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Clinical Chemistry

Clinical Chemistry

Course Title Clinical Chemistry (M.Sc.)
Qualification MSc.
Duration Two years (Part-Time)
Next Intake September 2019

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"An internationally accredited Masters Course in Clinical Chemistry"

Course Overview

This advanced taught Masters Programme in Clinical Chemistry is offered on a part-time basis over 2 years and is delivered by a panel of national and international medical and scientific experts in the discipline. The Clinical Biochemistry Unit at TCD is part of the School of Medicine and is Ireland’s only such facility. It is supported by the largest clinical biochemistry service in the country, with state of the art clinical laboratories at Tallaght Hospital, St. James’s Hospital, and Naas General Hospital.

Clinical Biochemistry is the discipline of pathology (or laboratory medicine) that is concerned with the detection and measurement of biochemical changes in disease. Clinical Chemistry laboratories carry out a wide range of biochemical investigations in a complex automated working environment. In addition to routine diagnostic work, personnel are also frequently involved in clinical trials, audit and research and so require a detailed knowledge of the effects of disease on biochemical measurements.

The current MSc Student Handbook can be downloaded from the following link (PDF 2MB)

Most of our students are medical scientists, clinical biochemists or medical doctors who already have some knowledge of laboratory or clinical medicine and wish to develop a special interest in Clinical Chemistry. All students must either have a concurrent appointment in a clinical laboratory or a suitable laboratory placement for the duration of the course. Classes are kept small (usually not more than 12-15 students) so that individual attention is possible.

Whatever their background, our students repeatedly tell us that this course provides in-depth training in the medical, scientific, and research aspects of clinical chemistry and a unique training opportunity not found on any other laboratory medicine course. The course has been running since 2005, and many of our past students have gone on to complete higher specialist medical training in chemical pathology or reach senior scientific positions in laboratory medicine.

Course Description

The course runs every Friday during term times over two years (5 terms) at the Trinity Centre for Health Sciences complex at Tallaght Hospital, Dubin 24, Ireland. In addition, some selected lecture blocks take place in St. James’s Hospital, Dublin 8 and in the Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street, Dublin 1.

There are 5 taught modules (Clinical Chemistry I and II, Endocrinology and Metabolism I and II, Quality Assurance and Laboratory Management) and a research dissertation. Six workplace assignments and a Logbook of 10 cases must also be submitted during the course.

Each module includes techniques workshops which focus on developing practical skills through demonstrations and assignments in the candidates’ base laboratory and presentations in class. A series of clinical laboratory interface workshops also promote clinical reasoning and data presentation skills.

Why Study this Course?

Our course offers a combination of taught modules combined with practical workplace assignments that teach vital skills needed in everyday laboratory practice (such as business case development, method evaluation, evaluation of point of care testing devices, a clinical audit, and review of a journal article).  Our students can then subsequently apply the tools and techniques learned in their workplace. Our course also has a very high degree of student-tutor interaction in a friendly learning environment.

Learning Objectives

The aims of the course are as follows:

  • To offer a high quality postgraduate Master’s course dedicated to Clinical Biochemistry to laboratory professional staff including those from medical scientist, clinical biochemist or medical backgrounds.
  • To offer a mix of theoretical knowledge delivered in lecture format combined with continuous development and assessment of clinical reasoning skills and practical knowledge of techniques taught in workshops, workplace assignments and a log book of 10 cases
  • To offer a course structure feasible for full-time laboratory staff.
  • To give all students, regardless of their professional laboratory background, a comprehensive understanding of the principles of clinical biochemistry.
  • To give students from a Health Sciences/Medical background a sound knowledge of the underlying scientific and technological principles of clinical biochemistry.
  • To provide students from a laboratory biomedical or scientific background a sound knowledge of the clinical principles underlying the application of clinical biochemistry investigations in human disease.
  • To foster an interest in audit, research and development, and effective information management in the discipline

Course Timetable Outline

The course runs every Friday during term times over two years (4 terms) at the Trinity Centre for Health Sciences complex at Tallaght Hospital, Dubin 24, Ireland. In addition, some selected lecture blocks take place in St. James’s Hospital, Dublin 8 and in the Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street, Dublin 1.

