Specialist Diploma in Medical Device Science (MDS2021)

National University of Ireland, Galway (MDS2021)
Key Programme Details

Specialist Diploma

NFQ Level

Level 8 About NFQ

Delivery Method

Online, Blended


Part Time

ECTS Credits



School of Science & Engineering

General Information

Science & Technology Programme Team




Please email sciencetech@nuigalway.ie


Centre for Adult Learning & Professional Development
NUI Galway


Programme Team

Important Dates
Application Deadline


Start Date


End Date


About this Course

This one-year, part-time course aims to develop specialist knowledge of the thriving medical devices sector and to develop relevant technical and soft skills. This course is of particular benefit to people who require medium-term up-skilling for career advancement within the medical devices sector, or for those looking for focused re-skilling with a view to a career change.

On completion of this course participants should have:
- An holistic understanding of the science and engineering behind various medical devices
- Specialised knowledge of human anatomy, physiology and biochemistry and disease states which can be monitored or improved by the use of medical devices
- Good knowledge of the chemistry and physics of materials and an appreciation of which materials can be used to best effect in medical devices
- Technical knowledge and skills in the design, development and manufacture of medical devices
- An appreciation of best practice, industry standards, policies and regulations within the medical devices sector
- A range of technical and transferable skills which will be beneficial at both the personal and enterprise levels

The qualification is a minor award at Degree level 8. Graduates may progress to the B.Sc. in Science & Technology Studies (NFQ level 8 major award) with credit for their studies. They will be exempt from one elective stream in the Degree cycle.

Entry Requirements

This course is primarily intended for participants who have a technical background and a Science or Engineering diploma or degree, who wish to up-skill in the medical devices sector. It will be of benefit to those with a biology background to gain an appreciation of the technology and engineering aspects of medical devices, and equally engineers will benefit from exposure to the science behind the development and use of the devices.

• Applicants should have reached the age of 21 years on the 1st of January of the calendar year of entry.
• Applicants should hold the Diploma in Science & Technology Studies or an equivalent NFQ Level 7 award, of minimum 90 ECTS credits.
• Recognition of Prior Learning may be considered for entry purposes.

• Please see Springboard FAQs for information on candidate eligibility requirements e.g. Residency requirements, English language requirements.

Due to the limited number of funded places, applications will be assessed on a competitive basis. In line with Springboard guidelines, unwaged applicants are given first preference for funded places on the course.
The course is free to those who fall into the Springboard category of unwaged (unemployed, formerly self-employed or returner.)
Waged individuals pay 10% of the course fee, i.e. €250.

Long Description

The Specialist Diploma in Medical Device Science consists of 6 inter-related taught modules giving a total of 30 ECTS, to allow individuals to up-skill in a highly focused area of interest. Modules are listed below:

Human Anatomy & Physiology
This module introduces the student to the structure of a body system and then discusses its function or operation. This module will give the student an understanding of the human body, focusing in particular on its form (Anatomy) and function (Physiology). Anatomy is the science of body structures and their relationship to each other. Physiology is the study of the function of each of these anatomical structures, in essence how each body part works. This module integrates the anatomy and physiology of cells, tissues, organs, the systems of the human body and the mechanisms of homeostasis. The human body is examined on many levels (molecular, cellular, tissue, organ, system and organism).

Mechanics of Solids
This module in Mechanics of Solids gives the students the opportunity to learn a basic engineering subject and, at the same time, develop their analytical and problem-solving abilities. Considerable emphasis is placed on how to analyse the behaviour of mechanical and structural systems under external loading. Most of the examples and problems require the students to do some original, critical thinking.

Medical Device Science
In this module learners will evaluate the practical application of materials, mechanics and stress analysis theory in the design of medical devices. The module addresses the clinical need, function and design requirements of the most widely used orthopaedic and vascular medical devices. Learners examine the effects of mechanical loading (static, fatigue, wear) and environment on medical devices.

Biocompatibility & Device Design
This module offers a comprehensive review of all the major biomaterials. It provides a general introduction to the different classes of materials that are used in biomedical applications. It identifies ideal biomaterials for different applications, and characterises biomaterials in terms of their structural, physical and biological attributes.

Regulatory Compliance
This module presents an overview of the regulations governing the development, manufacture and marketing of drugs and medical devices, inclusive of in vitro diagnostic devices. It provides an overview appreciation of the regulatory framework pertaining to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. The module will equip participants with the concepts necessary to enable them work effectively with regulatory affairs personnel, and will act as a reference guide to help participants identify and source specific regulations.

Product & Process Development
The aim of this module is to give students a broad overview of some of the methods and techniques that are used to develop new products. In addition, it will assist in developing a number of Professional Transferable Skills (PTS), such as critical thinking, problem solving, and written communication.

An optional module on Professional & Digital Skills (10 credits) will also be offered to Springboard participants towards the end of the course.

Delivery Notes

The course is part-time and is delivered via blended learning (distance & online, and classes/labs which require attendance on NUI Galway university on-campus). The tutorials are normally held on Saturdays.*

* Notice: due to COVID-19 restrictions Semester 1 teaching (September- December 2021) will take place in a fully online mode through our online learning system Blackboard. Depending on the prevailing situation the delivery model may return to blended learning in semester 2. This normally includes on-campus tutorials and practical lab sessions one Saturday per month.

Admissions Contact Details
Contact Person

Science Tech Team


Please email sciencetech@nuigalway.ie



Application Procedures

To apply:
1. Complete the online Springboard application form
2. Upload supporting documentation as listed below. Applications that are missing any required documentation cannot be considered.

• Identification Passport/Drivers License/Birth Cert
• Evidence you satisfy residency requirements https://springboardcourses.ie/eligibility
• Proof of Qualifications- Applicant must provide official Transcripts of Qualifications. Eligibility requirements are an NFQ Level 7 or higher qualification of at least 90 ECTS in a related discipline
• Proof of Unemployment/Payment from DEASP (IF APPLICABLE)- please see Springboard FAQs for the most up-to-date details on this
• Proof of Returner Status (IF APPLICABLE)- please see Springboard FAQs for the most up-to-date details on this
• Proof of Employment (IF APPLICABLE)- P60 Form
• Short one-page CV detailing professional experience
• Short personal statement
• English language requirements. An International English Language Testing System(IELTS)/TOEFL certificate is required if English is not your first language to indicate your competency in written and spoken English for the course you are interested in taking.