Key Info

Bachelor of Science in Industrial Biochemistry

NFQ Level 8 major Award Honours Bachelor Degree

Entry route(s):

Course code
4 Years
Subject area
Course Director
Dr Luis Padrela
+353 (0)61 233755

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 the biotechnology sector 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 or “Biopharmaceuticals” (e.g. Insulins or 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 microbiology and the 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.

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What you will study

The programme is of four years duration.The first year (through LM123 Common Entry) 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 metabolism and technology
  • Bioprocess technology
  • Analytical sciences

During the third and fourth years you will undertake additional specialised modules in biochemistry, genetic engineering, 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, waste management and specialised biochemistry modules. A project, which is undertaken throughout the final year, allows students to analyse a problem in depth and, if 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


Semester 2


General Chemistry 1


Biology for Biosciences


Biology 1


Organic Chemistry 1


Science Mathematics 1


Introduction to PHYSICS


Laboratory Calculations


Science Mathematics 2


Introduction to Environmental & Biosciences


General Chemistry 2 (INORGANIC)


Introduction to Applied Chemistry and Biochemistry


General Chemistry 2 (PHYSICAL)


Introduction to Scientific Computations




  Semester 3   Semester 4
BY4813 General Microbiology BC4012 Microbes as Metabolic Factories
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
  Semester 5 Semester 6 Summer
CG4003 Bioprocess Engineering 1 Cooperative Education Cooperative Education
BC4705 Industrial Biochemistry 1    
BC4905 Genetic Engineering    
CH4305 Analytical Chemistry 3    
ER4627 Safety and Industry    
  Semester 7   Semester 8
BC4011 Bioprocess Engineering for Biochemists 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
BY4027 Current Trends in Biotechnology and Regenerative Medicine BY4048 Advanced Cell and Molecular Biology
BY4037 Pharmacology and Drug Development BY4058 Host Microbe Interactions

Entry requirements

Minimum grades

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.

Subject requirements

In addition, applicants must hold a minimum grade O3/H7 in Mathematics and a Grade H4 in any one of the following: Agricultural Science, Applied Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Physics with Chemistry.

Additional considerations

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.

Application information for mature student applicants (PDF)

Non-EU Entry Requirements

How to apply

Where are you applying from? How to Apply
Ireland Irish students must apply to UL via the CAO. More information can be found here. 
The UK  Students who have completed their A-Levels can apply to UL via the CAO. More information can be found on the Academic Registry website. 
The EU EU Students can apply to UL via the CAO. More information can be found on the Academic Registry website.
Non-EU country If you are outside of the EU, you can apply for this degree here.


Fees and funding

Student course fees are broken into three components - Student contribution, Student Levy and Tuition Fees.

A number of illustrative examples of fees for this course based on the current fee levels have been set out in the tables below.

An explanation of the components, how to determine status and the criteria involved is provided below the examples as is a list of possible scholarships and funding available.

EU Students with Free fees status in receipt of a SUSI grant

HEA pays Tuition Fees €4,262
SUSI pays Student contribution €3,000
Student pays Student Levy €100

EU Students with Free fees status not in receipt of a grant

HEA pays Tuition Fees €4,262
Student pays Student contribution €3,000
Student pays Student Levy €100

Students with EU fee status not in receipt of a grant

Student pays Tuition Fees €4,262
Student pays Student contribution €3,000
Student pays Student Levy €100

Non-EU Students

Student pays Tuition Fees €20,900
Student pays Student Levy €100

Student course fees are comprised of the following components:

Student Contribution

Annual charge set by the government for all full-time third level students. All students are liable unless they have been approved for a grant by Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI). Please refer to to determine your eligibility for a grant and for instructions on how to apply. The current student contribution is set at €3000.

Student Levy

All students are liable to pay the Student Levy of €100. Please note the Student Levy is not covered by the SUSI Grant.

Tuition Fees

These are based on Residency, Citizenship, Course requirements.

Review the three groups of criteria to determine your fee status as follows

  1. Residency
    • You must have been living in an EU/EEA member state or Switzerland for at least 3 of the 5 years before starting your course
  2. Citizenship
    • You must be a citizen of an EU/EEA member state or Switzerland or have official refugee status
  3. Course Requirements (all must be met)
    • You must be a first time full-time undergraduate (Exceptions are provided for students who hold a Level 6 or Level 7 qualification and are progressing to a Level 8 course in the same general area of study).
    • You must be undertaking a full-time undergraduate course of at least 2 year’s duration
    • You cannot be undertaking a repeat year of study at the same level unless evidence of exceptional circumstances eg serious illness is provided (in which case this condition may be waived)

Depending on how you meet these criteria your status will be one of the following -

  • Free Fee Status: You satisfy all three categories (1, 2 and 3) and therefore are eligible for the Higher Education Authority’s Free Fees scheme.
  • EU Fee Status: You satisfy both the citizenship and residency criteria but fail to satisfy the course requirements and are liable to EU fees.
  • Non EU Fee Status: You do not meet either the citizenship or residency criteria and are therefore liable to Non EU fees.

