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Forensic & Pharmaceutical Science – BSc

  • CAO Points: 340

  • Campus: Moylish, Limerick City

  • years: 3

Course Overview

This unique interdisciplinary programme provides students with detailed knowledge and understanding of forensic, analytical, and pharmaceutical science. Students gain knowledge and critical skills in areas of crime scene investigation, forensic evidence examination, instrumental techniques, pharmaceutical technology, drug analysis, statistical analysis, quality assurance, molecular and immunobiology. Great emphasis is placed on the acquisition of hands-on analytical skills in these areas resulting in graduates that are highly sought after by employers.

The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences

This programme is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Science.

Contact Details

Dr. Liz Moore


What are the entry requirements?

Leaving Certificate

A minimum of 5 O6/H7 grades in Leaving Certificate subjects, including Mathematics and English/Irish.

Mature Applicants

Candidates applying as mature applicants may be required to attend an interview and may be requested to take an aptitude test to prove their suitability for a place on this programme.

International Applicants

International applicants should apply directly to the International Office at TUS, allowing plenty of time for completing the visa process. Applications for September start should be made by 1st June at the latest to ensure visas are processed in time. You should familiarise yourself with visa processing times for your country of origin to ensure you make a timely application. Find out more here.

Course Modules

  • Biology

    Credits: 15

    This module is an introduction to the fundamental principles and concepts underlying how biological systems function. It is intended to introduce students to key concepts in biochemistry, cellular reproduction, genetics, cellular metabolism, photosynthesis, and human physiology. A core element of this module is practical laboratory experience where students will learn scientific techniques relevant to biochemical analyses.

  • Chemistry

    Credits: 15

    This module is an introduction to the fundamentals of modern chemistry. It is divided into Physical, Inorganic and Organic Chemistry. The module includes lectures, tutorials and important laboratory techniques and practices, the latter making up a large portion of the module.

  • Crime Scene Investigation & Scientific Practice

    Credits: 10

    This module introduces students to the principles of forensic and laboratory science. The module aims to lay the foundations in crime scene investigation exploring the principles, methods and procedures involved in processing varied scenes of crime.

  • Introductory Physics Concepts

    Credits: 10

    This algebra-based physics module is designed to introduce students to the concepts in fundamental physics that are necessary to support other core modules and to provide a comprehensive grounding in physics that is relevant to forensic science, chemical and biochemical analysis. Lectures, practicals, and tutorials are relevant, interactive and student-focused to ensure deep learning.

  • Science Mathematics

    Credits: 10

    This mathematics module will provide students with the necessary mathematical skills, problem solving skills and computer application proficiency required by the analytical scientist. Lectures, computer practicals, and tutorials are applied, interactive and student-focused to ensure students can transfer their mathematical knowledge across other modules.

  • Pharmaceutical Microbiology

    Credits: 5

    This module will provide an understanding of the fundamental knowledge and skills of microbiology pertaining to classification, culture and control of microorganisms in the pharmaceutical environment and products of pharmaceutical industries.

  • Forensics: Analytical Techniques

    Credits: 5

    This module introduces students to the different analytical techniques used in forensic investigations. The module will cover the collection, preservation, laboratory analysis and interpretation of evidence including chemical, contact and trace evidence.

  • Inorganic & Physical Chemistry I

    Credits: 5

    This module builds upon learnings from Chemistry in Year 1 with a closer look at Inorganic chemistry and physical chemistry specifically. Inorganic chemistry covers the properties of some of the more common chemicals a scientist is likely to come across in their day to day lives as well as in the laboratory. Physical chemistry covers topics such as electrochemistry, thermodynamics, and kinetics.

  • Instrumental Analysis I

    Credits: 5

    Learners are given a grounding in spectroscopic and chromatographic methods and are introduced to instruments, e.g. Molecular UV-Visible spectrophotometers, in lectures. They are then given hands-on experience of using these instruments in laboratory practicals which they report on.

  • Introduction to Pharmaceutical Science I

    Credits: 5

    This module covers aspects of organic chemistry theory such as alkanes, stereochemistry and reactivity.  The emphasis is on good understanding and problem solving. It also introduces students to concepts in Drug Discovery and Development. In addition, students get plenty hands-on experience doing lab practicals and learning to use lab instruments.

