Course Title Molecular Medicine (M.Sc.)
Qualification MSc  
Duration One Year Full-time / Two Years Part-time
Closing Date 30th June annually
Next Intake September annually

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The M.Sc. in Molecular Medicine in Trinity College Dublin was established in 1997. The programme is delivered by over 80 research-active experts, including academic scientists, clinicians and healthcare professionals from Trinity and its associated teaching hospitals, as well as many external experts.

Broad and Specialist Knowledge
Students acquire broad theoretical knowledge of topics such as cellular signalling, genetics, oncology and immunology in human health and disease. Specialist topics are also covered, such as the molecular basis of human diseases, the role of infectious agents in disease, advanced diagnostics and therapeutics, nano-medicine and medicinal chemistry.

Practical Experience
A central component of the programme is practical ‘hands-on’ experience in state-of-the-art research laboratories, with access to the latest cutting-edge technologies in the biomedical and life sciences.

    • Students must produce evidence of your Hepatitis B status and appropriate confirmation that you do not have active disease. If you are hepatitis B negative but not already deemed to be immune to hepatitis B will be required to undergo a course of vaccination. We need to see you have a positive titre.

Over 300 graduates of the M.Sc. Molecular Medicine have gone on to careers in the life sciences industry, research, academia and medicine.

molecular medicine diagram


The M.Sc. in Molecular Medicine aims to provide students with a cutting-edge overview of this discipline, with a thorough understanding of:

  • The human genome and epigenome at a molecular level and the molecular basis of human genetic disease;
  • The role of cell signalling and immunology in human health and disease;
  • The integration of molecular and cellular biology in profiling human disease mechanisms;
  • The molecular basis of common human cancers;
  • The utilisation of knowledge on the molecular basis of human disease in planning and design of novel therapies, using pharmacological agents or gene therapy;
  • The molecular interactions between microbiological pathogens and the human host;
  • Personalised Medicine: the ability to individualise treatments based on a person’s genetic constitution;
  • The role of nanomedicine in the research, diagnosis and therapeutics of disease;
  • The application of modern technology for current and future clinical practice;
  • The ethical and legal aspects of molecular medicine as it impinges on clinical practice and life science research;
  • A working appreciation of molecular and cellular biology at the practical level and development of the ability to perform independent research;
  • The ability to apply bioinformatic and computational techniques in medical and biological research, and information retrieval;
  • Critical analysis of the scientific literature and presentation of scientific research.


The programme is made up of three components:

  • Taught Modules (55 ECTS)
  • Research Skills Module (15 ECTS)
  • Research Project (30 ECTS)

The course aims to provide candidates with a cutting edge overview of the field of Molecular Medicine and provides taught modules on a wide range of subjects – see below.

Our lecturers are predominantly research active or clinical scientists who lecture in their areas of expertise and the course content is constantly reviewed and updated - with recent significant additions in the areas of Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics, Glycobiology and Nanomedicine.

The course is divided into 11 modules (each 5 ECTs) from which students will select 9 modules, allowing the student to tailor the programme to their individual needs.

The Research Skills module (15 ECTs) is mandatory and comprises two separate week-long practical classes in Molecular and Cellular Biology, Bioinformatics, Ethics, Statistics, a Review of the literature and Seminars on Research methodology. 

The Research Project (30 ECTs) forms a major component of the course and takes place over three months full-time in the laboratory on a novel piece of research (April – July).