More information about fees can be found on the Finance website

These scholarships are available for this course

Title Award Scholarships Available
Johnson and Johnson WiSTEM2D Programme

These scholarships are available for all courses

Your future career

Employability skills from this degree

  • Understanding complex biological processes
  • Assembling arguments and engaging in debate
  • Thinking independently and problem-solving
  • Full and critical
  • Critical, analytical and practical skills
  • Numeracy
  • Communication, presentation and IT skills
  • Teamwork
  • Self-management and professional development

Further Research Options

Job titles for graduates with this degree

Graduates progressing directly into employment take up a wide variety of roles. The following provides a sample of initial roles listed on the Graduate Outcomes Survey by graduates approximately one year after graduation:

  • Biotech Production
  • Manufacturing Technician
  • Irish Research Council
  • Laboratory Assistant
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Manufacturing Biochemist
  • Process Technician
  • QC Analyst
  • Quality Officer
  • Research and Development Analyst
  • Technical Support

Student profile

Aoife Cotter

Aoife Cotter


I chose to study Industrial Biochemistry at UL because I was impressed by the wide variety of modules and was aware of the growing Biopharmaceutical industry in Ireland. I felt the course would provide me with the knowledge and skills that I would need to have a successful career. In addition to this, Biology and Chemistry were my favourite subjects in secondary school, and I wanted to continue to study them at a higher level in college.

UL’s degree in Industrial Biochemistry provides students with brilliant hands-on laboratory experience, especially in Years 1–3. In Year 4, each student gets the opportunity to complete an individual research project and gets to choose from a wide range of interesting elective modules. This is a great opportunity to take ownership of your degree and it allows everyone to learn about topics that interest them most. The lecturers and technical support staff at UL are incredibly supportive and generous with their time. All these aspects of the course ensure students have a well-rounded degree.

My favourite experience at UL was my Co-op placement. I completed my eight-month Co-op placement in Regeneron’s Industrial Operations and Product Supply (IOPS) site in Limerick, where I was an intern in the Formulation and Filling team in the Large-Scale manufacturing department. I worked alongside biotech production specialists (BPS), who carried out the manufacturing process of biologic-based medicines in a cleanroom environment. In addition to supporting my fellow teammates, I was also given individual tasks, which included working on a continuous improvement project, reviewing documents, and submitting samples for analysis. I also had the opportunity to develop soft skills such as teamwork, communication, and troubleshooting. The entire experience re-enforced everything that I learned in my degree and highlighted its versatility.

Overall, I believe the key strength of this course is that students have a broad range of career paths available to them after graduation, including the opportunity to pursue postgraduate studies.

I am currently an Irish Research Council-funded Ph.D. student at the Bernal Institute, in UL.


Ciara Leahy

I studied both biology and chemistry for Leaving Certificate and liked the idea of combining these subjects to study at third level. I always had an interest in Science and knew I was likely to end up working in the industry. This course stood out to me because of the focus on industrial applications of biochemistry and I felt that it would really prepare me for a career in the industry.

The course contains a broad range of modules from analytical chemistry to microbiology to immunology and industry-relevant modules such as Quality Management. The first three years especially have many labs which give you a practical and hands-on approach to the subjects. Our lecturers are extremely supportive, personable and encouraging - it makes lectures more interactive and less like a school lesson. My favourite modules include Bioprocess Engineering and Industrial Biochemistry. In learning what techniques and equipment are being used in biopharmaceutical companies, it really prepares students for what to expect in the workplace.

The stand out experience at UL for me has been Co-op where I gained invaluable experience in industry. I was placed in Abbott Diagnostics, Sligo where I worked as a validation engineer. I was involved in authoring technical validation documents and I was directly involved in an FDA audit. I was also involved in a site investigation and the associated CAPAs which was a really good experience. While I wasn’t in a lab working directly with biochemistry, I gained an appreciation for the work that goes on behind the scenes including the validation of the lab equipment. I developed a range of skills including problem-solving skills when validations didn’t go to plan, teamwork skills from working on various departmental CFTs technical writing skills in the authoring of documents. My co-op exposed me to parts of industry which you can only learn so much about in a classroom.