Laboratory Techniques: Pre-University Science

Level 5 QQI Award.

Duration

This is a Full time one year course, which runs from September to May, 4 days a week.

Overview

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. Students throughout the year on this course, will have the opportunity to meet scientists, researchers, and postgraduate students in a vast array of scientific fields.  This generally takes the format of talks, workshops, and field trips.

Entry Requirements

One of the following:

  • Leaving Certificate (LC Established, LCVP, LCA) or equivalent
  • A Full QQI Level 4 Award (or equivalent)
  • For Mature applicants (aged 21 or over) - appropriate experience will be considered in lieu of formal qualifications. Note: Mature applicants may be entitled to VTOS funding. For details about VTOS, please contact the college.
  • As there is an emphasis on the science subjects, Biology, Chemistry and Physics, a background in science is desirable

Course Modules

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

Module Information

Laboratory Techniques: Pre-University Science

Level 5 QQI Award: Laboratory Techniques 5M3807

Course Content (Module Names and Codes)

 

 

1. Laboratory Skills 5N2751    

This practical module will give the student the knowledge, skill and competence to operate safely under supervision in a laboratory environment. The students will be given the opportunity to develop skills and become proficient in the use of lab equipment. Students will observe, record and interpret data through hands on laboratory work and practice their skills of laboratory report writing which will be the basis of any laboratory based career. Industry field trips and external speakers are a key part of this module.

Assessment: Project (40%), Skills Demonstration (40%), Learner Record (20%).

2. Microbiology 5N0737    

This module will equip the student to undertake various microbiological techniques in the laboratory, examine microbes in the food industry, work safely with microorganisms in a lab environment and create awareness of microbes in the general environment such as air, water etc. Students will develop their academic and vocational language, literacy and numeracy skills related to microbiology. This will prepare students for participation in basic microbiological work practices or to pursue further education at higher levels. Industry field trips and external speakers are a key part of this module.

Assessment: Skills Demonstration (20%), Learner Record (50%), Examination (30%).

3. Chemistry 5N2747    

The aim of this module is to allow the learner to become confident with key chemistry concepts, which can be applied to laboratory procedures, industrial process, and everyday life. Learners will be introduced to various areas of study including, electronic structure, titrations, organic chemistry and laboratory safety. As part of their assessment learners will develop confidence in laboratory skills and experimental work. Industry field trips and external speakers are a key part of this module.

Assessment: Examination (50%), Skills Demonstration (25%), Learner Record (25%).

4. Mathematics 5N1833    

Students will acquire mathematical skills in problem solving and mathematical investigations in the following areas: mathematical modelling, statistics and probability, graphing functions, differential and integral calculus, complex numbers and trigonometry.

Assessment: Assignment (60%), Examination - Theory (40%).

5. Physics 5N1460    

This module will facilitate the student to develop an interest in Physics and create an awareness of the role of the application of the principles of Physics in everyday life and in industrial processes. Mechanics and heat, light, sound and waves and electricity will be explored through experiments and investigations. Students will also study the effects of common physical hazards on the human body, adhere to appropriate safety precautions and current health and safety legislation.

Assessment:  Examination (40%), Skills Demonstration (30%), Learner Record (30%).

6. Biology 5N2746    

This module aims to equip students with theory and biological concepts to carry out various skills and experiments in the field of biology. Learners will study various topics including, cell diversity, genetics, ecology and microbiology and current developments in biological science. Students are facilitated to develop safe laboratory skills, confidence in experimental work and good laboratory practice. Industry field trips and external speakers are a key part of this module.

Assessment: Examination (50%), Skills Demonstration (25%), Learner Record (25%).

7. Word Processing 5N1358    

Students will use word processing application to learn or improve skills while laying out a range of business/college/home documents. It includes: document set up, formatting text, proof reading, mail merge, tables, file management, graphics and presentation skills.

Assessment: Assignment (20%), Examination (80%).

8. Work Experience 5N1356    

Students will prepare for work placement in their relevant vocational area through an evaluation of a personal skills set, the development of an industry type CV, interview preparation and practice. Current relevant work place legislation is also evaluated and assessed. An integral part of this module is developing skills required for a successful job search; and so, students are facilitated to secure a relevant work placement. On completion of the work placement (60 hours) the student will reflect, review and consider their future career options.

Assessment: Portfolio/Collection of Work (60%), Skills Demonstration (40%).