Module 1 - CBCSM - Cellular Biology & Cell Signalling Mechanisms
Aim: The aim of this module is to give the student a broad overview of the structure and function of the mammalian cell and its organelles. It then explores the molecular basis for cellular mechanisms such as the cell cycle and the apoptotic process. Study of the cytoskeleton and associated proteins will allow an understanding of cell division and migration. The module then aims to describe the basic mechanisms of cell cell communication and intracellular signalling processes. The approach is to teach the mechanisms by which cells transmit extracellular signals from the surface receptors to the nucleus resulting in changes in gene expression. Having completed this module, students will be competent to expand their basic knowledge in cell biology, understand the current literature in the area and will be in a position to study the cellular and molecular basis of normal and pathogenic cellular processes.
Module 2 - Introduction to Genetics and Development - IGD
Aim: This module consists of Introductory modules on basic processes in genetics as well as a short module on the genetics and cellular biology of development, an excellent system for the study of fundamental processes. Thus this will give coverage to the basic ideas of DNA replication, mutation and repair and the transcription and translation of the information encoded in the DNA into mRNA and protein. It has become increasingly clear that these are highly complex processes subject to tiers of regulatory intervention and some of the more recent discoveries relating to regulation of these processes, for example by microRNAs means will be discussed. The short course on developmental biology covers issues of cell fate and familiarises candidates with the fundamentals of stem cell biology.
Module 3 -  Molecular Oncology - MO
This module is a specialised or advanced module dealing with the subject of molecular oncology from a variety of perspectives. The basics components of carcinogenesis such as tumour suppressor genes and oncogenes are discussed as are the contributions of important mechanisms such as inflammation and environmental exposures. However more and more is known about the altered genomics of cancer cells and aberrations of normal cellular processes such signal transduction, and it is also becoming clear that while many events are frequently observed in different types of cancer, most if not all cancers have molecular events and programmes that are unique to each type. Thus this module also includes lectures that focus on important types of cancer, describing the molecular events known to contribute to the carcinogenic state.
Module 4 Human Genetics - HG
This module consists of two components, one an introduction to Human molecular genetics and the other covering evolution and selection which is a basic tenet of modern biology with ramifications is all aspects of life sciences. The combined course will cover the basic elements of human population genetics from a molecular point of view. Many of the principles underlying the recent coming of age of disease genetics are discussed such as linkage and association genetic mapping, basic structure and genetics of populations, and the genetics of complex diseases. In the second component of the module, we discuss the evolution of the human race and molecular evolution of viruses for example HIV. This is essential to understand the structure of human populations around the globe and particular disease associations, while the molecular evolution of viruses and other pathogens is of central significance to global health.
Module 5 - Molecular and Cellular Immunology - MCI
This module provides an oversight of the processes which mediate the immune system’s response to pathogens. Thus it delves into the molecular mechanisms underlying the innate and adaptive immune responses, including the roles of B cells and Tcells including recent advances into understanding the activities of specialised lineages of T cells. In depth coverage of intra and inter-cellular signalling are included. Intrinsic to the immune response is the inflammatory response which plays such a critical role in human disease including degenerative diseases and autoimmune conditions.
Module 6 - Infectious Agents, Biology & Clinical Implications - IABCI
A central theme in the interactions of modern health science is to better understand the modes of interaction of micro-organisms and the host. It has become clear in recent years that these interactions are highly specific and allow the micro-organism to manipulate its environment using molecular strategies. Equally the host has developed means of containing and eliminating organisms, many of which appear to be variable at a genetic level. The aim of this module is to investigate what is known regarding the specific mechanisms by which these interactions occur and the key elements of the biology of major pathogenic organisms. It includes introductory lectures giving an overview of the area and important topics in current research and specific lectures covering , viral, bacterial and parasitic infections such as malaria.
Module 7 and 8 - Molecular Mechanisms of Human Disease

Molecular Mechanisms of Human Disease I - MMHD1
This module explores the molecular pathology of a number of important human diseases. It therefore applies the knowledge gained in basic modules of genetics and cell signalling and applies this in a multifaceted investigation of molecular disease mechanisms. This topic, central to the aims of this course, is split into two modules, MMHD1 and MMHD2. MMHD1 covers individual and more disparate topics of both common and rare diseases, while MMHD2 covers a number of theme areas such as pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease and neurobiology and neurological diseases. These modules will draw on students knowledge of basic scientific processes in molecular and cellular biology.
These are separate, stand-alone modules.

