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Bachelor of Science in Industrial Biochemistry

Bachelor of Science in Industrial Biochemistry
NFQ Level 8 major Award Honours Bachelor Degree

Entry Route: Biological and Chemical Sciences (Common Entry) - LM123

Course code:
4 Years

Course leader:
Dr. Luis Padrela
Email: Tel:
Tel: 00 353 61 202015

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 technology
  • Bioprocess technology
  • Analytical sciences

During the third and fourth years you will undertake additional specialised 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, 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
CH4701 General Chemistry 1 BY4102 Biology for Biosciences
BY4001 Biology 1 CH4102 Organic Chemistry 1
MA4601 Science Mathematics 1 PH4142 Introduction to PHYSICS
CH4021 Laboratory Calculations MA4602 Science Mathematics 2
ER4011 Introduction to Environmental & Biosciences CH4031 General Chemistry 2 (INORGANIC)
CH4051 Introduction to Applied Chemistry and Biochemistry CH4041 General Chemistry 2 (PHYSICAL)
CS4131 Introduction to Scientific Computations    


  Semester 3   Semester 4
BY4803 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
  Semester 5 Semester 6 Summer
CG4003 Bioprocess Engineering 1 Cooperative Education Cooperative Education
BC4825 Microbial Technology 2    
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
MT4017 Biomaterials 1 MT4018 Biomaterials 2
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

CAO points history
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 & funding

Student course fees are broken into three components - Student contribution, Student Centre 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 paysTuition Fees€4,262
SUSI paysStudent contribution€3,000
Student paysStudent Centre Levy€92

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

HEA paysTuition Fees€4,262
Student paysStudent contribution€3,000
Student paysStudent Centre Levy€92

Students with EU fee status not in receipt of a grant

Student paysTuition Fees€4,262
Student paysStudent contribution€3,000
Student paysStudent Centre Levy€92

Non-EU Students

Student paysTuition Fees€16,373
Student paysStudent Centre Levy€92

Student course fees are comprised of three 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 curent student contribution is set at €3000.

Student Centre Levy

All students are liable to pay the Student Centre Levy of €90. Please note the Student Centre 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 -

More information about fees can be found on the Finance website


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

The year after graduating with this degree

The University of Limerick Graduate Outcomes Survey (GOS) is a detailed review of the employment outcomes of UL graduates conducted annually by the University and supported by the Higher Education Authority (HEA). The survey forms part of a nationwide review of the employment outcomes of Irish University Graduates. The table below illustrates a five-year trend for UL graduate employment levels and location the year after graduation.

Employed in Ireland Employed abroad Further study Not available Seeking employment No. of responses Total no. of graduates Year
63% 4% 25% 4% 4% 24 29 2014
71% 12% 12% 0% 6% 17 18 2015
71% 11% 11% 2% 5% 44 51 2016
90% 4% 6% 0% 0% 49 65 2017
82% 3% 10% 3% 3% 39 47 2018

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

Graduate Profile - 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.