MSc (Toxicology)

College of Science

Course overview

Toxicology is the study of poisons, drawing heavily on life and physical sciences, as well as being an applied practically-based subject. It is designed to acquaint students with the breadth of Toxicology, with a considerable emphasis on its practical application. The first semester consists of a foundation in Pharmacology and Toxicology and their applications. Workshops provide students with a theoretical basis in data handling and interpretation.


The second semester consists of lectures in advanced topics such as Risk Assessment, Target Organ Toxicity, Reproductive and Regulatory Toxicology. In addition there is more emphasis on laboratory mini-projects (in vivo, in vitro & molecular projects) that introduce students to the practical elements of toxicity testing and data interpretation. There are also a number of written projects on toxicity testing used in the drug industry as well as recent advances in toxicity assays which involve self-directed learning.


In the third semester, there is a 3-month research project to investigate an aspect of toxicology and deliver a seminar on this area. This involves the student preparing a research proposal, carrying out the lab-based project and preparing a thesis on the findings.

The objectives of the programme are to:

  • Gain a sound theoretical knowledge of toxicology.
  • Develop a variety of analytical and writing and presentation skills.
  • Become familiar with the importance of experimental design and statistical analysis.
  • Conduct a research project which allows these skills to be further developed.

Key facts

Entry requirements

Successful students will normally hold at least a Second Class Honours Level 8 degree, or equivalent international qualification, from a diversity of undergraduate disciplines. Students are also considered who have a Level 7 degree, or equivalent international qualification, and three years relevant work experience. IELTS score of 6.0+ (with not less than 5.5 in any one component).

Duration: 1 year, full-time

Next start date: September 2014

ECTS weighting: 90

Average intake: 10

Closing date:  Please refer to review/closing dates website.

Mode of study: Taught

Course outline

Programme content (subject to change)

The programme is divided into three trimesters (each of 30 ECTS) in the following manner:

Trimester One
Principles of Toxicology: 10 ECTS
Principles of Pharmacology: 10 ECTS
Applied Issues in Pharmacology and Toxicology: 10 ECTS

Trimester Two
Applied Issues in Pharmacology and Toxicology II: 20 ECTS
Experimental Toxicology: 5 ECTS
Advances in Toxicology: 5 ECTS

Trimester Three
Research Project (PM): 30 ECTS

Applications and selections

Applications are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Relevant PAC application code(s) above.

Selection is based on the candidate's undergraduate marks, as well as their aptitude for the programme following interview.

Find out more

Dr Declan McKernan
T: + 353 91 493 826

PAC code


Fees for this course

EU (Total): €6,815
 - Student levy: €224
Non-EU (Total): €13,750

Fees for courses

Current students

Toxicology student
Laura Quinn

"I chose the MSc in Toxicology programme because I had studied some Toxicology modules on my undergraduate Forensic Science degree and found it really interesting. I realised that this was where I wanted to specialise and chose the programme at NUI Galway because it offered everything I was looking for. I am really enjoying the course, it’s fascinating to learn about the different toxins and their affect on the body. The amount of toxins in the environment that we are all exposed to on a daily basis is really surprising—even some diet fizzy drinks have toxins that can be harmful! I would definitely recommend this course to others because the wide range of topics covered gives you a broader spectrum of understanding of the whole subject area. I feel that having the Masters in Toxicology will leave me in a much stronger position as I enter the job market.”

Graduate profile

Michael Mungoma
Michael Mungoma
Masters, Toxicology

"I made the decision to study at postgraduate level, because I wanted to improve my career prospects and explore new areas. I read up on this course and found that it had many quality lecturers with high-standard academic qualifications. This Masters programme is unique to the area I wish to pursue, which is consumer protection. NUI Galway has a vibrant postgraduate community and social networks. Resources are excellent including the library and sports gym."

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