Molecular Mechanisms of Human Disease II - MMHD2
This module explores the molecular pathology of a number of important human diseases. It therefore applies the knowledge gained in basic modules of genetics and cell signalling and applies this in a multifaceted investigation of molecular disease mechanisms. This topic, central to the aims of this course, is split into two modules, MMHD1 and MMHD2. MMHD1 covers individual and more disparate topics of both common and rare diseases, while MMHD2 covers a number of theme areas such as pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease and neurobiology and neurological diseases. These modules will draw on students knowledge of basic scientific processes in molecular and cellular biology.
These are separate, stand-alone modules.

Module 9 - Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics - ADT
This module offers a range of lectures covering novel applications of molecular technologies in the diagnostic arena as well as investigating the therapeutic developments made possible by increasing understanding of biology at the molecular level. Thus topics include molecular diagnostics in applications such as cancer and infectious diseases as well as cellular and molecular therapeutics including molecular drug targets, vaccines and drug design and delivery.
Module 10 - Precision and Translational Nanomedicine - PTN
This module explores and expands on clinically approved nanotechnology-enabled medicines and the new generation of medicinal nano-products under the translational pathway for precision drug targeting. Many of these in fact are based on advanced nanobiomaterials offering opportunities for their use in diagnosis, treatment, combination or multifunctional applications. Precision and Translational Nanomedicine approaches are presented by a highly interdisciplinary team of physicists, chemists, engineers, biologists and medics who are actively involved in developing this  field as world leading scientists.





This is a mandatory module that constitutes 15 ECTS and incorporates the components listed below. This runs throughout the year.

  1. Bioinformatics BIO (9 hours)

    The following areas will be covered from a theoretical and “hands on” approach.

    • Bioinformatics and Molecular Medicine- What’s Out There?
    • Introduction to Databases and Sequences Software.
    • Sequence Retrieval Software.
    • Homology Searching.
    • Genome Research

    This course will be delivered at the beginning of Term 3

  2. Ethical Issues and Clinical Research EICR
    Ethical and legal considerations are fundamental to the developing field of Molecular Medicine. In this module we will investigate these concepts drawing on the experience gained internationally.
  3. Statistics Course:
    This introduction to practical data analysis is designed for those requiring the skills to analyse and interpret experimental data as part of their everyday research. The course introduces participants to statistical principles through a set of lectures, supplemented throughout with examples and guided practical exercises. The two-day course will take place in term 1.
  4. Research Skills Seminars RSS
    These seminars in Molecular and Cellular Biology Research Skills will take place in terms 1 and 2, and will in the main be given in conjunction with the practical courses.
  5. Business and Industry Seminars:
    A series of speakers will be invited to discuss employment and vocational prospects with students. This will take place on one or more evenings in Terms 2 and 3. All students should attend.
  6. Literature Review:
    Each student will be required to write a literature review on an important area of Molecular Medicine.
  7. Journal Clubs:
    Journal clubs will be hosted throughout terms 1 & 2.

Ross McManusProf. Ross McManus is Professor of Molecular Medicine. He is Director of the Molecular Medicine Postgraduate Education Programme since 2003. His research interests are in the genetics of complex diseases with an inflammatory component such as coeliac disease, arthropathies and sepsis and has been involved in several major national and international collaborative investigations into these diseases. He is a member of the Eurolife Educational Alliance, comprising Trinity and seven other leading European universities, promoting leadership in postgraduate education and student exchanges across Europe and developing a common doctoral training programme within the Eurolife network. He is also a member of the Molecular Medicine Ireland education committee.

Henry WindleDr. Henry Windle is a lecturer in the Department of Clinical Medicine, TCD. He coordinates the IABCI module in the MSc in Molecular Medicine and also coordinates the M.Sc. in Biomedical Sciences programme for Intercalated medical students. His research interests include bacterial-host interaction in relation to the gastric-cancer associated pathogen Helicobacter pylori and the colon-cancer associated organism, Fusobacterium nucleatum.