9. Communications 5N0690    

This module explores the role of communication in human interaction in theory and practice. Students are facilitated to gain relevant knowledge, skills, and competence to communicate verbally and nonverbally in standard everyday tasks and in work-related situations. Students will have the opportunity to develop important vocational related skills such as report writing, report reading, listening, and speaking skills (through oral presentation, interviews, group work) and modern information communication technology.

Assessment: Portfolio/Collection of Work (50%), Skills Demonstration (50%).

Certification

  • Level 5 QQI Award Laboratory Techniques (5M3807)

Special Features

  • Work placement
  • Hands-on laboratory experience
  • Field trips/Lab Tours: Rye River Brewing, Kildare, Annual Brewery Trip, Lab Scientific Lab Tour, Dublin, Department of Agriculture and Food Lab Tour, Kildare, Kerry Group Headquarters, Kildare, Botanic Gardens, Dublin, Killiney Beach Trip, Science Gallery, Trinity College, Annual UCD Open Day for FET students, Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant, Dublin, Maritime Museum, Dún Laoghaire
  • Workshops: Spectroscopy in a suitcase workshop by the Royal Society of Chemistry, Amgen Biotech Experience
  • Guest speakers from industry and academia give talks about real-world STEM applications and careers: Science Communicator Dr. Niamh Shaw, Dr. Claudia Rocha, School of Physics, TCD, The Irish Astrobiologist, Stewart Gault, PhD Researcher, Dr. Conor Dowling, Smart Sandyford, Natalia Garcia Domenech, PhD candidate, School of Chemistry, TCD. Dr. Joseph Crispell, Data Scientist, UCD, Anne McCormick, Bloom Health, Sandyford, Joseph Ahern, Functional Blends Manager, Kery Food Group
  • This course is also 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
  • CAO advice

 

Amgen Biotech Experience

Students will be encouraged to develop a scientific mindset open to ideas and experimentation along with analytical, problem-solving and research skills, through the Amgen Biotech Experience which DFEi takes part in each year. This innovative science education program brings cutting edge biotechnology into the classroom. It introduces students to the importance of scientific discovery through a molecular biology learning experience that links core science concepts to real-world applications. One of these concepts is DNA fingerprinting which is a technique employed by forensic scientists to assist in the identification of individuals or samples by their respective DNA profiles.

Work Experience

Students will be required to undertake a period work placement in an organisation connected to their vocational area during the academic year.  Work Experience is mandatory for all of our full-time Level 5 courses. 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 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 activities and (3) human health activities.

 

Assessment

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

A full major award is granted on passing the relevant eight components.  On successful completion of each component, you will be awarded a pass, a merit or a distinction grade. See www.qqi.ie for more details

Progression Opportunities

Graduates are eligible to apply through the CAO and/or the Higher Education Links Scheme for entry to year one of a range of higher certificate and degree programmes, at Universities, Institutes of Technology and Technological Universities using their full QQI Level 5 major award. Places are not guaranteed in these Institutes and are subject to students meeting certain criteria.  It is the students' responsibility to consult with the relevant HEI for information on the admissions process and any specific entry requirements. Students may also refer to the individual HEI prospectus or may also refer to the QQI FET section of the CAO website. www.cao.ie

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 or Laboratory Analyst that are now available in Ireland.

Our 2021 graduates of this course have progressed onto UCD, TCD, TU Dublin, NUI Maynooth, DCU and Waterford IT.  For example, Six of our graduates got into Science and four got into Food Science in UCD. Two of our graduates got into Science in TCD, and three of our graduates got into Science in Maynooth.  One of our graduates has progressed onto an apprenticeship in Science related area.

Examples of CAO progression opportunities are listed below.

Progression Examples

Bachelor of Science (DN200)

BSc Sustainability with Environmental Science (DN240)

Bachelor of Agricultural Science (DN250)

BSc Food Science (DN261)

BSc Agri-Environmental Sciences (DN253)

BAgrSc Dairy Business (DN252)

BSc Computer Science (DN201)

University College Dublin - www.ucd.ie

Bachelor of Science (MH201)

BSc Biotechnology (MH202)

BSc Biological and Biomedical Science (MH208)

BSc Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Chemistry (MH210)

BSc Computer Science (MH602)

BSc Biological and Geographical Science (MH203)

Maynooth University - www.nuimaynooth.ie

BSc Biological and Biomedical Sciences (TR060)

BSc Geography and Geoscience (TR062)

BSc Chemical Sciences (TR061)

BSc Physical Sciences (TR063)

Bachelor Dental Technology (TR803)

Trinity College Dublin - www.tcd.ie

BSc Science (TU854)

BSc Pharmaceutical Science (TU876)

