Career Prospects

The bio/pharmaceutical industry sector in Ireland involves over 120 companies including 16 of the world’s top 20 companies and is the second most important sector in the Irish economy.

It includes biotechnology, pharmaceutical, chemical and healthcare industries. The sector continues to require employees with specialist technical training and skills at all levels. One of the main reasons that these companies choose to locate here is our very high educational standards which provides a ready pool of highly educated workers. Between 60% and 70% of all those working in the sector are science graduates.

The Irish Bio & Pharmaceutical industry is set to grow steadily in the next decade providing excellent opportunities for science graduates of all disciplines. As a prime example, Wyeth Medica has built the largest integrated biopharmaceutical production facility in the world at Grange Castle in Clondalkin. It employs over 1,300 people, 60% of who will be science graduates. This is just one of several success stories.

TU Dublin - Tallaght Campus recognises the importance of this sector and the potential skill shortages developing in the industry. In response, we have developed a range of highly relevant courses aimed at meeting those needs but still allowing graduates the flexibility to diversify into other areas like science teaching, forensic analysis, environmental analysis, microbiology, genetics, biotechnology, chemical sciences, and research and development.

The Department of Science also has an active research and development profile. Areas of research include searching for new medicines, developing new methods for detection of drugs and other chemicals, figuring out how bacteria cause disease and how to stop them, and helping industry with product development.

Some Key Areas of Science Covered

  • Analysis in the Laboratory
  • Analysis is a key activity in every laboratory.

It can be simple stuff, analysing liquids or solids and identifying the component elements. It is the first step on the ladder to quite complex analyses associated with pharmaceutical and health-care products, industrial production, environmental monitoring, the food industry, with farming, with forensic evidence.

In the science labs at TU Dublin - Tallaght Campus students are prepared for a future role as laboratory Bioanalysts. They learn to detect and quantify all sorts of biological molecules from sugars and proteins, to DNA. They learn and practice the skills of genetic engineering and DNA fingerprinting and come to understand how these can be used in all manner of investigations.

Chemical Analysts
Some students will qualify as chemical analysts whose job it will be to identify the chemical elements in samples. They gain experience with a variety of techniques like bombarding the samples with light or filtering them through chemical solutions.

Molecular Biology
DNA is the substance of life. Molecular biology involves the study of DNA and understanding how information is encoded in it. Manipulating DNA can bring enormous benefits in areas like vaccine production, design of new therapies for human disease. Perhaps the best known applications are in DNA fingerprinting. It is an important branch of biological science and is on the agenda of the Science programme at TU Dublin - Tallaght Campus.

This is the study of how the body’s immune system works to protect us from infection and disease. Many of the new drugs now being developed and produced in Ireland for the treatment diseases like arthritis, psoriasis and eczema are derived from our understanding of immunology.

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