Postgraduate Certificate in (Bio)Pharma Processing

University College Cork (PGCBPP)
Key Programme Details
Award

Postgraduate Certificate

NFQ Level

9 About NFQ

Delivery Method

Mixed

Mode

Part-Time

ECTS Credits

30

Department

School of Pharmacy, University College Cork

Skills Area

Advanced Manufacturing

General Information
Contact

Dr Eoin Fleming

Email

j.fleming@ucc.ie

Phone

0214901679

Address

School of Pharmacy
University College Cork

Role

Programme Director

Important Dates
Application Deadline

11/08/2017

Start Date

15/09/2017

About this Course

The Postgraduate Certificate in (Bio)Pharma Processing is designed to facilitate science or engineering graduates who hold sufficient educational or professional experience to transition into the BioPharma and PharmaChem sector nationally.

Development and delivery of this level 9 course in the Munster area, where comparatively high numbers of BioPharma and PharmaChem companies are situated, will provide participants with experience in the manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients (both small organic molecule and biopharmaceuticals) and their formulations. Students will be given technical and practical knowledge of the key upstream and downstream processes associated with the industry, as well as sterile fill-finish, API and formulation production. This combination of modules, which spans both the drug development and drug manufacturing processes, will help produce confident graduates that are technically competent for employment in the BioPharma and PharmaChem sectors, improve the skillsets of those already employed in the industry, and provide a much needed increase in the talent pool available for employment.

Entry Requirements

Applicants must have obtained at least a Second Class Honours degree in a relevant Pharmacy, Science or Engineering discipline (NFQ level 8).

English language requirement: all applicants whose first language is not English are expected to have a minimum IELTS score of 6.5, with no individual section lower than 6.5.

Long Description

Students will complete 30 credits as follows:

Core Modules
PF6603 Introduction to Pharmaceutical Dosage Forms (5 credits)
PF6604 Pharmaceutical Process Technology (5 credits)
PF6605 Pharmaceutical Processes for Sterile Products (5 credits)
PF6606 Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Processes (5 credits)

Elective modules
One of the following modules to the value of 5 credits:
PF6601 GXP – The Fundamentals of Working in a Regulatory Environment (5 credits)
Or
PF6602 Transitioning into the Workplace (5 credits)

And

One of the following modules to the value of 5 credits:
PF6608 Placement (Postgraduate) (5 Credits)
Or in cases where a placement is not necessary for employed workers
PF6607 Pharmaceutical Process Design from Plant to Process Verification (5 Credits)

Students will be given technical and practical knowledge of the key upstream and downstream processes associated with the industry, as well as sterile fill-finish, API and formulation production. This combination of modules, which spans both the drug development and drug manufacturing processes, will help produce confident graduates that are technically competent for employment in the BioPharma and PharmaChem sectors, improve the skillsets of those already employed in the industry, and provide a much needed increase in the talent pool available for employment.

In addition to the programme's four core modules, we have developed two modules which are specifically focused on improving the employment prospects of the participants:
*PF6602 Transitioning into the Workplace - this module will offer career coaching provided by UCC's Career Service and workshops involving BioPharma HR personnel
*PF6608 Placement (Postgraduate) - dedicated work placement module.
For the 15/16 Springboard+ cohort on this programme, the combination of these modules was identified as a key factor in enhancing preparedness for the workplace.

While these modules will be well suited to students that are currently unemployed, or homemakers who wish to re-renter the workforce, the extension of Springboard+ courses to those in employment has additionally led to the provision of a further two modules which can be taken as electives in place of PF6602 and PF6608 respectively:
*PF6601 GXP The Fundamentals of Working in a Regulatory Environment
*PF6607 Pharmaceutical Process Design from Plant to Process Verification
Following consultation with industrial representatives, it was agreed that the applied topics covered in these modules would likely be of greatest interest and assistance to those wishing to upskill and broaden their employment opportunities within the workplace.

The programme will be delivered as a combination of online distance learning, classroom, laboratory teaching and site visits that will give participants a strong practical and theoretical understanding of the processes involved in the manufacture of drug substance and drug products. Participants will be provided with teaching materials (online notes and videos) in advance of attending classroom and practical sessions. This approach to content delivery, which will enable students to work through topics in advance of attending weekly classroom sessions, or revise material post-delivery, is aimed at facilitating the learning needs of the diverse group of students that we expect to have on the course (homemakers, previously self-employed, unemployed and those in employment in the BioPharma sector). Practical sessions will be delivered in the state of the art pilot scale facilities in the School of Pharmacy, UCC and the Cork ETB BioPharma Training Centre in Carrigaline, Co.Cork.

