Graduate Diploma for Specialist Skills in Industrial BioPharmaceutical Analysis (Graduate Diploma for Specialist Skills in Industrial BioPharmaceutical Analysis)

Dublin City University (TBC)
Key Programme Details
Award

Graduate Diploma

NFQ Level

Level 9 About NFQ

Delivery Method

Blended

Mode

Full Time

ECTS Credits

60

Department

DCU Faculty of Science and Health, School of Chemical Sciences

General Information
Contact

Andrew Kellett

Email

andrew.kellett@dcu.ie

Phone

01 700 5461

Address

Dublin City University
School of Chemical Sciences
Glasnevin, Dublin 9

Role

Programme Coordinator

Important Dates
Application Deadline

04/12/2020

Start Date

18/01/2021

End Date

15/01/2022

About this Course

This one year, full-time, blended delivery, Posgraduate Diploma is designed to provide new specialisation to graduates with primary
degrees in chemistry or biology and will provide cutting-edge skills in biopharmaceutical analysis. It is tailored specifically to those wishing to enhance their employability in the pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and medical device sectors in Ireland, all of whom are major drivers of employment.



Objectives

- Enhance the skills, competitiveness and promote the unique talents of each student.
- Provide a unique opportunity for individuals who want to extend their knowledge and skills within industrially-relevant aspects of chemical biology and bioanalytical analysis.
- Meet emerging skills needs in rapidly-growing areas of bioanalysis and biomaterials development.
- Enable graduates to respond to rapidly changing bioanalytical technologies and skills requirements.
- Develop transversal skills and allow students to build on their skills and knowledge in line with the development of core Chemical Biology and (Bio)Pharmaceutical Analysis skills.

Entry Requirements

Entry is available to graduates with an NFQ Level 8 qualification (or equivalent classification) in chemistry or biology. Applicants without a formal degree, but with 5 or more years professional experience in chemical / biochemical analysis (or related fields) are also invited to apply.

This entry is subject to an interview if deemed necessary by the Chair of Programme or Head(s) of School. Students who meet the minimum entry requirements are not guaranteed a place on the programme and DCU reserves the right to interview candidates to confirm their suitability for the programme. Non-Native English speakers must submit evidence of competency in the English language as per DCU entry requirements.

Applicants must provide the following supporting documentation through the Springboard Application Website: www.springboardcourses.ie

All application should include:
• A scanned copy of transcripts and parchments for any previous relevant educational qualifications. A photocopy of the degree certificate is not sufficient.
• Telephone contact details of referees
• Personal Statement detailing your prior knowledge, if any, as well as any industrial experience you may have. (300 – 500 words)
• A current telephone contact number and full current address details
• Evidence of eligibility for funding and proof that you meet the Springboard HCI Pillar 1 eligibility criteria
• Copy of IELTS/TOEFL certificate for non-native English speakers

Applications will NOT be assessed until all supporting documentation has been received. Documents must be combined into one zip file and uploaded. Uploading of multiple documents is currently not facilitated.

Long Description

This Postgraduate Diploma will meet the needs of industry by providing a unique, one year part-time blended programme involving classroom, e-learning and hands-on practical education. Graduates will be competent in advanced spectroscopy techniques, bio-spectroscopy, bioanalytical assay design, data analysis, orbitrap mass analysis and proteomics, human cell culture, 3-D printing, X-ray crystallography, trace metal ion detection methods such as ICP-MS and modern separation techniques. The course will enable graduates to respond to rapidly changing analytical technologies and will promote transversal skills such as effective communication and data analysis.

The course is supported by leading pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries within Ireland and is informed by several biopharma focused SFI research centres.

Indicative Module Descriptors

1. Bioanalytical techniques and technologies
Chemical biology is a rapidly developing field of chemistry that enables understanding of how biological macromolecules work at the molecular level. The fundaments of chemical biology will be covered in this online module whereby an overview of the chemistry, syntheses, structures and behaviours of biological macromolecules will first be described. The module will then progress to: the fundamentals of molecular biology as a ‘toolkit’ for chemical biology; vibrational spectroscopy; magnetic resonance; molecular recognition and binding; and kinetics and catalysis.

2. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS)
The presence of metal ion has widely varying implications for environmental, pharmaceutical and bioprocessing industries. Therefore, the ability to quantify metal ions is of particular relevance in quality control, analytical and environmental sciences, chemical biology and cellular bioprocesses. This module will teach the principles and applications of this interdisciplinary field supported by hands-on practical experience using expertise and high-sensitivity equipment available in the DCU School of Chemical Sciences.

3. High-throughput bioanalytical assays
High-throughput screening (HTS) is a method of scientific experimentation pivotal to pre-clinical trials which involves the screening of large compound libraries for activity against biological targets via automation, miniaturized assays, and large-scale data analysis. A HTS requires rapid, robust, reliable and easy-to-monitor methods to identify active compounds that can provide a starting point for structural optimization of the drug molecule with respect to target binding, physicochemical and toxicological properties. This module will combine online delivery and a practical demonstration using state-of-the-art equipment in the School of Chemical Sciences.

