Postgraduate Diploma in (Bio)Pharma Processing (Postgraduate Diploma in (Bio)Pharma Processing)

University College Cork (PGDBB)
Key Programme Details
Award

Postgraduate Diploma (Special Purpose)

NFQ Level

Level 9 About NFQ

Delivery Method

Online, Blended

Mode

Part Time

ECTS Credits

60

Department

ACE

General Information
Contact

Lorna Moloney

Email

Ace.Springboard@ucc.ie

Phone

087-6931100

Address

ACE,
The Laurels,
University College Cork
Cork

Role

Senior Skills Programme Coordinator

Important Dates
Application Deadline

19/08/2022

Start Date

12/09/2022

End Date

31/08/2023

About this Course

BioPharmaceutical manufacturing is a highly productive industrial sector within the Munster area that contributes significantly towards national exports. The sector is expanding, with Enterprise Ireland reporting 14% growth in Life Science related jobs in 2021, and the Chairman of Biopharmachem Ireland (BPCI) previously indicating that he expects a 20% growth in employment in the sector. The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs of the BioPharma Industry in Ireland (2016) has similarly specified that it expects creation of diverse roles “requiring specific scientific, engineering and technical skills across NFQ levels 6-10”, while highlighting concerns that “there might not be a sufficient skills supply to fully support potential biologics employment and business growth”.

This 60-credit Level 9 Postgraduate Diploma in BioPharma Processing was developed to address this demand, and ongoing industrial engagement ensures that our participants obtain labour market relevant skills. In the last year for example, written communications from large BioPharma manufacturing companies (MSD-Brinny, Janssen Biologics-Ringaskiddy, Regeneron-Limerick, BioMarin-Ringaskiddy, Eli-Lilly-Kinsale) and Life-Science SME’s (MillisBio, Cygenica and RiboMap) have confirmed ongoing support and demand for our course. This support is backed by tangible contributions, with employees providing guest lectures (Eli-Lilly, Janssen, Regeneron), the donation of equipment to support our hands-on training (Eli-Lilly), the contribution of large datasets to support the data analytics module (Eurofins), support in the development of virtual training videos (Solas BioPharma Training Facility), the offer and provision of placements (HPRA and Jannsen), and the offer of COVID-friendly virtual (instead of in-person) site visits (Janssen). We remain very grateful for these contributions. They ensure that our participants get exposure to real-life employees and real-life work situations, at that they obtain relevant skills.

Recent engagements with the SouthWest Regional Skills Forum manager confirmed regional demand for Biopharmaceutical Processing skills across multiple companies. Specific needs have been identified in the areas of validation, regulatory affairs, quality management, industry 4.0, data analytics, gene therapy, disposable technologies, continuous processing, and the basics of biopharma - all of which are covered in one or more modules.

Regarding course specifics, there is foundational content on biopharma processes, sterile manufacturing, drug formulation, regulatory affairs and process validation. With a view towards meeting emerging industrial needs, we also have applied modules that enhance graduate ability to critically evaluate and manage large datasets, and to optimise the manufacturing process. A module on novel and advanced biotherapeutics (including ATMP’s such as gene and cell-based therapies) will help futureproof the qualification.

Our course will facilitate career development opportunities for scientists and engineers who hold sufficient educational or relevant professional experience. Blended delivery one-day a week will promote maximal engagement within each of the employed, returner and unemployed target cohorts, with learning supported by the on-line availability of course materials and assessments. Demand for the course has consistently exceeded place availability, and the increased rate at which our graduates are now gaining employment and promotions, confirms that the course will improve the skillsets of those already employed in the industry, and provide a much-needed boost in the talent pool available for employment.

Entry Requirements

A candidate must have obtained at least a Second Class Honours primary degree in a relevant Science, Engineering or Healthcare Profession discipline (NFQ level 8).

In exceptional cases applicants not meeting the above criteria will be considered for entry based on an interview and successfully demonstrating that they hold an equivalent professional qualification, or significant industrial experience relevant to the course.

