Key Info

Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical and Industrial Chemistry

NFQ Level 8 major Award Honours Bachelor Degree

Entry route(s):

Course code
4 Years
Subject area
Course Director
Dr Emmet O'Reilly
+(353) 61 234663
+353 (0)61 233755

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.

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.

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What you will study

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.

Entry Route LM123 Biological and Chemical Sciences (Common Entry)

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
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)


  Semester 5 Semester 6
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  


  Semester 7   Semester 8
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

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

  • Analysing and problem-solving
  • Monitoring/maintaining records and data
  • Working in teams
  • Communicating (verbal and written)
  • Excellent laboratory techniques
  • Specific knowledge in the traditional fields of chemistry, inorganic, organic, physical, analytical and materials
  • Strong mathematical and numerical ability
  • Time management
  • IT skills

Further Study 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:

    • Graduate Research & Development Chemist
    • Teaching Assistant
    • Operations Associate
    • Product Design Lead
    • Production Engineer
    • Regulatory Affairs Specialist
    • Research Chemist

    Student Profiles

    Emily Hill

    Emily Hill

    In 2018 Emily started in the Biological and Chemical Sciences common entry course and later chose one of the four exit routes. Emily completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmaceutical and Industrial Chemistry in the University of Limerick in 2022. During her time in UL she carried out her eight month co-operative placement in Regeneron as a manufacturing intern.

    Later Emily decided to go on to further study after her undergraduate course. She was awarded an Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship and joined the O’Reilly research group as a 1st year PhD student in September 2022. Her PhD titled ‘Next generation pharmaceutical processing: Bridging clinical practice with predictive modelling tools and continuous manufacture methods’, will focus on the continuous manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients and in particular on spray drying.


    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



    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.