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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. Luis Padrela
Email: Tel:



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 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.

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 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  
CG4011 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

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.

Industrial Biochemistry opens up a wide variety of potential careers in many areas including;

  • Quality assurance, validation and regulatory compliance e.g. FDA licensing
  • Quality control
  • Manufacturing
  • Research and development

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

  • Pharmaceutical
  • Biopharmaceutical
  • 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.

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.