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Biomedical Device Materials (MSc)

Course Details


Available: Full- Time

Duration: 1 year

Faculty: Science and Engineering

Course Type: Taught


Dr. Maurice Collins
353 61 202867

Brief Description

The MSc programme is designed to produce highly qualified graduates who have an in-depth knowledge of the instrumentation involved in the analysis and characterisation of materials together with a detailed knowledge of Materials Science and Materials Processing. Specialist modules and a specialised research project will allow students to become fully briefed in Biomedical Device Materials and how such materials interact with the human body.

This one year M. Sc. programme is designed to produce highly qualified graduates who have an in-depth knowledge of the instrumentation involved in the analysis and characterisation of materials together with a detailed knowledge of Materials Science and Materials Processing. Specialist modules and a specialised research project will allow students to become fully briefed in Biomedical Device Materials and how such materials interact with the human body. With this knowledge base, graduates could expect to work in the quickly evolving high-tech Biomedical Device industry or to continue their education to PhD level.


The objectives of the programme are:

  • To provide science, engineering and technology graduates with a competitive edge for a career in biomedical device companies
  • To provide graduates with key analytical skills and knowledge in the latest biopolymer and metallurgical technologies preparing them for a career in biomedical device R & D and / or product design
  • To develop graduates with excellence in Materials Science and Engineering capability to underpin National and International Industrial development.

This Master of Science course is a two Semester plus Summer full time programme based on a modular credit system (90 ECTS) and the course outline is given below. In Semester 1, students study analytical techniques (microscopy, electron microscopy and X-ray analysis; X-ray diffraction; IR-, UV- and Raman-spectroscopy, particle size analysis, NMR spectroscopy, specimen preparation), structure of materials (structure – mechanical property relationships for metals, polymers and ceramics, phase transformations with associated strengthening effects, failure processes), advanced materials processing (manufacturing with metals, ceramics, polymers and composites and typical coating methods).

Semester 1 also includes the study of typical management systems which are needed to standardize and audit manufacturing processes and systems in Industry. This module also addresses regulatory affairs for the Biomedical Device Industry. Semester 2 involves further study of analytical techniques and modelling software used for materials development / analysis and affords students exposure to Research challenges in Materials Science. Students choose one specialised elective in each Semester which covers the detailed materials science associated with Biomedical devices and how new materials are being developed which have therapeutic value.

During Semester 2 students choose and begin work on a 45 credit Biomedical Device Materials related research project supervised by highly published internationally recognised experts in Materials Science & Engineering. These projects involve the use of state of the art instrumentation at the University to acquire information on materials and processes suitable for publication in high impact journals or IP protection.

Autumn Spring Summer
  • Structure of Materials
  • Advanced Analysis of Materials 1
  • Advanced Materials Processing
  • Management Systems Standards

Electives (Choose One)

  • Biomaterials Science
  • Polymers for Biomedical Devices
  • Advanced Analysis of Materials 2
  • Research Challenges in Materials Science
  • Materials Project 1

Electives (Choose One)

  • Biomaterials 2
  • Biomaterials Science: Polymer Therapeutics
  • Engineering Alloys
  • Plasticity of Conventional and 3D Printed Metals
  • Materials Project 2


Applicants for a Master’s programme must normally have a first or second class Level 8 honours degree (NFQ or other internationally recognised equivalent) in a physical science or engineering subject(s) or equivalent prior learning that is recognised by the University as meeting this requirement.  Applicants must also satisfy the English Language Requirements of the University. The University reserves the right to shortlist and interview applicants as deemed necessary.


