WIT Department of Science Undergraduate programmes

Pg6S1LogoThe Department of Science at WIT has 15 undergraduate programmes spanning the laboratory and land Science areas.
The BSc in Pharmaceutical Science is a very popular programme as there is great employment opportunities within the South East region and wider afield. It contains a work placement element which is very beneficial to students in that they can work in industry in the third year of their programme and gain insight into working in the pharmaceutical Industry. The student placement is across 17 companies in the south east region including TEVA, MSD, Sanofyi Genzyme; Waters, EirGen Pharma – an OPKO Company, Eurofins and Bausch & Lomb.
Good Manufacturing Practice and Technology: Higher Certificate and BSc degree
This is a niche Science programme comprising all of the principles of Good Manufacturing Practice, the content is relevant to all aspects of pharmaceutical manufacturing and compliance. The participants taking this programme are full-time employees in local pharmaceutical/medical device companies, who are working in a regulated environment and wish to upskill to improve their career opportunities. It is a relevant programme, recognised by the pharma/healthcare sector as a potential programme in their Learning and Development strategies. The cluster of pharma organisations in the region makes the sector an attractive employer and all graduates continue to work in the sector, by promotion, re-deployment within or outside of their own organisation or equivalent employer.
Many of the pharmaceutical industries in the South East region and Nationally are moving into the Biopharmaceutical Science area and in response to this WIT has collaborated with the relevant industries to develop the new BSc in Molecular Biology with Biopharmaceutical Science will be listed in the CAO handbook for 2018 entry. This programme will also have the valuable work placement element. The programme will provide graduates with the relevant expertise in biological and analytical sciences in preparation for careers in biopharmaceutical, biomedical and/or food related industries.
WITs involvement with the regional and national pharma/biopharma industries ensures that the graduates from the lab science programmes are industry ready and relevant. This is evident across many of the companies. One example is EirGen Pharma – an OPKO Company where 52% of their employees were trained in WIT and presently 17% of their staff are undertaking Continued Professional Development (CPD) at WIT. Senior staff from this company are on the PMBRC, WIT steering Committee and 12 Research and Development projects have been delivered collaboratively between the company and WIT to date.
All the level 8 programmes also aims to qualify students for progression to further study such as the Professional Master in Education (PME) for secondary teaching and postgraduate research.

Postgraduate programmes/Research

• The MSc in Analytical Science is a part-time programme where industry employees undertake either individual modules for upskilling or the suite of modules leading to the Masters degree. These modules have been developed with industry to ensure they are relevant to their employees and provide advanced upskilling opportunities.
• Many industries are now developing ‘graduate programmes’ and some of the WIT modules have been included in graduate programmes such as the EirGen Pharma (an OPKO Company) graduate programme.

The Department of Science in WIT has a very active research profile and one centre developed in the pharma area is the Pharmaceutical and Molecular Biotechnology Research Centre (PMBRC). The PMBRC have worked with over 60 companies in the last 5 years, completing projects to the value of €2.8 million. These companies have primarily been in the pharma and medical device sectors, but also include veterinary, food, and industrial technology companies. The PMBRC is funded by the Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway programme. These technology gateways are funded to deliver technology solutions for Irish industry close to their market needs, making the PMBRC the go-to Centre in terms of troubleshooting and product development

• There are 12 full time research staff within the department and 40 postgraduate researchers (MSc and PhD) and the average annual income of €1.3 million is achieved through the dedication of the research active academic staff who perform very well in competitive national and international research grants.
• In supporting research WIT funds two PhD scholarship programmes – the President’s PhD Scholarship Programme and the WIT/Industry Co-Fund PhD Scholarship Programme. Last year, 16 scholarships were awarded and each successful PhD scholarship recipient receives a grant of €66,000 over the four-year period of their PhD studies at the Institute.
• The WIT/Industry Co-Fund Scholarship Programme provides an opportunity for collaboration and mobility between industry and academia. It recognises the importance of industry connectivity and that graduate research students are key contributors to enhancing Ireland’s innovative capacity. The two co-funded projects awarded last year in the area of pharma science were in collaboration with Sanofi Genzyme and Oriflame.

President of WIT, Professor Willie Donnelly stated the continued importance of research within the region.
“Over the last 10 years, the Institute has received in excess of €150m in external research funding. We have created a dynamic research and innovation ecosystem underpinned by our networks with some of the world’s leading research organisations. Our scholarship programmes provide an opportunity for graduates to join a vibrant, multicultural community of researchers and students from around the world. We very much value our connectivity to industry in Ireland and abroad which significantly enriches our students’ learning experience. Students funded under the Co-Fund Scholarship Programme will greatly benefit from access to the knowledge, facilities and networks of such research partners”.

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