess Engineering 1   Cooperative Education Cooperative Education
BC4825 Microbial Technology 2      
BC4905 Genetic Engineering      
CH4305 Analytical Chemistry 3      
ER4627 Safety and Industry      


Year 4 Semester 7   Semester 8  
CG4017 Bioprocess Engineering 2 BC4718 Industrial Biochemistry 2  
BC4917 Biochemistry Project 1 BC4008 Immunology and DNA Diagnostic Techniques  
BC4957 Bioinformatics BC4918 Biochemistry Project 2  
MA4605 Chemometrics BC4907 Cell Biochemistry  
Elective: Choose 1 of following; Elective: Choose 1 of following;  
ER4507 Waste Management 1 ER4508 Waste Management 2  
EP4315 Enterprise Formation EP4408 Small Business Consulting  
MT4017 Biomaterials 1 MT4018 Biomaterials 2

Applicants are required to hold at the time of enrolment the established Leaving Certificate (or an approved equivalent) with a minimum of six subjects which must include: Two H5 (Higher Level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary Level) grades or four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English.

In addition, applicants must hold a minimum grade H4 in Mathematics and a Grade O6/ H7 in any one of the following: Agricultural Science, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Physics, Physics with Chemistry, Technology, Design and Communication Graphics/Technical Drawing.

OR grade O3/H7 in Mathematics and grade H4 in one of the following: Agricultural Science, Applied Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Physics with Chemistry.

A Special Mathematics Examination will be offered at UL following the Leaving Certificate results for those students who did not achieve the Mathematics requirement.

We welcome applications from mature students. Mature applicants must apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1 February.

Careers open to you with a degree in Industrial Biochemistry include;

  • Biochemist
  • Teacher
  • Quality Assurance Manager
  • Scientific Researcher
  • Patent Agent

Previous graduates have been appointed to roles in areas such as quality, production R&D in the following industries;

  • Pharmaceutical
  • Diagnostics
  • Medical devices
  • Brewing
  • Industrial enzyme/ natural products
  • Food/dairy
  • Clinical biochemistry (e.g. hospital/private testing labs)
  • Scientific civil service
  • Teaching/lecturing
  • University/government research
  • Technical (scientific) writing/editing
  • Patent Office

While many of our students go directly into employment after graduating, some continue their studies at postgraduate level, gaining masters degrees or doctorates in a range of subject disciplines.

Want to find out more about possible careers with this degree? Click Here

Follow-On Study

Our graduates have a good understanding of Biochemistry and related subjects, allowing further study to MSc and PhD levels in various areas of science and engineering.

Student Profile

Lorraine Quinn
I have a great passion for understanding how things work and why things are the way they are. I love broadening my mind and learning new information especially in the chemistry/biology discipline. In choosing this course, I was also aware that UL has a great reputation as a university in general and that a high percentage of its graduates find employment after graduation. This attribute was important to me as I am aiming to secure a successful job in the future!

Also, when I was deciding on a career, I was unsure if I wanted to become a teacher or not. Picking this UL course has given me the choice to go down that route if I so please but I'm not tied to becoming a teacher at the same time. The course is extremely enjoyable. Each module we study has a purpose in providing me with the knowledge and tools to graduate with a good degree at the end of the four years. It has also presented me with a great deal of other opportunities such as working in group projects and so building on teamwork and communication skills and making presentations which help my confidence by speaking in front of crowds and answering their questions.

For my Co-op placement, I went to Astellas, a pharmaceutical company in Killorglin, Co. Kerry. It was an experience I will never forget for all the right reasons! I was placed in the QC Microbiology lab for the eight months which I thoroughly enjoyed. Microbiology is one of my favourite topics to study and prior to co-op I had completed two microbiology-based modules. Because of that, I was in some way prepared to improve my knowledge of microorganisms rather than learning everything from scratch. I also really enjoy working in a lab and so was thrilled to get this position for placement. While at Astellas, I gained a wealth of work experience. I was responsible for a media preparatory area and got the chance to further develop my communication, leadership and teamwork skills. I met some great people who helped me to enhance my understanding of microbiology and increase my knowledge of the subject. It also gave me the opportunity to carry out important QC tasks on a daily basis. This co-op placement has most definitely provided me with the necessary skills to impress a future employer and to hopefully land a career in the biopharmaceutical sector!