  • Qualification transcripts and/or certificates (including certified English translations if applicable
  • English language qualification(s) (if English is not your first language)

    A copy of your birth certificate/passport

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of either prior successful completion of a degree qualification taught through the medium of English or meet one of the criteria below (no longer than two years prior to application):

Acceptable English Language qualifications include the following:

  • Matriculation examinations from European countries where English is presented as a subject and an acceptable level is achieved
  • Irish Leaving Certificate English –Ordinary Level Grade D or above
  • TOEFL – 580 (paper-based) or 90 (internet-based)
  • IELTS – Minimum score of 6.5 with no less than 6 in any one component.
  • English Test for English and Academic Purposes (ETAPP) – Grade C1
  • GCE ‘O’ level English Language/GCSE English Language – Grade C or above
  • University of Cambridge ESOL –Certificate of Proficiency in English - Grade C / Certificate in Advanced English - Grade A
  • GCE Examination Boards – Oxford Delegacy of Local Examinations – Grade C / Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate – School Certificate Pass 1-6 / University of London Entrance and School Examinations Council – School Certificate Pass 1-6

Results in examinations other than those listed above may also be accepted as meeting our English language requirements. Contact the International Education Division for advice.

There are in excess of 250 medical technology companies in Ireland, exporting €7.9bn worth of product annually, making Ireland the second largest exporter of med tech devices in Europe and employing 25,000 people. Future forecasts by the IDA for the industry have identified the need for Materials related expertise in regenerative medicine and bioprocessing,  The Irish Medical Devices Association states that “The medical technology industry in Ireland is changing from being predominantly manufacturing to being more complex and driven by R&D” and this new M. Sc. programme is designed to empower individuals to create, and participate in, such change.

Auryn Souness  -   I am currently a Manufacturing Engineering Team Leader @ Johnson & Johnson Vision Care - Combination Products.  I chose the MSc. Biomedical Device Materials as it covered topics such as material processing and analysis, as well as Standards and Regulations, which were applicable to the future career path I wanted to pursue. I was looking for a course that bridged the gap between academia and industry and after attending a UL Career Fair, felt this course was a perfect fit.   I chose UL as that was where I completed my BEng Biomedical Engineering course and really enjoyed my time there. 

The guest lectures who covered various material analysis and characterisation techniques were really interesting. I also enjoyed the focus on group work and hands-on tutorials.  The course director and faculty staff were also brilliant at answering any queries or concerns.  The best thing about the course was being able to decide the area of focus for my Thesis and working on a research topic I personally found interesting.  I was able to publish my thesis as main author in an international scientific journal. I also had the opportunity to present my thesis at the 33rd International Manufacturing Conference at UL which was a fantastic opportunity to present my findings to a wider audience.

Classes were face to face lectures and tutorials and I got to use state of the art equipment in the Bernal Institute during course workshops. Assessments were covered by group projects, presentations, labs and individual reports. Following on from the course I have gained a number of key connections in UL, which has resulted in me providing career talks to current students in the MSc. Biomedical Device Materials.  It also helped hugely in developing my interpersonal skills and presentation skills which are skills I use daily in my current role at JNJ.

I have a keen interest in New Product Introduction and bringing concept to reality in an industrial setting. I would love to continue to work in this field and eventually guide and direct a multi-functional team at a divisional level.  My top tip for any prospective student is to interact and join the various clubs & societies at UL and to push yourself both personally and academically to grow before entering graduate employment. 

Esther Adegoke - I am currently a Ph.D. student concentrating in the field of nanomaterials under the joint supervision of Prof. Kevin Ryan and Prof. Ursel Bangert. I obtained my MSc degree in Applied Physics at the University of Limerick in 2019, under the guidance of Prof. Ursel Bangert who is now a co-supervisor in my current research area. At UL you are given a potential research topic that matches your background and experience while having the freedom to develop your own research area of interest. My Science Foundation Ireland Funded research focuses on the investigative study of nanocrystal structure, interface, nucleation and growth mechanisms in these materials using aberration-corrected electron microscopy (EM) and In situ EM techniques. 
Working with both the Nanotechnology and TEMUL group at the Bernal Institute has been a great experience with ample opportunity to engage in multiple research areas and collaborations. I have obtained training in techniques such as the use of State of the art microscopes and other high technology characterization tools. This has been invaluable to my career development.
My journey so far has been exciting, from presenting my work at conferences to interacting, networking and exchanging research ideas with other Ph.D. students and experts from around the world. I now also have first-hand experience with teaching and leadership through laboratory demonstrations and these experiences have greatly improved my personal development towards being an independent researcher.