I’m inspired by how science fought Covid-19. Can you recommend a college course?

There are a range of excellent programmes in areas from biology to biotechnology

I’m finalising my CAO course choices and would love to go into the scientific/medical research area. I’m inspired by how work in this area helped protect so many of us from Covid-19. However, I’m confused by the volume of courses. Are there any Dublin-based options that would fit my interest profile?

There are a range of excellent programmes in DCU, Trinity and UCD that cater to your interests. There is also a new programme in RCSI starting this September, which could be just what you are looking for.

DCU’s genetics and cell biology (DC168 ) incorporates the theoretical and practical aspects of molecular and cellular biology, providing you with the knowledge and expertise you will need for careers in industry and research. You will also gain a full appreciation of how the improved knowledge of genetics and cell biology affects society.

DCU’s biotechnology (DC181) involves studying the components of living cells. This knowledge is already leading to the creation and manufacture of products that help in the diagnosis and treatment of disease, eg the production of antibiotics, insulin and other genetically engineered medicines, such as safer recombinant vaccines.

At Trinity human health and disease (TR056) is for those interested in human biology and who want to gain an in-depth, scientific understanding of the structure and function of the human body in health; the signs and symptoms of disease; the molecular basis of disease and cutting-edge therapeutics in treating disease. Note the special entry requirements: H4 biology plus H4 in one of physics, chemistry, or physics/chemistry.

You will learn how scientifically driven investigations can advance our knowledge of disease prevention, detection and treatment

Trinity’s biological and biomedical sciences (TR060) is all about unravelling the mysteries of life; it helps us to meet the challenge of illnesses such as dementia and cancer, defend against new viruses and drug-resistant bacteria, and to protect ecosystems from climate change and other threats.

Note the special entry requirements: H4 in two of physics, chemistry, biology, physics/chemistry, mathematics, geology, geography, applied mathematics, agricultural science or computer science.

UCD’s biomedical, health and life sciences (DN440) will appeal to those with a keen interest in science and in how research and technology can impact on human health. You will learn how scientifically driven investigations can advance our knowledge of disease prevention, detection and treatment. The programme will immerse you in modern medical and biological sciences and focus on the application of scientific developments.

Also, the RCSI’s new course on advanced therapeutic technologies (RC006) is an option for students interested in pursuing a career in pharmaceutical or related industries.

The programme covers biological sciences, chemistry , drug delivery as well as future-focused areas such as computational biology, genetics and genomics, data analytics, regulatory science and connected health.

Interestingly, there are also modules like project management, enterprise and innovation, as well as leadership and management, with a view to enhancing students’ workplace readiness. A H4 in higher level maths is required.