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What is this Programme about?

This programme is designed specifically to address a growing need in the biopharmaceutical industry, this Certificate in Biopharmaceutical Operations aims to provide a scientific understanding to operatives currently working in the biopharmaceutical industry. The certificate has been developed with MSD Carlow but can also be offered to other biopharmaceutical companies.

Programme details

The principle aim of the proposed programme is to enable the personal and professional development, through higher education, of those learners who have not previously had the opportunity to undertake such a programme of study or who wish to make a change of direction.

It will provide a minimum competency course for biopharmaceutical operatives.

This standard will be seen as the minimum industry standard. It will expand the knowledge of learners in order to equip them with the requisite knowledge and competencies to effectively operate within a biopharmaceutical plant.

The following are the primary learning outcomes from the programme and on successful completion the learner should be able to:

  • Define Microbiology and provide examples of microbes.
  • Explain the foundation of asepsis and identify the main sources of contamination
  • Describe the main differences between eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells and the difference between biologics and chemically synthesised drug products.
  • Explain the basic scientific fundamentals of a sterilization oven, autoclave, washers, filling media process and clean rooms.
  • Complete a learning portfolio detailing the rationale and impact of both the industry and academic training received in their role as a biopharmaceutical operator.

Who is this programme for?

This programme is aimed at Operatives employed by any Biopharmaceutical Industry.

What modules will I study?

The work-based learning is an essential component of the programme and must be completed by all learners prior to commencement of the academic based programme of work.

Online Support

Students will have full access to a range of supports available online and through Blackboard, our virtual learning environment. These include our new online programme, PACE, which is designed to support students to access and effectively use library resources in order to complete assignments. Additional supports include an Academic Writing Centre and Maths Support Centre, freely available to all students.

Entry Requirements

This is an employee based programme with a work based learning component that must be completed. Applicants must be employed in the Pharmaceutical (or equivalent/similar) industry to be able to complete the work based component of the module.

Alternatively, applicants that have been previously employed by a Pharmaceutical (or equivalent/similar) industry can apply for entry to the programme and have their working experience recognised via the process of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

Along with the above requirement, for applicants under the age of 23:

  • A pass in the Leaving Certificate; 5 grades at O6/H7 including English or Irish and Mathematics or international equivalent
  • Mature students (over 23 years of age) that meet the above requirement can apply via direct access.
RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning)

All programmes are mapped to the SETU Carlow Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy and applicants who wish to apply using this route can request the specific RPL for this programme.

SETU Carlows RPL Policy offers clear pathways to the learner for recognition of previous learning undertaken and offer every credit to the learner in completing such learning.

The Programme Board will be responsible for the assessment of entry standards and applications as part of any RPL Process.