Aidan LongProfessor Aideen Long is a Principal Investigator in the Trinity Translational Medicine Institute, based on the St James’s Hospital campus. Her research focuses on the signalling aspects of leukocyte-endothelial cell interaction and the elucidation of mechanisms used by lymphocytes to circulate from the bloodstream into tissue. The processes of leukocyte extravasation and tumour cell metastasis share many common mechanisms. Her research group is particularly interested in the regulation of cytoskeletal shape during the migratory process and the structural proteins and enzymes that regulate this. This research is important in the context of elucidating the mechanisms of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis. At a translational level the group has studied mechanisms used by the Hepatitis C virus to subvert the immune system. In addition they have investigated the cellular response to bile acids in models of oesophageal and colonic cancer.

NakagomeDr. Shigeki Nakagome received his Ph.D. at The University of Tokyo in 2010 with the focus on the evolutionary pressures on alleles associated with Crohn's disease. As a postdoctoral researcher, He first joined The Institute of Statistical Mathematics from 2011 to 2014 where he developed a new statistical method, kernel Approximate Bayesian Computation. He obtained further postdoctoral training at University of Chicago from 2013 to 2016. During this training, he has acquired expertise in population and functional genomics to develop statistical approaches for understanding selective pressures on immunity genes and to connect genetic polymorphisms to their functional consequences in the immune system. Since 2016, he has worked as Ussher Assistant Professor in Genomic Medicine at School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin.

Patrick WalshDr. Patrick Walsh received his PhD in biochemistry at UCC in 2001. In 2011, he joined the NCRC as a lecturer in Paediatric Immunology and Principal Investigator on the Paediatric Research in Translational Immunology (PRiTI) programme, which coincided with his receipt of a Science Foundation Ireland President of Ireland Young Researcher award in 2011.The research conducted by Prof. Walsh’s group investigates the mechanisms which control immunity and tolerance, particularly in the context of autoimmune and inflammatory disease conditions. They take a translational research approach, using both preclinical models, and patient samples, to investigate novel mechanisms implicated in the pathogenesis of diseases such as psoriasis and inflammatory bowel disease, with the goal of identifying novel targets for therapeutic intervention. His aim is to translate his groups findings towards the development of improved therapeutics for autoimmune and inflammatory disease in patients. He also coordinates the MCI module in the MSc in Molecular Medicine. 

Adriele Prina MelloDr. Dr. Adriele Prina-Mello, PhD, is an Ussher Assistant Professor in Translational Nanomedicine, Department of Clinical Medicine at the Trinity Translational Medicine Institute, School of Medicine.Prina-Mello's research interests are focused on the translation of nanotechnology-enabled products (e.g., medical device, medicinal drugs, hybrid products such as theranostics); advanced materials and their multifunctional solutions; device and instrumentation applications into the medical research area as Nanomedicine tools with the potential to become next generation medical standards or standards of care.Prina-Mello is extensively involved in many Pan-European Networks, Cost Actions, and European Commission projects. He is also an active member at TCD on several fronts: School of Medicine Research Committee, Trinity Cancer committee, AMBER/CRANN industry-driven platform, the TTMI Radiobiology group, TTMI outreach committee. He also coordinates the Precision and Translational Nanomedicine (PTN) module in the MSc in Molecular Medicine.





Applicants should have a primary degree in Biology, Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary or Pharmaceutical Sciences. Applicants with other scientific qualifications may also be considered. Those with a science degree must have achieved at least a II-1 honours degree or equivalent.

We welcome students from all over the world, but note that visa applications for those coming from outside the EU may be lengthy, and we encourage these applicants to apply early, where possible.

msc molecular medicine particpants

Application Procedure

Application for this course is online:


Up-to-date information about fees can be found on the Academic Registry website:

For more information about admissions, please contact Ana Llavori: T: +353 1 896 3157 / E:


The programme is based in the Trinity Translational Medicine Institute at the Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, on the St. James’s Hospital Campus. St. James’s is the biggest hospital in Ireland, and is an academic teaching hospital linked with Trinity College Dublin as part of the Trinity Health Ireland group.


Executive Officer
Ana Llavori

T: +353 1 896 3157
Postal Address: Room 1.15, Discipline of Clinical Medicine, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences,  James's Street, Dublin D08 W9RT, Ireland.