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Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical and Industrial Chemistry

Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical and Industrial Chemistry
NFQ Level 8 major Award Honours Bachelor Degree

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

Course code:
4 Years

Course leader:
Dr. Emmet O'Reilly
Email: Tel:
+(353) 61 234663

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


About You

Are you interested in a career that can really make a practical contribution to helping address the challenges that presently face the world, e.g. the discovery of new drugs to fight disease, or inventing new materials for biomedical devices?

Have you a flair for science and technology and would like to use these talents in a well-paid, intellectually satisfying and productive career as a professional chemist?

If so, then this may be the programme for you.

Why Study Pharmaceutical and Industrial Chemistry at UL?

The Pharmaceutical & Industrial Chemistry degree course qualifies you for employment in a variety of professional careers in the pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, biomedical and chemical sectors. The course structure combines both theory and practical work to ensure graduates are well prepared for the challenges of a position in each of these fields upon graduation. Fundamental and applied aspects of organic, inorganic, physical and analytical chemistry are covered as well as key elements of computational chemistry and chemical engineering.

In the third year of the programme, you will spend eight months as a full-time paid employee of a pharmaceutical or chemical company during the work placement period (Cooperative Education). The course is accredited by the Institute of Chemistry of Ireland and the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) with graduates eligible for RSC Chartered Chemist status.

There are significant employment prospects both nationally and internationally for our graduates in companies involved in the production of numerous items and goods that are essential to modern living:

  • Pharmaceuticals and Biopharmaceuticals
  • Materials for Medical Devices
  • Materials for Renewable energy e.g. Solar
  • Polymers and plastics
  • Computer components (including microchips and integrated circuits)
  • Fuels (Biofuels and non-fossil)

Typical duties of our graduates include:

  • Drug discovery and synthesis
  • Formulation and production of active ingredients for pharmaceuticals
  • Scale up of drug synthesis from the laboratory to the production plant
  • Laboratory quality analysis of pharmaceuticals
  • Developing innovative processes for making chemicals and pharmaceuticals
  • Quality assurance, validation and regulatory compliance e.g. FDA licensing
  • Pollution monitoring/control and environmental remediation
  • Chemical analysis work e.g. Forensic analysis or process troubleshooting
  • Research and development
  • Teaching chemistry at secondary level
  • Further study to PhD/MSc level

Answers to frequently asked questions:

  • Honours Maths is NOT an entry requirement - ordinary level B3 Maths will see you through the course if you have a C3 in any higher level Science subject;
  • Chemistry is NOT an entry requirement - you would have to do some catching up, however, in the first year.

For further details, log on to www.ul.ie/~ces

The programme is of four years duration. Having followed a broad common first year (LM123) where students will learn about a variety of topics including;

  • Chemistry (Inorganic, Organic, Analytical and Physical)
  • Computing
  • Mathematics
  • Introductory Physics
  • Introductory Biochemistry

The second-year builds upon these fundamentals while introducing modules in Process Technology and Photochemistry. During the third and fourth years students will undertake additional modules in Polymer Chemistry, Process Technology, Safety in Industry, Computational Chemistry, Chemical Nanotechnology, Advanced Analytical Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Formulation. The Cooperative Education work placement occurs in year three from early January to the end of August.

Year 1 - Modules

Entry Route LM123 Biological and Chemical Sciences (Common Entry)

Year 1 Semester 1 Credits   Semester 2 Credits  

Years 2 - 4

Year 2 Semester 3   Semester 4 Vacation
MA4603 Maths 3 MA4604 Maths 4  
CH4003 Physical Chemistry 2 (Adv Kinetics and Photochemistry) CH4004 Physical Chemistry 3 (Phase Equilibria)  
CH4303 Analytical Chemistry 1 CH4304 Analytical Chemistry 2 (Seperation Methods)  
CH4103 Organic Chemistry 2 (Mechanism & Reaction) CH4104 Organic Chemistry 3 (Biomolecules and Heterocycles)  
CH4203 Inorganic Chemistry 2 (Periodicity and Transition Elements) CH4404 Process Technology 1 (Process Modelling and Control)  


Year 3 Semester 5   Semester 6 Vacation
CH4005 Physical Chemistry 4 (Electrochemistry)   Cooperative Education  
CH4305 Analytical Chemistry 3 (Solids and Surface Analysis)      
CH4015 Organic Chemistry 4 (Polymers)      
CH4405 Process Technology 2 (Fluid Flow and Heat Transfer)      
CH4415 Process Technology 3 (Reactor Design and Operation)      
  Specialist Elective 1* one of      
CH4025 Photochemistry      
CH4415 Process Tech 3      