There are 5 taught modules (Clinical Chemistry I and II, Endocrinology and Metabolism I and II, Quality Assurance and Laboratory Management) and a research dissertation. Six workplace assignments and a Logbook of 10 cases must also be submitted during the course.

Programme Structure

The course is assessed by a written examination at the end of each year (including an OSPE/spot). Students must also submit a series of 6 marked assignments, a logbook of 10 cases, and a research dissertation conducted in the students own base laboratory. A viva voce examination is held at the end of the course. Further details can be found in the Course Information Manual. It is possible to obtain a Diploma in Clinical Chemistry instead of an MSc by completing all taught modules and examinations/assessments except the research dissertation however the vast majority of students prefer to obtain the full MSc.

Facilities

The taught modules are delivered at the Trinity Health Sciences complex at Tallaght Hospital, Dublin 24, Ireland. Selected sessions are delivered at other sites (e.g., molecular diagnostics, diabetes and metabolism at St. James’s Hospital , and paediatric biochemistry at the Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street).

The Clinical Biochemistry Unit office is located at:

Clinical Biochemistry Unit Office,
Room 1.19
Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, 
Tallaght Hospital
Dublin 24, Ireland
Executive Officer: Email: clinchem@tcd.ie

Students not concurrently appointed to a clinical laboratory must arrange their own laboratory placements for the duration of the course and should apply directly to their laboratory of choice. Further information is available from the Clinical Biochemistry Unit office.

Fees 

Student fees can be obtained from the Academic Registry (Under Fees and Payments)

How to Apply and Requirements

Application for admission to the course is now ONLINE and should be made no later than 30th June for the proposed year of entry. Late applications will be considered provided places are available but you should contact the Executive Officer in this instance to inform us of the application. In any case it is strongly recommended that you contact the Executive Officer and arrange to meet with the Course Director or Co-ordinator at the earliest opportunity if you are considering an application. We are pleased to discuss your requirements personally and confidentially to ensure that the course is suitable for you and we also will arrange a visit to the course and laboratory facilities at Tallaght Hospital.

Applications will be accepted from those who satisfy ONE of the following requirements:

  1. hold an honours degree ( first, upper or lower second class) in any health sciences or biomedical discipline, or a medical, dental or nursing degree, OR
  2. are Members or are eligible for Membership of the Academy of Clinical Science and Laboratory medicine OR
  3. have two years current or previous work experience in clinical biochemist or medical scientist posts

Applicants under (2) should provide documentary evidence such as a letter from the Academy of Clinical Science and Laboratory Medicine confirming their Membership or eligibility for Membership.
Applicants under (3) should provide full details of their current and previous experience with their application.
Applicants meeting these criteria will be required to attend for interview to assess knowledge and aptitude.

We recommend that overseas applicants apply at least 6 months in advance of their proposed start date to allow sufficient time to make all necessary arrangements.

 Contact Us

Ms Alison Collie
Executive Officer

Clinical Biochemistry Unit
Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, 
Tallaght Hospital
Dublin 24, Ireland
E: clinchem@tcd.ie

Dr. Gerard Boran
Consultant Chemical Pathologist and Course Director
Clinical Biochemistry Department, 
Tallaght Hospital
Dublin 24, Ireland
E: clinchem@tcd.ie

Dr. Vivion Crowley
Consultant Chemical Pathologist
Head of Department
Biochemistry Department
St. James’s Hospital
Dublin 8, Ireland
E: clinchem@tcd.ie

Dr. Ann Leonard
Adjunct Assistant Professor and Course Co-ordinator
Clinical Biochemistry Unit,
Trinity Centre for Health Sciences,
Tallaght Hospital,
Dublin 24, Ireland.
E: clinchem@tcd.ie