4. 3-D printed biomaterials
3D printing is becoming a highly attractive alternative to subtractive manufacturing methods such as milling/machining and laser ablation. The constraints of these methods are being continually over come through the introduction of 3D printing on the macro to micro and now nano-scales. 3D printing can maintain and exceed the resolution capabilities and accessible structure designs of such subtractive methods. This module will provide an overview of substrates ranging from polyethylene glycol based materials used in soft hydrogel design, to acrylate based hard plastics, which has enabled the applications of 3D printing within chemistry and chemical biology where subtractive methods have failed. The course will also describe how chemical modifications of (bio)compatible substrates has enabled 3D printing using state-of-the-art systems such as the Nanoscribe Photonic Professional GT 3D Laser Lithography System. High-resolution macro-scale 3D printing will also be covered as a new ‘method of choice’ for rapid prototyping and development of microfluidic devices. Practical skills will be developed using the Nanoscribe and Stratasys Objet260 Connex 1 3D Printer instruments for the production of macro and micro-scale devices throughout this module. Rapid and low cost prototyping using these state-of-the-art technologies, available within the Nano Research Facility at DCU, allows for designs to become tangible for the development and maturation of project aims, while maintaining high fidelity for the intended design.

5. Mammalian cell culture for biopharmaceutical production
This module will be delivered in the National Institute of Cellular Biotechnology (NICB) in DCU and will provide an overview of the principles and applications of mammalian cell culture, in particular using the Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell line, for the production of protein-based therapeutics in the biopharmaceutical industry. The importance of the Chinese hamster ovary cell line in the production of biologics will be highlighted. The steps involved in both the upstream and downstream cell bioprocessing will be described.

6. Advanced mass spectrometry and proteomics applications in biopharmaceutical production
Biotherapeutics, such as monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), are very complex molecules manufactured inside living cells. The characterisation and monitoring of these protein-based therapeutics in Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls (CMC), and Quality Control environments in biopharma can present a significant challenge. This module will provide students with a fundamental and applied knowledge on advanced high-resolution mass spectrometry based techniques that are used for the characterisation and measurement of critical quality attributes of complex biopharmaceuticals.

7. Practical Crystal Structure Analysis
X-ray crystallography is a technique for determining the three-dimensional structure of molecules, including complex biological macromolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids. It is a powerful tool in the elucidation of the three-dimensional structure of a molecule at atomic resolution. This course will be run in collaboration with the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) and will cover the fundamentals and practical applications of X-ray crystallography.

8. High performance liquid chromatography
The pharmaceutical industry is a major employer of analytical chemists, particularly separation scientists skilled in high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The module will explore the multiple ways in which analytical development units work collaboratively with various departments across typical biopharmaceutical organisations, such as drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, safety–toxicology, pharmacology–biochemistry, quality assurance, regulatory affairs, etc, so that students gain an appreciation of the breadth of application domains for analytical separations and the different analytical requirements of each of these departments. We will also explore a number of industry focused analytical separation science topics such as HPLC method development, chiral separations and analysis of molecules with multiple chiral centres, the use of generic platform multicomponent methods (HPLC, GC, and IC), impurity identification using HPLC MS, high resolution HPLC analysis of complex drug products with multiple active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) by ultrahigh pressure LC (UHPLC), analytical strategies for genotoxic impurities (GTI) and emerging trends, challenges and opportunities for separation science.

9. Career Transitions and Success
The Career Transitions and Success module is delivered online that allows students to build on their skills and knowledge in line with the development of their specialist area of study. Students are provided with practical guidance on scanning the labour market and identifying areas of potential employment, developing the tools to allow them to market themselves and their skills and receive input from a dedicated careers advisor to assist them in areas of development with regard to their employability.

Why Choose This Course

DCU has forged a reputation as Ireland’s University of Enterprise and as a leading university for graduate employment. This reputation extends internationally with DCU being ranked 19th in the world for graduate employment.

As part of its €230 million infrastructural development plan, DCU has just completed a teaching equipment renewal programme that has provided a state-of-the-art campus experience for students. The high-end biopharma industry standard instrumentation purchased for the School of Chemical Sciences, ensures that our students will gain hands-on practical experience on cutting-edge instrumentation and software.

This course will introduce interdisciplinary knowledge to bridge the gap between the skills and attributes that existing science graduates possess, and those that are required by industry. The course is designed as a journey that intertwines critical thinking in chemical biology, bio-spectroscopy, bioanalysis and cell culture for biopharmaceutical production with modules guided by industrially pertinent questions. Additionally, this postgraduate diploma will promote individual growth by strengthening interdisciplinary mindsets and enhancing the ability to discover, analyse, examine and summarise.

Career Opportunities

Enhanced employability in the pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and medical device sectors in Ireland, all of whom are major drivers of employment.

These industries now require workers with diverse analytical skills at the chemical and biological interface and hands-on experience across the spectrum of chemical, pharmaceutical, biological and biotechnology disciplines. Graduates will be well positioned to avail of these opportunities.

Timetable Info

This blended learning course will commence in January 2021, specific timetable information will be made available in advance of the commencement date.

Delivery Location

On campus face-to-face requirements will be scheduled on the DCU Glasnevin campus

Delivery Notes

This is a blended learning course

Application Procedures

Applicants must provide the following supporting documentation through the Springboard Application Website: www.springboardcourses.ie

All application should include:
- A scanned copy of transcripts and parchments for any previous relevant educational qualifications. A photocopy of the degree certificate is not sufficient.
- Telephone contact details of referees
- Personal Statement detailing your prior knowledge, if any, as well as any industrial experience you may have. (300 – 500 words)
- A current telephone contact number and full current address details
- Evidence of eligibility for funding and proof that you meet the Springboard HCI Pillar 1 eligibility criteria
- Copy of IELTS/TOEFL certificate for non-native English speakers
- Evidence of Stamp 4 visa OR Irish passport

Applications will NOT be assessed until all supporting documentation has been received. Documents must be combined into one zip file and uploaded. Uploading of multiple documents is currently not facilitated.