Course Overview

The Structured MSc by Research (AgriBiosciences) program associated with the Plant & AgriBiosciences Research Centre (PABC) at NUI Galway will provide relevant, hands-on training to graduates who wish to specialise in agri- and agrifood related research and innovation. The purpose of the programme is to provide these graduates with a broad inter-disciplinary understanding of the agricultural and agri-food sector from which key research skills and practical experiences tailored to each student will be built. 

Integral to this 1 year structured MSc programme is a seven-month research internship placement in Teagasc, in NUI Galway, or in a cutting edge agri-business. The program endeavours to lever paid internships for each student.

The placements offer students the opportunity to develop the necessary skills to work within a research and innovation setting aligned to their interests and expertise, to develop a research project of relevance to the host entity, and to draft an associated MSc (AgriBiosciences) thesis, whilst simultaneously positioning the student for excellent employment opportunities in industry and research. 

The taught component of the MscAgriBiosciences consists of 20 ECTS of core cutting-edge modules relating to the agriculture and agrifood sector which have been developed by the multi-disciplinary experts in the PABC and its associated partners (e.g., Teagasc). In addition, the student can take an additional 10ECTS of optional Graduate studies modules according to their interests. 

The MSc (AgriBiosciences) is structured in a manner that can allow for those already employed in companies in the agri or agri-food sector to engage in the MSc program, while conducting their MSc(AgriBiosciences) research and innovation project in their company. 

Integral to the Level 9 MSc (AgriBiosciences) is development of the student’s ability to work professionally within a research and innovation setting by performing a research project based in one of the research groups or partner organisations in the PABC.               

Specific aims of the MSc (AgriBiosciences) programme are:

  • To provide Level 8 students from different backgrounds with a broad and in-depth understanding of agribiosciences innovation relevant to agrifood systems and challenges.                      
  • To provide multi-disciplinary knowledge in classical and state-of-the-art research technologies and techniques applied in the agri-biosciences areas.
  • To provide multi-disciplinary training in research skills at basic and advanced levels by introducing students to a research environment. 
  • To foster technical competencies and critical thinking abilities, and the ability to work towards research outputs. 
  • To prepare graduates for more effective implementation of subsequent PhD research programmes leading to completion times less than four years. 
  • To equip students for entry into the workplace, especially in the growing agribiosciences and agrifood sectors in Ireland and internationally. 

This is a modular course with a blend of 30 ECTS taught elements that provides a broad foundation of advanced knowledge of AgriBiosciences (Semester 1) and a 60 ECTS research project (Semester 2 & 3) to allow sufficient time for students to gain in-depth exposure to research and innovation. 

Taught component (30 ECTS): The four core modules of the MSc (AgriBiosciences) are weighted at 5 ECTS and consist of:

 (1) Understanding Ireland’s Agriculture & AgriFood Sector 

 (2) AgriFood Sustainability & Agri-Resilience Challenges 

 (3) Understanding AgriBusiness & AgriFood Market Trends 

 (4) AgriFood Career, Communication & Impact Pathway Skills 

The MSc (AgriBiosciences) course material is delivered using a blended learning format (combination of face-to-face/traditional-format lectures, tutorials, self-directed learning and assignments) that not only delivers the information the students have to master, but also train students in how to perform independent research which can be placed in the broader context agri-and agri-food sector impacts.

Site visits to agri research and innovation enterprises and institutions form an important element of the Msc (AgriBiosciences) training.

Research component (60 ECTS): The research project is tailored to the students educational background and interests, and is performed in one of the research group of the multi-disciplinary PABC or partner institution Teagasc, or a host commercial enterprise. Each MScAgriBiosciences Research Masters thesis is examined by an Internal and External examiner, as per the University Guidelines for Research Degree Programmes. The research project will provide research skills ranging from state-of-the-art technologies through data interpretation to experimental design and data presentation. Opportunities for multi-disciplinary projects with co-supervision, including with industry, are encouraged. 

An assessment of the progress of each student will be performed by the their respective Graduate Research Committee at the end of Semester 2. Progression to Semester 3 will depend upon satisfactory completion of this assessment although students wishing to exit after partial completion of the course (e.g., as a Diploma) will be facilitated to do so.  

Towards the end of Semester 3 (after concluding their research project) the students write their MSc (AgriBiosciences) thesis. In total, across Semesters 2 and 3 students will carry out a full time research project over 2x15 weeks (2x30 ECTS). The thesis will be guided and marked by the research project-leading PI  from NUI Galway and a second PABC staff member. An external examiner from a leading international agribiosciences institution is responsible for examination, oversight and guidance of the MSc (AgriBiosciences), as per the University Guidelines for Research Degree Programmes.

Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications System

Programmes Available

Structured Masters by Research (full-time: 1 year duration; part-time: 2 years duration)
Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications System


Learning Outcomes

Entry Requirements

Important Note: Applicants should follow the procedures described on before beginning their application.

Requirements for entry are:

  • Bachelor of Sciences or equivalent in agri-related sciences, or a BA in Social Sciences with a particular experience in agriculture;
  • Excellent academic background (first class or 2.1 honours degree required);
  • IELTS 6.5 (non-native speakers of English);
  • A cover letter and letters from at least two referees.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Current research projects


Current funded research opportunity

Work Placement

Related Student Organisations

Career Opportunities

Find a Supervisor / PhD Project

If you are still looking for a potential supervisor or PhD project or would like to identify the key research interests of our academic staff and researchers, you can use our online portal to help in that search

Course Outline

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Research Areas

The Plant and Agricultural Biosciences Centre comprises a range of inter-linked and synergistic research themes, where research projects and initiatives are currently underway. Students taking the Structured PhD in Plant & AgriBiosciences will be able to conduct their research with research groups of PABC and collaborating institutions. 

Researcher Profiles

The MSc AgriBiosciences program is taught by research specialists from the Plant & AgriBiosciences Research Centre, Teagasc and affiliated partner organisayions . A full list can be found at:

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€7,215 p.a. 2019/20

Fees: Non EU

€17,750 p.a. 2019/20

Contact Us

Prof. Charles Spillane & Dr. Galina Brychkova
Plant & AgriBiosciences Research Centre (PABC)
Áras de Brún,
National University of Ireland Galway,
University Road, 
Galway H91 REW4,
E: |
T: +353 91 493 655