BSc Pharmaceutical Healthcare (TU875)

BSc Physics Technology (TU877)

BSc Environmental Health (TU869)

BSc Science with Nanotechnology (TU855)

BSc Clinical Measurement Science (TU868)

BSc DNA and Forensic Analysis (TU752), (TU864)

BSc Nutraceuticals in Health and Nutrition (TU882)

Technological University Dublin - www.tud.ie

BSc Biotechnology (DC181)

BSc Sports Science and Health (DC202)

BSc Analytical Science (DC161)

BSc Genetics and Cell Biology (DC168)

BSc Biological Sciences (DC180)

BSc Chemical Sciences (DC163)

BSc Environmental Science and Technology (DC166)

BSc Science Education (DC203)

Dublin City University - www.dcu.ie

BSc Biological and Chemical Sciences (CK402)

BSc Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (CK404)

BSc Chemical Sciences (CK406)

BSc Nutritional Sciences (CK504)

BSc Food Science (CK505)

BSc Medical and Health Sciences (CK707)

University College Cork - www.ucc.ie

Bachelor of Science (GY301)

BSc Biomedical Science (GY303)

BSc Biotechnology (GY304)

BSc Environmental Science (GY308)

BSc Marine Science (GY310)

BSc Environmental Health and Safety (GY313)

Galway University - www.nuigalway.ie

Career Paths

This course prepares students for careers typically found in the following sectors: chemical industry, biopharma-pharm chem, cosmetic science, food and beverages, physical and mathematical sciences, medical devices, education and research, environmental science, human biology and health, covid testing worker, science journalism, hospital laboratories, chemical laboratories, pharmaceutical laboratories, industrial laboratories, local authorities . Students may seek employment in many other types of companies such as business, requiring an aptitude for science.

Thank You

we will be in touch shortly

Accreditations

Rachel Byrne

Class of 2019 (Pre-University Science)

I am now entering my final year of Biomedical Science in Trinity College Dublin, specialising in Environmental Science. I have had a very exciting few years in TCD so far. This summer (2021) I am doing…

Read More

Rachel Byrne

Class of 2019 (Pre-University Science)

I am now entering my final year of Biomedical Science in Trinity College Dublin, specialising in Environmental Science. I have had a very exciting few years in TCD so far. This summer (2021) I am doing an internship with CITI bank learning about sustainable investments. Earlier this year  (June2021) I was invited to speak in an international conference on technology and conservation.  I was a panellist alongside the world renowned conservationist and UN Messenger of Peace Dr. Jane Goodall, DB, someone I have always looked up to.

Studying in DFEi played a key part in my journey. It was a big decision to return to study back in 2018. I was nervous and unsure but the nurturing attitude of the college and the continuous encouragement of the teachers restored my self-confidence. I have a vivid memory of a presentation I did for one of the modules. Despite my nerves I performed well and the teacher commented that she looked forward to seeing me on a TED Talk one day. That comment stuck with me and really pushed me forward.

I would strongly encourage any mature student thinking of returning to study to take that step.  My year in DFEi helped me decide which area of Science was for me I had the change to refamiliarize myself with a structured learning environment while receiving close guidance and support. Back in 2018 I would have never imagined I would one day be taking the (virtual) stage alongside such inspiring women like Dr. Jane Goodall.

Class of 2019 (Pre-University Science)

I am now entering my final year of Biomedical Science in Trinity College Dublin, specialising in Environmental Science. I have had a very exciting few years in TCD so far. This summer (2021) I am doing an internship with CITI bank learning about sustainable investments. Earlier this year  (June2021) I was invited to speak in an international conference on technology and conservation.  I was a panellist alongside the world renowned conservationist and UN Messenger of Peace Dr. Jane Goodall, DB, someone I have always looked up to.

Studying in DFEi played a key part in my journey. It was a big decision to return to study back in 2018. I was nervous and unsure but the nurturing attitude of the college and the continuous encouragement of the teachers restored my self-confidence. I have a vivid memory of a presentation I did for one of the modules. Despite my nerves I performed well and the teacher commented that she looked forward to seeing me on a TED Talk one day. That comment stuck with me and really pushed me forward.

I would strongly encourage any mature student thinking of returning to study to take that step.  My year in DFEi helped me decide which area of Science was for me I had the change to refamiliarize myself with a structured learning environment while receiving close guidance and support. Back in 2018 I would have never imagined I would one day be taking the (virtual) stage alongside such inspiring women like Dr. Jane Goodall.

Course Coordinator

Eileen Connell

Eileen Connell

Thank You

we will be in touch shortly