Dun Laoghaire Further Education InstituteLaboratory Techniques: Pre-University Science

Laboratory Techniques: Pre-University Science

South Dublin County
1 year
Further Education and PLC, Level 5 QQI

Course description

This hands-on laboratory skills course provides an introduction to the world of science and covers a variety of subjects related to laboratory and physical sciences. The purpose of this award is to enable the student to acquire the knowledge, skill and competence to work independently and under supervision in a science laboratory and or to progress to science based programmes at third level. Regular field trips and visits from guest speakers are key features of this course.

Entry Requirements
One of the following:

Leaving Certificate
A QQI Level 4 Award
Mature applicants are welcome

Course Modules

  • Laboratory Skills
  • Microbiology
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Communications
  • Word Processing
  • Work Experience

Level 5 QQI Award Laboratory Techniques (5M3807)

Special Features

  • Work placement
  • Hands-on laboratory experience
  • Small class groups
  • Visits to industry
  • Professional guest lectures
  • CAO advise

This course is supported by FIT, which offers students the opportunity to acquire essential skills to gain employment. Students are given training in job interview techniques and CV preparation.

Work Experience
Students will be required to undertake a period work placement in an organisation connected to their vocational area during the academic year.  Students are required to source their own work placement but will be assisted in this by the work experience teacher.  The work placement is usually for a period of 10 days or a minimum of 60 hours.  Students usually find the work experience element of the course to be invaluable and should bear in mind that a successful work placement can sometimes lead to further opportunities.

Additional Information
Students should use this course as a stepping stone into a recognised degree programme in order to achieve a high level qualification. The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs has identified that scientific related jobs are difficult to fill due to a lack of suitable graduates. Nine out of the top ten global Biopharma-Pharmachem companies are located in Ireland (for example Pfizer and Merck, Amgen). These companies operate research, manufacturing and service activities in Ireland and the sector is expected to grow. There is an acute need for technicians, senior process scientists and engineers.

Twenty of the top thirty medical global device companies (Abbot, Boston Scientific and Medtronic) are also located in Ireland. They operate large production facilities, which are expected to grow. The sector is strong on exports and Ireland has an international reputation for delivering products and services in the following growth areas: agri-food, medical devices, chemical engineering, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Scientific vacancies exist in three scientific sectors (1) manufacturing (mostly pharmaceutical), (2) professional scientific and technical activiites and (3) human health activities.

Assessment techniques will be used to assess the knowledge and skills that students will have achieved on successful completion of modules:

  • Student Record
  • Collection of Work
  • Assignments
  • Examination (Written)
  • Project
  • Skills Demonstration

Progression Opportunities
Graduates are eligible to apply through the CAO and/or the Higher Education Links Scheme to a range of higher certificate and degree programmes, at Universities, Institutes of Technology and Technological Universities. There are progression options in a wide range of areas including general science, biotechnology, forensic science, pharmaceutical science, sports science, food science and many other related areas.

Students may also progress onto a number of apprenticeships for example Laboratory Technician that are now available in Ireland.

Progression Examples
University College Dublin

  • Bachelor of Science
  • BSc in Agricultural Science
  • BSc in Food Science
  • BA Arts
  • BA Humanities

National University of Ireland Maynooth

  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology
  • Bachelor of Science in Biological and Medical Science

Trinity College Dublin

  • BSc in Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • BSc in Chemical Sciences
  • BSc in Physical Sciences

TU Dublin – City Campus (formerly DIT)

  • BSc in Forensic and Environmental Chemistry
  • BSc in Pharmaceutical Healthcare
  • BSc in Food Science and Management

Dublin City University

  • BSc in Sport Science and Health

Career Paths
This course prepares students for careers typically found in the following sectors: chemical industry, biopharma-pharachem, cosmetic science, food and beverages, physical and mathematical sciences, medical devices, education and research, environmental science, human biology and health, science journalism. Students may seek employment in many other types of companies such as business, requiring an aptitude for science.

One Year

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