  • Introduction to Statistics

    Credits: 5

    This module introduces basic statistical concepts. It examines the practice of collection, analysis, interpretation and presentation of data. Students will develop the necessary skills to undertake preliminary statistical analysis.  This module will also enhance students’ proficiency in Microsoft Office packages.

  • Instrumental Analysis II

    Credits: 5

    This module builds on the theory and skills developed in the Instrumental Analysis I module. Learners get exposed to more chromatographic, and spectrophotometric instruments, e.g. GC, FAAS & IR.

  • Biochemistry

    Credits: 5

    This module provides the learner with the basic concepts and theories of biochemistry and relevance to pharmaceutical, industrial and biotechnological associated sciences.

  • Forensics: Biological & Physical Evidence

    Credits: 5

    This module introduces students to the different types of evidence that may be encountered in forensic investigations. The module will cover the collection, preservation, laboratory analysis and interpretation of biological and physical evidence.

  • Inorganic & Physical Chemistry II

    Credits: 5

    Building upon the Semester 1 module, this module will examine the groups of the periodic table in greater detail including group trends and usage of compounds. It will also cover thermochemical and electrochemical analysis and applications.

  • Introduction to Pharmaceutical Science II

    Credits: 5

    This module develops further on aspects of organic chemistry theory such as functional group chemistry (alkenes, alkynes, alcohols, ethers amines etc) and aims to develop good   understanding and problem-solving skills. Topics related to industrial production of pharmaceuticals are covered, including formulation, packaging and labelling, Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and regulatory issues. In addition, students get plenty of hands-on experience doing further lab practicals and learning to use lab instruments.

  • Statistical Process Control

    Credits: 5

    This module introduces students to important quality control concepts. It will provide students with the necessary skills required to create and analyse statistical process control charts.  In this way, students will learn to apply statistical methods for quality control & improvement.

  • Forensic Toxicology & Drug Analysis

    Credits: 10

    This course provides an insight into the overlapping sciences of forensic and biochemical toxicology combined with drug analysis.

  • Instrumental Analysis

    Credits: 5

    This module builds on the chromatographic, spectrophotometric and electrochemical instruments and techniques developed in second year. It deepens and broadens that knowledge and set of skills.

  • Molecular & Immunobiology

    Credits: 5

    This module will provide students with the theoretical knowledge in molecular biology and the practical skills in molecular techniques used in areas of diagnostics and biopharmaceuticals. It also gives students an overview of the production and applications of antibodies and their role in the Biopharmaceutical industry.

  • Pharmaceutical Technology

    Credits: 5

    This module follows on from Introduction to Pharmaceutical Science I and II (year 2) with a further exploration of function group chemistry and application of theory in lab practicals. Basic pharmacology and drug classifications are considered, with case studies on selected pharmaceuticals. Students also consider concepts in Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) in preparation for potential work placements. The emphasis is on good understanding and problem solving.

  • Quality Assurance

    Credits: 5

    This module seeks to enhance the learners knowledge of working within regulated scientific environments with a focus on fundamental concepts of quality assurance.

  • Work Placement

    Credits: 30

    This module is an exciting opportunity for students to get paid placement (up to 9 months) with science companies in Ireland or internationally.  TUS staff support and work with students preparing professional CV’s and obtaining valuable interview experience. Students gain placement typically in the pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and medical device sector. They put into practice the skillsets developed in college and find out about the exceptional career opportunities in these thriving sectors.

What can you do after this programme?

Graduates of the programme will have a great mix of skills and knowledge needed for today’s employment market and are hugely sought after by employers. Graduates gain employment in a range of sectors including forensic and state laboratories and in pharmaceutical, analytical or biotechnology type industries.

Careers include:

  • Analytical Scientists
  • Forensic Analysts
  • Quality Assurance Specialists
  • Regulatory Affairs Specialists

Successful graduates of this programme may be eligible to progress to 4th year of the Level 8 honours degree in Forensic and Pharmaceutical Science at TUS.