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What is the Course about?

The Higher Certificate in Science provides students with a grounding in scientific knowledge and skills. There is an emphasis on practical skills and with more than 50% of the course dedicated to practical classes, students gain essential laboratory and analytical skills.

The course is designed to provide graduates with theoretical knowledge and understanding, and the practical skills necessary to pursue technical careers in a modern scientific environment in the areas of industrial chemistry, pharmaceutical manufacture, scientific instrumentation, quality control, food science and technology.

Course Structure

This course has a shared first year and in Year 2, students can choose to specialise in either Applied Biology or Applied Chemistry.

Course options

Applied Biology

The course features specialist biology modules including: Biochemistry, Microbiology, Molecular Biology as well as Quantitative Methods and Quality Control, Instrumentation and Computing, and Analytical Techniques/Pharmaceutical Science.

Applied Chemistry

The course features specialist chemistry modules including: Organic, Physical and Analytical Chemistry as well as Quantitative Methods and Quality Control, Instrumentation and Computing, Pharmaceutical Science and Biomolecules.

Is this course for you?

If you have an interest in science, but you are unsure of what area you want to study, then this course will help you decide. Students study a wide range of science subjects and have the option of continuing their study on any of our Level 7 and Level 8 courses

Special Features:

  • More than 50% of the course is dedicated to practical classes, enabling students to gain essential laboratory skills.
  • A common first year with the option to specialise in Year 2 in either Biology or Chemistry.
  • Graduates are eligible to progress to Year 3 of the Bachelor of Science in Analytical Science in the case of the Chemistry stream and Year 3 of the Bachelor of Science in Biosciences in the case of the Biology Stream

Year 1

Module Name Semester
Current Concepts in Science. (M) Semester1
Fundamental Biology (M) Semester1
Laboratory Science (M) Semester1
Microbiology (E) Semester2
Analytical/Inorganic Chemistry (E) Semester2
Organic and Physical Chemistry (E) Semester2

M is a mandatory subject - E is an elective subject

What are the minimum entry requirements?

  • 5O6/H7
  • English or Irish O6/H7
  • Mathematics O6/H7

What follow-on study opportunities are available?

Many students choose to continue their studies at SETU Carlow to degree level, studying Biosciences, Analytical Science, Pharmaceutics and Drug Formulation.

What exemptions will I receive?




What will I be able to do when I finish the course?

Students who complete the Higher Certificate in either Applied Biology or Applied Chemistry may gain employment as laboratory technicians in the food, chemical, biotechnological, pharmaceutical, healthcare and environmental industries.


Course Leaders

Ms Aine O'Neill

Lecturer -

Call: +353599175543

Email: [email protected]


Gary Cahill

Lecturer -

Call: +353599175593

Email: [email protected]