Career Opportunities

As is referenced in the EGFSN’s recent report “Future Skills Needs of BioPharma Industry in Ireland’ (2016), as the BioPharma sector continues to grow, many companies are experiencing difficulties in sourcing individuals with relevant experience. Key skills identified in this report, and addressed in modules for this programme, include:
*Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)
*Aseptic and sterile manufacturing
*Upstream/downstream processing
*Validation
*Clean utilities
*Good Lab Practice
*Documentation management
*Quality person duties
*Regulatory filings.

Following consultation with some of our industrial collaborators, it is envisaged that applicants with a suitable primary degree, who upskill and graduate from this programme, would be in a position to apply for a variety of positions in local companies including, but not limited to:
*Process Technician
*Production Supervisor
*Quality Assurance Specialist
*Technical Services Scientist
*Validation Science
*Scientist (BioPharma)
*BioProcess Engineer
*Process Scientist (Manufacturing Support).

A dedicated UCC EMPLOYABILITY AND WORK PLACEMENT COACH will work with students on this programme and provide a tiered approach to supporting the participants with the development of their job readiness and their transition into employment. The activities of the Coach will be structured to meet the differing needs of the 4 categories of eligible applicants for the 2017 Springboard+ call: those unemployed; those previously self-employed; homemakers; and those in employment in designated sectors. Main activities will include:

1. ONE TO ONE CAREER COACHING to formulate Individual CAREER ACTION PLANS leading to employment: Individual career coaching will be provided for each participant to reflect on:
* Where they are now in their careers;
* Where they want to be;
* Strategies for gaining employment on completion of their springboard course.
These individual coaching sessions will be customised to the needs of the student within the four categories of Springboard+ 2017 applicants.

2. JOB READINESS WORKSHOPS to compliment individual coaching sessions will be built into the programme as outlined below:
* Positioning oneself for job readiness (4 workshops): Setting realistic career objectives; Understanding strengths and skills; Learning from successful role models; Developing a career management strategy.
* Moving forward into a job (4 workshops): Taking action by developing career goals and implementing them;
* Creative job-hunting both on-line and off-line; Written applications, CVs and interview preparation and Implementing career plans.
* Small Group Workplace skills training will also be delivered to help individuals with barriers to employment to gain confidence, develop the people skills and the insights needed to transition to the world of work.

3. Participants will be given the opportunity to MEET EMPLOYERS by
* Attending UCC organised recruitment fairs, jobs roadshows and other events where employers will be invited on campus to meet students;
*Attending employer-led events on building workplace competencies. Springboard 2016 students attended talks delivered by Voxpro, Biomarin, Cork Local Enterprise Office, among others.
*Meet with employers for informational interviews.

Two 5 credit modules are also included in this programme to improve the job readiness and employment prospects of course participants. The first of these PF6602 “Transitioning into the Workplace” will be supported by UCC's Careers Services. The second module PF6008 – “Placement” aims to improve job readiness through obtainment of hands-on practical experience in the workplace, and will be supported by the UCC Employability and Work Placement Coach. The students' Employability and Work Placement Coach will help candidates in securing suitable work experience to fulfil their personal objectives. The Coach will customise their support in this regard to meet the needs of the individual student and take cognisance of their individual requirements in terms of their previous experiences, length of time out of the workplace etc. Work placement opportunities will be sourced by the Work Placement Coach and will be offered to students on a competitive basis. Workplace preparation workshops will also be offered to all students prior to going on work placement.

Timetable Info

The programme will include a combination of online distance learning, classroom, laboratory teaching and site visits. Classes will be delivered on UCC campus Fridays 9.30am-5pm from early September 2017 to April 2018. Students who elect to complete a work placement will do so from May-August 2018.

Delivery Location

Lectures, workshops and practicals will take place in state of the art facilities available in both the School of Pharmacy at UCC and at the Cork ETB BioPharma Training Facility in Carrigaline.

Admissions Contact Details
Instructor

Lorna Moloney

Address

Adult Continuing Education, Western Road, University College Cork.

Phone

021 4904700

Email

l.moloney@ucc.ie

RPL Information

RPL may be used by Springboard participants applying to this course to gain admission to the programme where an applicant many not otherwise reach the standard educational qualification entry requirements.

Application Procedures

Apply online at www.springboardcourses.ie. Candidates are advised to apply early as high demand is anticipated and places are limited.

Applications will NOT be assessed until all supporting documentation has been received. Please ensure that you have the following documentation available at the time of application:

* Copies of transcripts and parchments for any previous relevant educational qualifications

* Current CV

* References where applicable

* Copy of IELTS/TOEFL certificate for non-native English speakers