Year 4 Semester 7   Semester 8 Vacation
CH4417 Pharmaceutical Formulation CH4008 Organic Pharm Chemistry 2  
CH4407 Process Technology 4 (Mass Transfer Separations) CH4306 Analytical Chemistry 4 (Advanced Spectroscopy)  
CH4007 Organic Pharm Chemistry 1 CG5052 Batch (Pharmaceutical) Process Engineering  
CH4907 Final Year Project 1 CH4908 Final Year Project 2  
  Specialist Elective 1* One Of   Specialist Elective 2* One Of  
ER4627 Safety and Industry CH4017 Chemical Nanotechnology  
CG4017 Bioprocess Engineering CG4008 Process Troubleshooting  

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 O3/H7 in Mathematics and a Grade H4 in any one of the following: Agricultural Science, Applied Maths, 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 Pharmaceutical and Industrial Chemistry include;

  • Chemist
  • Industrial Chemist
  • Environmental Chemist
  • Chemical Process Engineer
  • Quality Assurance Manager

Coming from the longest established applied chemistry programme in Ireland, our graduates have an extremely well-regarded reputation with employers. Over 95% of graduates are employed in Ireland and work with major pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer, Eli Lilly, GSK, Janssen, Eiregen, Regeneron and many others. Graduates have progressed to leadership positions occupying roles such as Plant Manager, Process Manager, Research Director through to Managing Director positions both in Ireland and internationally. Our graduates enjoy recognition as qualified chemists by professional bodies within Ireland, the UK, and worldwide.

Our graduates work in a wide range of employment sectors such as:

  • Pharmaceutical/drug production
  • Clean chemical technologies
  • Renewable fuels and sustainable energy generation
  • Paints and plastics & textiles
  • Drug discovery and development
  • Mineral & metal processing
  • Chemical Quality Control & validation
  • Electronic materials & components

Follow-On Study

Numerous opportunities exist for students that have graduated from the programme at the appropriate level. Funded postgraduate research work to Masters or PhD level at UL or at other universities worldwide, specialist taught MSc's, and professional add-on/ conversion courses (e.g. a Graduate Diploma in Chemical Engineering) are among the more popular options.

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

Graduate Profile

Killian Stokes
If you have a keen interest in chemistry, this is the degree for you! This course initially deals with the fundamentals of chemistry. Throughout the years it then adds to this with more detail on the subjects through interesting lectures and enjoyable practical laboratories. It also incorporates some basics of process engineering which in the current age is a necessity in industry.

As well as the interesting laboratory work, the course offers refreshing, new ways of learning. I enjoy the fact that we study topics which are at the forefront of the chemical industry including various analytical methods and nanotechnology. Also, through the final year project, the course will give you the opportunity to find out if you might be interested in research through a postgraduate course after your final degree.

Co-Op at UL offers a fantastic opportunity to get first-hand industrial experience as part of your degree. On my placement, I worked at Bristol-Myers Squibb Cruiserath in Dublin where I was assigned many varied tasks and projects. I thrived on the level of responsibility given to me as a student on Co-Op and felt I gained excellent experience in this field of pharmaceuticals. Some of the work I was assigned called for analytical skills and I had the opportunity to present my results and findings to management, which further improved my organisational and communication skills.

Killian is currently completing his Ph.D. in Nanotechnology at the Bernal Institute, in the University of Limerick.

Graduate Profile

Claire Rooney 
I chose the BSc in Pharmaceutical and Industrial Chemistry because I liked chemistry in school and was always interested in the pharmaceutical industry. The course offered a wide range of chemistry modules and UL???s tutoring programme meant that support was available to help me do well in what I found to be the tougher modules.

My work here at Abbot is primarily project based. It is very varied and some of my daily tasks include: performing testing on raw materials and finished goods, dealing with representatives from contract labs, statistical trending of results, design of experiments, investigative work, presenting to management and many others.

My four years at UL equipped me with many of the necessary skills I use at work everyday, such as planning, technical writing, communication and presentation skills.

Claire's tip
If I was to give one piece of advice to school leavers it would be to do a course that you think you will like over one you think you will be good at. It is a lot easier to spend time working in college on something that is of interest to you. Enjoy your time in UL - it is a brilliant campus and would still be my choice of college if I were doing the leaving cert this year.

Claire is currently employed as a Chemist on the graduate programme of Abbot Ireland