Entry Points (2023)

Course Overview

Biotechnology is the application of biology for the benefit of humanity and the environment. It harnesses living organisms to provide foods and medicines, and for tasks such as cleaning toxic waste or detecting harmful substances. Biotechnology has roots in food and agriculture, using yeast to make beer and bread, and lactic acid bacteria to make cheese. Modern technologies such as genetic engineering make biotechnology a major part of Ireland’s economic future in biopharmaceuticals, biomedicine, agriculture, the food industry and the environment.

Our BSc Biotechnology is a science-focused and closely mentored course with strong career opportunities and an international outlook. Alongside core knowledge of modern biology, the BSc Biotechnology degree provides tailored training in communications, business and languages skills. Students complete individual projects in research laboratories on campus in their fourth year, and have the opportunity to undertake placements in industry in Ireland, or research laboratories across Europe.

Programme Flyer 

Biotech English Image


              English                       Gaeilge


IreEUsf logo        European Social fund logo




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, a third language, Mathematics, a laboratory science subject (i.e, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Physics with Chemistry (joint), Computer Science or Agricultural Science) and any one other subject recognised for entry purposes.

Additional Requirements

Minimum O2 or H6 in a modern European language other than Irish or English.

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 Biotechnology here.

The BSc Biotechnology combines a strong foundation in science with a broad awareness of how this can be applied and skills to translate this knowledge.

In first year students study core biology, chemistry and maths principles alongside unique biotechnology and language modules with an emphasis on practical activities.

In second year students study molecular cell biology, microbiology and chemistry while continuing to develop their biotechnology and language skills.

In third year students continue with molecular cell biology and microbiology plus pharmacology and their language. In semester 2 there is an opportunity for a 3-6 month placement in Irish industry or a research laboratory in continental Europe. An on-campus alternative course emphasising genetics and biochemistry is also available.

In final year students take modules in biochemistry, a business course including business development project, as well as completing semester-long individually mentored literature review and a choice of either a research project or advanced skills and employability training.


• Biotechnology Concepts and Labs
• Biology
• Chemistry
• Data Science
• Employability Skills in Biotechnology
• Language (French or German or Irish)


• Biotechnology Innovations
• Biochemistry
• Microbiology
• Chemistry
• Language (French or German or Irish)


• Biotechnology Skills
• Biochemistry
• Microbiology
• Pharmacology
• Language (French or German or Irish)
• Placement and on-campus option


• Advanced research project or advanced skills and employability training
• Topical scientific literature review
• Molecular Cell Biology
• Recombinant protein production or Plant and AgriBiotechnologies 
• Modern Biotechnologies



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

Postgraduate Masters

Biotechnology graduates who want to further strengthen their knowledge frequently pursue advanced Masters training at universities in Ireland and UK, in areas including biochemistry, immunology, pharmacology, genomics and environmental science.

Graduates also opt for more diverse postgraduate options such as medicine, dietetics, physiology, teaching or commerce, or choose to and to study for a Masters in continental Europe.

Postgraduate Research

Graduates with strong results in our programme regularly progress to PhD programmes in NUI Galway, other Irish universities, and prestigious locations such as University of Cambridge and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory. Their research topics range from basic biochemistry and molecular cell biology to biomedicine and applications of biotechnology.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Our graduates are equipped with a wide range of capabilities and practical experience, including business and language skills to complement their knowledge of biology.

Biotechnologists find rewarding careers across Ireland’s ‘smart economy’ including biopharmaceuticals, diagnostics, healthcare, and the environment, as well as in academic and industry research. Their science knowledge and skills also opens doors to areas such as management, education, medicine and marketing.

International Perspectives

Biotechnology students on placement in Amsterdam

The combination of international placements, language training and rubbing shoulders with international classmates means Biotechnology graduates have a unique international perspective and set of skills on their CV.

Focus on Skills and Mentoring

The BSc Biotechnology course emphasises activities and experiences that allow students to apply knowledge and develop skills throughout their degree.

Our programme prides itself in being one of NUI Galway’s best mentored, with individual support and attention given to every students from first year orientation to graduation day.

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

Dr Stephen Rea
BSc Biotechnology Programme Director
School of Biological and Chemical Sciences


‌‌International students are warmly invited to apply, and we welcome students to Biotechnology each year from USA, Asia, Europe and beyond.

  • Please see our International Office web page for information and requirements.
  • To hear what it is like to be a student of Biotechnology please listen to this podcast by clicking here. 
  • Click Here to view the 2021 taster day video of Biotechnology by Andrew Flaus. It is a good example of a typical early lecture in the Biotechnology programme, and gives a nice overview of what Biotechnology involves and why it is important

What our Students Say


Eileen Reidy |   BSc (Biotechnology)

"A special feature of the course was the research and industry-based placements during 3rd year. Alongside the opportunity to learn a language and carry out a business module, this gave us a unique CV that stood out from other science graduates.

Josh Taylor |   BSc (Biotechnology)

Biotech has small classes so we get to know each other very quickly, and we also get to interact more with our lecturers. I like the variety of subjects, and having a language makes us stand out compared with other science graduates. The placement gives us a great opportunity for getting experience.