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

BioPharmaceutical manufacturing is a highly productive industrial sector within the Munster area that contributes significantly towards national exports. The sector is expanding, with Enterprise Ireland reporting 14% growth in Life Science related jobs in 2021, and the Chairman of Biopharmachem Ireland (BPCI) previously indicating that he expects a 20% growth in employment in the sector. The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs of the BioPharma Industry in Ireland (2016) has similarly specified that it expects creation of diverse roles “requiring specific scientific, engineering and technical skills across NFQ levels 6-10”, while highlighting concerns that “there might not be a sufficient skills supply to fully support potential biologics employment and business growth”.

This 60-credit Level 9 Postgraduate Diploma in BioPharma Processing was developed to address this demand, and ongoing industrial engagement ensures that our participants obtain labour market relevant skills. In the last year for example, written communications from large BioPharma manufacturing companies (MSD-Brinny, Janssen Biologics-Ringaskiddy, Regeneron-Limerick, BioMarin-Ringaskiddy, Eli-Lilly-Kinsale) and Life-Science SME’s (MillisBio, Cygenica and RiboMap) have confirmed ongoing support and demand for our course. This support is backed by tangible contributions, with employees providing guest lectures (Eli-Lilly, Janssen, Regeneron), the donation of equipment to support our hands-on training (Eli-Lilly), the contribution of large datasets to support the data analytics module (Eurofins), support in the development of virtual training videos (Solas BioPharma Training Facility), the offer and provision of placements (HPRA and Jannsen), and the offer of COVID-friendly virtual (instead of in-person) site visits (Janssen). We remain very grateful for these contributions. They ensure that our participants get exposure to real-life employees and real-life work situations, at that they obtain relevant skills.

Recent engagements with the SouthWest Regional Skills Forum manager confirmed regional demand for Biopharmaceutical Processing skills across multiple companies. Specific needs have been identified in the areas of validation, regulatory affairs, quality management, industry 4.0, data analytics, gene therapy, disposable technologies, continuous processing, and the basics of biopharma - all of which are covered in one or more modules.

Regarding course specifics, there is foundational content on biopharma processes, sterile manufacturing, drug formulation, regulatory affairs and process validation. With a view towards meeting emerging industrial needs, we also have applied modules that enhance graduate ability to critically evaluate and manage large datasets, and to optimise the manufacturing process. A module on novel and advanced biotherapeutics (including ATMP’s such as gene and cell-based therapies) will help futureproof the qualification.

Our course will facilitate career development opportunities for scientists and engineers who hold sufficient educational or relevant professional experience. Blended delivery one-day a week will promote maximal engagement within each of the employed, returner and unemployed target cohorts, with learning supported by the on-line availability of course materials and assessments. Demand for the course has consistently exceeded place availability, and the increased rate at which our graduates are now gaining employment and promotions, confirms that the course will improve the skillsets of those already employed in the industry, and provide a much-needed boost in the talent pool available for employment.

Timetable Info

Each Friday during semester online and traditional delivery available during term.

Delivery Notes

Blended

Admissions Contact Details
Contact Person

Lorna Moloney

Address

ACE
The Laurels,
University College Cork
Cork

Phone

0876931100

Email

Ace.springboard@ucc.ie

Application Procedures

CV - Please upload an up-to-date CV.
Academic transcripts (results) or parchment (if results are included) - Please upload evidence of your previous educational qualifications in 1 file. If you do not have your UCC transcript(s) on hand, there is no need to order one, we can view your results on our internal system.

Personal / Motivational Statement - Please upload a document. In 500 words or less, please state: 1) Why you wish to study this programme at University College Cork and 2) How you meet the programme entry requirements.

Transcripts showing educational evidence for course.


Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)? - If applying via Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) – (meaning you do not meet the minimum entry requirements of an NFQ Level Degree but wish to apply based on experience) please provide a work, personal or academic reference to support your application.