Entry Points (2023)

Course Overview

Biopharmaceutical Chemistry is the study of biomolecules (such as DNA, proteins and carbohydrates) and their applications as therapeutic medicine. Numerous diseases and medical conditions are caused by the improper function or the absence of a particular biomolecule. For example, some forms of diabetes result from a lack of insulin. The role of the biopharmaceutical chemist is to design and synthesise molecules that can substitute for the missing protein. The replacement molecule is often a modified protein, prepared using chemical and biotechnological methods.

Biopharmaceutical Chemistry is a multidisciplinary subject that combines areas of chemistry and biology. The Biopharmaceutical Chemistry course has a relatively small intake of students and includes ample opportunity for research within projects in years 2 and 4, and a 20-26 week work placement in Year 3.

Applications and Selections

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Minimum Grade H5 in two subjects and passes in four other subjects at O6/H7 level in the Leaving Certificate, including Irish, English, Mathematics, a laboratory science subject (i.e. Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Physics with Chemistry (joint) Computer Science or Agricultural Science) and any two other subjects recognised for entry purposes.

Additional Requirements

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)


4 years

Next start date

September 2024

A Level Grades (2023)


Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

4 (More Info)

Closing Date
NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting




Course code

Course Outline

See course outline for Biopharmaceutical Chemistry here.


• Chemistry
• Physics
• Biology
• Plus one of the following:
· Mathematical Studies
· Mathematics
· Computer Science
· Applied Mathematics



• Chemistry Pathway
• Biochemistry Pathway
• Computers and Chemical Research (project and transferable skills)
• Fundamental Concepts in Pharmacology
• Applied Concepts in Pharmacology



• Organic, Inorganic and Physical Chemistry
• Drug Design and Drug Discovery
• Analytical Chemistry and Molecular Structure
• Experimental Chemistry I and II
• Molecular Biology
• Protein Biochemistry
• Human Molecular Genetics
• Validation in the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Industry



• Analytical and Biophysical Chemistry
• Bioorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry
• Biopharmaceutical Chemistry and Modern Biotechnologies
• Placement Option
· Biopharmaceutical Chemistry dissertation
· Work placement
• On-Campus Option:
· On-campus project
· Elective modules



Curriculum Information

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Glossary of Terms

You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
An examinable portion of a subject or course, for which you attend lectures and/or tutorials and carry out assignments. E.g. Algebra and Calculus could be modules within the subject Mathematics. Each module has a unique module code eg. MA140.
Some courses allow you to choose subjects, where related modules are grouped together. Subjects have their own required number of credits, so you must take all that subject's required modules and may also need to obtain the remainder of the subject's total credits by choosing from its available optional modules.
A module you may choose to study.
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Required Core Subject
A subject you must study because it's integral to that course.
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year, so a three-year course will have six semesters in total. For clarity, this page will refer to the first semester of year 2 as 'Semester 3'.

Further Education

In addition to careers in industry, honours graduates will be qualified to pursue higher degrees (PhD research) in a wide range of related disciplines.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

The biopharmaceutical industry is an increasingly important player in the Irish economy. Biopharmaceutical companies located in Ireland include Abbott, Amgen, Alexion, Astellas, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Centocor, Eli Lilly, Hollister, Pfizer, Merck, Randox, Regeneron and Sanofi.. These companies need graduates who are trained in chemistry and aspects of biotechnology. The Biopharmaceutical Chemistry degree is tailored to meet the needs of this industry.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Transferable Skills Employers Value

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€7,268 p.a. (€7,408 p.a. including levy) 2024/25

Fees: Tuition

€4,268 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Student Contribution

€3,000 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Student levy

€140 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Non EU

€26,000 p.a. (€26,140 p.a. including levy) 2024/25

EU Fees are comprised of Tuition + Student Contribution Charge + Student Levy** €140.  **Payable by all students and is not covered by SUSI.  Further detail here.

Find out More

Prof Peter Crowley
School of Chemistry
College of Science 
T 353 91 492480
E peter.crowley@universityofgalway.ie

What Our Students Say


Sabrinna Crowley |   BS (Biopharmaceutical Chemistry)

This course, and the industry it was made for, focus on the structure and function of proteins in the body and offers an appreciation for their role in biological systems. With a small class size, you have the opportunity to make life-long friendships and industry contacts which will benefit you both during the course and long after it. The practical aspects give hands on experience using analytical methods, writing reports, and working in a laboratory environment with leading experts in their field. It immerses student in the fundamentals of chemistry and shows their application in both industry and academia. Biopharmaceutical Chemistry offers a 6-month industrial placement in the first semester of fourth year which gives students experience working in industry. Many students are offered a job by the company they do their placement with, and for those who are not or choose to not accept it the networking and experience makes them prime candidates for other positions. Whether you wish to enter the pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, or medical device industry, or do a post-grad, this course prepares students to adapt to any path they wish to follow.